The Historic Smithfield Foundation recently received a check for $10,000 from Keep Johnston County Beautiful, Inc., to assist in restoring Smithfield’s Freedmen’s Schoolhouse.
This historic structure, located at 308 N. Fourth Street, was built by the federal Freedmen’s Bureau in 1868-1869 under the auspices of the American Missionary Association and is the only freedmen’s schoolhouse known to remain in North Carolina. The Historic Smithfield Foundation and the Johnston County Heritage Center are collaborating in an effort to restore the building to its 1869 appearance and interpret its history for the public.
Keep Johnston County Beautiful (KJCB), organized in 1978, spearheaded countywide surveys of historic architecture in 1981-1983 and 2003-2005. Thousands of files created during these and other architectural surveys are available in the Margaret McLemore Lee Reading Room of the Johnston County Heritage Center. In 2016 KJCB published The Historic Architecture of Johnston County, North Carolina, a 330-page volume, which is available for purchase at the Heritage Center. All proceeds benefit the Center.