Sept. 3, 1903
Tuggle Institute was a privately-run charity founded by social worker Carrie Tuggle in Birmingham on Sept. 3, 1903. She wanted to provide safe housing and a good education to orphaned and troubled African-American children. Although founded by Tuggle, the school had the support of philanthropists including Louis Pizitz, Hugo Black and James “Brother” Bryan.
Early industrial programs taught to upper-grade students included printing, woodworking and sewing. A number of musicians trained at the school and a school band was formed.
The institute became informally associated with the Birmingham City Schools in 1926 but was forced to close in 1933. The Birmingham Board of Education bought the 15-acre site with its 13 structures in 1934 and renamed it Enon Ridge School. Two years later the Board honored Tuggle by renaming it Tuggle Elementary School. Tuggle is buried on the school grounds.
The Institute’s famous alum include entrepreneur A.G. Gaston, photographer P. H. Polk and trumpeters Fess Whatley and Erskine Hawkins.
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