The Carver-Price High School was named in honor of two notable African Americans: George Washington Carver and the locally known Mozella Price. Mozella Jordan Price supervised African-American schools in Appomattox County between 1919 and her retirement in 1963. Price, the daughter of a Farmville minister, attended Farmville public schools and pursued further education at Boydton Institute (in Boydton, Virginia), Virginia State College, Hampton Institute, and the Teacher's College of Columbia University. After establishing an elementary school in Appomattox, Mrs. Price and other county teachers started what was then called the Appomattox Training School, a high school that held classes at First Baptist Church. Increasing enrollment soon necessitated a school building, and, along with other community members, Mrs. Price organized the fundraising process for such a facility. A small building that housed three teachers, a high school, and an elementary school were constructed on twenty-seven acres. After further enrollment and fundraising, a new four-room brick building was built on the site and opened in May 1930, with Reverend Arthur Jordan as principal.
The school continued to grow and change with the additions of a library, a home economics department, and an agricultural department that replaced the old three-room elementary school. During the 1934-35 school year the county changed the school's name to George Washington Carver High School. In 1951, twelve new classrooms, a gymnasium, and a cafeteria were added to the high school. At the dedication exercises in 1952 the name was changed again to Carver-Price High School in honor of Mrs. Mozella Price.
Following the Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka decision in 1954, desegregation became a lengthy process in Virginia as the state adopted a policy of "massive resistance." In 1959, Prince Edward County closed its entire school system rather than integrate, and the schools remained closed until 1964. During this time African-American students from Prince Edward sought education in other counties, and enrollment at Carver-Price increased to more than 50 students per classroom. Due to the length of the Prince Edward school closings, parents began to buy or rent homes in the county in order to live with their children again. In an effort to continue educating the community's children, Mozella Price provided lodging in her home, also known as Camp Winonah, to students who did not have relatives in Appomattox.
In 1964 eleven classrooms, along with an auditorium and a new library, were added to Carver-Price High School. All predominantly black two-room schools in Appomattox were closed, and Carver-Price began to house grades 1 through 12. Following integration and reorganization of the county schools, Carver-Price became Appomattox Intermediate School for grades 5 through 9 in February, 1970.
In 2008 the Carver-Price Alumni Association opened the Carver-Price Legacy Museum in the original school buildings. The Museum is a part of the Carver-Price Educational Complex, which includes the Appomattox branch of Central Virginia Community College. Carver-Price Museum is also a site featured on the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail, a self-guided driving tour through Southside Virginia.
The Carver-Price Museum celebrates African American history in Appomattox County with a focus on local heritage education. The museum features displays, exhibits, and memorabilia. The plan to create a museum on this site was initiated in 2003 after the Carver-Price Alumni Association held their first all-school reunion. The association's goal is to "preserve and interpret the history of this institution," the Carver-Price High School (earlier called the Carver School).
The Carver-Price School is located on business route 460. The site consists of 13 acres, with a ball field and ancillary buildings. The building is constructed of brick veneer, and parts of the school's addition stand two stories in height. The cafeteria served as a courthouse from 2002 until October 2004. The Museum occupies a portion of the old school complex.
Open Fridays 2-6pm, Saturdays 10-5, and Sundays 2-5pm.
Geographical and Contact Information
102 Carver Lane