Historic Schoolhouse Left Behind in the 1950s

Eureka School | Grayson County, VA | c. 1890s-early 1900s

This endangered but picturesque rural building was known as the Eureka School that served the surrounding community of Providence, VA in Grayson County.

Built in the early 1900s, this schoolhouse would educate the surrounding community of farming families for 50 years before it was retired for storage. And while it’s foundation is sagging and it’s walls beginning to buckle, you can tell that this was once a special place.

It undoubtedly meant a lot to the people who were educated here and if her walls could talk, I’m sure they’d have some tales to spin! And luckily, after quite a bit of research I was able to track someone down who could tell me some of those stories.

“I was a student in the early 1950s which would end up being some of the final years that this would operate as a school. At that time, grades 1 through 7 were taught here and each student sat and rows according to their grade. One teacher, Mrs. Rose Bedwell, was the only teacher for all grades.

For heat, we had a potbelly stove in the back of the classroom that we would trade off getting there early to get it ready in the mornings. We had a spring just a few yards from the school where we would get our drinking water. The school had two rooms but one was used as a playroom in the Winter, or when the weather kept us indoors.

The only toilets were outdoors, and there were 2 of them- one for the boys and one for the girls. It turned into a pranksters tradition that the girls toilet would get turned over every Halloween night.”

In the early 1905s, a newer brick school building was opened in the nearby town of Fries and students from this community started attending there. This building seems to have been used at one point as a living space and now, serves as a storage room.

A dead buzzard guards its doorway.

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