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

The Good Hope Colored School

The Good Hope Colored School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 15, 2014
1. The Good Hope Colored School Marker
Inscription. The Livingston district at Spotsylvania County had the largest number of one-room schools for African American children in the county before consolidation in the 1950s. As late as the mid 1990s, two of those schools were still standing, albeit vacant and in poor condition.

One of those schools, the Good Hope School for colored children, existed as early as 1920. It was necessary even then to renovate the building, and by 1929, a new structure was complete and equipped with a galvanized roof. The school opened in the fall of 1930 and its teacher was Lillian White at a salary of $40 per month.

Enrollment was sporadic in the school over several years, necessitating its closure by the Spotsylvania School Board. It was sold at auction for $280 on April 16, 1943.

The building languished for more than 40 years at its location at the intersection of Lewiston Road and Route 208 near Lake Anna. It was decided in 1996 to establish a committee to save the building by renovating it to demonstrate how a one-room school looked and operated in its time.

Once renovated, it would be relocated to this location, the Marshall Center, in the center of the County for all residents and tourists to visit. The Marshall Center is the site of the original high school for white children that was built in the 1940s. Its
The Good Hope Colored School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 15, 2014
2. The Good Hope Colored School Marker
first principal was Charles Melvin Snow who later became the Superintendent of Spotsylvania Public Schools. He was also instrumental in standardizing teacher salaries regardless of race in this county.

Before the remnants of the Good Hope School could be reconstructed, the building was destroyed by fire. There was, however, another vacant one-room school nearby. It was across the road from Branch Fork Baptist Church and in its day, it was named The Fork Colored School. That school was renovated, relocated and dedicated at the Marshall Center. Its architecture represents a combination of both original school buildings, and thus, the purpose of preserving and celebrating one-room school education for African American children is a reality for all.

Above: Good Hope Colored School, corner of Lewiston Road and Route 208
Below: Fork Colored School, on Stubbs Bridge Road across the road from Branch Fork Baptist Church
Both photographs were taken by Archie Richardson, then an employee of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the 1933-34 academic year. Photographs are courtesy of Virginia State University Archives.

The African American Heritage Trail is supported in part by a Preserve America grant administered by the National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior. This product is based upon work assisted by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Erected by Spotsylvania African American Heritage Trail.
Location. 38° 11.718′ N, 77° 35.222′ W. Marker is in Spotsylvania, Virginia, in Spotsylvania County. Marker is on Courthouse Road (Business Virginia Route 208) north of Massaponax Church Road (County Route 608), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Spotsylvania VA 22553, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Education in Spotsylvania County (here, next to this marker); Stubbs School (here, next to this marker); Forever young, (within shouting distance of this marker); Zion Methodist Church (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Batter Up: Spotsylvania Yellow Jackets (approx. 0.3 miles away); Booth Hall (approx. 0.3 miles away); Spotsylvania County Jail (approx. 0.4 miles away); Spotsylvania Courthouse and Jail (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Spotsylvania.
Also see . . .  Spotsylvania African American Heritage Trail. (Submitted on May 16, 2014.)
Categories. African AmericansEducation
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 15, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 235 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 15, 2014, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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