Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 16: Annual and Special Events
By Topic: CELEBRATION
SILVER JUBILEE 1938
The Silver Jubilee of 1938 was a celebratory fund-raising year for Pine Mountain Settlement School. In service to the mountains of Kentucky for 25 years, the School sought to celebrate the founders and the accomplishments of the School over its first quarter century. The Silver Jubilee of 1938 was essentially a capital campaign that endeavored to make it possible to build a new building that would serve as a hospitality center for the School.
In describing the accomplishment of the institution, Director Glyn Morris pointed out that
Today Pine Mountain serves as a boarding school for over one hundred students of high school age, and through its community work touches the lives of hundreds of people in an intensely rural area. Its two extension centers serve in numerous neighborly ways; the Infirmary, with its staff of doctor and nurse, provides health service otherwise unobtainable; its corps of students, visiting homes and working in the elementary schools of the area, provides an invaluable help as they themselves are trained in ways of rendering service. This program within the School itself emphasizes learning by doing and offers many opportunities for practical experience. Students pay an entrance fee of ten dollars and monthly tuition of seven dollars and fifty cents. Under supervision, they prepare the food, work the farm, do repairs and other chores, in return for room and board. Under a well organized guidance plan, each student follows an individualized program. No marks or credits are given. Students send their own reports to parents in the form of a letter supplemented by the School’s evaluation….
From the beginning, Pine Mountain has given much attention to the folklore of the Highlands and has consistently fostered, whenever possible both in and out of the School, the appreciation of this cultural heritage. Songs and folk dances are a natural and delightful part of the daily life; at the School the country dances and the running set are the popular recreation.
In the 1938 October edition of the Notes of the Pine Mountain Settlement School and in a special Silver Jubilee Notes, Morris outlined the capital campaign, the mission of the School, the folklore focus and the accomplishments of the first twenty-five years, as well as his own initiatives. A large committee was formed to help the School in its capital campaign efforts. It was comprised of internal staff, board members and friends of the School. Student testimony was also enlisted, as seen in this comment by a student in October Notes:
In mining camps there is little natural beauty left, Most of the landscape is marred by tipples and slate dumps. We see none of that in our life over here. Yet we are taught to take care of the trees and flowers left. We could begin in our own yard. For when we go home the responsibility of our community lies on us as on others.
In his appeal Morris also looked back to words written in 1915 by Ethel de Long Zande:
As you sojourn in the hills, the belief grows on you that our country’s wealth here is only half guessed; that this is a field for large constructive service; that schools such as ours do no less for the mountains than for America.
Morris believed that,
In seeking to lift up the spirits of the people of the mountains, Pine Mountain not only assumes a share in helping to save for the Nation the best of rural life, that in itself is so valuable, but it is also well in the vanguard with those schools that are truly American in spirit, blazing new trails in working with individuals and providing well grounded social service and community leadership. No area in our Country has greater need, and no area so much to give.
While the Silver Jubilee fell short in its appeal for funding for a community center, the funds raised allowed the construction of a new building to house the School’s doctor, a building that was subsequently named “Jubilee”.
Return to GUIDE TO SPECIAL & ANNUAL EVENTS AT PMSS