While the picture above may not look like much today, this building was once an incredibly important place for African American children to obtain an education in Loudoun County, Virginia.
In 1870, Loudoun County’s first public schools opened with the stipulation that white and African American students would have separate facilities. This one room frame building, heated only with a wood stove, was one of nine schools established for African American students in Loudoun County. The school operated from around 1892 to the late 1950s (several years after the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education) until Virginia schools were fully integrated.
The school, called the “Ashburn Colored School”, had only one teacher who would try to make the best use possible of the facility to educate students who ranged in age from 6 years old to 17 years old. It was difficult at times with no central heating or plumbing but it was a second home for the students who attended. Yvonne Neal, who is 82 now, attended the school from 1938 until 1945 and described how her father would sometimes have to carry his children on his back in the winter for part of their 2.5 mile walk to school, as buses were not available. Read her story here .
HELP RESTORE THIS SCHOOLHOUSE!
We are a group of middle and high school students at
Loudoun School for the Gifted (a small private school for grades 6 through 12 in Ashburn, VA). We can’t do this alone, and we need our community and those who want to preserve important parts of our history to help us. We want to bring this important building back to life so the public can visit it, and reflect on the past but also see how far education has come since then.
Given the schoolhouse’s current condition, there is a lot of work to be done. We have met with experienced restoration contractors and have decided to begin with stabilizing the exterior before we move to the interior. The cost to stabilize and restore the exterior will be approximately $35,000. The total restoration will cost about $100,000, which is a really ambitious goal for secondary school students, so we need your help. We would greatly appreciate any contribution you can make, even if it is connecting us with others who would make a contribution. And, if you have ideas for the restored schoolhouse, please share those as well.
Through various fundraising activies, we have been able to raise the first $19,000 needed to rebuild the foundation - thank you to everyone who contributed!
Now we are moving on to phase two which includes restoring the original windows, and repairing and painting the clapboard siding.
Phase three will be the interior and will begin after we finish stabilizing and weather-proofing the exterior.
Framers Projects is a 501(c)(3) organization that we formed to support the efforts of our students to save the Ashburn Colored School and we will happily send you a receipt for tax purposes!
Keep Up-to-Date with Our Project!
Find us on Facebook at:
Also track our progress on our website at:
Read local newspaper articles about this project:
* Loudoun Now article: Old Ashburn Schoolhouse Restoration Begins
* Washington Post article: While building a modern school, Va. students hope to save a historic one
* Loudoun Times Mirror article: Students work to save historic Ashburn schoolhouse
- Susan Talbott
- Lynn Burnett
- Jennifer Young
- Derrick Williams
- Amy Lourenco
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