Education

Schools and Educational Sites

Albemarle Training School

Historical Significance 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…

Alexandria Academy

Historic Significance The Alexandria Academy was originally the home of the Washington Free School, founded in 1785 for the purpose of educating orphans and poor children. Funded in part by George Washington (with a $4000 bequest in his will), the…

Armstrong High School

Historical Significance Founded in the 1870s by the federal Freedman's Bureau, the Richmond Colored High and Normal School became part of the city's public school system in 1876. In 1909, a successor school, Armstrong High School, was founded as the…

Booker T. Washington Elementary School

Historical Significance Located on the site of Booker T. Washington's birthplace, the elementary school bearing his name opened in 1953. The school was dedicated a year later in 1954, the same year in which the U.S. Supreme Court declared, in the…

Boston Elementary School

Historical Significance Boston was the first area in Accomack County with a black school. The New Boston School was opened in 1867 by James Martin under the auspices of the Freedmen's Bureau. Later, Shiloh Baptist Church had oversight of the school.…

Buckingham County Training School

Historical Significance Buckingham County Training School was the first and only secondary school for African Americans in Buckingham County, operating from 1924 until 1953. The segregated four-room school was expanded in later years with two wings…

Carver-Price School

Historical Significance The Carver-Price High School was named in honor of two notable African Americans: George Washington Carver and the locally known Mozella Price. Mozella Jordan Price supervised African-American schools in Appomattox County…

Central Academy

Historical Significance Before 1959, African-American students in Botetourt attended one of the county’s several small all-black schools, such as Botetourt Training School, Eagle Rock Elementary, or Blue Ridge Elementary. While these schools…

Christiansburg Institute

Historical Significance The Christiansburg Institute was founded in 1866 by Captain Charles Schaeffer, an agent of the Quaker Freedmen's Bureau. It was the first school to provide secondary education for blacks in Southwest Virginia. In 1895,…

Douglas School

Historical Significance In 1924, the black community petitioned the Winchester School Board for a new school to replace the overcrowded Old Stone Church building. Construction of Douglas School was begun that year, with funds from the Handley Trust,…

Douglass High School (Douglass Community School)

Historical Significance In 1924,The Jeanes Fund, a one-million-dollar national fund donated by Miss Anna T. Jeanes, a Quaker from Philadelphia, allowed Loudoun County to hire a superintendent for Negro schools. The county did not do so until 1931,…

George W. Watkins and New Kent Schools

Historical Significance Despite the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka decision that declared racial segregation in schools unconstitutional, Virginia school boards adopted a policy of "massive resistance," avoiding integration by whatever…

Gloucester Agricultural and Industrial High School

Historical Significance Founded by local black residents under the leadership of lawyer T. C. Walker (an 1883 graduate of the Hampton Institute) and William B. Weaver (who attended, but did not graduate from Hampton Institute), the Gloucester…

Greensville County Training School

The Greensville County Training School began in 1900 as a small three-room, wood-frame schoolhouse, led by three teachers: Georgia Kelly, Rev. J.H. Waller, and Principal Edward W. Wyatt. In 1912, a widow named Lucy Magee sold two acres of land,…

Hampton University

Historical Significance On April 1, 1868, Brigadier General Samuel Armstrong (Superintendent of the Freedmen's Bureau of the Ninth District of Virginia) opened Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute to serve the growing community of freed people…

Harrison School

Historical Significance By 1915, only 1,761 black pupils were enrolled in Virginia high schools, compared to 23,184 white pupils. Lucy Addison was the first principal of Harrison School, constructed in 1916 as the first public secondary school for…

Hill Grove School

Historical Significance Hill Grove School was completed in 1915 and served as a primary school for African-American children into the 1960s. Land for the school came from Alec and Emma Cook, who in 1912 donated to the Staunton River School District…

Holley Graded School

Historical Significance For nearly forty years, the Holley Graded School helped open the doors to greater opportunities for rural black children of the Northern Neck. The school began in 1914 to replace a smaller schoolhouse erected during the…

