Summerfield where Lilian Johnson developed an agricultural cooperative in 1915 known as KinCo., described by her as “a co-operative association of city and mountain folk with a kindred purpose”. She initiated the Grundy County Fair there, and brought May Justus and Vera McCampbell to Grundy County as teachers. The Gallery contains a collection of the writings of May Justus, poet, storyteller and author of children’s books that impart wisdom from life in the Appalachian Mountains.
In 1932 Lilian Johnson turned her property over to Myles Horton and Don West for the development of Highlander Folk School. The galley depicts her active support of the school and the support and involvement with the school by May Justus and Vera McCampbell. The history of this unusual institution is told with words and spectacular photographs. The school, devoted to economic justice and social equality, developed bottom up education methodology. It was active in labor organization training in the 1930s and 1940s and later in the 1950s and 1960s in non violent civil rights training. Most civil rights leaders attended seminars at the school including Rosa Parks shortly before she triggered the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott. The school has been acclaimed to be one of the seven most important sites in the civil rights movement.