Last black school in Virginia county open to visitors

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The Lucasville School opened in 1885, just south of Manassas on a small plot owned by a former slave. It was an austere one-room building with a cast-iron stove and a blackboard and probably had portraits of Frederick Douglass, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln on the walls.

For the next 40 years, black students in grades one through six took classes there in subjects such as domestic science, nature study and agriculture. It wasn't fancy, but for children whose parents and grandparents had been forbidden from reading under pre-Civil War Virginia laws, it was a symbol of hard-fought dignity.

Today, the Lucasville School is the last black schoolhouse in Prince William County. It opens to the public this weekend along Godwin Drive outside Manassas, not far from its original location.

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