Brothers of Zeta Upsilon Lambda, came out to celebrate the restoration of the Ashburn Colored School. The one-room schoolhouse was built around 1892 for African American children who were not afforded the opportunity to go to public schools because of segregation policies in Virginia. This schoolhouse held classes for various grades from elementary to high school. Students walked for miles to attend because there were no buses. This school received less funding than others in Loudon County, and its students were given less educational opportunities. In 1958, four years after the United States Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional, the school officially closed and its students were transferred to an unsegregated school in nearby Leesburg.
The school has long been abandoned and unnoticed for nearly sixty years. In October of 2016, the school building was vandalized with graffiti of vulgar images and racist rants. Students at the Loudon County School for the Gifted felt compassion for what the school represented and proudly took charge to raise money to restore the school. With the help of the community, funds for restoration were raised a lot faster than expected and the renovation of the school became a reality on September 16, 2017.
The school’s renovation and establishment as a historic site represent many things to many in the community. It even meant a lot to those who were in attendance too. As it turned out some of the students who attended the school in the 1940’s and 50’s were able to see a part of their life struggles recorded and remembered for all to see.