The Rock Run School was built as a one-room school for African Americans sometime after the Civil War. The school was apparently already in use by 1882 when the property was deeded to Henry County. With the addition of a second room, it operated as a "colored" school until the mid-1950s when it was consolidated into a larger segregated school. Even though the state was nominally in charge of public schools, they were inherently local institutions. With local government controlled by the white population, black schools remained underfunded. Built as a frame building, Rock Run School received more funding than other black schools, however; most late-19th century rural schools in Virginia were built of logs.
One resident who attended in the 1920s recalls that the playground was red clay and that the water was provided from neighbor Jake Parker's spring. The toilets were located outside. The boys at school cut wood for the stove, which was set in the middle of the room with a piece of sheet metal around it to protect the children. Originally there were no desks, only benches; later, desks were purchased for the school by white parents. Regular Friday morning programs were designed for parent visits.
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532 John Baker Road