In order to raise more money, the ALCA has sent out about 1,000 letters to former graduates and others inviting them to a special fundraiser at 6 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Beasley Center in Athens. They will ask each graduate to contribute $100 to attend the event, with proceeds going to the project, Green said.
The speaker for the event will be the Rev. Louis E. Malone, a 1968 Trinity graduate and pastor of Saint Luke Missionary Baptist Church in Rockford, Ill. Members of the local Saint Mark Youth Choir will perform.
“We will also do recognitions for donations received,” Green said.
Funds are also need to help publish a comprehensive book about the site and Trinity School by local writer Charlotte Fulton.
“The book will bring tears to your eyes,” Martin said. “It is about how these people tried and did get an education.”
Green said residents can preorder the book by going online to the ALCA website at http://www.athenslca.org/.
Donations to the Fort Henderson/Trinity School Project may be made to ALCA, P.O. Box 1476, Athens, AL, 35612.
Donations are tax deductible and donors will receive a letter from the IRS acknowledging the giving.
The school and the ground on which it stands have historic value to Athens and Limestone County.
During the Civil War, between 1861-65, the former site of the Coleman estate became the home of Fort Henderson. According to the ALCA website, the earthwork structure for the fort was immense: 180 feet by 450 feet, rounded by abates of brush and palisade 4 feet high, surrounded by a ditch: 12 feet wide and 18 feet deep. It was occupied by a Union force of 600 soldiers. Only 5 percent of the fort remains.
From 1865-1970, the site was home to Trinity School, an all-black high school established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association. The association’s mission was to help former slaves acquire land and establish schools and churches. According to the website, there were 300 anxious men, women and children gathered, eager to learn. The end of segregation brought an end to Trinity School in 1970.