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St. Francis de Sales School for Girls (St. Francis de Sales High School for Colored and Indian Girls)

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St. Francis de Sales High School for Colored and Indian Girls
1895 chapel, H. A. Roby; school, C. L. Dodd. 1 Emma Dr.

Just as the nearby academy at Belmead (PO15) served young black men, St. Francis was an important center of education for young African American and Native American women until it closed in 1970. Like Belmead, it was a boarding school that drew students from around the country. Katharine Drexel opened St. Francis in 1899 with a curriculum focused on academics and domestic science. Here at St. Francis, the rapidly crumbling chapel and school are separate buildings but attached to each other. The High Victorian Gothic Revival brick chapel had a polychromatic facade with a variety of windows and stone arches, belt courses, corbels, pinnacles, a niche and statue, and stained glass windows. The three-story school was a simpler Romanesque-influenced U-shaped building with a tall tower, many buttresses, and verandas.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "St. Francis de Sales School for Girls (St. Francis de Sales High School for Colored and Indian Girls)", [Powhatan, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Virginia vol 2

Buildings of Virginia: Valley, Piedmont, Southside, and Southwest, Anne Carter Lee and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 284-284.

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