Kate Duncan Smith DAR School History

Since 1903, the Society has been helping children in remote mountain areas receive aneducation. The DAR supports two schools in the Appalachian region- Kate Duncan Smith DARSchool, Alabama, and Tamassee DAR School, South Carolina.


Kate Duncan Smith (KDS), founded on Gunter Mountain by the Alabama DAR in 1924, is a day school, kindergarten through 12th grade, serving an area of 100 square miles. Enrollment averages 1,300 students yearly. Special emphasis is placed on responsible citizenship, academic achievement, and horticultural and computer skills. Preparation for college and vocational training are important parts of the curriculum.




 

Kate Duncan Smith - Daughters of the American Revolution School Marker (next two images)
“It was through her guiding hand and efforts that the school was established.  The school is a lasting legacy that still continues to serve Alabama.”

Inscription Side A ~ Historical Marker Kate Duncan Smith DAR School
Grant, Alabama


In 1924, the Alabama Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) established Kate Duncan Smith School to provide a patriotic education dedicated to academic achievement and service to "God, Home, and Country" for the people of Gunter Mountain.

The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) designated the school as a nationally recognized DAR school in 1928. Now a collaborative effort between the DAR, the Marshall County Board of Education, and the local citizens, it has remained a public school open to all of the children of the Gunter Mountain region.











Inscription Side B ~ Historical Marker Kate Duncan Smith DAR School
Grant, Alabama


The present campus, consisting of approximately 240 acres, includes the remaining largely intact "old campus" that encompassed 100 acres as well as twelve buildings constructed between 1924 and 1957 and a 1937 water tower now used as a bell tower.

Influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement, school officials constructed the buildings, sidewalks, bleachers, and entrance columns from native materials including fieldstone, cut sandstone, and pine logs. Kate Duncan Smith - Daughters of the American Revolution School is one of only two schools in the United States supported by the NSDAR. 15 of the original 100 acres were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

“It was through her guiding hand and efforts that the school was established.  The school is a lasting legacy that still continues to serve Alabama.”








Erected in 2007 by KDS alumni & friends on Kate Duncan Smith DAR School Campus.

1844-1934 ~ Kate Duncan Smith
1897-1907 ~ ASDAR State Regent
1924 ~ KDS DAR School established

PHOTOS FROM EARLY DAYS:
The Construction of the Kate Duncan Smith School
Was a Community Effort involving Residents of the Gunter’s Mountain Community and
Members of the Alabama Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
School Construction began in 1924.

“Uncle” Wiley made wooden seats that were placed inside (can be seen from open door on picture to the left).

Nan Roberts Lane Chapel Lane Chapel

Built in 1957 of native sand stone with a marble cornerstone and a marble nameplate above the door, the Nan Roberts Lane Chapel is a non-denominational chapel. Lane Chapel is the fulfillment of the dream of Mrs. James Henry Lane, founder and first president of the Alabama Officers Club.

With a seating capacity of 150, it is available and has been used many times for weddings, christenings, funerals, and other special occasions. The first christening held there was that of Kate Duncan Smith III, great granddaughter of Kate Duncan Smith for whom the school is named.

The parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. Morgan Smith, II brought their baby from Birmingham on May 8, 1959 to have the christening in Lane Chapel. The Alabama Officer.  The Alabama Society Officers Club raised funds in 2011 to renovate and repair damage to walls of the chapel.

Alabama Daughters of the American Revolution owns two buildings on the Kate Duncan Smith Campus (pictured below) which are used by the school.

The Fallaw House

The Geron House

Please contact the web site administrator at webmaster@alabamadar.org to report any problems or concerns with this website.

This site was last updated December 30, 2012.