Friday, May 6, 2011

Question from a Member: Is Their Situation Unique?

The Princess Anne County Training School / Union Kempsville Museum in Virginia Beach wants to know:
Are we the first museum in the county or in Virginia to exist in a public school (a fully functioning, staffed site)?

If you have any feedback, please email

Here's a little background on the site:
Princess Anne County Training School was the first high school for African Americans in Princess Anne County, now known as Virginia Beach. The African American community, in the 1920’s and 1930’s, worked together to raise money to build a school so their children could receive a proper education.

The initial money raised was used to purchase four acres of land on Witchduck Road. The land and $2000 were given to the school board but no attempt was made to build a school. In 1934, a temporary school was established on the property of the Union Baptist Church. In 1938, a four-room high school was built.

Between 1949 and 1962 several additions were added to the school. In 1962 the name changed to Union Kempsville High School. In 1969, the school closed due to city-wide integration.

Today the legacy of the school continues with the establishment of the Museum that shares stories of family, community, sacrifice, and the importance of education.

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