TFS Memories


Loving TFS Staff

Lindsay Abercrombie
Class Of: Attended 1994-1996

I still call Tallulah Falls School my home. Everyone, teachers, dorm counselors, kitchen and grounds staff.... they all were family to me and still are. At our 10 year homecoming, Mrs. Gracie hugged me as tight as she did every morning at breakfast while I was in school there. Mr Franklin sure doesn't forget anything either!.

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TFS Teachers Made a Difference

Alex Brennan

Class Of: 2002

I remember Mr. Stewart showing me the light, and Mrs. Harris showing me that math did not have to be so difficult. It helped me graduate college. I hope all of the students live this day and understand the opportunity that they have. It is once in a lifetime and they will understand in time. Life is short - take this opportunity and run with it. You can accomplish anything you would like. Thanks to the teachers that made a difference in my life, they showed me that I will and that I can.

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Memories of Cecil Wages 1941 - 1951

Cecil Wages
Class Of: Attended 1941-1951

In 1941 we moved from Athens, Georgia to Tallulah Falls. My Father was with Georgia Power Company. We moved into a Georgia Power house at Tallulah Lodge. I entered Tallulah Falls School in the second grade in December. Ms Dillard was our Teacher. I will always remember the Christmas pageants in December. Ms Wix was in charge of the pageants and the lower grades would read part of the Christmas Story from the Bible and the upper classes would read the remaining part of the story. Then Santa would come and pass out gifts to all the students. Both boarding students and day students. Some years I received more gifts at school than when Santa came to our house.

I remained in school thru my junior year. I was getting ready to enter my senior year at Tallulah when my Father was transfered to a power plant in Macon, Georgia. We talked with Ms Fitzpatrick and she said that since I had gone all the way thru school there, that she would allow me to stay in the dormitory at the school my senior year and finish school there with no cost to my family. This was in the early part of July, so I settled in as a boarding student. Mr Bob Williams (Uncle Bob) as he was called started me out on my working schedule!! We would go down to the train depot and they would put a coal car on the side track and we would unload it by shovel into a large truck and haul it up to the school to be used in the stoves in the classrooms. Uncle Bob also had us clean up the area around the small lake that is located just south of the Gallery. It is very close to the new lodge that the school is building. The work was hard but looking back I know it was good for me.

On Sunday's Ms. Fitzpatrick would ask me to drive her new Dodge and take her to Lakemont and Clayton. I had my drivers license so this was a great treat for me and gave me an opportunity to get to know this great lady. After about a month my Mother and Father came to see me at the School. I think they missed me a little and they made me an offer. They said that if I would come to Forsyth, Ga. where they were living and finish my senior year there that they would buy me a car. Well you know how this turned out. I packed up my "dirty Clothes" which still had a lot of coal dust in them and went to Forsyth and entered school there my senior year.

My "old" classmates at Tallulah still include me in their class reunions and I try to attend the reunions in May when I can. I worked for Georgia Power for 36 years and now I am retired and live in Smyrna, Ga. Tallulah Falls School will always have a place in my heart and I drive by the school every time I am in the area.

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Developing Faith at Tallulah

Comell Watts Smith Moore
Class Of: 1956

In 1909, and ever since, Tallulah Falls exemplified real faith. Although a doctrinal system was not fostered, exposure to faith in practice was evident with daily prayer and Bible reading at breakfast, inspiration at Friday assembly, Sunday morning worship and Sunday evening vespers. Club ladies, parents, the community and the students participated in these activities which were introductory to as well as supportive of developing faith. Religious morals and ethics were the standard and expected code of TFS, a real part of preparing students for "the good life."

