|Hallsboro and Columbus County
From the 1948 Columbus County directory
Hallsboro is one of the smaller wide-awake towns in the county. Site of a plywood plant, veneer mill and three lumber manufacturing plants, it boasts the largest industrial payroll in Columbus. Not an incorporated town. Near Lake Waccamaw, in prosperous farming area, with fine groves of pecans. Home of the oldest business establishment in the county. Served by the Columbus Telephone Company and the Western Union Telegraph Company. Situated on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company and U. S. Highway 74. Population about 500. Modern theatre recently completed.
The same book reports that the white Hallsboro school had 627 students and 22 teachers, while the black Hallsboro school had 119 students and 4 teachers.
Columbus County Schools cafeteria prices
Lunch (K-8) $.75
Lunch (9-12) .90
Breakfast (full price) .50
Breakfast (reduced price) .30
Hallsboro High School
89 School Road
Hallsboro, North Carolina 28442
colors: Blue & Gold
I don’t know when Hallsboro High School opened. The oldest graduating class I could find referenced was in an obituary of a lady who graduated in 1926 (one of six graduates from Hallsboro School).
T. Elbert Clemmons was born in Dec., 1905 and was in the first graduating class at Hallsboro High School. That would have him graduating between 1922 and 1924. (In 1963, Mr. Clemmons funded a library at HHS.)
The last graduating class from Hallsboro High School was in 1992. That Fall, Hallsboro High School merged with Acme-Delco High School to form East Columbus High School. The facilities now house Hallsboro Middle School (grades 6-8). They maintained the Blue & Gold Tigers.
Tidbits from the Wilmington News-Reporter index
– Six classrooms were added at Hallsboro High in 1950.
– In 1972, a fire destroyed the gymnasium. A new gym was completed in Dec, 1975.
– There were 123 graduates in the Class of 1976.
Extracts from the Columbus County Board of Commissioners meeting minutes
– In a 1935 meeting, the commissioners filed a federal loan application for “Hallsboro School, located in Bogue Township, Columbus County, North Carolina, on present site and adjacent to present school building. This building to be of brick and frame construction containing three classrooms, library, two sanitary toilet rooms and septic tank, steam heat, electric lights, furniture and equipment. Total complete cost – $12,000.00”.
– In a 1945 meeting, the commissioners approved selling bonds to build a new gym at Hallsboro, a new gym at Evergreen and “a new high school building or annex at the Old Dock-Nakina School”.
There have been five Hallsboro High School athletes who have won of the Jiggs Powers Memorial Award as Columbus County’s Most Outstanding Athlete:
1960 – Norwood Long
1961 – Willis Council
1975 – Ronald Hobbs
1981 – Kay Baldwin-Pfeiffer
1993 – Toni Thurman
(Most of the following info came from the NC High School Athletics Association website. Some sports don’t carry stats back to Hallsboro’s beginnings.)
– Hallsboro made two appearances in the Eastern Regional Basketball Tournament.
– In 1975, they were the Class AA State Runner-up (lost to Elm City, 95-68).
– Between 1972 and 1992, Hallsboro made the state tournament 4 times, with their last appearance coming in 1983.
– In 1975 and 1976, the Hallsboro High football team won back-to-back East Waccamaw Conference championships.
– In 1987, Hallsboro made it to the Eastern Regional Basketball Tournament.
Hallsboro basketball player, Toni Thurman, once scored 47 points in a 1989 win over Acme-Delco. A News-Reporter headline on Feb 23, 1989 said “Hallsboro High School’s Toni Thurman Can Break County Record For Most Points”. Does anybody know if she broke the record?
Toni played college ball at East Carolina University. She is still in fourth place in their record books for field goal accuracy, hitting 52.4% of her shots during her 4-year career.
– Hallsboro earned a berth to the Class A playoffs in 1987, 1988 and 1992.
– Between 1975 and 1991, the women made it to the Class A playoffs 5 times.
– 1974 class AA baseball runner-up (lost to Sylva-Webster, 2 games to 1)
– 1975 class AA baseball champs coach Linwood Hedgepeth (defeated Sylva-Webster, 2 games to none)
– 1978 class AA baseball champs coach Linwood Hedgepeth (defeated East Davidson, 2 games to none)
– 1987 class A baseball champs coach Charles Sanderson (record 27-1) (defeated Hayesville, 2 games to none)
– 1988 class A baseball runner-up (lost to Hayesville, 2 games to 1)
Between 1980 & 1992, Hallsboro made it to the State Tournament 6 times. They played 22 tournament games, winning 16 of them. Their last appearance in the tournament was 1992.
Ron Williamson holds the state record for most consecutive innings pitched without allowing an earned run. In 1970, he pitched 91 straight scoreless innings.
Former Tiger baseball player, Brett Harwood, is now the head baseball coach at Whiteville High School (as of 2009-2010).
Linwood Hedgpeth was head baseball coach at Hallsboro High School from 1969 through 1979 (where he won 2 State Championships), and at Whiteville High School from 1980 through 1990 (where he won 3 State Championships). In 1989, Hedgpeth won an American Legion State Championship with a team composed of former Hallsboro players LaGrande Russell and Ricky Young, as well as several starters from Whiteville’s 1989 State Championship team.
During Hallsboro’s 27-1 1987 season, 2 pitchers had perfect records. LeGrande Russell was 13-0 and James Jones was 14-0.
LeGrande Russell, who played for Hallsboro from 1986-1988, was an all-around standout athlete.
As a batter:
– During his high school career, LeGrande collected 121 hits, 2nd most in NC state history at the time.
