Preserving county history

Published 10:49 am Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Education for children and adults is foundational for communities, counties and society as a whole.

No one presented this more completely than Frances Wynn, a Lunenburg native and 45-year educator who spoke during the recent Lunenburg County Board of Supervisors meeting.

During the meeting, Wynn spoke about a project to renovate Oak Grove School, located in the Town of Kenbridge, and use it as a venue to teach both children and adults about the history of education in Lunenburg County.

Wynn herself attended Oak Grove School, a one-room school for African-American students that was open until the mid-1900s. Wynn was educated at Oak Grove School until fourth grade, when she moved to Kenbridge Elementary School.

In 1915 Wynn’s grandfather, Peter B. Winn, founded the school, which was built by black farmers and ministers in the community. The school was built at the original site of Oak Grove Baptist Church. At the time the school was established, there was no conveniently accessible education facilities for black children in the area.

She said the school house would be particularly important for children, who would learn about African-American history, how valuable education is, and not to take education or history lightly. “The better our nation is educated, the better we will be able to stand as a strong nation,” Wynn said. “It’s not about what you look like. It’s not about who you are. But it is about what you can do to contribute to this world.”

Wynn, Lunenburg County Historical Society representative Stephen Israel and members of the board discussed possible locations for the schoolhouse, such as the school being located at one of the schools’ properties in the county, or within the Town of Kenbridge.

The meeting was an important first step in preserving a vital part of Lunenburg’s history, as well the history of the nation. Oak Grove was the source of many students who saw firsthand the evolution of education in the United States.

We at The Dispatch are grateful for Wynn, Israel and the county’s support and ask everyone to continue to support the preservation of Oak Grove School.