Story/significance: The Sallie Davis is the 1890 home of African American education pioneer Sallie Ellie Davis. Sallie Ellis Davis was born in 1877 to an African American mother and Irish father. She attended schools in Baldwin County and Atlanta University. While attending the University, she developed a life-long friendship with W.E.B. DuBois. Sallie returned to Milledgeville and opened the home she bought in 1912 as a school to teach academics as well as life skills to local African American children.
Challenge/threat: The house has been vacant and suffering from neglect, weathering and vandalism since 1989.
Progress: On June 5, 2009, an event took place to raise local awareness for this historic home. Working with the Georgia College and State University, as well as the Sallie Ellis Davis Foundation, the Partners in the Field Program has awarded a $10,000 grant for the stabilization of the building. Georgia College and State University is currently working to complete stabilization efforts in-house. A steering committee has been leading a fundraising initiative for the further stabilization and rehabilitation of the Sallie Ellis Davis house.
Impacts/outcomes: The College is in the process of developing a site use plan, with the ultimate goal for the house to become an African American Cultural Center. Current discussions also include the potential for the center to be open to school children of all ages. The local neighborhood has been very supportive by giving many small donations towards the creation of this cultural and educational center.
Next Steps: Stabilization projects are to be completed by Georgia College and State University by March of 2010. After the completion of the stabilization phase, the Georgia Trust will remain involved and help develop plans for the building’s new use as an African American Cultural Center.