National Register Lists Vale Schoolhouse
Vale Club to host celebration in October
Within three months of earning a spot on the Virginia Landmarks Register, Vale Schoolhouse has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The National Register, administered by the National Park Services, lists national landmarks deemed worthy of preservation.
Constructed around 1884 as a one-room schoolhouse, Vale Schoolhouse — at the corner of Vale and Fox Mill roads — expanded to two rooms in 1912 and was closed in 1931. Four years later, the Fairfax County School Board allowed the schoolhouse to reopen as a community building for the Vale Home Demonstration Club, founded by Florence Jodzies, who had just recently moved to the area. Vale Club, which exists today, is a direct descendant of the home demonstration club.
Friends of Vale Schoolhouse, the nonprofit dedicated to preserving the building, has had the goal of getting the schoolhouse on the National Register for decades. The Friends group is made up of members of the Vale Club.
"We, as a group of woman, understood that we had something special. There was a recognition out there and we fought to get that. We deserved it," said Trish Strat, Vale Club's publicity chairwoman. "We knew our building was special and worthy of preservation. It's just a way of identifying ourselves to the community and the historians in a way that says, 'We're doing all the right things to preserve our building.'"
Besides recognition, a spot on the register offers protection in case of any construction in the area. Any projects planned for the area will have to take special consideration for the schoolhouse now that it's a national landmark.
"I am incredibly proud to be part of the Vale Club, to be part of this group of women," said Carol Cross, president of Friends of Vale Schoolhouse. "Trish and I may have been the ones to actually write the nomination for the National Register, but it's the women of Vale Club who, for more than 75 years, have preserved that place for the community and made that recognition possible."
Vale Club will host a celebration at the schoolhouse noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 15 to commemorate the success in having the property listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.