Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

066-0112 Holley Graded School

Holley Graded School
Photo credit: Elizabeth Lipford/DHR, 2021

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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 04/18/1989

NRHP Listing Date 12/19/1990

NRHP Reference Number 89001934

Holley Graded School represents the dedicated work of a small African American community, who, despite economic hardship and the deterrence of segregation, erected a schoolhouse which was remarkably well appointed for its time and the people it served. It was begun ca. 1914 to replace a smaller schoolhouse erected during the Reconstruction era. It stands on property purchased shortly after the Civil War by Sallie Holley (1818-1893) of New York State, for whom the school was later named. An ardent abolitionist, Holley followed the example of her friend Emily Howland and established a school for former slaves in Northumberland County in 1869. The present Holley Graded School was primitive compared to the commodious facilities for white children, but it was a point of pride in that it was achieved entirely though private efforts of the black community. The school building went on to house the county’s Adult Literacy Program.

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

Updated: November 17, 2021