– In 1987, he was the MVP of the State Championship Series.
– In 1987-88, he set a new NC state record by hitting safely in 35 consecutive games.
– In 1988, he compiled a .514 batting average, 5th highest all-time in the state at the time.
As a pitcher:
– In 1988, he finished the season with an ERA of 0.35, and stands 12th in the all-time NC ERA standings.
Hallsboro Baseball Players Drafted by the Pros
Year, Team, Player
1968, Pittsburgh Pirates, Larry Barefoot
1970, Cincinnati Reds, Ronald Williamson
1992, Milwaukee Brewers, Anthony Pridgen
1993, Jacksonville (Seattle Mariners), LeGrande Russell
In the UNC Oral History archives, there’s an entertaining 2002 interview with Frank Gault, 79-year old resident of Lake Waccamaw and graduate of “Bogue University”.
Complete sets of Kin’lin, Hallsboro High School’s local history publication, are available at the Whiteville and Lake Waccamaw libraries.
Heres an excerpt from the journal, The American Midland Naturalist
“On 18 February 1977 we learned that a large number of dormant bats were awakened by electrical workers in Hallsboro Elementary School, Hallsboro, Columbus Co. At our request Linwood Hedgepeth, a biology teacher at Hallsboro High School, sent us several specimans (NCSM 2542-2544), all of which were Tadarida. In a later telephone conversation Mr. Hedgepeth said that by conservative estimates there were 400-500 bats in the attic of the school, presumably all Tadarida.”
There’s an active Hallsboro alumni group on Facebook.
There are over 1,000 Hallsboro alumni on Classmates.com.
Other Blog Posts
Mr. Gates and the Marching Tiger band
A visit to the GATHER country store
A weekend at Lake Waccamaw / Hallsboro
A Little Bonus
I thought some alumni might enjoy this 1976 article. Enjoy it before the Star News finds out I stole it and makes me take it down.
(Wilmington, NC) STAR-NEWS June 5, 1976
Hallsboro High Has a Secret
By Jim Wilson
HALLSBORO – After three hours in a sweltering school gym, I am convinced of two things: air conditioning never is a waste of money and the future of America is in good hands
Last January it was my pleasure, as director of the Star News sponsored Golden Star Awards program, to honor Hallsboro High School students who had reached the Finals in the competition which begun with more than 5,000 eligible seniors throughout Coastalina.
Hallsboro, a small school by most standards, had 10 finalists That was more than any other school – large or small – had this year or at any time in the past.
Two of these finalists went on to become winners in their categories.
At the time, I expressed an interest in learning the secret of Hallsboro. So, on Senior Awards Night last week, I was invited to Hallsboro High to meet all of the seniors, the faculty, the staff members, parents and friends. And I went.
The evening was an unusual one. It was not graduation or anything formal – it was a night the students themselves had arranged and were presenting.
There were the usual awards and some very special awards.
In all there were 35 different categories of awards.
The sports trophies received considerable attention and applause.
I did not count after the first four or five, but there must have been at least a dozen standing ovations for students and teachers alike.
There were awards for farm projects and one young man received an award for home economics.
The Kin’Iin staff members took special honors, and well they should for their publication is something special itself.
Citizenship honors were bestowed. So were scholarships. And recognition for encouraging racial and ethnic harmony. Cheerleading trophies were presented and certificates for driving school buses and for perfect attendance.
It was a real gala. The theme was fun and recognition. There were a lot of laughs. A lot of hugs when awards were given and received. A lot of cheers and a lot of things to talk about.
After the ceremony, the youngsters and their guests repaired to the school library for a reception.
The punch was green, unspiked and delicious. So was the food, and the folks stood in line to get in.
All in all, it was like going home again, even though a Tar Heel writer gained a lot of fame saying you could not.
It was the Summer of ‘42 over again for me. I guess I had as good a time as any of the seniors.
When it came time for what was billed as a slide presentation of campus scenes, a lot of people moved to better seats. They should have known better. The slides were beautifully blank – filled in with wonderfully narrative and punchy lines delivered in a grand tongue-in-cheek manner.
Did I learn their secret?
Yes. I mentioned the subject to one teacher and she responded immediately that the secret, if there was one at all, was “That we love them.”
Yes, that is one ingredient. But not all of It. For the students love the teachers in turn, and they love each other as well.
If Hallsboro has a secret – and I think they do – it is that they have managed to encourage, to nourish, to foster a degree of self respect that is not found in many places in the year 1976.
If you respect yourself as an individual, it is the base for a lot of wonderful things. It means that you can see others as individuals, and respect them. Respect opens channels of communication and communication soon leads to understanding, knowledge, affection and love.
There are a lot of problems facing the Hallsboro High School and a lot of things going for it.
On the plus side, they are together for six years, thus building better friendships and school spirit.
Yet when we talk of racial or ethnic problems at schools, we usually refer to blacks and whites, but Hallsboro is tri-level, having blacks, whites and Indians.
What these people have done is a proud thing.
They have encouraged rural youth to be proud of their heritage. It’s not being country – it is being yourself and being proud of it. Reading Kin’lin shows that.
You would have a hard time finding a more rural school setting than Hallsboro, yet you also will find it equally difficult to find a better school climate.
I vote a Well Done Award to each graduating senior, to every faculty member, to all of the parents, and to the community which supports the school.
In fact, I had such a good time, I forgot about the non-airconditioning.
If you have additional information, corrections or memories about Hallsboro High School, please leave a comment below. Your fellow alumni will thank you for it.