Pleasant View School, the last remaining Black elementary school still owned by Chesterfield County
The one-room schoolhouse sits on the south side of River Road, about a mile and a half from the entrance to Eppington Plantation and 60 feet east of the location where it was constructed by the Chesterfield School Board nearly a century ago.
Pleasant View School opened in September 1930, 24 years before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that racially segregated schools were unconstitutional.
It’s a remnant from the “separate but equal” era, and the last Black elementary school building still owned by Chesterfield County.
As part of the county’s annual Black History Month celebration, Chesterfield Parks and Recreation will give a presentation on the history of Pleasant View on Wednesday, Feb. 23, from noon to 1 p.m. at Stonebridge Recreation Center.
You can register online for the free event or call 804-748-1623 for more information.
Pleasant View was one of 33 Black schools operated in Chesterfield during segregation.
It was closed at the end of the 1946-47 school year, then used as a community center until the county sold it to a private owner in 1998. Amid concerns from residents, the Board of Supervisors bought it back the same year.
In April 2017, Pleasant View was designated a Chesterfield County Historic Landmark in recognition of its significance as an authentic representation of early 20th century education in the county.
The building’s exterior retains its original metal roof and board siding. The county constructed new masonry piers, replaced the front steps and installed new electrical wiring after relocating it to its current site in 2008.
Inside, time seems to stand still: there are the original beaded-board walls and ceilings, hardwood floors, blackboard and several wooden desks.
Chesterfield painted the exterior siding in 2014, then made improvements to the interior last year – including new paint, HVAC upgrades and repairs to the chimney and windows.
Additional upgrades are planned in the future – additional parking, restrooms and lighting – to allow for hosting neighborhood meetings, educational sessions and special commemorative events.
Tours of Pleasant View currently are offered by the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia’s African-American History Committee.
Several of the desks used by Pleasant View students in the 1930s have been preserved on site