State Historical Marker to Be Dedicated for ca.-1870 All-Girls School in Mecklenburg County

Published April 23, 2024

Virginia Department of Historic Resources
(dhr.virginia.gov)
For Immediate Release
April 23, 2024

Contact:
Ivy Tan
Department of Historic Resources
Marketing & Communications Manager
ivy.tan@dhr.virginia.gov
804-482-6445

—The marker recalls the Sunnyside School in Clarksville, where young women were taught a variety of subjects following the end of the Civil War—

—Text of marker reproduced below—

PLEASE NOTE: DHR creates markers not to “honor” their subjects but rather to educate and inform the public about a person, place, or event of regional, state, or national importance. In this regard, erected markers are not memorials.

RICHMOND – This week a state historical marker issued by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) will be dedicated highlighting the Sunnyside School, a school located in the Mecklenburg County town of Clarksville that was founded by four sisters to teach young women academic subjects and etiquette during the late 19th to early 20th centuries.

The dedication ceremony for the marker will be held Friday, April 26, starting at noon, at the marker’s location on 104 Shiney Rock Road in Clarksville (23927). Free on-site parking will be available for attendees to use. This event is free and open to the public.

The dedication will begin with welcoming remarks by Eveline Broeders-Wilke, an owner of The Sunnyside Sisters Bed and Breakfast, the small business that currently occupies the former building of the Sunnyside School. Also scheduled to speak at the ceremony are Bruce Woerner, Mayor of the Town of Clarksville; Clarksville Presbyterian Church member Linda Pulliam; Ann Cummings Shreve, a direct descendant of one of the sisters who founded the school; and Jennifer Loux, the historical marker program manager at DHR. Guests will be given a tour of the Sunnyside School building after the marker is unveiled.

The Sunnyside School educated young White women in a variety of subjects including algebra, chemistry, Latin, religion, and deportment for more than 35 years starting in the late 19th century. The Carrington sisters Agnes, Emily, Isabella, and Mildred founded the school at their residence after the Civil War in ca. 1870, when the demand for women’s education increased. The Carrington sisters were well-respected in the community and were longtime supporters of Clarksville Presbyterian Church. Their school welcomed day students as well as boarders from Virginia and beyond. The Sunnyside School closed in 1908.

The Virginia Board of Historic Resources, which is authorized to designate new state historical markers, approved the manufacture and installation of the Sunnyside School marker in 2023.

Virginia’s historical highway marker program began in 1927 with installation of the first markers along U.S. Route 1. It is considered the oldest such program in the nation. Currently there are more than 2,600 state markers, mostly maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation, except in those localities outside of VDOT’s authority.

Full Text of Marker:

Sunnyside School, ca. 1870-1908

Educational opportunities for White women in Virginia expanded during the 19th century as female institutes taught academic subjects as well as the arts. Some women supported themselves by opening schools. After the Civil War, when demand for education was high, sisters Agnes, Emily, Isabella, and Mildred Carrington established the Sunnyside School for young women here at their residence. Day students and boarders from Virginia and beyond studied subjects including algebra, chemistry, Latin, deportment, and religion. The sisters, highly regarded in the community, were longtime supporters of Clarksville Presbyterian Church. Sunnyside School closed in 1908 after more than 35 years of operation.

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