Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

005-0230 Bear Mountain Indian Mission School

Bear Mountain Indian Mission School
Photo credit: Brad McDonald/DHR, 2018

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 09/18/1996

NRHP Listing Date 02/21/1997

DHR's Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

NRHP Reference Number 97000152

The Monacan Indians have regarded Bear Mountain as the spiritual center of their community for hundreds of years. A small group of Monacans survived the encroachment of Europeans into their territory and has remained in the Amherst County area since the early 1700s. The principal landmark here, the ca. 1870 log school, was originally built for church services for Indian people. Because Virginia’s racial segregation laws excluded Monacans from public schooling, several Amherst citizens established an Episcopal mission at the site in 1908. The mission included the log school building, a new church, and a mission worker’s house. A fire in 1930 left only the schoolhouse intact. From the early 1900s until 1964 when integration made it obsolete, the school provided a seventh-grade education for several hundred Monacan people. The building now belongs to the Monacan Indian Nation, Inc.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: July 29, 2022