Tag Archives: Second Union School

Second Union Rosenwald School Anniversary

11 Oct

Second Union SchoolOn Sunday, October 7, 2018, with more than 100 in attendance at the Central High School Cultural & Educational Complex, the Second Union Rosenwald School Museum celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Second Union Rosenwald School building. Keynote speaker for the dinner event, was Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., founder and president of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives in Orange County, California. Mr. Morris, a descendant of both Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, recounted the lives of both men, with an emphasis on their important contributions to education.

Rosenwald schools, recognized as the most important initiative to advance black education in the early 20th century, were built across the South to educate African-American children. They were the result of a collaboration between Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute and Julius Rosenwald, philanthropist and president of Sears, Roebuck and Company. According to the Second Union Rosenwald School Museum, more than 360 such schools were built in Virginia, with 10 in Goochland.

Second Union Rosenwald School, established in 1918 on land once owned by S.B. Massie and his brother Mathew Massie, was built with contributions from the local community and the Julius Rosenwald Fund. Total cost was $2,000 for the two-room, two-teacher school which after educating numerous African-American children in the county’s Byrd District in grades one through seven, closed in 1959. In 2005, alumni of Second Union School and members of Second Union Baptist Church teamed with the Goochland County Historical Society to secure a Lowe’s grant to renovate the exterior of the building, install an HVAC system, and undertake electrical work. Also, in 2005, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

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Rosenwald Lecture – July 2013

21 Jul

On July 17, 2013, the Goochland County Historical Society launched a new endeavor to help get our name and mission out into the community.  With the assistance of The Robertson and Martin Financial Consulting Group of Wells Fargo Advisors LLC, the Society is holding a series of Board-to-Board meetings.  These meetings allow us to share information about our goals and efforts in the community with other local entities.  We are hoping that by working together with other organizations, we can create new avenues of awareness of Goochland’s rich history.

The menu was prepared by Clover Forest Catering

The menu was prepared by Clover Forest Catering

Our first meeting was with the Board of the Goochland Free Clinic and Family Services.  The Community Room at the Goochland Campus of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College was the chosen setting for the dinner and lecture that followed.  Clover Forest Catering prepared a delightful selection of fresh fruits, muffaletta sliders and desserts and a truly refreshing mint tea.  Local wine from Grayhaven Winery also added to the cordial atmosphere of the event.

Dr. Brian Daugherity begins the discussion

Dr. Brian Daugherity begins the discussion

After dinner Dr. L. Ray Drinkwater, Historical Society Board member and Vice President of Student Affairs at John Tyler Community College, introduced our speakers for the night. Dr. Brian Daugherity, Assistant Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University and Dr. Alyce Miller, Assistant Professor of History at John Tyler Community College spoke on the Rosenwald schools focusing on the efforts here in Goochland.  Goochland is fortunate to have several Rosenwald schools still standing.  One of the finest examples is the Second Union School.  This school is still standing thanks to the tireless fight led by the Goochland County Historical Society and particularly Society Executive Director Phyllis Silber.  Through the society’s efforts, Second Union was able to apply for grants that restored the building and saved it from demolition.

Dr. Alyce Miller discussing the Rosenwald schools

Dr. Alyce Miller discussing the Rosenwald schools

The Society would like to thank the Board of Directors of the Free Clinic and Family services and their guests for attending this meeting.  We hope it helped to foster a new connection between our organizations.  We would also like to thank Dr. Daugherity and Dr. Miller for their wonderful presentation and commitment to preserving the Rosenwald schools. Thank you also to Clover Forest Catering for the fantastic food and the Robertson and Martin Financial Group for your generous support!

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