Penn Center, 16 Penn Center Cir E, St Helena Island, SC 29920
Columbia University, 116th St & Broadway, New York, NY 10027
Central Cemetery Orient, Suffolk County, New York, USA
Grace Bigelow House (July 25, 1877 – January 13, 1965) is the author of Soldiers of Freedom (1921).
She was born in Samakov, European Turkey (later Bulgaria). She was the daughter of John Henry House (1845-1935), educator, and Susan Adeline Beers (1850-1947). Biographies of John Henry House and his founding and involvement with the American Farm School (Thessalanica Agricultural and Industrial Institute) of Thessaloniki, Greece can be found in the books, "A Life for the Balkans" written by Susan Beers House and Joice M.Nankivell and "Stewards of the Land" by Brenda L. Marder. Grace's sister, Florence Elizabeth House, taught as an assistant instructor, instructor, and lecturer in Fine and Industrial Art Education at Teachers College at Columbia University. Her other sister, Ruth Eleanor House, was a teacher at the American Farm School (Thessalanica Agricultural and Industrial Institute) from 1906. She kept house for her parents while they were alive. She lived in New York City and Orient and then in Vermont to be near her sister Gladys after Florence and Grace died.
Partly educated at the Mission School for Girls in Constantinople, she attended Columbia University and after graduation worked for a time at Hampton Institute. In 1904 she became Vice Principal of Penn School, an educational and social service center at St. Helena Island, an outgrowth of the capture of the sea islands, in 1862, it was part of the Port Royal project to educate and train freed slaves. Drawing on her father's work in Macedonia, she encouraged manual arts and practical training in carpentry and agriculture. She wrote poetry - including the school song for the American Farm School in Greece and for Penn School. At her death on January 13, 1965, South Carolina State College paid tribute to her leadership in an experimental teacher training program run at Penn School.
Grace never married and she too moved back to Orient, Long Island. She is buried in Orient..
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