4050 Salem School
Oak, VA. Photo circa 1948. (Follow Rt.
15 through Charlotte County. About 6 miles north of
turn west on Rt 608, Salem School Road. Follow 608 to Salem Church.)
At the close of the Civil War, Antioch Baptist Church, in the Red Oak area of Charlotte County, welcomed freed slaves to worship at their church. The Antioch congregation participated in raising money to build a church for the freedmen, which became the Salem Baptist Church. Around 1900, the trustees of Salem Baptist Church deeded 1/2 acre to build a schoolhouse.
By 1921, $4,500 had been raised for a new Salem School. The school building consisted of 3 classrooms and a cafeteria, with a fresh-water well, together with an entrance hall, and cloakroom. The original privy behind the school was later replaced with two interior bathrooms. The two rear classrooms were separated by folding doors that could be opened to provide a large meeting space for weekly devotional services, May Day celebrations, and graduation, as well as other community events.
Salem School was in operation until 1959, when the new consolidated Bacon District School was built. Salem School fostered and educated many teachers, bankers, ministers, nurses, lawyers, and other professionals, as well as the first black Mayor of Danville.
(Source: Museum of Charlotte County)