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Remembering The Rosenwald Schools...We Should Never Forget...

A dedication ceremony for the Virginia Commonwealth Historical Marker Saint Paul’s Chapel School – Rosenwald School

will be held Saturday, June 7 at 2 p.m. The public is invited. This marker is installed in Meredithville, Virginia, near the site of the restored school building. The historical marker is near the school, close to the intersection of Routes 644 and 619. The marker is very close to the northbound ramp of Interstate 85, Exit 24. There were over a dozen Rosenwald Schools in Brunswick County; they were built between 1917 and 1925.

One of the earliest ones was the Saint Paul’s Chapel School. It was completed in 1920 and included one main room (715 square feet), a cloakroom (60 square feet) and a teacher’s workroom/storage room (87 square feet). A stove heated the entire building and chalkboards were built along the east and west walls. The outside of the building was sheathed in weatherboard and included a rubble-stone foundation, gable-ends with lunette louvered vents at each gable, and six, nine-over nine south-facing windows. Outside there were two privies, one for girls and one for boys. The school closed in 1960.

Among the earliest of the more than a dozen Julius Rosenwald Schools built in Brunswick County, Saint Paul’s Chapel School was constructed as a one-teacher standard plan in 1920 under the initial wave of Tuskegee Institute-administered building funds. Contributors included the Rosenwald Fund ($300), local black families ($450), and public money ($750) for a total of $1,500. Between 1917 and 1932, the Rosenwald Fund helped build more than 5,000 African American schools across the rural South. Former student Edwin L. Avery restored the school in 2004. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.

What Are Rosenwald Schools

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