The Bluestone-Harmony Academic and Industrial School

Submitted by:  David V. Hoffman

Just west of Keysville (on the grounds of Bluestone-Harmony Church on county road 688) is the Bluestone-Harmony Academy (Bluestone Harmony Academic and Industrial School), a private school founded in 1898 by several African-American Baptist churches. The school shut down around 1950. This wooden building dates from about 1920 and had a three-fold function—classrooms, cafeteria, and girls’ dormitory. The academy was a private school in a time when education for African-Americans was scarce to non-existent. With its historical and educational significance, I hope this building doesn’t fall into total disrepair; it’s a fine architectural memorial to the past. The structure is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

Bluestone African American School
595 Bluestone Road
Keysville VA 23967

N37.02.13.69  W78.29.59.53

Sources:  Charlotte County Rich Indeed; compiled by – Ailsworth, Keller, Nichols & Walker; 1979
Historical Architectural Survey of Charlotte County, Virginia; Hill Studio, PC

Submitted by: Donald McKinney
Photo By: Bea Adams King

“The Keysville Mission Industrial School, later changed to The Bluestone-Harmony Academic and Industrial School, opened in 1898 for black students and was less than 2 miles from Keysville on Charlotte Court House Road.  For about 50 years, it had the largest enrollment of any black boarding school in the east and sent a large number of graduates on to college.”
Charlotte County Rich Indeed

“The Bluestone Harmony Academic and Industrial School opened in 1898 as the Keysville Mission Industrial School under the auspices of the Bluestone Association to provide black children with a quality education and vocational training
Although the public school system existed, the best example of a private African-American school is the Bluestone-Harmony Academic and Industrial School near Keysville. Constructed in 1898 by an association of black Baptist churches, this boarding school served as a  high school for African-Americans from locations in Virginia and beyond until 1950. This complex expanded in the early 1900s with the construction of  boy's and girl's dormitories and teacher's and president's dwellings. A dormitory still stands.”

Historical Architectural Survey of Charlotte County, Virginia
Hill Studio, PC.