Buckingham County Training School was the first and only secondary school for African Americans in Buckingham County, operating from 1924 until 1953. The segregated four-room school was expanded in later years with two wings consisting of two classrooms each, and an office for the principal, a Vocational Building for building trades, and a single-room school building for beginning elementary grades. Construction costs of the initial four-room school were $6,100. The Rosenwald Foundation provided $1,100, the county provided $2,000 and the Reverend Stephen J. Ellis, along with students and other members of the community, raised $3000 to match the Rosenwald Foundation Grant and funds provided by the county. The school was one of 371 Rosenwald schools in Virginia, funded by Julius Rosenwald, the co-owner of Sears and Roebuck and Company, who helped to fund thousands of school in the South. Upon construction of the Carter G. Woodson High School for African Americans in 1953, the Buckingham Training School was designated the Stephen J. Ellis Elementary School. Some of the 21 African-American single-room elementary schools were closed in Buckingham County and their students transferred to the Stephen J. Ellis Elementary School.
The site of the Buckingham Training School is being converted into the Ellis Acres Memorial Park. Construction is underway to establish a modern community park. The history of the site is reflected in its design and offers educational and social opportunities to the community while commemorating the history of the school.
The former school is located on a 9 ¼-acre hillside site. All of the former buildings have been destroyed except the Vocational Building, which is being restored to serve as the Community Building. The foundation remnants of the Training School had been moved to another location on site; these remnants are being preserved.
Georgaphical and Contact Information
254 Camden Street (State Route 1001)