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Brentsville in Prince William County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Brentsville - One-Room School

 
 
Brentsville - One-Room School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., September 26, 2007
1. Brentsville - One-Room School Marker
Inscription. (caption of upper, left picture) The Brentsville School as it appeared ca. 1940.
Lucy Walsh Phinney Collection, Gift of Steve and Cynthia Phinney in Memory of Lucy Phinney

This school was built in 1928 over the original location of the County Clerk’s Office. It operated until 1944. The one-room building served local white children in grades one through five. Before its construction, children attended school in the Courthouse.

The first teacher was Lucy Mae Motley who, like her successors, oversaw the lessons for all grades. Most students walked to the school from within three miles. In 1934, thirty-nine children were enrolled. Average daily attendance was twenty-nine.

The school had a coal and wood stove in the middle of the room. There was a desk for each child with larger ones for the big children. There was an old piano which served no purpose except to hold two coal oil lamps for night meetings. We had a little wind-up record player &a few records…
Quotation:
Mary Senseney Kline recalled how the school appeared when she taught here in 1940-42.
Lucy Walsh Phinney Collection, Gift of Steve and Cynthia Phinney in Memory of Lucy Phinney

(caption of upper, center
Closeup photo of the school, ca. 1940. image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., September 26, 2007
2. Closeup photo of the school, ca. 1940.
picture) Above:
Miss Mary Buckley’s class posed inside the school during the 1930s.
Image source unknown

Segregation

Prince William County’s public schools were segregated until 1966. However, public schools were established for white and black children beginning in the 1870s. In 1892, the Brentsville District’s African-American residents unsuccessfully petitioned the School Board to open a school for their children.

In 1909, the Brentsville Colored School began in the home of Rev. Richard Jackson. Students got their own building in 1914, when the old Brentsville village school was moved to a lot where the “old colored church” stood. The school closed in 1918 and students moved to the Kettle Run Colored School.

Local Education

The Brentsville village school was the town’s first known school. This privat school was built in 1847 and served only white children. Between 1870 and 1913 it was a public school.

From 1905 until 1912, the private prince William Normal School operated in the Courthouse. In 1912, the Brentsville School District purchased the Courthouse. Citizens converted the building into a school. Classes were held there from 1913 until 1928, when students moved to this building.
Brentsville's One-Room School and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., September 26, 2007
3. Brentsville's One-Room School and Marker


(caption of lower, right picture) Earle Wolfe attended Brentsville School. In 1930, he passed to the sixth grade, but had to repeat fifth-grade history.
Courtesy of Morgan Breeden
 
Erected 2007 by Prince William County and the Friends of Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre.
 
Location. 38° 41.386′ N, 77° 30.011′ W. Marker is in Brentsville, Virginia, in Prince William County. Marker is on Bristow Road (County Route 806), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12235 Bristow Road, Bristow VA 20136, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 14 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Brentsville - The Public Lot (here, next to this marker); Brentsville – Clerks’ Office (a few steps from this marker); Brentsville – Tavern Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville - County Jail (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville - County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Brentsville (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville - The Gallows (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville – Outbuildings (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville –Tavern Cellar (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville – The Tavern (within shouting distance of this marker); Brentsville – 1822 Tavern Site (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Brentsville – 1822 Tavern Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); John W. Hall Home (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brentsville.
 
Categories. Civil RightsEducation
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 8, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,136 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 8, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.
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