March 28, 2017

Old Massanutten School

Sharing with Tuesday Treasures and Seasons
This small school stands in Luray, Virginia. It is next to the library on Zerkel Street and is directly behind the Visitor Center, which is in the train station.


A sign tells us the school's story.



This one-room school was originally located in the Massanutten section, west of Luray. Donated to the Page County Heritage Association by Thomas and Barbara Jenning, the c. 1880 building was moved to this site in 1974. Extensive renovation accomplished the present appearance of the school.

It is furnished with desks, a cast iron stove, and other items appropriate to a school of its time.

The building served as a school on its original site until the late 1930’s.

Next to the school is another marker and a stone block mounted on a concrete pad. The story here is a reminder of a dark part of our country's history.
Legend and narrative testimonies describe this stone as a slave auction block.

 From the Page News & Courier, August 31, 1961:

“This native sandstone block . . . which stood at the corner of Main and Court Streets at the Chamber of Commerce building . . . was used as a perch for slaves about to be sold at auction . . . The stone is said to be one of the few now in existence.”

 It is similar to many which existed in the South prior to the Civil War.

 As a part of everyday life, black men, women and children would be displayed and examined on slave blocks and sold for the highest bid. Family groups were frequently sold apart; husbands from wives, mothers from children, etc.

 This block is an historic symbol of a dark past of man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man. It is also a symbol of how far we have come in learning to respect its victims and in resolving to go forward into the future with mutual respect and understanding.

11 comments:

  1. ...Linda, such a lovely restored school/ I like the brown color, white was the color of choice in this area. Thanks for sharing and please stop back again.

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  2. Achei tão linda...e a porta vermelha, show"
    Hoje ainda temos casos de desumanidade para com o próximo, o bicho homem parece não aprender.

    abraço

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  3. The block is poignant. People need to keep being reminded of this, more than ever now.

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  4. Timely reminder to see that stone of how we need to treat others. the school house is a great building, as is the train station.

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  5. Love the tiny school! The slave block is a sad reminder. Slavery in any age (and there is quite a bit today!) is so tragic!!!

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  6. I love the school house. They were used not that long ago, commonly. My parents went to them. I always enjoy hearing about the arrangements for boarding the teachers among the families and how they had to be single and sober or out they would go.
    The slave block is a symbol of our past. That era still has repercussions today.

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  7. The school is an interesting historical landmark. I've never seen a slave block before. It makes me feel sad that this is a part of our history and grateful that it is behind us now.

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  8. It's wonderful that both of these historic objects have been preserved, even if the slave block does remind us of a dark age in our past. Perhaps we need to be reminded of the bad things once in a while.

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  9. What a charming little school building. - Interesting history about the Slave stone.

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