Bear Mountain Indian Mission School

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NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number

DHR's Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

The Monacan Indians have regarded Bear Mountain in Amherst County 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 Bear Mountain Indian Mission School building now belongs to the Monacan Indian Nation, Inc.

Last Updated: November 15, 2023

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

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