Cape Charles Colored School

Educational / Virginia

The Cape Charles Colored School served African-American children in Cape Charles, Virginia between 1930-66. The building was later reused as a seafood processing facility.


The Cape Charles Colored School was constructed in 1928 and opened in 1930 to serve African-American children in Cape Charles during legalized segregation. 1 2 4 The four-room school building was funded with contributions from the local African-American community, the state Literary Fund, and the Julius Rosenwald Fund, which had been established in 1917 to build schools for African-American students in the rural South. 3

The Cape Charles Colored School, for grades one through seven, was staffed by three teachers and a principal/teacher. 1 2 It later was converted into an elementary school 4 and remained open after a 1954 Supreme Court ruling against racial segregation was implemented 3 but closed in 1966 when county schools were consolidated.

In 1968, the building was sold and reused by the George Robberecht Seafood Company as a seafood processing plant. 2 3 In November 2009, the Cape Charles Rosenwald School Restoration Initiative (CCRSRI) was formed to purchase the abandoned Cape Charles Colored School building and convert it into a community center, but the owner was uninterested in selling. 2 With the assistance of some local investors, including developer Eyre Baldwin, a financial capital plan was formulated and CCRSRI purchased the school building on January 22, 2019. 3 The group intends to rehabilitate the structure to serve as an educational facility.


Sources

  1. Cape Charles Colored School.” The Historical Marker Database.
  2. Watterson, Malissa. “School gets historic marker.” Daily Times [Salisbury], 11 Sept. 2011, p. D1-D5.
  3. Creed, Wayne. “Rosenwald School gets a new Lease on Life.” Cape Charles Mirror, 27 Jan. 2019.
  4. “Education.” Historic Architectural Survey of Settlements, Villages and Towns of Northampton County, Virginia, Aug. 1996. p. 5-44