Farmwell Makes Its Mark(er) on History
Come next spring an underappreciated historic location in Loudoun County could have a state historical marker thanks to the efforts of seventh grade social science students at Farmwell Station Middle School.
- Three teams researched the Ashburn Colored School, which educated African-American students from 1892 until the late 1950s. The former school was recently vandalized and became the object of a community renovation effort.
- The Leesburg Firemen’s Pool, which was filled in during the 1960s when it was faced with desegregating.
- A marker to commemorate the 1930 drought, which devastated crops and caused three major rivers (the Potomac, Rappahannock and Rapidan) to virtually dry up. The team suggested their marker be placed near the Point of Rocks Bridge to give it maximum visibility.
- The Goose Greek Bridge; one of the last stone-arch bridges in Virginia. During the Civil War Battle of Upperville in 1863, the bridge was a key strategic point.
- The Second Street School in Waterford was a school for African-American students, a house of worship and an alleged stop on the Underground Railroad that took runaway slaves to freedom.
- A prisoner of war camp just outside of Hamilton housed German prisoners who helped harvest crops during the manpower shortage near the end of World War II.
- Nichols Hardware in Purcellville, a business founded in 1914 and run uninterrupted since. This store is emblematic of Loudoun’s mercantile past.
The judges decided the two projects that would be submitted to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources for consideration would be the Ashburn Colored School and Leesburg Firemen’s Pool. (The three teams that researched the Ashburn Colored School will be merged into one for their presentation.) Dodson said the LEF Grant, supplemented by funds from Farmwell’s PTA, has provided the $1,830 necessary to cast and place one historic marker.