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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Charlotte Court House in Charlotte County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Charlotte County Library

 
 
Charlotte County Library CRIEHT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 18, 2010
1. Charlotte County Library CRIEHT Marker
Inscription. Beginning in 1937, Ambassador and Mrs. David K. E. Bruce anonymously gave money to 11 sites in Southside Virginia to build libraries. The Bruce libraries, as they were called, became the first public libraries to allow access to African Americans. Though African Americans were restricted to using side or back doors and didn’t have full access to the collections, the Bruce libraries still represent an advance in access to library materials for African Americans.

The Charlotte County Library was originally built in 1830 as the Hager-Marshall House. The Bruces bought the house and had it fitted as a library, making it the only Bruce library to use an existing building. The others are built on similar plans drawn up by an architect for the Bruces. They were neat Colonial-style buildings with a large reading room across the front and an office for the librarian and a reading room for African Americans behind. There were also restrooms and storage areas.

The Charlotte County Library is the first library in Virginia funded by the Bruce library fund. It had separate opening ceremonies one day apart for white and black patrons. Miss Mary Barksdale was the first librarian. Today, many of the Bruce libraries have become too small for the needs of the counties and have been converted to county offices or museums.
 
Erected by
Charlotte County Library and bookmobile c.1930s. image. Click for full size.
2. Charlotte County Library and bookmobile c.1930s.
Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail®. (Marker Number 30.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail marker series.
 
Location. 37° 3.358′ N, 78° 38.282′ W. Marker is in Charlotte Court House, Virginia, in Charlotte County. Marker is at the intersection of Legrande Avenue (Virginia Route 47) and David Bruce Avenue (Virginia Route 40) on Legrande Avenue. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 112-116 LeGrande Ave, Charlotte Court House VA 23923, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Henry and Randolph's Debate (within shouting distance of this marker); Charlotte County Confederate Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Charlotte Court House Historic District (within shouting distance of this marker); Charlotte Court House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Campaign of 1781 (approx. half a mile away); Edgehill (approx. 2.8 miles away); Greenfield (approx. 2.8 miles away); Cub Creek Church (approx. 3.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Charlotte Court House.
 
More about this marker. On the left are three photos with the captions:
"(Top Left) The Charlotte County Public Library
Charlotte County Library bookmark, c.1938 image. Click for full size.
3. Charlotte County Library bookmark, c.1938
received the fourth bookmobile delivered on the State-wide Library Project, on August 21, 1939."
"(Center Left) The interior of the bookmobile."
"(Bottom Left) The Charlotte County Public Library, founded in 1937, was one of many county libraries founded by Ambassador and Mrs. David K.E. Bruce."

On the center is photo with the caption, "(Center Panel) Bookmark given to library patrons, c.1938."

On the right is a photo with the caption, "(Above) Mary Barksdale was the Charlotte County Public Library’s first librarian."

Bookmobile interior photo courtesy of Southside Regional Library, Boydton, VA.
 
Also see . . .
1. Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail. Virginia's Retreat (Submitted on May 22, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. Charlotte County Library. (Submitted on May 22, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
 
Categories. 20th CenturyAfrican AmericansEducation
 
Mary Barksdale image. Click for full size.
4. Mary Barksdale
Charlotte County Library image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 18, 2010
5. Charlotte County Library
Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail® Map image. Click for full size.
6. Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail® Map
Appomattox County
1. Winonah Camp/Mozella Price Home
2. Carver-Price School
3. Education in 1800's Rural Virginia

Buckingham County
4. One-Room Schoolhouse
5. Carter G. Woodson Birthplace

Cumberland County
6. Hamilton High School
7. Rosenwald School at Cartersville
8. Jackson Davis

Amelia County
9. Russell Grove Presbyterian Church and School
10. Mrs. Samantha Jane Neil

Chesterfield County
11. Virginia State University

Petersburg
12. Earliest Known Public High School for African Americans in Virginia
13. McKenney Library
14. The Peabody-Williams School

Dinwiddie County
15. Southside Virginia Training Center
16. Rocky Branch School
17. Early Education in Dinwiddie County

Nottoway County
18. Blackstone Female Institute
19. Mt. Nebo Church
20. Ingleside Training Institute

Lunenburg County
21. The People's Community Center
22. St. Matthew's Lutheran Church Christian Day School

Prince Edward County
23. Prince Edward County Public Schools
24. R. R. Moton High School
25. Farmville Female Seminary Association
26. First Baptist Church
27. Beulah AME Church
28. Hampden-Sydney College

Charlotte County
29. Southside Virginia Community College - John H. Daniel Campus
30. Charlotte County Library
31. Salem School

Halifax County
32. Meadville Community Center
33. Mary M. Bethune High School
34. Washington-Coleman Elementary School
35. Mizpah Church

Mecklenburg County
36. Thyne Institute
37. Boydton Academic and Bible Institute

Brunswick County
38. Southside Virginia Community College - Christanna Campus
39. Saint Paul's College
40. Hospital and School of the Good Shepherd
41. Fort Christanna
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 942 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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