James E. Lee Elementary School

Dublin Core


James E. Lee Elementary School


School built 1947/48
Historic marker was unveiled October 2, 2021


Historical Marker

The James Lee Elementary School opened in February 1948. It was built on land purchased in 1866 by African American James Edward Lee (1839-1919), who was born free. In 1945, James Lee’s son sold a portion of the original property to the Fairfax County School Board to build a school for Black children. When completed it was the first Black school, in Fairfax County with indoor plumbing, heating, a classroom for each grade, auditorium, library, cafeteria, and clinic. The James Lee Elementary School closed in 1966 when Fairfax County integrated its schools. The original building is now part of the James Lee Community Center.


Segregation, Suburbanization, and the James Lee Community, Falls Church, Virginia, by Anne Korzeniewski, Spring 1991 PhD dissertation, George Mason University; manuscript in Virginia Room; lists many primary and secondary sources. Has some info on Black churches Galloway and Second Baptist Church
Fairfax County Deed Book G-4, p. 482, January 9, 1867. James S. Crocker to James and Charles Lee. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/61823596/james-edward-lee
Marion Ransell-Dobbins (now Marion Ransell-Cohen) oral history https://research.fairfaxcounty.gov/ld.php?content_id=54175404

Building Item Type Metadata

Additional Name

James Lee Community Center


2855 Annandale Road, Falls Church, Va. Parcel No.: 050-4 ((1)) 50A



Photo Credit

Courtesy of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS)


James-Lee-Elementary-26-May-1953  cafeteria.jpg



“James E. Lee Elementary School,” Fairfax County African American History Inventory, accessed April 19, 2024, https://fairfaxaahi.centerformasonslegacies.com/items/show/130.