Sunday, February 14, 2016

For Black History Month, I visit the wrong Virginia campus, but get a new history lesson anyway

Well, I visited an interesting historical place today, for Black History Month, but not what I thought I was visiting.

I had intended to visit the Lucasville School, a one-room black school from the segregation area (until 1926), on Route 28 near Manassas, VA, website here. The Washington Post had provided a writeup here.  It is supposed to be open weekend days 11 AM – 4 PM in February.

But, in haste, I misread the Prince William County webpage and didn’t realize that the school is not on the same campus as the Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, south of Bristow, and south of Rt 28 a bit (as 28 heads out toward 29-211, south of Warrenton).  I haven’t run into this situation with history parks before, but one has to be careful (as with the many locations around Charlottesville and in Williamsburg).  I didn't fully realize this until I got home and looked at the site again, wondering why what I visited didn't seem to be open or quite match what I had read.  I didn't check my phone.

So I got an interesting walking tour on a sunny but frigid “upper south” winter day of the Brentsville Courthouse center, that has a lot of documentation of segregation anyway.  There is a “white” one-room school, the foundation of a tavern or bar (the forerunner of a disco?) and a one-room Presbyterian church that looks like it could have been used as a school house for a white, and if I read the notes right, maybe it was.  There is also a colonial-era courthouse, similar to Williamsburg.

I don’t have much time life in February to fix my error and revisit the correct location for Lucasville, but I’ll try. I wish it had more public open hours.

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