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History Schools

An amazing history of Marshall School

The Shockoe Examiner has an amazing post on the history of Marshall School, which sat on what is now a vacant lot below Jefferson Park at Cedar and Marshall Streets. The school was an exact twin of the West End (later Stonewall Jackson) School still standing at Lombardy and Main Street.

Named for its Marshall Street location, Marshall School must have served a far larger area of the city as it accommodated 714 kids the year it opened in 1887. There were a high number of Jewish students who lived on the Shockoe Valley floor at the time in a community built around the their synagogue and community house a block away on 19th Street. So many attended Marshall School that its principal (according to a history of Richmond schools) was known locally as “The Rabbi.” Albert H. Hill (who has a Richmond school named for him) became The Rabbi when he was principal at Marshall School from 1890-1905. The school was renamed Jefferson (probably for the nearby Jefferson Park) in 1909 to prevent confusion with John Marshall High School which opened that year.

In 1911, Jefferson School received an unwelcome neighbor in the form of the Marshall Street Viaduct. It was a peculiarity of the city map that Marshall Street not only crossed most of the valley floor, but also ran ninety feet overhead, from what is now the Massey Cancer Center straight to the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and 21st Street at Jefferson Park.

More at The Shockoe Examiner.

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