Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

141-5019 Bedford Training School

Bedford Training School
Photo credit: Kate Kronau, Katie Gutshall, Mary Zirkle, 2020

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 06/17/2021

NRHP Listing Date 08/17/2021

NRHP Reference Number SG100006838

Bedford County constructed the Bedford Training School in 1929-30 as its first public school to provide secondary education for Black students. The State Department of Education’s Division of School Buildings provided architectural plans for the school, which the county expanded in 1939-40 to house additional classrooms in a two-story brick addition at the rear. Bedford Training School became a consolidated elementary school for Black students in 1954, corresponding with the completion of Susie G. Gibson High School. Those renovations—and the opening of a new high school for African American students—represented efforts to uphold the “separate but equal” rationale used to justify segregated schools during the Jim Crow era, and played into Virginia’s “Massive Resistance” counter-movement to federal court rulings that called for desegregating public schools. Designed in the Colonial Revival style, the well-preserved brick school building illustrates the preference in Virginia for a traditional style for educational buildings during the first half of the 20th century. In 1970, the county fully integrated the school, and later repurposed the building for the Bedford County School Board offices.  The building is located in the town of Bedford.

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

Updated: December 16, 2022