Brownsville Colored

Edited 8/18/23, 8/29/23


Opening and Closing

The earliest official records data back to 1918/19, though the building might have been constructed much earlier.  The site is the same as conveyed in a deed from William G. Brown and Maria P. Brown, March 1, 1887 and recorded in Liber 6Z, Folio 154 in the archives of the Circuit Court of Loudoun County.   EWP:  9.1 Yr. 1929. Poster Selling Brownsville.

From 1922/23 until 1929/30, school was held in Hamilton in a rented building, probably the Golden Hill Lodge described below in History and in petitions.

It is unclear when the school was totally closed.  In the archives is a photo of identified as Brownsville students from 1933/34.  See also Hamilton, which is the village in which the school was located.  Hamilton school records go from 1922 to 1947.


Physical and Map Location

One structure is at 39306 E. Colonial Highway, Hamilton.  See phot in vertical files, Edwin Washington Archives, Douglass HS Building, Leesburg.

253 Maryland Ave, Hamilton, VA 20158.  Former lodge, now a private residence.  According to neighbors and local historian Wynne Saffer, the lodge was torn down in the 1960's.   Brownsville was the Black area of Hamilton at the time.


Petition is located in Box 2, EWP Archives.    In December, 1922, two competing petitions emerged about where Blacks should be schooled.   One dated December 22 asked that schooling continue at Brownsville and the other from December 6 called for schooling to held at the Odd-Fellows Hall in Hamilton. (A photo of the lodge in the EWP archies, taken in either 1939 or 1940).   



A photograph of Brownsville school children is in the EWP archives, taken on May Day, 1933/34.  The photographer was Russell Gregg.  It is unclear if the picture was taken at the school house or somewhere else.

The lodge in question was known as Golden Hill Lodge and was organized on 8 September, 1878, though the building might not have been erected until 1890.  Unfortunately, according to the national HQ for the lodge, records have been lost.  Letter from Graham Paige, HGS, GUOOF in America, to Larry Roeder, 21 March, 2017. EWP archives, box 2, Blacl Petitions.

Attendance and Enrollment 1917/18 to 1929/30.  Each year, the school employed one teacher.

Session        Enrollment     Ave  Att        Term in Days

1917/18    43                           18                   120

1918/19   52                            23                    120       

1919/20   46                            23                     140

1921/22    40                           21                     140

1922/23    52                          33                      140

1923/24    59                          32                      140

1924/25   48                           35                      140

1925/26    43                          30                      140

1926/27    47                          30                      140

1927/28    60                          42                      140

1928/29    57                         23                       160

1929/30    44                         37                       160




  • 1918-1924    J. Walter Brown of Hamilton.  Born 12 Sept 1872.   26 Years experience in 1918.  Public school education and 3 years at Pewtersburg.

Insurance and Physical Description

See 1923 Map of Loudoun by Oscar Emerick in the Balch Library, Leesburg.  

Location:  39306 E. Colonial Highway (Brownsville village (also known as Swamppoodle) in present-day Hamilton.

1920/21   One room schoolhouse, heated by coal stove and ventilated  by window.  In fair condition.  Toilets were described as well in good condition.

Additional Photos