Project Timeline

In 2020 the Washington Post did a front page story on the Edwin Washington Project and our goals.

In March, 2019 we were designated by Loudoun Cares as the best volunteer organization in Loudoun County.

Jan-Dec, 2019/2020: Revisions of the petitions pages and creation of major reports on the evolution of High School education for African-Americans, as well as the impact of the county school fair movement on African-Americans. We also used multi-spectral imagery to reveal hidden text in diary by a former educator. On January 16, many of the volunteers were interviewed by the Washington Post. March-December, the main activity is to draft a book on findings for Georgetown University Press.

2019 April

  • Revising many pages in order to streamline organization. Might cause some temporary link breaks.
  • April 19. Receive award as best volunteer group in Loudoun County. Will be the National Conference Center.
  • Developing study on history of School Fairs in Loudoun County.
  • April 4th. Visited Laurel Grove Colored School in Fairfax, built 1881. They had files on their school fairs and County Fairs as well.

2019 March

  • Completed study on history of pre-1941 exposure by African-Americans to high school/ (higher branch) classes. Done for Country School Association of America.
  • March 31. Went to Colored School museum in Berryville asking for information on School Fairs in Clark County before 1927.
  • March 30. Group photo at Training Center.
  • March 15. Meeting at Broad Run High School with student volunteers.

2019 February

  • Feb 25.  Developed plan for permanent home for Edwin Washington Archives, to include book cases through Gaylord. Preferred location is Douglass High School Building.
  • Feb 5. Briefed Loudoun County Preservation and Coalition Coalition, Purcellville.

2019 January.

  • Built partnership with Broadrun High School, which will conduct statistical analysis and help plan Dirt Don’t Burn 2019.
  • Larry Roeder was interviewed as part of a story on Black history. Edwin Washington Project was a big part of the story. The interviewer was Rebecca Burnett, WDVM 25
  • Larry Roeder briefed the project to a committee of non-profits and UN officials at the United Nations in New York. 2019 UN Trip Report
  • The Library of Congress agreed to use new technology to reveal hidden text in a hand-written ledger from 1913-1919. LOC 2019 Scans

2018 Evidenced a great many projects, locating old school houses, scanning records, etc. We also were heavily engaged in statistical research. We also co-hosted Dirt Don’t Burn 2018 with the Loudoun County Pubic Schools. We were also graced with the help of many German exchange students, thanks to the Marshall Center.

Throughout the summer,2017 upgrades were made to pages and a significant amount of digital preservation took place. In September, 2017, project volunteers also located the Bluemont Colored School in dense forest.

2018: Revisions to the Catalog. Interviews. Making Strategic Plans for 2019. Nov 10, 2018 Dirt Don’t Burn Conference held at Douglass. Was considered a major success. Examined a “Quaker” instructor named Caroline Thomas who worked in Leesburg and Lincoln, then went to Nebraska to teach the Winnebago with Quakers from Loudoun. In addition, examination of the record of John Ryan, a former Speaker of the House of Delegates. Also reviewing records of the Class of 1892, a group of white and colored instructors who took exams in order to teach in public schools.

June 12, 2017 Funding Request

April 9, 2017 Preliminary Library Study for segregated Loudoun.

April 5th, 2017. anticipated in Virginia History symposium at Frederick Douglass Elementary School

March 21, 2017: Edited Bluemont and Brownsville.(C).

March 18/19, 2017. EWP conducted an expedition to visit old school houses.

March 8, 2017. The Edwin Washington Project just published photographs on our Facebook page not seen for seventy years. They are of Loudoun County “colored” schools and people associated with them (students and teachers) taken in the Spring of 1940. If you find this Black History archival project interesting, please make a donation. Just send a tax deductible check to the Edwin Washington Project, 26128 Talamore Drive, South Riding, Virginia 20152. We are a 501(c)(3) project. You can also use our donation button on We also need volunteers, especially those with training in historical research or library/information science. Larry Roeder.

February 28, 2017: Briefed the Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition.

February 25, 2017. Briefed the Purcellville Historical Society

February 19, 2017. Briefed the Prosperity Baptist Church

February 18, 2017. Briefed the Lovettsville Historical Society

December, 2016. The project brought on Maddy Gold, a cartographer, formerly of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), who will develop an important on-line tool to allow us to show the evolution of transportation in the school system after the Civil War, as well as the location of all white and “colored” schools.

November 29, 2016. Larry Roeder represented the project in Purcellville before an evening meeting of the Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition. Much support was expressed for our efforts. Larry will also be attending the January 29 meeting.

