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Yellow Jackets come home to honor EHS

Jamie Hill McMurray was responsible for preserving hundreds of Edneyville High School items that would have been thrown away. Jamie Hill McMurray was responsible for preserving hundreds of Edneyville High School items that would have been thrown away.

EDNEYVILLE — When the county school system closed Edneyville High School in 1993, Jamie Hill McMurray realized that a lot of important history was headed for the ash heap of history.

"My father went to Edneyville," McMurray, Class of '78, said at the dedication of a historic marker for the high school May 5. "My husband went to Edneyville and I went to Edneyville. We were high school sweethearts.
"Some of this stuff was being disposed of," she said, sweeping her arm at several long tables filled with Yellow Jacket posters, calendars, seat cushions, mascots and other material. "So I went every afternoon and saved it out of the dumpster."
Her treasure of Edneyville memorabilia takes up a room in her house. She brought out the collection for public display on Sunday afternoon to the one audience that could most appreciate it: Edneyville High graduates.
The pride and deep-rootedness of the Edneyville community was on display, too, as a crowd of more than 300 showed up despite a cold steady rain.
"This is a great turnout, especially in the inclement weather," said David Jones, the schools superintendent and an Edneyville alumnus. "We're just so pleased that so many folks turned out to honor the tradition. It's a real close-knit community and much of the community revolved around the high school. A lot of memories and a lot of significant events happened here."
Jamie McMurray's father was Guy Hill. She and her husband, Jimmy McMurray, are the couple that makes the famous fresh-cut French fries at the North Carolina Apple Festival. They used to grow apples; now, Jimmy is a contractor and Jamie caters.
Over time, she fixed up the mother lode of material that she salvaged from the dumpsters at Edneyville High.
"The scrapbooks were falling apart," she said. "They were from the '60s. So we redid those. I guess they thought no one would want 'em."
Someone said the size and quality of her Edneyville High collection was amazing.
"Oh, this isn't all," she said with a laugh. "I have a whole room of this stuff."
The program dedicating the historic marker included School Board member Rick Wood, chair of the Henderson County Education History Initiative; Harold McKinnish, a graduate and former teacher; Charles Thomas, former principal; Rosemary Pace, a graduate, former teacher and co-chair of the Edneyville history committee; and Molly Oates Sherrill and Mary Hill Henry, who presented the Edneyville committee's research. Scott Rhodes, an EHS graduate and current Flat Rock Middle School principal, led tours of the Justice Academy.
The stone marker recognizes Edneyville High School, which served as a first through 12th grade school and then a combined junior high and high school from 1927 to 1993, and its feeder schools: Barnwell, Bat Cave, Bearwallow, Chestnut Grove, DeWitt, Ebenezer, Edneyville, Fruitland, Hickory, Good Shepherd, Lake Lure, Liberty, Little Red School House, Bat Cave; Locust Grove, Middle Fork, Point Lookout, St. Paul's and St. Peter's.