Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

050-5005 Sharon Indian School

Sharon Indian School
Photo credit: Elizabeth Lipford/DHR, 2021

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 03/08/2006

NRHP Listing Date 07/27/2007

NRHP Reference Number 07000764

As an example of the evolution of race-based segregated education, the Sharon Indian School served as a center of education for the Upper Mattaponi Tribe for more than 50 years. Before the integration of Virginia schools in the 1960s, Sharon provided a primary and limited secondary education, forcing students to attend other Native American, private, or public institutions, usually outside Virginia, to obtain high school diplomas. In 1919, the King William County School Board built Sharon, a one-room frame building, and the students’ families provided the furniture. The county replaced the original school with the current brick structure in 1952, though archaeological remains of the 1919 school are still intact. As a symbol of tribal initiative and determination, Sharon Indian School is a reminder of a national struggle for Indian parents to see their children educated, and constitutes one of the lesser-known chapters of the national narrative reflected in the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court desegregation decision.

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

Updated: August 29, 2022