November 29, 2016. Larry Roeder and Julie Goforth were interviewed by Stephanie Solis of USA Today in the afternoon on the project.

Friday, October 1, the historic Ashburn Colored School in Ashburn was vandalized. The Edwin Washington Project is a partner with the Loudoun School for the Gifted on this school and shares historical data. We also participated in a county-wide rally in support of the school. Larry Roeder spoke on the project, along side of Donna Bohanon, who spoke about the Black History Committee.

September, 2016: Larry Roeder and other members of the team were interviewed by NBC News, Channel 4 on the project on September 22, 2016. The Edwin-Washington Project obtained an official space at the Round Hill Center and was recognized by the Annual Report of the Superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools. Up to now, we have had to move files from one room an auditorium when we worked. No longer. Main efforts this month have been to develop report for Board of Directors, to include a multi-year budget and fund-raising effort. Many records were scanned and much research was done on petitions, school fairs, civil rights record, management, accumulating teacher files and dental and nurse assistance to students from the 1920’s through to integration. A study was also completed on a dispute between Purcellville and Lincoln in 1926.

June 19-22, 2016: Larry Roeder, Principal Investigator for the Edwin Washington Project and Tony Arciero, researcher with the project, attended the 2016 CSAA (Country School Association of America) Annual Conference in Fredricksburg, Texas in order to consult with experts on country schools elsewhere in the United States and to make a presentation on the project. Mr. Roeder addressed the conference on June 21.

5/16/2016: Updated Hamilton and Purcellville.

4/19/2016 Updated “colored” and “white” petition files, Sunny Ridge webpage and “School Fair” as well as “sports” folders in the archives. Updated catalog as well.

4/12/2016: Updated Willard. See notes on 1915 School Fair.

4/10/2016: Draft Catalog of Sources. This is only a draft.

3/11/2016: Updated Hughesville, Powell’s Grove.

3/2/2016: Updated Leithton and Purcellville.

2/29/2016: Updated Brownsville, Bull Run, Paeonian Springs

2/14-28/2016. Updated Bluemont, Conklin, Grant, Greggsville, Hamilton, Hillsboro, Hughesville, Leesburg, Loudoun County Training Center, Lovettsville, Marble Quarry, Middleburg, Mountain Gap, Mount Pleasant, Nokes, Powell’s Grove, Purcellville, St. Louis, Sycoline, Watson, Willard, Willisville, Transportation and Equality of Pay.

1/20/2016. Updated Round Hill.

1/17/2016. Updated

1/14/2016. Updated Ashburn, Mountain Gap, Watson and Willisville

Leesburg was updated 3/26/2015.

9/18/2015.  Updated Purcellville, Mountain Gap, Banneker, Grant and Home age.

1/4/2015 with a focus on Carver’s history (1948-1968) and also many other schools in the 1942/43 academic year.

12/2/2014: Updated the Lincoln School

11/24/2014: Updated the Tate School, a Quaker and Freedmen’s institution which may have offered higher studies for African Americans as early as 1869.

11/23/2014: Updated Willisville and Freedmen Pages.

11/16/2014: Updated: KAVANAUGH AND ROYHILL (Broad Run)

11/10-11/2014: Updated all pages.

11/9/2014: Updated Ashburn, Bull Run, Guinea, Hamilton, Hillsboro, Hughesville, Leesburg, Lincoln, Lovettsville, Marble Quarry, Middleburg, Mountain Gap, Mount Pleasant, Nokes, Powell’s Grove, Purcellville, Rock Hill, Round Hill, Saint Louis, Sycoline, Waterford, Watson, Willisville “Colored Schools.”

10/27/2014: Updated Rock Hill “Colored” School.

10/25/2014: Updated rosters of instructors who taught between 1917 and 1954 in Loudoun.

10/24/2014: Updated the files on Brownsville, Ashburn, Bull Run, Mountain Gap, and Willisville “colored”schools.

10/18/2014: Updated School districts with preliminary research on the Jefferson and Broad Run School Districts. For later this week, we will also update the list of teachers in Loudoun from integration back to 1917 — making the set, to our knowledge, the most extensive list on-line. That set of PDFs consist of scans of original records in the Library of Virginia in Richmond, showing white and African-American teachers, the schools they instructed in, types of teaching certificates and other important information. Be aware that the lists have not been digitized, to labor time constraints, and we have noticed that there are occasional differences in data between the lists in the Library and records in Loudoun.

Bluemont Glass

Pane of Glass from ruins of the BlueMont Colored School

For news on the project, see individual pages or

For past news, see Archives.

Edited by Larry W. Roeder, Jr., MS 703-867-2056. South Riding, Virginia