Historic facts disputed

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, September 16, 2015

To the Editor:

The article printed in The Tidewater News on Sept. 4, 2015 (Courtland building to unveil historical marker) listed incorrect factual information germane to the Julius Rosenwald’s Schools (For People of Color (FPC)) Built in Southampton County.

It is to be noted that the Courtland “Rosenwald” School, erected in 1928, currently use as the Courtland Community Center, is not the only “Rosenwald” School still remaining here in Southampton County, as noted in your article.

In 1919, the Diamond Grove “Rosenwald” School was among the first erected in Southampton County, in an area known as Riverdale (Post Office Box, Handson, VA, now Franklin, VA). The school is located on Riverdale Drive next to the current Diamond Grove Baptist Church. The Diamond Grove, “two classroom,” Rosenwald School is still standing, and has been used over the years as a Fellowship Hall/ Meeting Place for the Diamond Grove Baptist Church.

The last class to attend the Diamond Grove “Rosenwald” School was in 1957.  From 1919 to 1957, grades one through seven and one through six were taught by one teacher. The first teacher was Mrs. Anna Everett (1919). The last teacher to teach grades one through seven was Miss. Lucy Gatling and the last teacher, grades one through six, was Mrs. Lelia Baxter in 1957 the year the school closed down.

Surely, the Diamond Grove “Rosenwald” School deserves its place in the history of Southampton County and should be also honored with a Virginia Commonwealth Historical Marker as among the first “Rosenwald” School erected in Southampton County.

Thank you so very much for correcting this important historical oversight.

Walter D. “Walt” Brown, III