Rosenwald Schools in Botetourt County

A meeting was held Tuesday, April 9 at the Botetourt County Historical Museum with Preservation Virginia field services manager Sonja Ingram, Wade Minnis, James Edward Hickenbotham Jr., Weldon Martin, executive director of the Botetourt County Historical Society, and Judy Barnett.

Preservation Virginia is undertaking a survey to find and document the 380 schools built in Virginia through funding from the Rosenwald Fund. Julius Rosenwald (August 12, 1862–January 6, 1932) was an American businessman and philanthropist. He is best known as a part-owner and leader of Sears, Roebuck and Co. and for establishing the Rosenwald Fund, which donated millions in matching funds to support the education of African American children in the rural South, as well as other philanthropic causes in the first half of the 20th century.

There were four Rosenwald Schools in Botetourt County – Eagle Rock, Hollins, Buchanan and Indian Rock – none are standing today. Wade Minnis attended the Hollins school and James Edward Hickenbotham Jr. attended the Eagle Rock school. They both provided information to Sonja Ingram about the schools they attended and where they were located for her documentation. Also, location of the Indian Rock school was documented. Preservation Virginia is also working to document the stories from the alumni of these schools and community. A future date will be set for this. Pictures of these schools have been provided by Fisk University.

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