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July 28, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

1861: Buckingham High School


Curdsville P.O., 2011, Photo by Joanne Yeck

In the spring of 1861, a new high school opened in Buckingham County.  Given the timing, with war on the horizon, it doubtless didn’t last long.  The opening of the school does, however, demonstrate Confederate optimism and Buckingham’s long-standing value of education. Its quasi-military orientation may suggest that the citizens of the county were preparing for the inevitable.  This advertisement ran in Richmond’s The Daily Dispatch on September 14, 1860. 






This Institution is within six hours’ travel from Richmond, Petersburg, or Lynchburg, upon the stage route between Farmville and Buckingham Court-House, and far from any place of dissipation.


For everything except lights, $200 for 10 months.  Only fifty pupils taken.

The design of this School is to combine the military with the common system of school teaching. The session to open upon the first Thursday in February, 1861. Call at the principal bookstores in the State and see Prospectus of the School, or apply to


Curdsville P.O., Buckingham county, Va.


Leave a Comment
  1. Kathy Clark / Jul 29 2013 5:49 pm

    I lived in the Curdsville and never knew the building I knew was the Curdsville store and one side was post office. I guess the Curdsville Comminity Center was elementary school. Does anyone know the history of both buildings.Across the highway there was a building referred to as a jail. I know my father went Curdsville comm ctr. Because he used to walk to school all of the time as he used to tell us kids when we were whining about the distance we had to walk to catch the bus!

    • Joanne Yeck / Jul 30 2013 6:33 am

      Kathy, Thanks for your comment. Let’s hope we learn more! Perhaps, we can collect some old photos of Curdsville.

  2. Joyce Nelson / Jul 29 2013 7:39 am

    Thank you for researching this, Joanne. I am in the process of completing 3 powerpoints for new library staff training and am breaking down genealogy and local history assistance into 3 separate ppt. I do list your blog as a resource. I will forward the 1800s powerpoint to you to see if you agree with what I have included, if that’s ok.

    The powerpoints can also be sent to persons contacting the library for responses to their queries. I can’t believe all that is available at times. Buckingham has so many people who stepped up to fill in the gaps left by the 1869 fire. The published titles in our REF GEN collection attest to that. You are one of those dedicated people, and I thank you.

    Joyce Nelson
    Sent from my U.S. Cellular BlackBerry® smartphone

    • Joanne Yeck / Jul 29 2013 7:53 am

      Joyce, Thank you! I look forward to seeing your 1800s powerpoint. Feel free to reference anything from Slate River Ramblings. The mission here is education and to build community for all those interested in Buckingham County and beyond. Joanne

  3. Joanne Yeck / Jul 28 2013 5:06 pm

    Margaret, that is exciting! Let us know when you locate the school flyer. Do you have any idea how long the school lasted? Was it also known as Oak Grove? Thanks!

  4. Margaret Thomas / Jul 28 2013 5:04 pm

    Hi Joanne,

    Thomas Garden was one of my ancestors. I have a flyer about the school that I can’t put my hands on since my office move, but I’ll try to locate it. The school may have been located at “Oak Grove,” current home of Ernest & Becky Bowling.


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