In 1922, the Johnson Family donated five acres of the land on which Amelia Love Johnson stands. In 1976, the school was named to honor a former beloved teacher, Amelia Love Johnson. From 1925 through 1926, the school consisted of a three room building with Mr. A.J. Harding as Principal, and Miss Theresa Brookins and Mrs. Amelia L. Johnson as teachers. In 1926, a building with four classrooms, a principal's office, an auditorium, and a library was constructed. The building was equipped with blackboards, desks, and jacketed heaters. There was a feeling that in order to impart homemaking education, the students would need to have experiences with the use of homemaking equipment. To meet this need a coal and wood range and two sewing machines were added. In 1984, the building was renovated and comprised of two separate building, which includes a gym, vocational building, and an office building.
Amelia Love Johnson High School is located in east central Marengo County and is one of three schools in the Marengo County School system. With a student population of 175, the school encompasses grades kindergarten through twelve. The school colors are maroon and white and the school mascot is the mighty eagle.The student population is 100% African-American. ALJ's faculty and staff consists of 1 administrator, 1 administrative assistant, .5 counselor, .5 librarian, 1 resource teacher, 1 instructional coach, 1 access facilitator, 5 high school teachers, 6 elementary teachers, 1 physical education teacher/coach, 1 custodian, and 3 CNP workers. Over the past three years, our student enrollment has decreased, which has resulted in a decline in personnel. The socio-economic status of the area has caused a decrease in enrollment over the past three years as some families have left the Thomaston area due to the lack of housing and employment opportunities.The school serves as a beacon to the Thomaston community. It provides social interaction for community engagement which include the following: sport activities, class reunions, school programs, funerals, and PTA activities.
The town of Thomaston was established in 1901, with a population of 51 people and Dr. Thomas was the first Mayor. Dr. Thomas had the land surveyed and laid out the town. Planters Bank and Trust Company was established in 1914. Telephone service begin in 1914 and electricity came in 1929. In 1949, the town limits were extended and the population jumped to over 1,000. Beginning the 1950's improvements were made to the town such as the following: streetlights, paved streets, water and gas systems, and a volunteer fire department. The 2000 census showed a population of 383. The population in 2013 was around 400.The unemployment rate for Thomaston in 2014 was 8.4 %.
Thomaston's Alabama Rural Heritage Center has a partnership with ALJ to provide art and cultural activities for students and community members throughout the year. Another unique feature coming to our community is Dave's Market. This business will provide the community with goods and services, employment opportunities, and community service opportunities for students.