Seeking an education was a constant struggle for early Rabun County settlers, especially for those folks living in the Little Tennessee Valley area. The adults were often illiterate, but they sought an education for their children. The isolated mountain homes and poor roads compounded problems for the area. The Rabun County School system was organized in 1857, and they built many one-room schoolhouses, often of logs, to provide education to the youngsters in their isolated locales.


Dr. Andrew J. Ritchie, a native of the region, was able to obtain an education and completed studies at Harvard and at Baylor in Texas. His wife, Addie, was also a teacher from the Appalachian Mountains of Georgia. Near the turn of the century, they had good teaching positions in Texas, but felt a need to return to the Georgia Mountains to teach the Valley children of NE Georgia. Their vision for Valley education was to eventually consolidate the many small scattered schools into one good community school. Dr. Ritchie spearheaded the effort to give each child a good education. In 1905, a "day school" was opened in Rabun Gap, and his effort continued to improve the school system.

In 1924, a two story brick veneer building with 15 classroom, an office for the principal, and a 250 seat auditorium was built in Dillard. It was to be known as the "Valley Junior High School", which later evolved into Dillard School. In 1929 and 1937 the north and south wings were added. The school was in constant use until a new school was built. In 1987 the City of Dillard bought the building to be used as a City Hall and Community Center.