Howland Chapel School

Historical Significance The Howland Chapel School was a one-room school for black children built under the sponsorship of New York educator and philanthropist Emily Howland (1827-1929), an active abolitionist. Howland taught at a school for young…

Huntington High School

Historical Significance Around 1912, respected attorney and civic leader J. Thomas Newsome led African-American citizens of Newport News in petitioning for a black high school. Throughout the South and Virginia in particular, quality education for…

Jackson P. Burley School

Historical Significance In 1949, the Charlottesville School Board combined Jefferson High School, Esmont High School, and Albemarle Training School, black high schools in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, into a single high school for all the…

Jefferson School

Historical Significance The chronology of the Jefferson School building represents the complex post-Civil War history of black education in Charlottesville. In 1865, the Freedman’s Bureau founded Jefferson School in the Delevan Hotel, a former…

John T. West School

Historical Significance The John T. West School, no longer standing, was for many years the only historic African-American school remaining in Norfolk and one of the two earliest remaining school buildings in the city. It is recognized as the first…

Josephine City School

Historical Significance Josephine City School is a two-classroom school house located in the African-American community of Josephine City on the southeast edge of the town of Berryville, Virginia. Constructed around 1882 on land owned by the Clark…

Laurel Grove School

Historical Significance Laurel Grove School, a one-room school, was built in the early 1880's by free blacks to serve the educational needs of the African American children in the Franconia community of Fairfax County, Virginia. Laurel Grove is one…

Lucasville School

Historical Significance In 1883, African-American citizens living in the Lucasville area petitioned the Manassas District School Board for an elementary school. The Lucasville School was built in 1885 as a result of their efforts. It was one of…

Lucy Simms School

Historical Significance The Lucy Simms School, constructed in 1938-39, was named after a beloved African American teacher, honoring her role in educating African American children. Previously the Effinger Street School had fulfilled this function…

Luther P. Jackson and Cumberland Training School

Historical Significance During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Cumberland County school boards established several one-room schoolhouses for African-American children, including Bethlehem School, Benson Springs School, and schools…

Manassas Industrial School - Jennie Dean Memorial

Historical Significance The Manassas Industrial School/Jennie Dean Memorial is a 4.5 acre archaeological park which interprets and commemorates the history of the Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth previously located on the same site,…

Mary M. Bethune Complex

Historical Significance In 1872, the Banister Baptist Association elected a board of eleven men including ministers, professional workers, and businessmen to build a private African-American training school in Halifax County. These men purchased…

Mary Nottingham Smith High School

Historical Significance In 1931, J. Edgar Thomas, Susie Wharton Thomas, and William H. Bailey sold a lot in the town of Accomac containing 0.842 of an acre to the trustees of the Accomack County Colored High School Association for $750.00. The…

Morton Elementary School (Z. C. Morton)

Historical Significance Louisa County's largest "Negro elementary school," Z. C. Morton Elementary School, was built in 1960 to replace several one- and two-room schoolhouses throughout the county, including Mt. Garland, Ferncliff, St. Mark's and…

Nansemond County Training School

Historical Significance The Nansemond County Training School was constructed in 1924 at a cost of $18,000. The local African-American community provided $5,000, $11,500 was provided through public funding, and the remaining $1,500 was provided by…

Norfolk State University

Historical Significance Norfolk State University was founded in 1935 during the Great Depression to provide higher education to African Americans in Virginia. At its founding, it was named the Norfolk Unit of Virginia Union University. In 1942, the…

Norview High School

Historical Significance Norview High School was one of the six schools in Norfolk attended by members of the "Norfolk 17" in 1958. In the face of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision, 151 African American students applied to transfer…

Patrick Robert "Parker" Sydnor Log Cabin Site

Historical Significance In 1888, Lovice (Vicey) Skipwith purchased land from the Sir Peyton Skipwith family of Prestwould Plantation, his former owners, near the town of Skipwith. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries the log cabin on his property…

Peabody High School

Historical Significance Peabody Colored High School, built in 1874, was the first public school for blacks in Virginia and one of the oldest black public high schools in the South. Between 1870 and 1874, classes were taught out of a black church…

