Lauderdale High School was originally known as the Lauderdale County Training School. It was a school only for African Americans in Ripley and it dates back to the early 1900s and perhaps even earlier. The last graduating class of the school was in 1969, 15 years after Brown vs. BOE declared separate but equal schools unconstitutional. As was the case with most schools for African Americans only it was closed and the students were sent to the previously all White Ripley High School.
Technically the building isn’t lost because it is still standing, but it is still a former shell of itself. Years ago I had read in the Lauderdale County Enterprise that there was a group trying to restore the school and turn it into an African American history museum.
I am not sure why the words “Ripley _____ High School” appear on the building. Maybe the school for African Americans was moved into the former Ripley Junior High School for Whites? Maybe the building was used as a junior high school after it ceased being Lauderdale High School?
If you would like to visit the site where African Americans in Lauderdale County were educated it is located on Spring Street.
– Photo Source: My own
– Source: Lauderdale County Training School 1985 Reunion Booklet