.

100th Anniversary of Vale Schoolhouse’s Second Room

This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the addition of a second room to Oakton’s historic Vale Schoolhouse.

This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the addition of a second room to Oakton’s Vale Schoolhouse. The second room is slightly smaller and sits farther back from Fox Mill Road than the original structure, which was built in 1884.  When Vale Club received permission to convert the abandoned schoolhouse to a Community House in 1935, the smaller classroom was repurposed into a kitchen and has been used that way since.

The 1910 school census conducted by the Trustees of the Dranesville District School Board showed that the district’s school population was 920 students.[1]  In 1911, seventeen teachers were hired for Dranesville’s fourteen schools.[2] One school (Colvin Run) was a two-room school; another (Floris) was a three-room complex.[3] [4]

The 1912 addition to the Vale School was influenced by William Hervey Fox (1848-1928), a prominent Vale resident who served as a Trustee of the Dranesville District School Board from 1907 to 1922.[5] On June 2, 1911, the Dranesville Trustees met with the patrons of the Floris School and agreed to replace their three-room school complex with a larger, graded schoolhouse.[6] The contractor was chosen on August 5, 1911, and a new brick schoolhouse was soon built.[7]  On July 10, 1912, unsuccessful in their attempt to sell the old Floris School, the Trustees agreed to “use it for their own school purposes.”[8] Mr. Fox, who was then Chairman of the Trustees, was appointed to arrange to have the old school taken down.[9]  One of the buildings from Floris was dismantled, moved to Forestville and adjoined to that community’s existing one-room schoolhouse.[10] It appears that the 1900 Floris School duplex was disassembled and the right-hand portion adjoined to the Vale schoolhouse.  State records show that the Dranesville District enlarged two schoolhouses in the 1912-13 year[11] and district records show that two teachers were employed at both Vale and Forestville for the first time for the 1912-13 school year.[12]  Mary Virginia Miller’s (1921-2005) memoirs of her years as a student of Vale School (1927-1931) reveal that Vale’s new room was used by the younger children.  Children who attained the rating of “fourth grader” were promoted to the “big room.”[13]

Upcoming opportunities for the public to visit Vale Schoolhouse:

  • Sept. 11, 9:15-11:30 a.m.: (newcomers and visitors welcome) 
  • Sept. 28-30,
  • Oct. 9, 9:15-11:30 a.m.: Vale Club's October Meeting (newcomers and visitors welcome)
  • Oct. 20, Vale Fair
  • Oct. 25, 7:30-9 p.m.: Presentation by Humorist Kathleen Canedo, a benefit for Amy’s Army

 

Addresses for the historic schoolhouses mentioned:

  • Vale Schoolhouse, 3124 Fox Mill Road, Oakton
  • Forestville Schoolhouse, 9812 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls (located in Great Falls Grange County Park)
  • Floris Schoolhouse, 2709 West Ox Road, Herndon (located in Frying Pan County Park)
  • Colvin Run Schoolhouse, 10201 Colvin Run Road, Great Falls (owned and operated by the Colvin Run Citizens Association, Inc.)

[1] Dranesville District School Board Minutes, July 29, 1910, p. 30. (filed in the Virginia Room, City of Fairfax Regional Library, MSS 11-07 Series A Box 1)

[2] Ibid. p. 36.

[3] Postcard, Floris School complex, FXCO-SCHOOLS-Floris-007, Virginia Room Photographic Archive, Fairfax County Public Library

[4] 1910-1911 Contracts to supply firewood, Dranesville District School Board Minutes, p. 1. (filed in the Virginia Room, City of Fairfax Regional Library, MSS 11-07 Series A Box 1)

[5] Dranesville District School Board Minutes.

[6] Ibid., June 2, 1911.

[7] Ibid., August 5, 1911, p. 35.

[8] Ibid., July 10, 1911, p. 39.

[9] Ibid., July 10, 1911, p. 39.

[10] Sanders, Milburn P., The Forestville School. 1996 (Filed in the vertical files under Forestville-History, Virginia Room, City of Fairfax Regional Library)

[11] Virginia School Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction 1912-13, Table No. 6, p 235, Library of Virginia

[12] Dranesville District School Board Minutes, September 18, 1912, p 40-41 (filed in the Virginia Room, City of Fairfax Regional Library, MSS 11-07 Series A Box 1)

[13] Strat, Patricia, 75 Years in Vale, San Francisco: Blurb. 2010, pp. 12-13.  (REF 975.529 S 2010, Oakton Library and the Virginia Room, City of Fairfax Library).

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

carolyn Miller August 14, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Great article
carolyn Miller August 14, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Great article my father went to At forestville.
abigail magnani August 14, 2012 at 05:48 PM
As usual, Great job, Trish! All your research provides us all with very interesting insights to our beloved Schoolhouse, as well as a glimpse back in time. Thanks!
Trish Strat August 14, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Thanks!

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »