Chatsworth School

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The Chatsworth School is a one-room schoolhouse located in Antioch, an African American community in the Varina District of Henrico County. Built ca. 1916, the school provided education to African American children in grades 1 through 4 during Virginia’s era of public school segregation. Julius Rosenwald, the president of Sears, Roebuck and Company, contributed a matching grant for the school’s construction shortly before establishing the Rosenwald Fund in 1917. The visionary educator Virginia Estelle Randolph supervised industrial education at Chatsworth, where students learned a variety of subjects, from bookwork and banking to handicrafts and woodworking. Built in a vernacular Classical Revival architectural style, the school—clad with weatherboard siding—stands atop a brick foundation and features a gable front that shows cornice returns and a full-width, two-bay deep front porch supported on Doric columns. Chatsworth also functioned as an immunization and health clinic for surrounding communities throughout its years of operation. Henrico County closed the school in 1955 as part of its consolidation efforts to replace one- and two-room schoolhouses with larger buildings to accommodate increased enrollment levels across the county. The Antioch Baptist Church, which acquired the Chatsworth School building in 2000, completed restoration of the property in 2018.

Last Updated: April 20, 2024

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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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