During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Cumberland County school boards established several one-room schoolhouses for African-American children, including Bethlehem School, Benson Springs School, and schools at Stony Point Mills and Tar Wallet. The Virginia Journal of Education reports that by 1910, black school leagues were making more of an impact on the curriculum in their community's schools.
Inspired by Booker T. Washington, the Cumberland County School Board decided to introduce industrial work into African-American education and in 1910 sent Alida Banks, the county's African-American school supervisor, to communities, churches, and schools to raise money for the effort. Banks organized nineteen leagues for this purpose. The leagues facilitated the extension of the school year by one month, whitewashed many unpainted schoolhouses, created sanitary outhouses, and made other improvements. On October 27, 1911, Banks held a "clean-up day," during which parents and children met at schools and worked to clean the interiors, clear yards, and haul lumber. Groups like the "Negro Home Garden Association of Cumberland County" obtained seeds from Hampton Institute to raise and can fruits and vegetables.
In 1919, the first Cumberland County training school for black children was built on a site just west of Cumberland Court House. With help from the Julius Rosenwald Foundation, a four-room building was constructed by 1920 and remained the main school building until 1952. The Cumberland Training School had a pot-bellied stove, outdoor pump, and outhouses.
In 1952, the Luther P. Jackson High School opened next door to Cumberland Training School and incorporated the earlier school building. An addition to the Luther P. Jackson School was constructed a decade later to house Prince Edward County students when that county closed its schools between 1959 to 1964 to avoid integration.
The two buildings formerly known as Luther P. Jackson High School and Cumberland Training School are located on Route 60 at the intersection of Route 60 and Route 45, in the area known as Hillcrest. Luther P. Jackson closed following integration. Though the buildings later served as an elementary school, they are now privately owned.
Geographical and Contact Information
Located on Route 60 at the intersection of Route 60 and Route 45, in the area known as Hillcrest