Those who attended TFS were there because of someone's faith in practice. The ladies of the Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs often came to campus and we treated them as the honored guests they were. We knew they were important, and that they came from all over Georgia. Quite often, we could read in the Atlanta Journal or Constitution of their visits to Tallulah. About 1952, some one of their clubs gave Tallulah a small chapel, only about 8' x 10', placed on the hillside between the Willet Building and the high school building. There were flowers landscaped around it, and steps leading up to it, making it an easy stop before and after meals or classes. No one was ever required to use it, even encouraged to go there, but I know many of the students did go in. Just what they did, or said there was never discussed, but it was a quiet, solemn place for friendly talks with another human or heavenly being. I wonder what happened to it, for it has been gone for many years. I miss it each time I return to Tallulah.

Each grading period, we were assigned dining room seating, along with housekeeping and other chore assignments. Staff members hosted each dining table, and would get to know all students by the end of the year. Meal time was an important teaching time as discussions centered around many aspects of our lives, including manners. Needless to say, many of us needed that instruction to become at ease in the bigger world to which we were going. There was a bell (until someone gave us a gong) that moved from table to table and students took turns leading the prayer, "For these and all thy many blessings, we thank thee, O God. Amen." before meals. Of course, sometimes, a student would get out of saying the prayer, but meals were a time of learning, same as all the other times at Tallulah. After meals, we had Bible reading (that was also passed from table to table) before daily announcements.

Friday mornings were always assembly times. This meant that all 12 grades and staff assembled in the school auditorium for a program. We pledged allegiance to the American flag, sang "My Country 'tis of Thee", and had a short devotional and prayer. We often had community leaders or clubwomen who would bring greetings, then some portion of the student body would present a program. This might be a play, a short skit, poems about a subject the class had been studying. I remember a particular assembly that our 8th grade class presented. It was all about different aspects of Georgia: our mountains and rivers, trees and flowers, birds and animals, and famous people. Every student in that class had a part to say, and I bet most of us remember what we recited. Top class learning!

Sunday's were special days at Tallulah. Mornings, all students were expected to attend the church of their choice - either Methodist or Baptist. Many students made their profession of faith in one of these little country churches, providing a firm foundation of faith for the remainder of their lives. Afternoons were spent in quiet time, with no planned activity. Students would often prevail upon a staff member to go on a late afternoon walk to the "Point" or Stuckey's. These walks were high activity, and a prelude to Vespers and a sack supper on the wall in front of Willet Building or inside the dining hall if the weather dictated. Vespers were conducted much like Friday Assembly - devotional, music and inspiration given by students.

Teachers worked with their classes to present a Christmas program on the last day before holidays began. It was a huge affair with every grade and every student involved in memorizing the Christmas story, from either Luke or Matthew. Christmas songs, secular and carols, were sung and an elaborate pageant was presented depicting the Biblical account of the birth of Jesus, complete with angels in clouds singing sweetly and shepherds watching their sheep. The story ws complete with Mary and Joseph with the Baby Jesus in a manger. After this program, students left for Christmas with their families, to return after New Year's Day. Dismissal from assembly was always with a prayer for a safe and happy holiday.


Thanks TFS

Christi Caldwell Cassell
Class Of: 1986

I had no idea at the time what a wonderful opportunity I had at Tallulah Falls. The atmosphere, the school, the chapel at Christmas, my friends, the freezes, the prom, and Randy Burdette!

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Oh Tallulah!

Denise Flournoy
Class Of: 2007

I graduated almost two years ago, but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss Tallulah Falls.

I have so many amazing memories in that place: Off-campus trips, the crazy but amazing teachers, the beautiful location, walking to dinner, fried chicken Thursdays, work program and especially the senior privileges!

I experienced several hard times at the school but the faculty and staff helped me through every bit of it. They were my family.

Hard times...lazy times...good times...this school made an impact on my life that I will never forget.

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More Than Just a School

Laura Loyd Auton
Class Of: 1994

Tallulah was my home and my saviour. If not for TFS I'm not sure where I would be today. Things at home weren't great but I always had a family at school. To this day I consider all the staff and students at TFS my family and always will.

Plus I can thank TFS for my career. I loved living in a dorm so much that now I work in one too, at Georgia School for the Deaf.

