Initially founded by Reverend Peter Guinn in the 1890’s, Nelson Merry served as the only K-12 school for black and minority students in the community of Jefferson County and surrounding East Tennessee area. With it being the only black establishment for education during segregation, it became a symbol of community and cultural appreciation. Today, the gym and stories passed down through generations and alumni remain to create the spirit of the school.
The Nelson Merry Foundation will serve as a facilitator for opportunity through scholarships, workshops geared toward local minority youth learning how to do ethnic hair and makeup, as well as professionalism sessions with prominent minority community figures. This is a non-profit foundation focused on Nelson Merry School’s history and creating a new and exciting future for those involved.