Garden High School
| Quick Facts|
|Name: ||Garden High School|
|Nickname: ||Green Dragons|
|Color1: || Green |
|Color2: || White |
|School District: ||Buchanan County Public Schools|
|Year Opened: ||1936|
|Year Closed: ||2001||
Garden High School was located in Oakwood, Virginia, in Buchanan County. Buchanan County is a mountainous area in the Virginia panhandle, bordering both Kentucky and West Virginia.
*** Garden High School History ***
In 1920 the Methodist Church established the first school in the area, called Triangular Mountain Institute, in tarpaper covered shacks "at the forks of Garden Creek"*. In 1922 the school moved into a new brick building, but, in 1933, that building burned to the ground. The entire community, along with T.M.I. alumni, pulled together and built a new wood frame schoolhouse in time for the next school year.
In 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression, the Methodist Conference asked Buchanan County to take over the Triangular Mountain Institute. The school was renamed Garden High School. In 1940, the CCC erected Whitewood School and also built a new brick school for Garden High School "at the mouth of Garden Creek and the Levisa River"*. Students entered the new school in January, 1941.
(*It is unclear to us exactly where the original brick T.M.I. school was located or what happened to the replacement wood frame building. Garden High School was built where Garden Creek empties into the Levisa Fork of Big Sandy River at the intersection of Riverside Dr. and Garden Creek Rd. Assuming that the wood frame schoolhouse was built upon the same site as the burned brick building, it could have been located near the new Garden High School, or about ½ mile up Garden Creek Rd. near the intersection of Little Garden Rd. where there is a small fork entering Garden Creek. After the new GHS opened in 1940, the wood frame building was used for a while as a Methodist church.)
*** Garden High School Athletics ***
The Garden High School boys basketball teams brought statewide attention to the area from 1949 through 1953. Their streak of 5 consecutive State Tournament appearances is still the second longest streak in Virginia high school basketball history. They not only competed in the State Tournament, they were very successful! During those 5 years, they advanced to the State Finals 4 times and won 3 of them, becoming Virginia Division III State Champions in 1950, 1952 & 1953!
|In football GHS was the Class A, Division 2 State Championship runner-up in 1986. In that game, place kicker Brad Davis kicked a 37-yard field goal, the 3rd longest field goal ever made in a Virginia High School League semi-final or finals game. (Unfortunately, the Virginia High School League record book only lists football records as far back as 1970, so any prior GHS football accomplishments can't be shown here, although we are told the 1959 team was undefeated!)
||1983 grad Joey Worley only kicked a football because GHS didn't have a soccer team. It worked out for him, though. |
After high school, Joey signed on as a place kicker for the University of Kentucky. In his first season, he helped UK win the Hall of Fame Bowl by kicking a 52-yard field goal. By the time he left UK in 1988, he held several kicking records and was the university's all-time leading scorer, a mark which still stands.
In 1990, both the Lexington & Louisville newspapers selected Joey as the place-kicker for the UK "100th Anniversary Team".
In 1982, Green Dragon Robert Hurt was the state Class A tennis champion. The same year, the team of Hurt & Deel won the state doubles tennis championship.
Garden had one recorded state champion in Track & Field. In 1995, Jeremy Keen was the State Champion Shot Putter.
Virginia is somewhat unique among states in that they offer a statewide competition in Creative Writing. Garden High School saw success in this area as well, winning the Short Story state title in 1964 and the essay competition in 1968 and again in 1996.
*** Garden High School Today ***
In 2001, Garden High School and Whitewood School were consolidated into what is now Twin Valley High School.* For a time after 2001, the GHS building housed Twin Valley Elementary/Middle School and was the home of the Buchanan Basketball Foundation.
Today, the former Garden High School is the home of the Appalachian College of Pharmacy, Virginia's first and only three year accelerated pharmacy degree program. In 2003, because of the foreseen economic, employment and medical benefits to the area, Buchanan County donated the land & building to ACP. The first students entered in 2005 and the first graduation ceremony was held in 2008 in the former GHS auditorium. Originally the Garden Campus was limited to 1st year pharmacy students, with the upper classmen completing the program in Grundy. As of 2010, the entire school is located at the Garden Campus thanks to the construction of a new building which is architecturally very similar to the original GHS building. (see Google Street View, below).
(*GHS Alumni thought the consolidation of Whitewood and GHS was completed in 2001, but recently their paths crossed again. ACP wanted their new building to match the old building wherever possible. They were able to salvage the bluestone staircase from the former Whitewood High School, which matched the bluestone staircase in the GHS building, and install it in their new building.)
Google Maps Street View
showing original GHS building and new ACP building
(click to view interactive image)
If you can provide us with any additional information about Garden High School, please email us. We would love to share your information with other visitors to this page.
Our Garden High School Green Dragons apparel would make a great gift. Or be the coolest person at the next reunion by wearing a Garden High School Alumni shirt or jacket.
If your Garden High School class has a reunion committee, please send them a link to this page and ask them to "get the word out".
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