Beginning in the 1890s, Albemarle Training School was the only school in Albemarle County where African-American students could seek an education beyond the primary grades. Albemarle Training School grew out of Union Ridge Graded School, a primary school established shortly after emancipation that burned down in 1893. Following an educational program advocated by Booker T. Washington, Albemarle Training School offered basic elementary education followed by two years of training in vocational agriculture, domestic science, or industrial education.
Mary Carr Greer, daughter of prosperous freed slave and Ivy Creek landowner Hugh Carr, played a key role in Albemarle Training School's development. Greer attended the Union Ridge Graded School, earned a certificate from Piedmont Industrial Institute in Charlottesville that qualified her to teach, and went on to the Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute in Petersburg (now Virginia State University). After college she began teaching domestic science at the Training School, located a short distance from her home at River View Farm (in Charlottesville). Greer continued to attend summer school at Hampton Institute and Fisk and Cornell universities, qualifying herself to teach English, history, and government. In 1931 she became the Albemarle Training School's third principal, a position she held until 1949. During her tenure Greer initiated a formal four-year high school curriculum and pushed for the merging of the school with the Albemarle-Charlottesville public school system.
In 1950 consolidation occurred and Albemarle Training School closed along with Jefferson and Esmont, the other black high schools in Albemarle. Burley High School in Charlottesville opened as the county's sole black high school, and Albemarle Training School became an elementary school until it closed in 1959. In 1979 Albemarle County memorialized Mary Carr Greer's devotion to black education by dedicating Greer Elementary School in her name.
The Albemarle Training School is no longer standing.
Geographical and Contact Information
Off Rio Rd W.