Bluemont Colored School, Mt. Gilead District
Data as of 9/11/2017
Broken Pane Glass at old Bluemont Colored School
1) Insurance and Structure
- 1927 Perhaps not insured by LCPS system. Source: Insurance Record. Purcellville: EWP Archives. Page 32/33.
- 1931. Insured for $15,500. Source: Insurance Record. Purcellville: EWP archives. Page 54/55.
- Construction: 1 room frame, heated with wood.
- Operated in the Mt. Gilead District. See EWP Archives, 9.2 Map: Loudoun County, 1923 by O.L. Emerick.
2) History and Location
Location of Bluemont Colored school is marked with a green circle. The map was developed in 1923 by O.L. Emerick, then Superintendent of the schools. The 1/2 acre of land is still owned by LCPS; but the structure has been lost, except for the foundation.
In August, 2017, with the assistance of the Planning Office of Loudoun County Public Schools, the Edwin Washington Project mounted an expedition to the forest near Bluemont in order to locate the old school. We also located the remain of a Black Church and located the building to which the congregation. Finding the BlueMont Colored School2
- 1878. Attached is a deed from Benjamin Young to Mt Gilead School District, dated 22 April 1878. It is a .25 acre site – reference Loudoun PIN 649-48-9304. Title To Bluemont Colored School Property
- See 11.1 Insurance Record (1924-57) , pg 32. Not insured.
- 1930: The Loudoun County School Board decided on July 10th, 1930 to consider at its next meeting (August 4th) to close Bluemont, due to lack of attendance. Source: Washington Post Staff. (1930, July 11). Loudoun Reelects School Officials. Washington Post, p. 20.
- 1933: According to Eric Lawson at the Loudoun County Circuit Court Archives on 12/17/2016, The Colored school was at Butcher’s Hallow and closed in 1933.
- 1934: Petition. Parents from Bluemont wrote to the School Board on Oct 3, 1934 taking note of the fact that the school had been closed, due to the size of attendance which make Bluemont an “illegal school,” though the exact date of closure wasn’t provided. “In view of this condition, we, the patrons of the Bluemont colored school, are asking the Loudoun County Board of Education to give us transportation for seven pupils to Rock Hill School, with the teachers, as she passes through Bluemont going from Purcellville to Rock Hill school. We the undersigned persons believe that this request is reasonable.” Signed by eleven patrons. (Source: Petition from Bluemont school patrons to the Board of Education, October 3, 1934. Location: Edwin Washington Archives, Round Hill Center.)
1925/26 – 1928/29 Beatrice B. Scipio. Source: Term Reports and Teacher Reports, LCPS Archives. In addition, “One of Christopher and Rose’s children was Beatrice Scipio (1892-1978) who earned a teaching degree from Storer College in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia in 1910. Shortly thereafter she began a 46year teaching career, during which she taught at the Bluemont ―Colored School on the mountain near Butcher’s Branch until it closed in 1933. Later she taught at the George Washington Carver School in Purcellville where she ended her teaching career in 1957. Scipio was well respected in her community and frequently taught children in her home. In addition to teaching, Scipio served as the music director and longtime deaconess of the First Baptist Church of Bluemont. She died in 1978 and was buried in the Scipio family plot in the Rock Hill Cemetery north of Unison.: Source: pg 28 Loudoun County African-American Historic Architectural Resources Survey, September 2004.
1929/30 – 1930/31. Milda M. Smith. Born July 3, 1900. Lived in Elberon. Graduated from Hampton Institute and Petersburg. Source: Term Reports and Teacher Reports, LCPS Archives.
1931/32 – Martha M. Branche. Born 5/31/1911. Lived in Washington, DC. Graduated from Dunbar High School and Miner Teacher’s College, Washington, DC. Only instructed the one year in Loudoun. Source: Teacher’s Record and Term Reports, LCPS Archives.
School closed in 1932/1933.
Edited by Larry W. Roeder, Jr., MS (c) 2016/2017