Ethan & Ella Bruton

With the purchase of Anderson Junior High School in 2016, Ethan Bruton became the founder and manager of The Anderson Center. Soon after, Ethan met Ella Wallen and the two became an inseparable couple. For two years, they worked alongside their friends and family to turn the school into a high-class event venue they could be proud of – and get married in! Now, the couple live together in the heart of The Anderson Center and are living proof that the school brings people together. They hope to bring more communities together through wedding, event, and workplace rentals and look forward to working with you!


Anderson Junior High School was built in the 1930’s and has been well preserved since then, with many of the front rooms still boasting wood paneling and floors. In the 1980’s, an addition of cinder-block and tile rooms was completed, bringing the square footage of the building up to almost 33,000 sq ft. The building functioned as a school until 2014, when it was closed due to district budget cuts. We asked Anderson locals to share some of their favorite memories from the school, and got these touching and fun replies:

  • I have many wonderful memories in this gym!!! All the youth league practices- Buffy was my coach most of the years. Finally being a cheerleader and performing at the pep rallies and trying to see which grade had more spirit. Meeting my best friend just before school started my ninth grade (19 years ago) our play! (The first show- if it could go wrong it did but it was funny and truly the greatest) and getting to practice the play with my classmates in the final moments of our time there. And our graduation! Saying goodbye to all the amazing people who helped me grow, classmates to which some may not be going to the same school anymore and also saying goodbye to the closeness we all once had! I MISS AJHS! – Lori Beth Minch
  • So many memories! My dad was the DJ for many years at the school dances, my 13th birthday party was held in the gym and I had my first kiss that night beside the computer lab! I also met my best friend Somer Mitchell in that gym!!! – Alexandra Bonabi
  • Eric Emerson knocked a fire extinguisher off the wall in the “new gym” and it sprayed the white powder everywhere. My first kiss was in the library – Joanna Marie
  • Just great times at a great school with great teachers and coaches. Too many great memories. And I got to come back last year and do a songwriters show in this beautiful room. – Charles Lynn Newton
  • Went K-9 there and so thankful that my class was able to do so. Youth basketball practice in this gym, 9th grade play, Halloween carnivals, so many memories. Was blessed to be a Lady Rebel and play for both Coach White and Coach Tate. Miss AJHS and Most Athletic of my 9th grade class I’ll never forget all the great times ! I remember my 1st day at Lauderdale Co wishing I could go back to Anderson already – Kayla Surbaugh
  • Movie day was always a treat! But, the Halloween carnivals were the best! I’ll never forget all my teachers and principals. This was the best little school ever. – Jeanne Smith
  • 3rd grade Miss Christine -Palms 100 we said it everyday and still can say it; Miss Helda Fincher telling me if I would have went and hit her for laughing at me reading I would never had said anything; 1st kiss right beside the water fountain beside the girls bathroom – Buffy Thompson Wallen
  • I went to kindergarten at Anderson in 1994. Robin McCafferty was my teacher and I moved to Lexington in 1996 and graduated with 4 people that I went to kindergarten with at Anderson in 2007. – Christy Sewell
  • Too many memories to count! The best school ever!!! Thankful to have attended K-9. My daughter now attends dance classes in the science classroom! Always a AJHS Rebel!!! – Sally Jackson Davis