Roof collapse at old Stonewall School shakes neighborhood

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Neglected building tumbles! ‘Like a bomb went off’ says one resident

Stonewall School, in its heyday, was a fine looking institution (below). In recent years, the wooden gymnasium, the original school building (above left), and the auditorium (above right) have fallen into disrepair. Monday morning – with little or no warning – the east facing brick wall of the original auditorium apparently gave way, collapsing roof trusses and other support structures.

STONEWALL – Monday — on an otherwise calm, sunny October morning — all heck broke loose about 8:30 am along a three-plus acre stretch of Spain Farm Road.

Pamlico County native Lester Carey attended grades one thru eight at Stonewall School – and now lives directly across from the site where the school’s original three buildings have stood for decades. After a loud boom “that rattled our windows,” Carey quickly ran for a window.


The west-facing wall of the old school’s auditorium remains standing.

“I looked out and all you could see was a cloud of dust,” said Carey – still a bit incredulous that the much of the school’s auditorium “where we always got to see a movie on Fridays” was now lying on the ground.

Any risks to the community are minimal as much of the site is fenced, with each of the three buildings set well back from the road, with good space between adjacent homes. I

Years ago when the Pamlico County Board of Education decided to sell the buildings and land, Carey thought it might be a good investment – “a

Oyster shells used as fill for steep outdoor steps would not comply with today’s building codes and hint at the structure’s advanced age.

place for my horses and things,” he chuckled. In 2011, Carey sold the property to an LLC, affiliated with the Hardison family, who own Eastern Propane in Alliance. Attempts this week to reach company owner J. Hardison for comment were not successful.

Spain Farm Road has seen new motorists since Monday – many eager to get a gander at Stonewall’s altered skyline.

“I guess it was just time for the thing to go,” suggested a wistful Carey.

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