Carter (also Bears) White

Opening and Closing

Opening uncertain. Closed 1939/40 when children were moved to Arcola. (Source: 6.6 Student Enrollment Cards. Building was sold on 22 July 1939 for $501 to R.J. Carter.

Physical and Map Location

Location. 38.9565, -77.49485.  Remains are in the trees on north side of airport fence along the Carter School Road, east of Rt 606. See play by David Edwards, Loudoun County Dept. of Planning and zoning in Vertical Files, Edwin Washington Project, Douglass HS Building, Leesburg.


1927/28 academic year. We respectfully petition and request that you appoint as teacher of the Carters School, Mrs. Mary E. Hemsley, a teacher of high standing and ability. With Mrs. Hemsley's force of character, energy and enthusiasm directing our school, the daily attendance will be much better than heretofore and pupils and patrons will have a renewed and great appreciation for educational training."

"To the Honorable School Board and Superintendent of Schools. Gentlemen: We, the undersigned Patrons of the Carter's School and Members of the Carter's Community League, respectfully petition and request that you reappoint Mrs. Mary E. Hemsley as Teacher of our school for the next school term. As is well known we have very bad roads and none of our children live close to the school house. Most of the children have a mile or more to come and yet our little backwoods school won the attendance banner this session!

The excellent work and progress of the pupils is most gratifying. We feel that the instruction and training they have received from Mrs. Hemsley has been equally as good as they could have obtained had they been in the best school in the county.

Both the Junior League and the Community League have been very active and great interest has been manifested by the Patrons and all Members of the Community. All this is due, primarily, to Mrs. Hemsley's leadership and most excellent efforts. We believe that the work Mrs. Hemsley is doing to stimulate increased (sic) interest in school activities will benefit not only the present pupils but will also be helpful in maintaining a school in this community for the younger children not yet of school age."


1927/28 petition drew attention to the road situation while arguing that a teacher be hired and not leave the community without an educator, as was the rumor. "No other schools are near and the almost impassable roads of winter would make it impossible for most, if not all, of our children to attend school else where."

Walking was a common method of school transportation even before the creation of Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS).  It’s believed that students who lived within 3 miles of a school could walk from their home to school.  The figure at shows the location of the school with a circle representing the area from which students could have walked, back and forth from their home to the school.  Travel by horse was also used and could have extended the travel distance.


  • Originally known as Bears. Closed in 1920/21 and reopened as Carter. Final closure was in 1939/40 when children were sent to Arcola. (Source: 6.6 Student Enrollment Cards.
  • Surveyed, August 18, 1924.  Survey by O.I. Thomas. "Beginning at a point on the west side of the road in the line of Hutchison and Carter and about 23.8 poles from a stone in the corner of Hutchison and Carter and about 2 poles from a large white oak, thence N 81 E 12.64 poles to a stake in woods, thence N9 W 12.64 poles to a stake in woods, thence S 81 W 12.64 poles to Hutchison line on west side of road, thence along west side of road S 9E 12.64 to point of beginning, containing one acre, more or less. (see above for modern location description). (Source 9.2.2 Survey of Carter’s School Lot.”
  • Photograph of the building, some of the pupils and possibly the teacher is found in the 2014 Reunion Booklet for Arcola White elementary school. Can be found in the vertical files of the Edwin Washington Society Archives, Douglass HS Building, Leesburg.
  • There were two buildings, Bears, which was erected in 1917 and Carters which was erected in 1920 to replace the former. The building was sold to R.J. Carter on July 22, 1939 for $501. (Source: 9.1.1 Deeds July 22, 1939. Sale of McGraw’s Ridge, carter, Arcola and Pleasant valley.
  • Paper Term Reports for Bear are in Edwin Washington Archives. Bear White 1924/25 in 6.3.2 Box 4. At that time, there were 21 students, 12 boys and 9 girls. No. Flag was flown from the school.
  • Paper Term Reports for Carter (Carters) are in Edwin Washington Archives. Carters White 1924/25 to 1918/39 in 6.3.2  Box 4. From this, we have assumed, the school changed names in the summer of 1925, though this need research. The names of the students for the overlap year of 1924/25 are different. See 6.6 Bears W Yr Grades 1 to 7 1917 to 1926 as well as 6.6 Carter W Grades 1 to 7 Yr 1920 to 1939.
  • 1939/40. Building Sold for $501. Source: EWP 8.1 Loudoun County School Budget for Fiscal Year starting July 1, 1940, Pg 15a.


  • 1917/18: Maggie Franklin of Sterling.
  • 1918/20: Edith Smith of Arcola. Educated at Hampton-Sidney. Born 21 May 1899.
  • 1920/21: Vacant
  • 1921/24: Jennie Marshall of Arcola (first teacher for Carter). Studied at U of Virginia.
  • 1924/25: Mary E. Crann of Ryan. Attended public schools and Harrisonburg. Born 1906. Only year teaching in Loudoun.
  • 1925/26: Charlotte Weadon of Waterford. Attended public schools for her education.
  • 1926/27: M. Paullyne Ellmore of Sterling. Attended public schools and Harrisonburg. Born 7 May 1908. Had one year of experience.
  • 1927/39: Mrs. Mary Ebersol Hemsley of Sterling. Had four years of experience. Attended Penn State Normal. (See petition section). Eventually she acquired two years of college education and was considered an outstanding educator by the Carter community. Later she became Principal at the Arcola school and was heavily involved in trying to improve nutrition at that location, and was also involved in a heated debate over the treatment of "retarded and handicapped children." Hemsley was born in Pennsylvania in Dec 1882. Passed away Sept 1954. Buried Greenhill Cemetery, Berryville.
  • 1939/40: No teacher shown.

Insurance and Physical Description

According to the 2014 Reunion booklet for Arcola Elementary school for whites, Carter School was a one room school house, built by Robert Carter just after World War One, near a muddy crossroad. It sat on one acre carved from wood land. Used desks, chairs, recitation bench, wood stove, water cooler, victrola and furnishing mostly came from an unidentified abandoned school,.

Surviving example of early 20th century one room schools. It is a square, frame structure with an unusual pyramidal roof, tall double windows, a single brick flue, and a single entrance into a vestibule. The building had a shed roofed porch which has collapsed. The structure is in ruins.

According to LCPS records, the Bears structure was taken apart in 1933 and improvements were made to the Carter structure. Carter grounds were improved through grading and the porch floor was repaired. See 9.4.1 Yr. 1933 Bears. This was a federal form of Dec 28, 1933 called "itemized application for approval of civil works school house repair and ground improvement projects."

In the Edwin Washington Research center is a sample Foundation stone from Bears/Carter school ruins on Dulles airport. Given to Larry Roeder by Dulles Airport Authority. (See photo)

Additional Photos


Foundation stone from Bears/Carter school ruins on Dulles airport, and chart.