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1976 Memories

Mandy Brooks Irle
Class Of: 1976

My memories of TFS are all good ones mostly. I remember Papa Nunn, Mama Nunn, Ms. Owens, Ms. Milner Mr. & Mrs. Clark Mrs. Harris, Ms. Hardiaree, Dr. Shumake, Ms. Drumm, Mr. White, Mrs. Hall and Ms Pounds. I remember the kitchen staff and all the good food, I remember it was at Tallulah that I truly learned what family and friendship was all about. Because you see at TFS we are family, no matter how many miles separate us we can call we will be there for each other. Friendship that today some 30+ years later is still just as strong. People that are my brothers and sisters, maybe not by blood, but in the most important way, in my heart.

We had good times and bad times, but through it all we stood by one another. I remember the Cat Walk, Kaycee Perry singing "ride em cowboy" at 2am . Jeannie Flower and her Green face mask. Lisa Daniels listening to Jimmy Buffett, Kay Lord wanting to kill me over Skipper Fett. Sliding down the hill in front of the girls dorm when it snowed. The long bus rides going to games. The fun we had on our free Saturday's. (when we were not on work detail). Laying in the sun listening to music, wishing we were some where. Looking back what I would not give to have those days back.

You want to know what TFS means to me, it means home. Thanks TFS for what you stand for and all the help you give to so many.


This School For Me Was Everything

Wyatt Upshaw
Class Of: 1975

When my mother passed when I was fourteen years of age, and my father could not handle the pressure of losing her and trying to raise me. It was reccomended that I enroll at Tallulah Falls School, and I did in 1971 for summer school. That was the start of what was to come about for me for the rest of my life. I went on to graduate in '75, and was the school's student body president for that year. This to me was not just a school, it was a home away from home. It had structure, you had your job, school and sports. This school for me was everything, it has helped me in true life situations many times over. I went on to join the Navy and saw the world (I retired in 1999). There are so many good memories it would take forever to tell them - I will always cheerish that I got the chance to attend TFS.


Udder Catastrophe (Almost)

Bill Lowder
Class Of: 1964

One of the more enriching aspects of my tenure at Tallulah Falls was the numerous jobs we worked after school and on Saturday mornings. It was there that I learned to enjoy work, especially the camaraderie with fellow students and the staff that supervised us. During the five years that I attended, some of the jobs that I worked included coal furnance stoker, school building cleanup crew, swing blade crew, garden crew, barn crew, lawn mower crew, and many miscellaneous special projects.

We usually changed work areas every six weeks and this enhanced the variety of our work experience. In looking back the job that I enjoyed the most was running the dairy barn. This responsibility was usually assigned to seniors because it required you to drive the truck from the school to the dairy barn carrying the barn work crew. One catch to the dairy barn responsibility was that it was a seven day, two milkings a day assignment. I actually became addicted to our dairy whole milk drinking it two to three meals a day.

For the morning milking we had to get up between 4:30 and 5:00am and get the rest of the barn crew up and loaded on the truck to go to the dairy and care for the other livestock. We were milking approximately eleven cows (mostly Holstein with a couple of jerseys) twice daily. Usually there would be two of us running the dairy barn for each milking using the pressurized, automated milking system with the glass transfer pipe from the raised floor parlor back to the refrigerated storage unit in the sanitation room. One morning in the late fall of 1963 we were almost finished with all of the cows when the traumatic event occurred.

The milking room in the dairy barn had an elevated concrete platform with three milking stalls. Each stall was equipped with an entrance and exit gate of tubular steel with a feeding trough at the front. We were almost finished milking and were proceeding with the last three cows. The cow in the first stall was the last to finish and we were just releasing her when her right rear foot hit the edge of the drain cover next to the middle milking stall. In an instant her leg fell through the drain opening as the drain cover flipped off sinking her up to her udder.

She started bellowing and scrambling trying to get up but was unable to dislodge her leg from the tight fit of the drain. We quickly jumped up on the milking platform attempting to help her get up. Her tail proved much to weak to allow us to use it to help her up and attempting to lift her up (she must have weighed over 900 pounds) by grabbing under the top of her rear legs was futile at best. We were beginning to fear that she might break the leg caught in the drain and create a much greater problem. We ran outside looking for something that we might be able to use to pry her up.

