First School Lunchroom in Columbia County

The first school lunchroom in Columbia County was begun in 1933 at Grovetown Elementary. At first, the lunchroom workers had to go to markets on Saturdays to beg for soup bones in order to make the lunches. For many years, Otis Johns supervised the lunchroom. He made the menus, ordered the groceries, paid the bills, and made monthly lunchroom reports. Since that time, every child has been able to eat lunch in the county. In 1942, Camp Gordon was established. A wooden barracks was added to the rear of the school to provide more lunchroom space (Lord, 1999, 3C).

In 1949, Grovetown Elementary had four classrooms. The staff consisted of four teachers, two lunchroom workers, and one custodian. There were one hundred and thirty eight students. By 1956, Grovetown Elementary had seven classrooms. The staff consisted of seven teachers, three lunchroom workers, and one custodian. There were two hundred and sixty eight students (A History of Columbia County).

Otis Johns retired as principal in 1961. May 20 was proclaimed Otis Johns Day by Mayor W.R. Cox. Friends and relatives came to the school for a program and reception honoring Johns ("Grovetown sets tribute," 1961).

Columbia County Superintendent John Pierce Blanchard outlined a project to add at least four classrooms, possibly six, to the Grovetown School in 1962 ("Federal funds," 1962).

In 1969, there were now thirty-two classrooms. The staff included twenty-four teachers, six lunchroom workers, three custodians, and one clerical worker. Eight hundred and eight students now attended the school (A History of Columbia County).