Bull Run Colored
- See also: Aldie Colored
- Created/Opened: 1890, then rebuilt in 1909. Sat on one acre of land.
- Closed: AY 1958/59.
- Sold by LCPS: April 4, 1959.
- Location: Current address is 24015 New Mountain Road, Bowmantown.
Details on Location, Construction, Purchase and Sale
Location: Current address: 24015 New Mountain Road, Bowmantown.
Number of rooms: One originally, which was then partitioned into two rooms in 1954. In other words, the space was not increased.
Construction Material. Wood frame, front-gable schoolhouse. Seating capacity in 1920 was 52, though there were only 26 single and double desks.
Blackboard: 2 wood and felt boards.Plumbing: None. Water was well water, carried by male students from another property.
Electricity: None during segregation mentioned in records. The current structure is electrified.
Heated by wood/coal stove. Each morning, a child was required to bring a lump of coal for the stove.
Ventilation was by “lowering the window.”
Outhouse(s) or toilets: Two pit outhouses, location TBD.
The only known historical photo is an insurance from 1940 (above). The project has also done a number of contemporary photos, as well as a video on transportation. Contact us if you any photos to share!
Names and Numbers
School Designation: In 1938/39, the number designation for Bull Run was #52. Source EWP: 1.7 1939 Socio Econ Study.
Note: Black schools were given number designations, in addition to their names. The same system was used for White schools except that they were given letter designations.
1923/26: Situated in post office area of Aldie Va, which was the Mercer District, the structure was insured by LCPS system for 1923/26 as a “colored school.” Source: (1924-1936). Insurance Record. Purcellville: EWP 11. Black Insurance Book. Page 24/25.
1890: Original structure erected as Aldie Colored.
1898. The original Aldie Colored School burned down.
1909. The former Bull Run School, now a residence, was … erected in 1909 as a replacement for the 1890 building as a typical one-room frame, front-gable schoolhouse. The land was donated by Albert Hall, grandfather to Betsy Stewart (Robinson), who now lives next door. The structure named Bull Run School after its location on the east slope of Bull Run Mountain. Source: History Matters Staff. (2004). Loudoun County African-American Historical Architectural Resources Survey. Leesburg: Balch Library and Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. pp 38/39. Interview of Betsy Stewart by Larry Roeder 8/19/2017.
1920/21: That year the school had 4 trustees and 4 special supervisors. Also had a community league with 12 members and library with 16 volumes. 8 students were involved with the County School Fair.
1923/24: Student body included three students from the Broad Run District, Rena, Lilian and Robert smith.
1940/41. Some of the teacher’s cash was set aside for a wedding in May and in November for the Building Fund. The Building Fund might have been for school maintenance; but across the Black community, funds were also being raised to pay for furniture to be put into the new Douglass HS building.
1941/42. The teacher’s cash fund paid for social events, like an easter play, but also for Dental work and for curtains and for a fair that year. What is also interesting is that standard test results were left blank, at the request of the Superintendent. The treasurer was one of the students, named Claudia Whitney, age 12.
1943/44. The teacher’s cash fund paid for entertainment, as well $21 for paint, as well as “oil, soap and powders,” and 2 gallons of oil. Oils were often used to keep dust down on school floors; but perhaps the 2 gallons were to be used for heat. This something to be explored.
1950/51. The teacher’s fund paid for a trip to the zoo in Washington, DC, oil cloth for the school, a county dance, curtains and Christmas decorations. The school also raised $50 in support of a popularity contest.
1953/54. The Bull Run PTA paid $15 for the speech committee. It is thought this committee supported speech therapy, as the program was associated with the Heath Depart1953/54. The Bull Run PTA paid $15 for the speech committee. It is thought this committee supported speech therapy, as the program was associated with the Heath Department. Source: Financial Statement from Speech Committee, 1953-54. EWP: 4.11 Yr. 1953 Speech Committee.
1959: The 1909 schoolhouse closed down in AY 1958 and was sold at public auction Saturday, April 4 1959 at noon on the steps of the Court House of Loudoun County. Deed recorded in Deed Book 7F, Folio 358. Archives, Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives. Source: Poster for Public Auction, School Box 2, Archives, Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives. Although History Matters (see above called the school a one room frame schoolhouse, the Poster from 1959 described the structure as a two-room frame schoolhouse,” this because it was partitioned in June 1954, per agreement by the School Board. See School Board Agenda (annotated), June 14, 1954. Source: EWP: 2.2 Yr. 1954 6-14 Bull Run Partition.
When Betsy went to school, the area was entirely Black; but today is of mixed race.
According to Betsy Stewart (interview by Larry Roeder 8/19/2017) Everyone walked to school, other than the instructor, who came by private vehicle. Most walked home for lunch or brought lunch in a bag. Tins were not used for lunch.
The Black community recognized that they had rights under the U.S. Constitution to petition for improvements. For details on how petitions were used in general, go to the Petitions Page.
An undated petition signed by 28 patrons to the School board appealed for an extra room for Bull Run, due to overcrowded conditions. Bull Run Request for a Room. Location: EWP: 2.5A Colored Petitions.
Jan 24 (unknown year) Another undated petition also asked for an extra room. In this case, the table of signatures also showed how children would be provided by each family. The parents offered to help pay for the new construction. Bull Run Unknown Year. Instead of an extra room, a partition was provided in 1954. Location: EWP: 2.5A Colored
Instructors & the PTA
The project is developing a database of biographies of historical instructors. Once that is done, please refer to that linked page for deep background on each. The following is a simple identification of instructors who worked at Bull Run from the earliest date for which we have records, 1917/18. Gaps exist, which will be filled in once the data emerges.