Right beside the dairy barn building we were fortunate to find a left over treated fence post and concrete block. Upon taking these items back to the milking platform we set the concrete block on end (the fulcrum) and placed the post(lever) over the block and under the edge of the leg that was caught in the drain. With both of us climbing onto the other end of the post it was amazing how fast the cow's leg seemed to pop up out of the drain. She quickly became balanced on all four legs and scurried for the right rear exit door. We both breathed a huge sigh of relief that the problem had been resolved and the cow seemed relatively unharmed. However, in future milkings we would almost always have to go out and drive the cow into the dairy barn for milking. While the other dairy cows would quickly come into the dairy barn to get the feed at the front of the milking stall, she had become quite skittish through the entire milking process.

We learned several valuable lessons that day. First and foremost, that the Lord does provide. Also teamwork will always help to solve difficult problems that can be insurmountable when tackled on one's own strength. Finally, it goes without saying that a little physics goes a long way to solving many of the difficult problems that we face. I am extremely grateful to the wonderful teachers and staff at the school who helped to prepare my mind and body with the capability of meeting and overcoming difficult problems in life. My fellow students were also a significant source of encouragement and happiness for which I will always be grateful.

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Hello to TFS

John-Marc Willis
Class Of: 1996

Hey Its Jon-Marc. Just wanted to say hello. I was looking at the schools web site and noticed many changes to the property. It seems the school campus is growing bigger as the years go by. A lot has changed since '96, but it's still as pretty and breathtaking as it was and I'm sure always will be. I can honestly say that, Tallulah Falls School, teachers and staff played a big role in my life, by offering a better perspective on life and really helping me change for the better. And you know what? I would have lost the chance at meeting a wonderful, bighearted person that always had a smile on her face which quickly was put on mine. Thank you for being you and all the hard work you do up there.

If you see Mr Franklin and you remember reading this, could you tell him I said hi and I hope he's doing well. Have a great rest of the week.



Janice Lindsey Harben
Class Of: 1977

I attended Tallulah Falls from the fall of 1974 until graduation in May of 1977. Those three years were some of my best in life. My memories surround friends I made and still have today, faculty that shaped my outlook on learning and life, and funny happenings along with some that weren't so funny.

One of the funny ones I remember was a "fire drill" in the middle of the night and Lisa McDaniels running out of the dorm with all of her basketball trophies in her arms. I remember the race down the hill for lunch and the collision between Mark Lawrence on his bike and Troy Tice running down the hill, it is hard to say who won that one! : )

A not so funny one was Ms. Hardigree's office burning up. Another not so funny one was spraining/breaking my ankle in a basketball game and still having to perform for Mrs. Hancock in a play without my crutches, as she put it, "You don't need them and if you use them, don't plan to graduate." With Mrs. Hancock it very well could have been an idle threat, but I wasn't going to take that chance!

I remember all the sports: softball, tennis, basketball. I remember playing a doubles match with Becky Fain that lasted three hours - everyone else was having to wait on us - it was a great game - I just don't remember who won now.

I remember going to Sky Valley and looking very cool in my JC Penny outlet snow gear - too bad I couldn't stay up on the skis - even standing still! My roomy Robin McLeroy was doing great and talked my into trying the slopes - well I don't have to tell you how well that went.... I walked down the slopes. I did learn the international symbol for distress, you cross your skis behind the person down - it wasn't me, it was Eddie Kuechler - he messed up his knee pretty bad and had to have surgery - see why I walked Robin?

I remember Coach Brodie, Chuck Nunn and the half court shots, he and Ricky Harris running circles around their opponents, the cheerleaders - Mandy Brooks and Larry Force keeping the crowd energized and entertained.

I remember a time in my life that I had opportunities that I would not have had or felt the confidence to try anywhere else. Thank you to all the staff of that time, your forward vision for all of us and helping us to find the courage to try. It continues to live on through us and our children.


