By REID TUCKER
The Tivoli Historical Society honored the contributions and long-lasting impact had by its namesake high school on the Walton County community with the grand opening of the Tivoli Historical Museum.
About 100 people came out to a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house of the new museum on Saturday, Oct. 15. The museum is housed at the Walton County School District’s Tivoli Administrative Complex, the former site of Tivoli High, which closed its doors in 1969 due to mandatory integration. A reception with refreshments, hosted by Walton County Superintendent of Schools Carlene Anderson, was held immediately afterword.
The story of the 11 all-black schools in Walton County, of which Tivoli was the largest and longest-lasting (1938-1969), is told through the 196 pieces of historical artifacts on display at the museum. It took about one year to collect and catalog the various pieces for the museum before it was ready to open to the public. Visitors are welcome 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Tuesdays and 1 – 3 p.m. on Fridays.
Tivoli Historical Society Public Relations Director Victoria Crystal said the museum plays a critical role in preserving the history of and contributions made by Tivoli and other pre-integration black schools. She said it is important for the younger generations to understand about the pre-integration past.
“It’s all about education,” Crystal said. “It’s about letting people know what kind of impact these schools had on their communities. Tivoli is something worth preserving.”