Willard Colored and White

Original Report: Edited 8/28/18

The village of Willard is no more.   Approximately 26 square miles (67 km2) of Virginia land from Willard, Chantilly, Pleasant Valley, Sterling, and Ashburn was bought for construction for Dulles Airport. By the airport’s completion, all remains of civilization before 1958 on this land had virtually disappeared, except a stretch of Willard Rd (used as a service road), and three storage outbuildings between Runways 1C/19C and 1R/19L.  This paragraph and other history can be found in an article on the hamlet by Eugene Scheel and others on Wikipedia.  There are a few small buildings still in existence; but little else.

A new intermediate school in Loudoun was created in 2018, and after recommendations were received from a naming committee of citizens, the School Board titled the structure Willard Intermediate School.

We have divided our research on the historical schools into two pages, one for Willard Colored, which is based largely on Loudoun County Public School Records and local memories, and one for Willard White School, which is based on records by the Loudoun County Public Schools regarding the 1915 School Fair, as well as research by Jeff Clark, Producer/Director, Communications and Community Relations, Gatehouse Administrative Center, Fairfax County Public Schools, and Debbie Robison, Sully District History Commissioner, Fairfax County.

Physical locations: 

  • Larry Roeder discussed the location of Willard village and school with the Operations Office of Dulles Airport on June 28, 2018 and was informed that they are considered the community to be under the intersection of Runway  1L/19R.    The coordinates for 1L are Lat 38-56.698000N  and Long  077-28.488585W.   Source for coordinates is https://www.airnav.com/airport/KIAD.
  • Willard Colored School:  Based on LCPS records and a review of the 1915 USGS map of the area, we have determined the location to be on the current Dulles Airport property just west of the site of the white school at coordinates 38.9400000, -77.462000.  This point is marked on the above map (lower left) with a red dot.  The referenced area for the colored school would best be identified as “abeam the approach end of Runway 1C” . the small roadway to the west of the marking is Tracon road.
  • Willard White School:  Based on FCPS records and a review of the 1915 USGS map of the area, we have determined the location to be on the current Dulles Airport property just east of the site of the Colored  school at coordinates 38.94220000, -77.450000.  This point is marked on the above map (mid level) with a blue dot.  For the white school, that area would best be identified as the “ R26-28 remote aircraft parking area on Taxi-lane Foxtrot”.
  • For detailed map, clink on this link. 9.2.2 Yr 2018 Map of Willard School Houses

For more on the two schools, go to their pages.

Races:  Willard had well defined white and African-American populations. Some white citizens were public school teachers, such as Miss Annie R Fouche, who instructed in 1905/06.  In 1907/08, her address was shown as Arcola, then Waxpool in 1908/09.   In 1911 her address was Ryan and her school might have been Aldie.  Her salary then was $45 a month. Source:  4.5 Lists of Teachers Contracted, 1899-1929.  According to Ancestry.com, her middle initial was either E or R.  She married J.M. Frame 15 May, 1912.

  • When we initially began our research, it appeared that the village did not have its own white school house.  There was certainly no record of one in Loudoun County School Records.  The colored School was described very well in Margaret Peck’s 2005 book, Washington Dulles International Airport,  part of the Images of America series published by Arcadia; but given that we had no records of a white school, we assumed there probably was none, with the exception of Bears (Carters) school,  a one roomer on the far western edge of the airport property, very close to Rt 606.  We now know that there was indeed a white Willard, thanks to research by Debbie Palmer Robison, who found Fairfax County, Dranesville District School Board Records.  In their list of schools, taken in 1917, the first 12 schools, including Willard, for white children, and the last three schools, indicated as Floris, Drainsville and Carterville for black children.   The Willard White School was led b y W. F. Watson, who was paid $50 a month.  Floris was led by Pauline Harris.

Edited by Larry Roeder, MS,  Contact.