School Named in Honor of TFS Graduate Patrick

Re: Robert "Bobby" Patrick
Class Of: 1966

In the Summer 2005 edition of the Tallulah Falls School magazine we informed our readers of the selection of the late John Robert "Bobby" Patrick as the 2005 Outstanding Former Student. Patrick, a former firefighter who lost his life in the line of duty, has been honored yet again with the dedication of Patrick Elementary School in Buford on November 11, 2007. Below we've included several excerpts from a written tribute compiled by family members.

Bobby Patrick devoted his life to helping people in dire need. He led a life of valor, integrity and sacrifice. His fellow firefighters described him in these words: coureageous, compassionate, an officer, a gentleman, loving husband, builder, mentor, leader, teacher, friend, team member, collaborator, comedian, spiritual, and "our living friend and brother."

During his 24 years of service, this distinguished firefighter was awarded eight Letters of Commendation and several Unit Citation Awards...In August 2001 Bobby was recognized by Roswell Fire and Rescue for his asistance in rescuing two trapped workers while serving as a member of the Technical Rescue Team.

On April 14, 2003 Bobby lost his life while fighting a business fire in Lilburn. He was respected as a "Firefighter's Firefighter." The men who worked with him said he was someone who had a position of leadership but was always out there right beside his men." This was, indeed, where he was on the night he died...on the roof of a burning building with his men.

Patrick Elementary School honors Bobby's memory, service, and accomplishments. Bobby made a difference in the world while he was here. He loved his life and gave his all. He loved people, especially those who needed help.


Gragg Named UGA Distinguished Alumnus

Fred C. Gragg
Class Of: 1932

Fred C. Gragg, a 1932 graduate of Tallulah Falls School, was recognized by the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry as the 2004 Distinguished Alumnus. This award recognizes outstanding service to the School, the University of Georgia and the forest resources profession. The Distinguished Alumnus award is the highest honor bestowed by the School.

Gragg graduated from UGA in 1936 with a bachelor of science in forestry. He was employed by the International Paper Company for 43 years where he started as a conservation forester and retired as senior vice-president of woodlands. Gragg was also employed as manager of International Paper’s public affairs program and served as senior advisor on policy and national issues.

Gragg was a member of the Society of American Foresters and was elected an SAF Fellow in 1979. He is a past chair of the Southeastern Section of SAF. In 1999, Gragg received the SAF's prestigious Award of Excellence for the General Practice of Forestry, and was inducted into the Alabama Foresters Hall of Fame in 1987.

Gragg's grandniece Donna Frye recently contacted TFS with this information. Ms. Frye commented, "My grandfather, Claude Albert Gragg (Fred's younger brother) tells me stories about their childhood all the time. He tells me that his and Uncle Fred's mother used to weave blankets to pay for the tuition for Uncle Fred to attend TFS. I think there is one at the museum there at the school."


Getting an Education in the '30s at Tallulah Falls

N.C. DeMore
Class Of: Attended 1933-1939

My brothers and I would get out of bed and start the day feeding the pigs, milking the cow and getting up water and wood for the day. Then we would wash our hands and eat breakfast. Then we would get dressed and put the cows in the pasture. It was a two and a half mile walk to catch the bus. As I would go down the long walk on a sometime dark and muddy road, boys and girls from other houses would meet and we would walk together. We would get on the bus, which was a 1933 Ford school bus. In the winter, it felt good to us once we had stepped onto the bus out of the cold winter air. In the summer it was quite the opposite.

About 1934 or 1935, my father bought about 12 acres of land and a small house. It was near the bus stop. Then we started staying in this house, where we stayed and went to school without walking in the mud and cold.

My oldest brother that was going to school looked after us and cooked for us. He would get us ready for school. We always went home on the weekends. We had to take the cow home and get food for the next week. Then we would go back to our second home on Monday.

