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December 15, 2012 / Joanne Yeck

Well Water School

Well Water School_Courthouse Burnedsketch by Dr. Margaret A. Pennington
Well Water_2011 (9)photo by Jeremy Winfrey

These ruins of the Well Water School are all that remains of the community of Well Water, located in northern Buckingham County, Virginia. Once a bustling place, it was founded by Frank N. Maxey after the Civil War.  In the late 19th century, my maternal grandmother’s maternal grandfather, John T.L. Woodson, taught at Well Water’s one-room school house; it was replaced by this spacious, two-story structure.

Frank N. Maxey’s obituary in the Appomattox and Buckingham Times read in part, “Mr. Maxey had been engaged in many business enterprises during his life. He conducted a large general merchandise store, built and put in operation a splendid wheat, corn and saw mill, foundry and etc., besides farming on an extensive scale. For many years he bought nearly all the tobacco that was raised in this part of the county. He took the deepest interest in the welfare and development of the community in which he lived. It was his home, and he was its son, and when his death was announced it came as a personal loss to every citizen.”


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  1. Tammie Stout / Nov 21 2020 4:19 am

    I am from lower Arvonia, also in Buckingham County. Or as we called it LA,Va. Lol -Just one highway connected 652,us and them.Wellwater always beat us in softball. They had the cutest boys on their team. Memories of good times. 💞🌈💗💃

    • Joanne Yeck / Nov 21 2020 6:56 am


      Thanks for your comments and for letting me know you are enjoying Slate River Ramblings.


  2. Sandy Ottinger / Aug 11 2014 9:24 pm

    My Great Aunt Annie Patteson also taught at Well Water School. I have a picture of her and her children if you are interested in seeing it.

  3. Miranda / Feb 14 2013 2:58 pm

    Is this the building located on the corner of Rt. 20 and Well Water Rd.? I lovingly refer to it as a great “fixer-upper”.

    • Joanne Yeck / Feb 14 2013 4:11 pm

      It is indeed the “fixer-upper.”

  4. Steven / Dec 26 2012 10:02 am

    What was the reasoning behind the name?

    • Joanne Yeck / Dec 26 2012 10:33 am

      Good question! Frank Maxey’s farm was called Well Water. The post office at his store on the place was called Well Water. So, calling the school Well Water naturally followed. But why did Frank Maxey call his farm Well Water? Did he depend on his well for water? Did the water make you well? Buckingham has other healthful springs….

      • Tammie Stout / Nov 21 2020 4:24 am

        I believe it had the best underground springs, therefore great well water. Slate River is very cool.

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