Gum Springs Colored School

Dublin Core


Gum Springs Colored School


1865 - ?


Circa 1865, a free public colored school was opened at Bethehem Baptist Church. The building materials were supplied by the Freedman’s Bureau. Quakers Helen Harley, D.E. Smith, and Josephine Baker (of Wellington aka River Farm) served as teachers. In 1867, Julia Ford Rogers daughter of West Ford, provided an acre of land for the building of a separate school building. Annie Smith, later namesake of the Drew-Smith Elementary School at 8100 Fordson Road, was the first African American teacher at this school.


“Early Schools along Route 1: Part I” by Michael K. Bohn. Mount Vernon Gazette, 2006
African American Landowners, Churches, Schools and Businesses, Fairfax County, Virginia (1860- 1900) brochure, text by Guinevere Jones, Brian Sales, Theora Austin, and Edith Sprouse, 2009.
"Firsthand accounts about Gum Springs and Freedman ‘colored’ schools," in Teaching with Laurel Grove School, Item #51,
“Educating Freedmen During Reconstruction in Fairfax County” by Debbie Robison, December 6, 2014

School Item Type Metadata


Originally at Bethlehem Baptist Church, at Sherwood Hall Lane and Fordson Road, later at Sherwood Hall Lane and Richmond Highway


Mount Vernon



“Gum Springs Colored School,” Fairfax County African American History Inventory, accessed April 19, 2024,