After about two years, my mother came and stayed with us. There were only 2 of us left and the others had left to go to work. In later years, my other brother also went to another school. I was alone and sometimes I would ride a mule to the bus stop.

When we arrived at school, I remember on the first day someone met us and took us to our classroom. It was a dark brown building next to the school road. The school road was not paved at this time. That is where we first met our teacher Mrs. Eula Dillard. She was a very nice lady. She showed us the bathrooms and made sure we knew how to use them. (Most children did not have indoor bathrooms, running water, or electrical power in their houses.) Mrs. Dillard talked to us and tried to make us feel comfortable for our first year.

Then we were sent up on the hill to the 2nd grade. Mrs. Flora Thacker was our teacher. She had a Bible and a Flag on her desk just like all the teachers did. She read some from the Bible each morning and said the Lord's Prayer. Then we would pledge to the Flag and we would also sing some songs. Next, she showed us where to put our lunch and our coats. (As day students, we did not have a lunch room.) We had one hour to eat our sack lunch. then we were allowed to play games. (We played games such as marbles, red rover, spin the top and others. We did not have a playground.) We had recesses in the morning and evening. We enjoyed them very much.

In the 2nd grade, I had hydrophobia shots because my father and I were both bitten by a mad dog. (We had a shot once a day for 21 days for each of us.) I also had pneumonia that year. I lost a brother who had pneumonia. He was in the sixth grade. Through the years of the '30s and the Depression it was hard on everyone.

The 3rd grade and the 4th grade was about the same as the 2nd. The 5th grade was a little different. Some of us decided to learn to play and sing. We also decided to take lessons to play the mandolin and guitar. The lessons cost 40 cents for a half hour. The instructor was a man and his daughter lived on the school road. This man had played for hotels around Tallulah Falls before the big fire. This fire destroyed Tallulah Town. I only had money for 4 lessons. I am glad I got to take them in the 5th grade. I enjoyed them a lot.

The 6th grade was my favorite grade. The teacher's name was Mrs. Bruce. She was a good teacher of music, math and reading. She could play the piano. She loved for her students to sing and use batons. We did not have batons, we used broomsticks. She was very strict and she would send you to the cloak room and use a hickory on you if she needed to. We all loved her. She was a teacher's teacher. She knew exactly what we should learn and she tried her best to teach it.

As I went into the 7th grade, we sold our house at Tallulah Falls. I had to move to another school. I wish I could have finished at Tallulah Falls. I had a sister who graduated from Tallulah Falls School in 1939. I think it is the best school in Georgia.


Nathaniel Curtis DeMore


Memories from the early 1940s

Class Of: 1944

Every summer, every student was assigned a month to stay on campus to help with canning food for the winter or work with Mr. Williams on the school farm growing and gathering crops.

At Mrs. Fitzpatrick's request, I returned to TFS in June 1944 after graduating to conduct the Summer Reading Program at the school's library where I had worked after school for four years. Each evening after supper I would meet a group of the younger boys on the cement steps outside of the library and read aloud a chapter from a book. We started with "The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come" a tender, heart-breaking story.

There is the gathering twilight, each boy listened attentively. When I finished reading the final chapter, I asked what sort of book they would like to hear next. "Read this one again," they called out as one voice. "Read it again".

When we gathered the next evening, I started again. "Chapter One, The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come." Each boy listened raptly again to every chapter. Could there now be any grown man who remembers sitting on those steps?

[Frank Tallulah]

(The above is my favorite memory. You might like to know that, on the page of the school magazine requesting alumni favorite memories is a 1939 picture of (l. to r.): Bessie Gragg, me, and Jess Rickman riding Frank Tallulah. I'm afraid posing while the Atlanta Constitution photographer shot this picture was my only contact with Frank Tallulah, so I have no memories of him to add).


Turpen Tales - 1942 - 1955

Rev. James Turpen, Sr.
Class Of: 1955

"If you can read this, thank a teacher." Yes, most of us have seen this on a bumper sticker as we travel the highway of life. We often give thanks for those patient saints of yesteryear who taught us to read, write (such as it is), and do simple math. They helped us to appreciate history, science, biology, business education, shop and agriculture, home economics, English and literature, foreign language, the Bible, drama, music, human relations, athletics, and the list goes on. All of this helped us to be whom and where we are today.

