Thursday, July 13, 2017

Carrie Lee Campbell and the Westminister School for Girls, 705 W. Grace St.

Here is a very rare view of 703 and 705 W. Grace St. in Richmond ca. 1905. Selden sent this to me. It's a postcard asking for donations to the Westminster School for Girls. This is opposite where Sally Belle's was on Grace St. Today, VCU's Honors College dormitory sits (that building was originally Metropolitan Hospital).  The building on the left, 703 W. Grace Street, looks like another building that stood on the 500 block of W. Franklin Street. See below. 

 Small advertisement for the school from the
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Sept. 27, 1909.

Carrie Lee Campbell was the principal and founder of the school and it was funded by the Presbyterian Church. According to "History of Education in Richmond" by Margaret Meagher, published in 1939, its courses included kindergarten, primary and college preparatory. Founded in 1900 at 816 Park Avenue it moved to 705 W. Grace in 1903. Meagher writes that school lasted until 1910 but I found newspaper articles and advertisements in the Richmond Times-Dispatch showing the school existed after that date. By 1911, the school was located at 319 W. Grace St. At some point the school did fold but she remained very active in the Presbyterian Church serving in a number of roles at the local, state, and national levels. She authored "Venture of Faith: A History of the Christian Conference for Negro Women of the Synod of Virginia, 1920-1945." She was born Caroline Lee "Carrie" Campbell on Feb. 2, 1867. She died Feb. 28, 1952. Below is her obit. from the RTD, Feb. 29, 1952:

This image was taken by Edith Shelton in the mid-1950s. Her photography is on view at the Valentine Museum.  The address is 504 W. Frankllin St. It was demolished ca. 1970 to make way for Monroe Park Towers, corner of Franklin and Belvidere. 504 W. Franklin looks similar to 703 W. Grace St.

- Ray

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