“A Scattered History: Story of Christiansburg Institute” lecture will be presented at Booker T. Washington National Monument on Saturday, Aug. 10 at 11 a.m.

The free lecture will be presented by the Executive Director of Christiansburg Institute Inc. Chris Sanchez about the first African American high school in Southwestern Virginia.

Christiansburg Institute was founded in 1866 by Civil War Union Capt. Charles S. Schaeffer, as a Freedmen’s Bureau school for formerly enslaved African Americans in Cambria (now Christiansburg).

Led by Principals Charles L. Marshall (1896-1906) and Edgar A. Long (1906-1924), Christiansburg Institute reflected the progressive teachings of Booker T. Washington and in 1896, the school’s classical curriculum was reshaped to the vocational and technical model exemplified by Tuskegee Institute.

In 1905, a 185-acre farm was purchased for the school’s expansion and by the 1940s, the Christiansburg Industrial Institute had grown to a campus of approximately 14 buildings.

The campus functioned as a teacher educational facility, as well as a training school, and in 1947, was converted to a regional high school for African American students, which ultimately closed in 1966 as a result of integration.

The public is invited to attend this free program in the park visitor center. For more information, call 721-2094.

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