A few months ago, 1974 Ensley High School alumnus Donnie Flynn created a Facebook site which he so beautifully named “Ensley Highlands 35208.” In just a short time, 1,167 folks, including me, have clicked the magic button and become friends. The reminiscing chatter, plus old pictures of Kiddieland, Legion Field, Rickwood and many long-gone area restaurants and churches, has all been wonderful. Well done, my Yellow Jacket brother.
But wouldn’t you know that a strange mystery has popped up in all of this nostalgia swapping. I bet Rod Serling and “The Twilight Zone” would jump on this story. It involves the little-known Moore Elementary School which, since 1926, has sat peacefully on Avenue G in Ensley between 14th and 15th Streets. Don’t look in the phone book; it is not there. I thought I knew all of the schools that fed Ensley High School, but not this one. I was certain it did not exist.
Out of curiosity and in hopes of finding the school, I took a late Sunday afternoon drive to the area once known as Little Italy. It is about three blocks directly north of Tuxedo Junction and its historic marker. As I came across the neatly kept grounds, I immediately noticed the big 1926 carved into the header above the front door. I didn’t get out of the car but I did pause for a moment. I was curious. What sounds have echoed throughout the ivy halls of Moore Elementary, as some say the school has sat idle since the mid 1950s? Who taught here? What happened to all of the students? Who got an education at Moore? Why wasn’t it torn down?
Just following Halloween, I try to imagine what goblins have roamed the halls of Moore Elementary since the doors closed and the school was forgotten.
Did I hear a locker slam ?
(For a picture of Moore Elementary School as it stands today, click here.)