Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute Historic District

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NRHP Listing Date


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The early movement to provide women access to higher education is symbolized in the cluster of buildings that survive from the Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute, the first chartered college for women in Virginia. Opened in 1838, the school functioned until 1863 when Civil War disruption forced the removal of the students and the eventual closing of the school. Leadership and support for the institute came primarily from Virginia Methodists who regarded the school as a female counterpart to Randolph-Macon College for men. Although the main building was dismantled in 1906, the five remaining structures are tangible reminders of this pioneering venture. Among these are the 1853 “President’s Cottage,” two instructor’s houses, the institute store, and the West house, a ca. 1850 frame house that served as a tavern. The buildings within the Buckingham Female Collegiate Institute Historic District are now private residences.

Last Updated: November 20, 2023

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

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