February 28, 2023

Jennie Dean and the Manassas Industrial School

Though little known outside of Manassas, Jennie Serepta Dean was a significant figure in the field of education during the waning years of the nineteenth century. Born enslaved in 1848 in Prince William County, Dean received only a basic education in the years following the Civil War. Unable to attend school on a regular basis, she took a job in Washington, D.C. as a paid domestic servant in order to earn money to help her family. During these years, Dean also founded several churches, including one in Prince William County.

Seeing many young African-Americans struggle with low paying jobs and little opportunity for advancement, Dean resolved to build a school to teach not only the basics in education but also skilled trades. For three years she labored to bring attention and funding to her cause. Dean's efforts were realized when the Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth opened in 1893.

Read the rest on Historical Marker Database.

Model of Campus

Foundations are Preserved.


  1. Hello Linda _=)

    What a truly remarkable woman.

  2. Great photos, love the sculptures and model of the campus. Take care, have a great day!

  3. She was certainly a woman who was powerful in her community! Glad the memorial shows so much of the results of her efforts.

  4. ...thanks for sharing a part od American history that Desantis thinks is too painful for white students to learn.


The View from Squirrel Ridge features thousands of views of the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding area. I post frequently so please visit often.

Your comments are appreciated. If you are responding to a post older than a few days, your comment will be held until we have a chance to approve it. Thanks for your patience!

Sorry, anonymous comments cannot be accepted because of the large number of spam comments that come in that way. Also, links that are ads will be deleted.