Manassas, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Jennie Serepta Dean
The Manassas Industrial School Historic Site
— Jennie Dean Memorial —
Though little known outside of Manassas, Jennie Serepta Dean was a significant figure in the field of education during the waning years of the nineteenth century. Born enslaved in 1848 in Prince William County, Dean received only a basic education in the years following the Civil War. Unable to attend school on a regular basis, she took a job in Washington, D.C. as a paid domestic servant in order to earn money to help her family. During these years, Dean also founded several churches, including one in Prince William County.
Seeing many young African-Americans struggle with low paying jobs and little opportunity for advancement, Dean resolved to build a school to teach not only the basics in education but also skilled trades. For three years she labored to bring attention and funding to her cause. Dean's efforts were realized when the Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth opened in 1893.
Jennie Dean died after suffering a stroke on May 3, 1913. She was buried beside Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, a church that she helped found. The City of Manassas, with the help of numerous individuals and groups, erected a statue
The only known image we have of Jennie Serepta Dean was used to create the bronze sculpture that graces the campus of the Manassas Industrial School site.
— Manassas Museum Collection
Jennie Dean helped to found several churches, including Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Catharpin, Virginia.
— Courtesy of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church
Above — This ca. 1900 view of the Manassas Industrial School shows several of the numerous buildings that once stood on the sprawling campus.
Left — Modern view of the Manassas Industrial School site.
— Manassas Museum Collection
Erected 2020 by City of Manassas, Virginia.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Churches & Religion • Education • Women.
Location. 38° 44.778′ N, 77° 29.281′ W. Marker is in Manassas, Virginia. Marker is on Prince William Street just west of Wellington Road, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9601 Prince William St, Manassas VA 20110, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Manassas Industrial School / Jennie Dean Memorial (here, next to this marker); Carnegie Building (a few steps from this marker); Manassas 1909 (within shouting distance of this marker); Howland Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Campus Model (within shouting distance of this marker); Hackley Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Charter Cottage (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Charter Cottage (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Manassas.
Also see . . . Statue of Jennie Dean honors founder of 1st N.Va. high school for Black students. WTOP News Radio article about the unveiling of the Jennie Dean statue (Submitted on October 28, 2020.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 28, 2020. This page has been viewed 45 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 28, 2020.
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