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*On this date, in 1869, the North Carolina School for the Colored Deaf was founded. This school was a state-supported residential school for deaf children established in 1894 in Morganton, North Carolina.
In 1845, W.D. Cooke was hired. The school remained open during the American Civil War, then later suffered under the incompetent leadership of political appointees. Around 1890 the education trend in the United States was to have separate schools for deaf and blind children. This episode led to a series of hearings and legislative action. The result was funding for a new school for deaf children and its location in Morganton in 1891.
The prime advocate for a new school was Edward McKee Goodwin (1859–1937) of Raleigh, who, in 1894, became the first superintendent, an appointment he held until 1936. The person instrumental in the location in Morganton was Col. Samuel McDowell Tate (1830–1897) of Morganton. The school for the blind remained in Raleigh as The Governor Morehead School. During the American Civil War, Confederate money was printed at the school.
The school is on a national historic district campus in Morganton, North Carolina, with 12 buildings on 160 acres. The school now has an annual budget of over $10 million. The historic district encompasses 14 historic buildings constructed between about 1891 and 1939. They include the main building, classroom buildings, recreational facilities, the original infirmary, staff housing, and farm buildings. The representations of Victorian, Romanesque Revival, and Colonial Revival style architecture.
The main building is a high Victorian three-story brick building with a slate roof and a five-story tower. The main building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and the historic district in 1989. North Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind is one of two primary public schools for deaf students in first through 12th grade.
The school offers an education program and vocational rehabilitation service on campus for students after graduation. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Conference of Educational Administrators Serving the Deaf. The North Carolina School for the Deaf Historical Museum on the school's campus for the Deaf at Morganton, NC. The original site was in the Historic Main Building common room before moving to the former Superintendent's Home in 2003.
The Museum was a Senior Project by Jimmy Autrey, NCSD graduate of 1977, along with several student & staff volunteers. The Museum displays a historical timeline of pictures & artifacts about the establishment of the North Carolina School for the Deaf in 1891 and the original N.C. Institution for the Deaf & Blind in 1845 & N.C. Institution for Colored Deaf & Blind in 1869, both at Raleigh, NC. The Museum maintains a record of student enrollment, organizational activities, school publications, memorabilia, photographic images, newspapers & class books in the Archival Collection Room. Currently, the Archives have over 1000 pictures with state-of-the-art computerized storage for research purposes & exhibition.