Historic Jarvisburg Colored School and Museum
Alumni and members of the black community organized to save and preserve this historic school in the 1990s.
In 2014, the Historic Jarvisburg Colored School Association opened a museum in the school.
Exhibits not only tell the history of this school, but also several other black schools in this part of North Carolina.
Efforts to stabilize the historic school began in 2003.
The building may have been demolished had it not been for the partnership of community members, preservationists, and local and state government.
Backstory and Context
In 1972, the state listed the building as a possible site worthy f preservation for its historical and cultural value, an action that may have helped prevent the building from being demolished, but placing the building on a long list of worthy sites alone did not produce resources needed for preservation.
The turning point came in 1998, when members of the Corinth Baptist Church formed an organization dedicated to preserving the school and operating it as a historical site. With others in the community, church members began work to see what might be done to raise both awareness and funds. Fortunately for the church members, the state Department of Cultural Resources Division of Archives and History had formed a new organization called Saving African American Heritage. By partnering with the state, church members were able to partner with experts and advocates of historic preservation. By 2002, the campaign to save the school was underway. With help from the Currituck County Commission, an architectural firm began work to stabilize the building that had become nearly dilapidated.
Gifts of time, money, and resources helped the church members as they worked to not only stabilize the building, but restore its interior and exterior to a condition that would allow them to place the school on the National Register of Historic Places. Between 2003 when the work to stabilize the building began, and 2014 when the restored school was dedicated, the effort to preserve and operate this historic site required the cooperation of hundreds of volunteers and demonstrates the ways that community members and government can work together to save historic sites.