Historical marker highlights training school

Published 1:52 pm Thursday, June 3, 2021

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A dedication ceremony will be held Saturday, June 5, at 10 a.m. for a new historical marker located at 50 School Drive in Victoria, highlighting the former Lunenburg County Training School, which was attended by Black students in the early 20th century.

The historical marker is one of 53 historical markers located along the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail.

According to Lunenburg County Director of Planning and Economic Development Taylor Newtown, the marker was selected and paid for by Virginia’s Crossroads and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

In the early 20th century, African Americans in Lunenburg County sought to provide their children with an opportunity to attend school land; at that time, education for Black students was provided in “training schools” that emphasized vocational as well as academic instruction.

Under an agreement with the county school board, parents raised funds to purchase 10 acres of land. The county shared the cost of building materials and labor to construct the Lunenburg County Training School for elementary and secondary education.

According to the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail website, the training school was renamed Lunenburg High School in 1951 with the construction of a brick building. The site still consisted primarily of an assortment of wooden buildings without a gymnasium.

The Lunenburg Elementary School was constructed on the same site in 1954.

By fall 1969, the wooden buildings of the Lunenburg County Training School had been dismantled following the implementation of the school-wide desegregation plan.