On 12 Oct. 1892, Dr. John Jefferson Smallwood, born enslaved in 1863 in Rich Square, North Carolina, founded the Temperance Industrial & Collegiate Institute nearby with fewer than ten students. Sprawled over sixty-five acres on the James River in Claremont, his school provided a high level of education for African American boys and girls from Virginia and other states. After Smallwood’s untimely death on 29 Sept. 1912, his school underwent several mergers and name changes. By the time the school closed in 1928, more than two thousand students had attended.
Year On Marker: 2010
Original Sponsor: Parkside Historic Preservation Corporation; Wilbraham and Monson Academy Elaine Vinson
Geographic Location: Surry County
Physical Description of Location: Southern corner of intersection between Colonial Trail (Route 10) and State Route 610, Spring Grove, VA 23881. Marker is on right when traveling east on Route 10.
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