My first and second grade teacher in the early 1940s was Miss Eula Dillard who was also a house parent and so much more. First and second grade was housed in the basement of the little boys' and the little girls' dorm, also know as the Clinic. Today (2008) it is the museum. We were blessed with a good playground that had swings, seesaws, slides, sand, grass, and trees. We even had a water faucet to drink from and it was called a "water fountain" for prestige purposes.

Advancing to the next grades meant we left our playground on the lower level and went to the buildings that seem so far up the Cherokee mountain side. Miss Eudora Noell was our third grade teacher, also a house parent and the musician for the whole school. We learned the importance of music in our lives. She taught us patriotic songs, the National Anthem, hymns, fun songs like "The Frog Went Courting," and old favorites such as "Way Down Upon the Suwanee River."

In the fourth grade we had a variety of teachers. The war years made it difficult to find teachers who wanted to come to the mountains of Northeast Georgia for a meager salary and lots of responsibility. Senior girls (eleventh grade was the senior level) often came to be our teachers and at times the third and fifth grade teachers did double duty. Finally, Mrs. Lois C. Ward from North Carolina came as our regular teacher and things settled down for a more school-like learning environment. Now some of us did not have to go to the Principal's office so often. Mrs. Ward was a real teacher and we respected her and learned much.

My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Amy Hannah was from Oklahoma. A large portion of her heritage was Native American, Cherokee, though not 100 percent. Her stories and dress often reflected her Native American heritage. She was a good teacher inspiring students to appreciate the mountains, Mother Nature, and to be the very best one could be. She and her husband lived off campus, but less than a mile away. Since they had no children of their own, Mrs. Hannah had a motherly way for all her students. Our playground was the dirt road that led to the craft shop and the guest cottage on the side of Cherokee Mountain, but we were all happy.

Grades six and seven were in a separate building with a library for the grammar school between the classrooms. This building was located on the same level as our third through fifth grades school building. All of these buildings were made of native stone for the foundation and steps. The main parts of the buildings were constructed of wood out of the mountains and painted or stained a red wood color trimmed in white. This building burned about 1963.

Miss Beatrice Jones was our sixth grade teacher and she emphasized the importance of reading and geography. She also served as a house parent in the young girls' dormitory and was the most senior in age of any of my teachers up to the time.

As we began the seventh grade, Mr. William F. Lewis from Young Harris, Georgia was the teacher and Mrs. Lewis was the teacher for sixth grade. This was our first experience of having a man teacher. They also lived on campus in a dormitory. Mr. Lewis was a very strict teacher and believed the paddle was the solution to any problem. During recess he would be somewhat more mellow and relaxed. Math seemed to be his favorite subject.

We felt like we had arrived in the "big people's world" now that we were in the eighth grade and we were in the high school building. Being eighth graders, "the way under class men and women," our classroom was in the back of what seemed like a huge building and had an outside entrance and restrooms were inconvenient. But we survived with the help of our teacher, Mr. A.B. Young. He was fresh out of the U.S. Navy and had a little different philosophy concerning education. He got the job done in a more "laid back fashion." Eventually Mr. Young married one of the more mature young ladies in the senior class. They were a handsome couple.

Lookout high school, here we come, anxious ninth graders. We are ready for the challenge of having more than one teacher during the day. During my thirteen years as a day student (1942-1955) at Tallulah Falls School the following "saints" were my inspiration and encouragers. As I may have overlooked, or did not remember, some of the "saints," I apologize for the omission and will be glad for any correction someone may offer.

