McBean Elementary School History
The McBean community is located in the southern part of Richmond county approximately twenty miles from downtown Augusta. Its southern border abuts Burke County. In 1735, groups of immigrants from the Scottish Highlands near Inverness, Scotland were sent by the trustees of the colonies to areas near Savannah and Augusta. Provisions and land a grant were presented to each man willing to fight the Spanish, and later the Indians, in defense of the colony. Merchants and storekeepers were given double grants to encourage trade and commerce. One of these frontiersmen was Locklan McBean, who was awarded a town lot in Augusta and 500 acres of "choice land" outside Augusta.
In 1850, Locklan McBean's descendents established the McBean Company which manufactured wool and cotton fabric. They also ran saw, iron, and gristmills. The longest creek in Richmond County, which begins at Deans Bridge Road and continues for 24 miles before ending at the Savannah river, is named for Locklan McBean.
Before a Board of Education was organized, schools in the McBean area were sponsored by local churches. Early records indicate that the first McBean School, located on Hephzibah-McBean Road, burned in 1926 and was replaced by another school consisting of two classrooms, an auditorium, a small office and two large hallways. Three teachers served students in grades one through seven. There were coal burning stoves in each room, a hand pump outside the building for water, and outside restrooms.
In 1958, McBean had only 66 students and a delegation from the community petitioned the Board to close McBean School and bus their children to Hephzibah. At that time white children attended Hephzibah and black children attended Floyd Graham. With the integration of the school system in the early 1970's, all kindergarten through second grade students were assigned to Floyd Graham and third through fifth grade students were sent to Hephzibah.
In 1996, land was cleared on Hephzibah-McBean Road and the new school was built at a cost of $5.9 million. McBean Elementary was built as a replacement for Floyd Graham Elementary, which house pre-kindergarten through second grade. From Floyd Graham students went to Hephzibah Elementary for grades three through five. For the 1997-98 school year, Floyd Graham was restructured to include pre-kindergarten through fifth grade and rezoned so all of the students, who would be transferred to McBean, would begin the year together. Furniture, equipment, and materials were moved over the Christmas holidays. The staff and 326 students relocated to the new McBean Elementary School on January 12, 1998. The people of McBean are please to have a school back in their community after forty years and are very supportive of it. The dedication of McBean Elementary included a program and displays highlighting the Scottish connection, as well as, focusing on the history of the former McBean School and Floyd Graham Elementary. A very talented student played the bagpipes and a student/staff chorus sang.