Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 17: PMSS Publications (Published by the School)
DEAR FRIEND Letters and Brochure 1952
From Director Burton Rogers
Letters: April and December 1952
Brochure: July 1952
TAGS: Dear Friend letters and brochure 1942, library, consolidated elementary school, busing children to school, hospital, demonstration farm, Burton Rogers, Chapel, administration of the school, fundraising needs, Berea College affiliation, teachers, students, map of roads to PMSS, medical services, hot lunch, sawmill, farm manager
CONTENTS: Dear Friend Letters 1952 April and December
April 1952, page 1
[Photograph: Children seated on chairs around a teacher in the library.]
“Busing children to our consolidated school is an endless struggle, full of incident.” Gives examples of busing problems, such as rough roads, landslides, washed-out bridges.
“For three winters we have had a consolidated elementary school… Contacts with the homes of our students have thus become more intimate.” Describes various problems, such as furniture and playground equipment too large for seven and eight-year-olds and a library not geared to children. PMSS was sent children’s books by friends, “cataloged and placed in a redecorated library. The reading room has been a source of unending pleasure.” The library is tended by a volunteer staff committee until a full-time librarian can be afforded and “there is a weekly story hour for each of the lower grades.”
April 1952, page 2
[Photograph: Children seated at dining room tables in Laurel House.]
“When the five one-room schools were consolidated at Pine Mountain, we felt we could enrich a basic education program in many ways, using the equipment we had and calling on some of the non-teaching members of the staff.” Gives examples, such as girls learning to cook and serve meals and the 4-H Club for boys.
“But we cannot train hands and minds if the body is neglected.” Examples include the school lunch, the work of the school nurse and expansion of hospital services when the hospital was moved out of the Infirmary [to West Wind]. “Excavations made this summer provide kitchen and laundry space on the ground floor.” Describes the need for nurses and asks for help in finding them.
[Photograph: Nurse at bedside of a patient.]
April 1952, page 3
“The farm has no slack season.” Examples are the poultry flock, cutting wood from the mountainside, construction and repair jobs.
“Never underwritten by a church board or largely endowed, this school is a product of faith … faith of the workers in their task, and your faith in us and the cause we serve together. …We appeal to you just once each year. … Faithfully yours, [signed] Burton Rogers, Director.”
April 1952, page 4 (?)
[Photograph: Chapel interior with seated congregation and organ. Quote alongside photograph: “All the world is God’s own field…”]
A list of information about the school, such as location, organization, founding, and the need.
“ORGANIZATION: Pine Mountain is a private school, Christian, but non-sectarian, which cooperates with the Harlan County Board of Education to bring nearly 200 children from five one-room school districts to a consolidated elementary school at Pine Mountain. Harlan County pays the five teachers, supplies buses and bus drivers, and helps to maintain the school building. Berea College has assumed a supervisory relationship but does not contribute to the budget.”
“THE NEED: The School must raise $40,000 each year from contributions, in addition to the share assumed by the county.” Appeals for money and explains how donations are used.
“We need your help! Burton Rogers, Director”
December 1952, page 1
“Because money is always scarce, we have for years done only the most necessary repairs to our buildings. But wood deteriorates rapidly in this damp climate and we are faced with the need for extensive work.” Lists examples and describes the needs at the Mary Burkham Schoolhouse.
A ninth grade was added to the School, as a step toward the goal of a 12-grade school. “Pine Mountain agreed to pay half the salary of the ninth grade teacher who also serves as principal. The Harlan County Board of Education pays the other five teachers.”
The hospital is becoming a “self-contained little community hospital.” Describes the excavation and usefulness of a kitchen and laundry in the hospital building.
Because of the added costs, $10,000 beyond the regular budget is needed “to help us through this crisis.”
Sincerely, [signed] Burton Rogers, Director
December 1952, page 2
Description of Pine Mountain, its location, founding, organization, and highlights the 16-bed hospital with one nurse, the farm’s production of milk and eggs, affiliation with Berea College and dependence on contributions for more than half of its regular budget.
[Photograph: Student teacher from Berea College helping students seated around a table.]