- 1917/18: Bushrod W. Murray of Leesburg. 1st grade certificate issued in 1915. Had 30 years of experience.
- 1918/19: Erline Fox of Leesburg. Second grade certificate issued in 1917. Had 4 years of experience and attended three summer school sessions. Born 1897.
- 1919/20: Mrs. E.C. Smith of Middleburg. Had a Local Permit issued in 1920 with 5 years of experience. Educated in the public schools and attended summer schools at Hampton.
- 1919/20: Mr. A.R. Smith of Middleburg had a 1st grade certificate issued in 1919. 21 years of experience. Educated in public schools, with some high school. Attended summer school sessions at Hampton. Born May 31, 1875.
- 1920/22: Charles K. Willis of Leesburg had a local permit issued in Jan 12, 1921. In 1920/21 was identified as from Aldie. Had one year of experience in 1920 and went to high school in Washington, D.C. and Petersburg in 1907. Had a second grade certificate issued in 1921. Born Feb 18, 1887. Returned to teach at Bull Run in 1943.
- 1920/23: Anna Grey of Aldie. Had a second grade certificate issued on Jan 12, 1921. 6 years of experience. Educated in the public schools and attended summer school sessions at Manassas.
- 1923/24: Mrs. Anita Grooms of Middleburg. Operated on local permit issued in 1923. 1 year of experience. Educated in public schools, graduated from High School and attended summer school sessions at Petersburg. Born Aug 3, 1898.
- 1924/25: Archie Jackson of Middleburg. Operated on a local permit issued in 1924. 2 years experience. Educated in public schools and 2 ½ years at Morgan Academy. Also attended summer sessions at Petersburg. Born Sept 25, 1899.
- 1925/38: Cornelia L. Smith of Middleburg. Operated on a local permit issued in 1925 and had one year of experience. A provisional elementary permit was then issued in 1928 and an Elementary permit in 1931. Educated in public schools, graduated from High School and attended summer school sessions at Hampton, as well as in 1927 at N.C. Normal, Elizabeth City, N.C. For 1930, see also Cornelia Smith was elected by the School Board on June 10, 1930. Source: Loudoun Times Mirror Staff. (1930, June 12). School Board Holds Its Regular Session. Loudoun Times Mirror, p. 1. Must have married about 1937; because the Term Report for 11937/38 listed her as Cornelia S. Lyon.
- 1938/40: Miss Nora. V. Rogers of Middleburg. Normal Professional Certificate issues in 1938. 4 years experience. Educated at Minor, DC.
- 1940/41: Mrs., Mary D. Johnson of Charlottesville. Had a CP issued in 1935. 6 years of experience. Educated at the Hampton Institute.
- 1941/43: Mrs. Flossie Sinclair Furr of Aldie (later Purcellville). Operated on an NP in 1937. By 1941, had seven years of experience. Graduated from Dunbar H.S. in Washington, DC. in 1928 and Storer College after two years in 1933. Born Feb 10, 1908.
- 1943/44: Mrs. Charles H. Willis of Aldie operated on an elementary permit issue in 1943, though has twenty years of experience. Educated at Virginia State. Instructed at Bull Run as well in 1920/22.
- 1944/45 : Iris L. King of 3005 Chestnut Ave., Newport News, Va. Operated on a variety of permits. 1 year of experience. Educated at St. Paul’s.
- 1945/48: Rosalie Scipio of 511 Elm Street, Belpre, Ohio. Operated on a C.P. issued in 1942.1 year of experience. Educated at Belpre High School (integrated), Belpre, Ohio Virginia State. (Born, 1919, Died 15 Jul 1996)
- 1948/49: Beatrice Scipio, of Bluemont.
- 1949/50: Douglass C. Bowman, 530 W. Martin Street, Martinsburg, West Virginia.
- 1950/51: Ethel R. Stewart (Smith) of Upperville, Va. Born May 27, 1927. Graduate of Douglass HS in 1946 and Storer College in 1950.
- 1951/52: Deloris Thompson of Leesburg.
- 1952/57: Marion B. Bowman, of Baltimore, MD and Leesburg.
- 1954/57: Douglas C. Bowman of 305 E Liberty Street, Leesburg. There is some indication that Mr. Bowman was also a reverend. This comes from a May 14, 1953 memo in which a Rev Bowman did duty as a bus driver for two trips from Douglass Elementary to Bull Run for May Day Exercises.
- 1955/56, the President of the PTA was Mrs. Geneva Stewart, Box 35, Rt #1, Aldie, Virginia Source: 4.9 Yr 1955/56 PTA Presidents.
- 1957/58 Mary C. Jackson of 405 Decator St., Washington, DC
The project is developing a database to show who attended every school during The project is developing a database to show who attended every school during segregation. This will probably be published in 2022. Meanwhile, the following statistics are provided on the number of students who attended each year from 1917 to 1958.
Grades 1-7 were given from 1917/18 to 1955/56. In 1956/57 and 1957/58, only grades 1-5 were offered. Then in 1958/59 the school was closed and students taken to Douglass Elementary (the old Training Center building).
Attached (link) is a spreadsheet showing the information we have on enrollment and attendance at Bull Run from 1917/18 to 1957/58, along with statistics on enrollment and attendance.
Edited by Larry W. Roeder, Jr., MS