Friday, December 7, 2012

Bacon's Castle in 2013

Since our last blog post, Preservation Virginia's Bacon's Castle enjoyed a few group tours including 350 students, teachers, and chaperones from a Hampton Roads public school, historical societies, and car clubs and a couple of familiarization tours from regional historic sites and tourism bureaus.
Students assembled before the Castle
prior to beginning tours.

The Castle concluded general admission operations the weekend following Thanksgiving.  Between December 2012 and February 2013 the Staff will focus on deep-cleaning the Castle, marketing the site to group tour operators and school systems, soliciting and securing new volunteers and interns, and managing an ambitious 2013 Calendar of Events.  Staff will also continue strengthening relationships with community, industry, and tourism partners.  Be sure to follow Bacon's Castle on Facebook to learn of the latest goings-on and our 2013 Calendar of Events.  Although Bacon's Castle may be closed to general admissions over this winter dormancy, the Site is still available for private group tours with at least one-week advance reservations.  Please contact Todd Ballance at (757) 407-8829 or <> to schedule a private tour.  Happy Holidays!

Ford Model A Car Club visiting Bacon's Castle on a brisk, early November Saturday.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rosenwald School in Danger of Demolition

Union Hurst School is one of two Rosenwald schools in Bath County, Virginia. Union Hurst School is currently in poor condition and in danger of demolition unless a new owner with the necessary resources is interested in acquiring and rehabilitating it.

Union Hurst School
Rosenwald Schools were built primarily for the education of African-Americans in the early 20th century by Julius Rosenwald, an American clothier who became the president of Sears, Roebuck and Company.

Julius Rosenwald

The schools were built from Maryland to Texas using state-of-the-art architectural plans designed by professors at Tuskegee Institute.

To promote collaboration between white and black citizens, Rosenwald required communities to commit public funds to the schools, as well as to contribute additional cash donations. Black communities all over the south raised more than $4.7 million to aid in construction of the schools. Over 4,500 schools, 200 teachers' homes, and other buildings were constructed through the use of matching grants.

By 1932, the facilities could accommodate one-third of all African-American children in the South.
In 2002, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Rosenwald Schools near the top of the country's most endangered places and created a campaign to raise awareness and money for preservation. Rosenwald Schools were awarded National Treasure status in 2011.

For more information on helping save the Union Hurst Rosenwald School, contact Sonja Ingram at or 434-770-1209.