GALLERY: Dear Friend Letters 1952 April and December
CONTENTS: Brochure July 1952
Brochure July 1952, page 1 (Front and back of brochure)
Map of parts of IND, KY, VA, W.VA, TENN and N.C., showing roads to Pine Mountain.
“Administration: Private school, supported by contributions; Christian but non-sectarian. Cooperating with Harlan County schools. Administered by a board of trustees. Since 1949, Berea College has assumed a supervisory role, advising on program. The College does not contribute to the budget.“PMSS Fundraising Brochure, July 1952, page 1.
“Guest rooms are available with board in the school dining room. … A set of 2×2 Kodachrome slides with explanatory manuscript is available with no charge but return postage. … Burton Rogers, Director.”
[Photograph: Three children seated around a table listening to a record player.]
Brochure July 1952, page 2
Two-page spread featuring:
“Health — maintaining the only medical service in the area. Our doctor and three nurses care for patients. A fourth nurse serves the school families in a unique school and public health program. [Photograph: Dentist working on a child’s teeth with nurse looking on. Caption: “A Harlan dentist holds clinic for school children.”]
“Education — Providing, in cooperation with the county board of education, a modern consolidated school, replacing five one-room schools.” [Photograph: Teacher surrounded by seated students in library. Caption: “Story hour in the children’s reading room.”
“Agriculture — furthering the agricultural and economic development of the community through operation of a demonstration farm.” [Photograph: Chicken coop. Caption: “Pure-bred poultry range on hillside pasture.”
“Worship — working as a Christian, non-sectarian institution toward a fuller life and a more united Christian fellowship throughout the community.” [Photograph: Chapel with seated congregation and organ. Caption: “School children gather for weekly chapel service. Services for staff and community are also held on Sunday evening, and on other special occasions. The traditional Nativity Play is given in the Chapel each year at Christmas.”
Brochure July 1952, page 3
Two-page spread featuring (left to right):
Photograph: Two boys working in a workshop.
Caption: “Boys are taught to use basic tools.”
Photograph: Two girls and a boy at play.
Caption: “Playing together is a way to learn working together.”
Photograph: Four children eating around a dining room table.
Caption: “A nourishing, hot lunch is provided each noon at Laurel House. Financed by parents and through the county program. Lunch is given to any who cannot pay. Clean plates are a tradition. Several girls earn their lunch by helping in the dining room.”
Photograph: Young man attending a child lying under an X-ray machine.
Caption: “…Neighbors raised $600 to move and install gift X-ray.”
Photograph: Nurse attending a woman in bed.
Caption: “The 16-bed Pine Mountain Hospital serves an even larger area than does the school. Cost is reasonable, care is good.”
Photograph: Student operating a sewing machine.
Caption: “Girls learn elementary sewing and weaving.”
Photograph: Man operating a tractor in a cornfield.
Caption: “A Pine Mountain graduate manages the farm. It is a demonstration of what can be done with a few acres of carefully cultivated land. A dairy herd and poultry flock supply milk and eggs to the school.”
“The farm manager received the Green Pastures award for 1950 as ‘Master Pastureman’ for Harlan County. Also in 1950 the school dairy herd was rated among the top 10% of Ayrshire herds in the United States. The school saw-mill has provided our own lumber, from our own forest, for farm and poultry, and other new buildings. Our farm manager works closely with the County Agent, is a director of the Farm Bureau, and is active in other agricultural organizations.”PMSS Fundraising Brochure,, 1952, page 3.
“We Need Your Help!,” stating that $40,000 must be raised annually to maintain the hospital and activities.
Brochure July 1952, page 4
” . . . a community center in an isolated mountain neighborhood.” Describes PMSS’s operation of the hospital and farm, the founding of the School, its administration and the success of the consolidated elementary program.
[Photograph: a line of students approach two school buses. Caption: “Nearly 200 children attend Pine Mountain Settlement School, coming in daily on buses from homes scattered along narrow creek valleys. Fathers of many families work in mines across the mountain or in the lumber woods. Most families garden, but there is too little bottom land for full-scale farming.”
GALLERY: Brochure July 1952
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