Marker approved for Rosenwald school

Published 10:37 pm Monday, July 15, 2013

A historical marker for one of the last Rosenwald schools built in Virginia was approved last week by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

The “Huntersville Rosenwald School” will be honored with the marker near the site where it once stood as soon as sponsors can gather the funding to have it placed.

The proposed location for a historical marker to commemorate the Huntersville Rosenwald school is in the Huntersville neighborhood, near the North Suffolk water tower.

The proposed location for a historical marker to commemorate the Huntersville Rosenwald school is in the Huntersville neighborhood, near the North Suffolk water tower.

The Rosenwald schools for black children in the rural South were built through a matching grant program beginning in 1917 and ending in 1932, funded by Sears, Roebuck and Co. part-owner Julius Rosenwald. About 5,000 such schools were built, including about 381 in Virginia.

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The Huntersville school was completed in 1931, making it one of the last schools built through the program before funding ended.

The proposed location for the marker is at 6123 Town Point Road.

The approved language for the marker states that the Julius Rosenwald fund provided $1,000 toward the construction, with contributions from the local government and the black community providing the rest of its $7,000 cost.

The Huntersville school was named for its first principal, Joseph S. Gibson, and included classroom space for four teachers.

Sixteen markers were approved by the Department of Historic Resources last week. Two of the others are also for Rosenwald schools, both in Bath County.

One of the markers is for Werowocomoco, the seat of government for Chief Powhatan before English settlers arrived in North America.

Other markers honor Civil War history, black history and an event during the War of 1812. They will be placed in Augusta, Frederick, Gloucester, Hanover, Lancaster, Loudoun, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford counties and the city of Winchester.