History of Rocky Crest

    • From 1846 to 1869 Lancaster education was by citizens building school houses and hiring a teacher paid by tuition.
    • In 1869, Texas set up Common School Districts that allowed communities to elect trustees and collect taxes.
    • In 1868/1869 Lancaster's first school for African American children opened in a former Confederate Pistol Factory.
    • In 1905 the citizens of Lancaster voted to form the Lancaster Independent School District. 
    • "Lancaster Colored School" on Keller Branch served 73 students.
    • In July 1906, the School Board agreed to allow the Negro adults permission to offer night school in the building if they paid the light bill. 
    • The school had several locations.
    • In 1913 the teachers at the "Colored School" requested the ability to teach grades 1 thru 4 in the morning and grades 5 thru 8 in the afternoon. 
    • Lancaster ISD records show that in 1919 and 1920, the church building owned by the Negro Missionary Baptist Church (bought from the White Missionary Baptist Church in 1902) was rented to the LISD for use as a school for $8.00 per month.
    • According to Mrs. Katherine Miller Barnett and her husband Oscar Barnett, parents of the students attending Rocky Crest would cook and bring food to the school for lunch. 
    • When Lancaster absorbed Rawlins School in 1927, brick from Rawlins was used for a new building.
    • After several locations, the final site known as Rocky Crest was built about 1932 and was expanded in 1955.
    • On July 9, 1951, the school records show a vote to add classrooms to the original Rocky Crest red brick building. 
    • On March 3, 1952 the teachers for the "Colored School" were R. B. White, Bessie White, Laura White Hunter and Greterl Kirk.
    • In 1954 J.D. Hall was hired as a teacher at RockyCrest. He was the last principal to serve at Rocky Crest.
    • The building and education for minority students continued until 1965 when Lancaster Schools voluntarily integrated classrooms.
    • In 2004 voters approved a $1.5 million Bond Election which allowed renovations to the campus.
    • In 2012, Governor Rick Perry, officially recognized Lancaster High School Centre Street Alumni for receiving a Texas Historical Commission Official Texas Historical Marker for Rocky Crest.  
    • The Rocky Crest building currently houses a museum showing a collection of historical items associated with the school, former students and the community around the school.
    • Rocky Crest remains one of the areas oldest associated with early minority education.
    • Mayor of the City of Lancaster, Marcus Knight proclaimed September 8 as Rocky Crest School Day! 
Rocky Crest
Rocky Crest