Appomattox Community Works to Preserve History of Rosenwald School Building

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APPOMATTOX, Va. (WDBJ) – This is a 25-year project for Ora McCoy. She worked to tell the story of a Rosenwald school building in Appomattox.

“I graduated from Carver-Price High School in 19 and 60 and you know we love our school and we just wanted to preserve it,” McCoy said.

In 1928, Carver-Price High School was built to serve the African-American community during segregation. Led by Mrs. Mozelle J. Price, it had three teachers, with primary and secondary students.

“It was a tight-knit school,” Hattie Gibson said.

Hattie Gibson stayed with Mrs Price who housed students in her house called Camp Winonah. Gibson was from Nelson County.

“She was a smart woman. And she was a good person,” Gibson added. “She was wonderful to us.”

Gibson was the only graduate of the class of 1949.

“I mean a lot of doors that are open now to girls my age and color, that wasn’t the case back then. I mean you had to really work hard,” Gibson explained.

In 1959, Prince Edward County refused government-mandated integration and closed all schools. Everett Berryman and many others moved to Appomattox to further their education.

“That school meant everything in the world to me because at that time I was 14 and right in that transitional period of early adolescence,” Berryman said.

The school grew to fifty students per class, but no one was turned away. In 1970 the school was integrated. Now this story will be told to the Carter-Price Legacy Museum.

“And what we plan to do with this museum is to have the history from before slavery to the Civil War and civil rights,” McCoy said. “And we’re well on our way to getting that story told.”

The museum received a $150,000 donation from Dominion Energy. McCoy hopes to open the museum in September 2023.

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