Saint Charles is the second westernmost incorporated community in the commonwealth of Virginia, only beat out by Jonesville.
The Saint Charles post office was established in 1908 and named for a local coal and land Baron, Charles Bondurant.
Today the town is home to 116 residents.
Blackwater Union (Missionary) Baptist Church is located on Blackwater Road about 5 miles from the intersection wtih state route 70.
The current structure was erected in 1956.
Blackwater High School is located near the intersection of Virginia State Route 70 which travels north from Jonesville South over into the Kyles Ford area of Hancock County, Tennessee and State Route 604 which is also known as the Dr. Andrew Jackson Osborne Highway.
The school was built in 1925 and has many of the same archecture ideas and themes as the school that was built in that era at Keokee on the other end of Lee County.
I cant find a whole lot of information about this school, other than a website that is dedicated to the history of the community of Blackwater. I combed through some of the guestbook entries and I am led to believe that this school was a combined school meaning it served grades K-12.
The school closed at the end of the 1970-71 school year but is still used every year for a gathering of alumni for the annual Blackwater Reunion.
Seeing as how I have spent the past eight years working in the Lee County School System and my weird fascination with old schools and former schools, you would think that I would know more about the history of this school that closed in 2012. But, alas I have come to realize that my knowledge of this school is pretty limited to the end of its existence.
Located high on a hill along-side old US 58 in Ewing is the former Ewing Elementary School. Ewing is one of the western-most settlements in the state of Virginia, almost at the Cumberland Gap.
I’m assuming, that like many of the other elementary schools in Lee County this building was constructed in the 1950s. The building design is a bit of a shift from the other schools in the district constructed in that era. Could be in part due to its location on the hill.
Back in 2012 Lee County was faced with some severe cuts in federal and state funding. The idea of consolidation was thrown around for a few months. It was kind of a shock to me when they announced on July 17th that the board voted to close Ewing instead of nearby Elydale. Ewing had 185 students vs Elydale’s much smaller enrollment of around 100. However, this was later explained by a board member that Ewing was closed instead of Elydale because the building was in need of repairs and was in worse shape than Elydale.
Only July 17th 2012, the Lee County Board Of Education voted to close Ewing along with Stickleyville and Keokee Elementary Schools. Ewing’s 185 students were divided among Rose Hill and Elydale.
This blog is usually filled with abandoned or old schools and/or post offices, but another one of my hobbies and joys is getting out and photographing and researching the history of old theaters like this one and drive ins.
Ewing is located in what is locally known as “The Lower End” or the western end of Lee County near Cumberland Gap. In fact, Ewing is one of the western-most settlements in the state of Virginia.
I’m not entirely sure when this theater….or theatre opened or closed. My guess would be that it was constructed in the 1950s and probably closed in the 1980s.
On Cinematreasures.org someone had posted links to news paper clippins showing show times for shows all the way up to 1979 when the movie “Superman” was playing.
Children under 5 were admitted free at that time. What a concept right?
Today the building stands in a state of disrepair and is basically a hulled out shell of its self. I would love to find pictures of this place in its heyday.
Robbins Chapel is a small community located on state highway 606 between Keokee and US 421 in Lee County, Virginia. Oddly enough if you search for Robbins Chapel School on Google Maps, someone has tagged it and the school does pop up in it’s accurate location.
The school was constructed in 1959 by the Lee County Public Schools. The school opened to students in January of 1960.
The school would remain in operation until 1970 when the Lee County School Board voted to close the school. This is the shortest lifespan of any public school building I have ran across in my travels and research. 10 years is a remarkably short life for such a building that was built out of brick and concrete.
Over the years the school fell victim to vandals and time and things such as windows, doors and the sign above the entryway have deteriorated.
Today the building frame still sits in the valley off of Reeds Creek Road.
The windows and doors are gone, as is the “Robbins Chapel School” sign that sat on the covered entryway.
The building is on private property and no trespassing signs are posted.
I can see a ton of similarities between this building and the building of the school that I have taught at for the past 8 years. Which is also in Lee County and was constructed in 1953.
the brick color is the same, as is the tall windows
Special thanks to those who messaged me with information about this building and its history! Especially to my facebook friend Terra McDavid who’s information and pictures really helped me out.
I’ve noticed this old church for many years its just to the west of Jonesville on 58 off in a little holler that really makes you envision Icabod Crane could have actually galloped around that twisty road Once upon a time. Scenes like this setting is what inspires writers to create engaging stories. There is beauty all around us. It doesnt have to be something fancy and flashy. This church has relocated long ago and now serves as the Lee County Historical and Genealogical Society Museum.
The Museum is located about 4 miles west of Jonesville just off of US 58 on Old Friendship Road.