Piedmont Christian Institute

Historical Significance At the beginning of the twentieth century, there were no public high schools for black children in Henry County. The elementary schools were poorly equipped and lacked the full financial support of communities that white…

Rock Run School

Historical Significance The Rock Run School was built as a one-room school for African Americans sometime after the Civil War. The school was apparently already in use by 1882 when the property was deeded to Henry County. With the addition of a…

Russell Grove School

Historical Significance Mrs. S. J. Neil came to Amelia County, Virginia in 1865 while searching for her lost husband, a Union Army officer who died in battle there just prior to the end of the Civil War. Although Mrs. Neil never found her…

Saint Paul's College

Historical Significance The Reverend James Solomon Russell (1857-1935), a black Episcopal priest, founded Saint Paul Normal and Industrial School in 1888 to serve the needs of rural blacks in post-Civil War Virginia. With funds contributed by the…

Schoolhouse Museum

Historical Significance The Smithfield Schoolhouse was built in 1932 as an addition to an original, historic Rosenwald school. The earlier Rosenwald school, built around 1924 and called the Christian Home School, was originally constructed on two…

Scrabble School (former Woodville Rosenwald School)

Historical Significance Built in 1921, Scrabble School's two-room schoolhouse is one of more than 5,000 African-American schools built across the South with the help of Sears Roebuck co-founder Julius Rosenwald, intended to replace sub-standard…

St. Francis de Sales

Historical Significance St. Francis de Sales school for girls opened on September 8, 1899 in Powhatan, Virginia, the first school Mother Katharine Drexel would build for African Americans. Katharine Drexel was born in 1858, the daughter of Francis…

Stubbs School

Historical Significance The Stubbs School was constructed during the 1930s for African-American children in Spotsylvania County. The school building is typical of many one-room schools built throughout the county, beginning with the establishment of…

Robert Russa Moton Museum

Historical Significance The efforts of African American students at Robert Russa Moton High School in Prince Edward County to achieve equal educational opportunities led to the end of legal segregation in the public schools of America. Built to…

Thyne Institute Memorial, Inc.

Historical Significance The Thyne Institute began educating African Americans in Mecklenburg County, Virginia around 1876. J. H. Ashenhurst, the son of a pastor, saw the need for schooling the African American population and began teaching wherever…

Thomas Calhoun Walker Elementary School

Historical Significance The present elementary school building stands on the site of the Gloucester Training School, established in 1921 through the efforts of Thomas Calhoun Walker (1862-1953) and others as the first free public secondary school…

Virginia College and Virginia Seminary

Historical Significance The educational institution now known as Virginia College and Virginia Seminary is one of several Virginia schools of higher education founded in the late nineteenth century to help bring the state's blacks into the…

Virginia Randolph Cottage Museum

Historical Significance The "Virginia Randolph Cottage" was the office used by educator Virginia Estelle Randolph (1874-1958). In 1908, Randolph, a Henrico County training school instructor and daughter of parents born enslaved, was appointed the…

Virginia State University

Historical Significance Virginia State University was the first state-supported African American college in America. Virginia State University was charted in 1882 as the "Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute" to fulfill a pledge to the…

Virginia Union University

Historical Significance Virginia Union University is one of the six historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Virginia. The school that would become Virginia Union was founded by the American Baptist Home Missionary Society and the…

Virginia University of Lynchburg

Historical Significance The educational institution now known as the Virginia University of Lynchburg, once called "Virginia College and Virginia Seminary," is one of several Virginia schools of higher education for African Americans founded in the…

Winchester Colored School (in the Old Stone Church Building)

Historical Significance The Winchester Colored School occupied the Old Stone Church building constructed by the city's Presbyterians around 1788. In 1858, it was leased to the Old School Congregation Baptist Church of Color, for $500. The members of…

Wytheville Training School

Historical Significance In 1865, following the Civil War, the Freedmen's Bureau joined with numerous Northern church and civic leaders to successfully encourage teachers to travel to the South to educate newly freed slaves. Such was the case in 1867…