Remembering Friendship school

Published 2:06 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2020

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Shirley R. Lee of Lunenburg County presented a framed photograph and historical sketch of the Friendship School to the Friendship Baptist Church in Kenbridge Saturday, February 29.

A copy of the 1935 photograph is included in Lee’s educational collection housed by the Lunenburg County Historical Society.

The Friendship School was a one-room frame building organized in 1877 and constructed on one acre of land by members of the Friendship Baptist Church to educate African American children in the community.

It was located on the church property near State Road #610 (now Bacon Fork Road) in the Lochleven District of Lunenburg County.

The patrons of the school and community members assumed the entire responsibility for the school. It was deeded to the Lunenburg County School Board for support in 1900.

It is believed the Friendship School remained as a place of education until the late 1940s. The students were transferred to the Midway School several miles away when it closed. Eventually, the Friendship School was dismantled and the Midway School closed. The students were transported to the Kenbridge Graded School (grades 1-7) in Kenbridge or to the Lunenburg High School in Victoria to complete their education at the secondary level.

Teachers who taught at the Friendship School included Fannie Foster, Pattie Stephenson Louis L. Spaulding, Ruby Ragsdale, Rosa M. LaNeave, Marian L. Richardson, Mildred D. Megginson, Ethel E. Love and Margaret C. Johnson. Johnson was the last teacher at the Friendship School.