English: Mrs. Ernest Hallford, Mrs. Mary Elrod, Miss Betty Smith

Math: Mr. Wickline, Miss Gwen Burrell, Mrs. Jean Allen, Coach Vic Taylor

Social Studies & History: Miss Ella Wicks, Miss Mamie Pinkard

Business Education: Miss Elizabeth Koppe

Biology & Science: Mr. Robert Allen, Coach Herb Amick, Mrs. Lois Harper

Agriculture: Mr. Bill Worrell, Mr. H.H. Elrod

Physical Education & Athletics: Coach Boulware, Coach Herb Amick, Coach Taylor

Home Economics: Miss D'Loryne Daniels

Guidance Counselor: Mrs. Lois Harper

Librarian: Mrs. Nellie Johnson

Crafts: Mrs. Gertrude Keener, Stanton Forbes

Other Teachers: Peggy Smith, Emily Hendricks, Mattie Rampley, Emily Norton, Zeb Burrell, Jr., Ruby Sisk, Mary Griggis, Archie Crow

Staff Agriculture & Maintenance: Bob Williams, Fred Brown, John Pruitt, Jess Stancil, Robert Stancil

Boarding Staff: Sid Harper, Mrs. J.O. Fulbright, C.A. Bantham, Mrs. K.J. Harris

Principals and/or Superintendents: C.L. Harrell, L.E. Denny, Frank Taylor, Ernest Hallford, Miss Emma Wicks, H.H. Elrod, K.J. Harris

Directors: Mrs. Z.I. Fitzpatrick (Resident Trustee 1932, Named Director February 4, 1943-1954) - Known as the Dutchess of Tallulah Falls School
Dr. J.C. Rogers - 1951 
C.B. Aiken - 1952 
K.J. Harris - May 17, 1954 - December 16, 1970

Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to the saints of yesteryear and to all who made the Tallulah Falls School experience possible for us. The Almighty surely must have been looking over us all the time.


James E. Turpen Sr.


Class of 1956 Memories

Comell Watts Moore
Class Of: 1956

The Old Willet Dinner Bell

The summer issue of the Tallulah Falls School magazine just arrived and is especially interesting and inspiring to me because of the article about the bell. As a student for five years, my 8th grade through graduation, the bell controlled the hours of my day as well as everyone on campus. Those years were just prior to the great breakthrough of electronics, and was the only communication from any building to any other building. We did not even have telephones in the dorms, and as far as I know there was not a telephone in the high school building. There were phones in the President's Office and kitchen, both of which were in the Willet Building. So, to get a message to someone, someone had to go and find that person. If a message ever needed to be sent to the total school population, the bell had to do the ringing.

There were no rules or laws concerning the ringing of the bell, but it was someone’s responsibility, and the cooks usually did the ringing. Many times in my five years it was part of my assignment to ring the bell. My last year in school (I graduated in May 1956), I volunteered to put together our yearbook, which is now in the museum. Somewhere in it I wrote a parody of "For Whom the Bells Toll," and think said something like, "don't ask, if you were at Tallulah, it tolled for you." I went on to tell of the tolling: 6 a.m. rising bell, 6:50 ten minute bell, 7 a.m. breakfast bell, 8 a.m. school bell, 12 noon lunch bell, 3 p.m. school’s out bell, 5:50 p.m. ten minute bell, 6 p.m. dinner bell, 8 p.m. study hall, 9 p.m. light's out bell. That was a lot of bell ringing. We knew that if the bell rang at some other time there was trouble.

Just behind the Willet Building the bell stood on its stone post, and nearby was a small building called the annex. It had a small apartment in it and Coach Amick and his new bride lived there. Because there were no rules about the bell ringing, they were sometimes tortured by the ringing of the bell (we learned later). Some students would make it clang only a few times, but others...well, you can guess how industrious a teenager can be. Sometimes when it was raining the bell was rung so hard as to rest upside down, fill with water, and the next person to ring the bell got a dousing. When you realize that we did not have the luxury of a hair dryer, the (bad) joke becomes greater.

I'm sure others have stories and fond memories of the bell. Thanks to the someone who rescued it and truly brought it back to life. It is an iron witness of times past, present and future, standing as a stone totem.


Comell Watts Moore