The Worsham School is significant for its association with the struggle to desegregate Prince Edward County’s public schools, when the county closed its schools rather than integrate them during the Civil Rights era. Worsham, a brick building initially opened in 1927 as an all-white public school, became one of four county schools leased by the Prince Edward Free School system, a privately organized but Kennedy-era federally supported organization that schooled African American students in the county. The free schools operated for one year, until 1964, when the county, responding to a court order, reopened all its public schools to all children regardless of race. Worsham continued to operate as an elementary school with the addition of both kindergarten and fifth grade classes. The Worsham School complex was sold by the Prince Edward County School Board in 1991 to a private owner. At the time of listing in the registers, the school building stood vacant in its original location, with both the associated agricultural training and cannery buildings remaining intact. The Worsham School complex formed a tangible reminder of an educational trial that eased the transition between a segregated school system and one open to all students, regardless of race.
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