Old Stone School
37098 Charles Town Pike
Hillsboro, VA 20132
Old Stone School History
The original name of the school was Locust Grove Academy. The oldest part of the building, the east wing, was built in 1874. The Academy’s first principal was Mrs. J.B. White. The Old Stone School, as it is referred to now, is situated just outside the eastern town limits on Route 9. The stone structure was completed in 1917 with the addition of more rooms on the west side. A junior high school was established there in 1918, and operated for 17 years, until 1935. The brick auditorium was added in 1929. Classes for Grades One through Seven were taught there until the spring of 1966. The school was the “hub of the community” in the early 1900s. Community plays were frequently held there with a local orchestra that played during intermission.
According to the book, Hillsboro: Memories of a Mill Town, which you may purchase from The Hillsboro Community Association for $5.00, school life was quite different in those early days: “Once a year the children would trudge up the hill and all the way through town to the Janney Mill, there to be weighed on the mill scales for the school records. Water came from the spring…and it was a special privilege to be the student chosen to carry it. Later, an outside pump was installed in front of the school after the 1917 addition was finished.”
Hillsboro: Memories of a Mill Towngoes on with information about the local school systems: “ Hillsboro was the first school system in the county to be consolidated in 1911. Until then, children in town attended Locust Grove, while children on the Harpers Ferry Road went to the one-room school next to Salem Church. Edgegrove School, which had been located across from the Pott’s cemetery but is now completely gone, served children in its area. In 1911, the Salem and Edgegrove schools were closed down, and Thurston Potts drove the first horse-drawn school bus to Hillsboro. One bus picked up the Edgegrove children and another carried the Salem children down to Locust Grove Academy. Two horses pulled a bus in the summer weather, but four were required in the mud and snow of winter.”
In the fall of 1966 classes began meeting at the round brick school next door, now known as the Hillsboro Elementary School. The Hillsboro Elementary School still operates today.
Renovations and Improvements
When the Hillsboro Community Association was formed, funds were minimal and restorative work was undertaken by members who donated their time, talents, materials and efforts to maintaining the grounds, heating and air conditioning, painting, carpentry, window treatments, and more until the combination of the type of work necessary and availability of funds made it possible to hire professionals.
Since 1976, the Hillsboro Community Association has accomplished a great deal to restore and maintain the Old Stone School. Funds for the restoration have been raised by members through such dedicated efforts as the "Christmas in Hillsboro, Va." Homes Tours, craft fairs, yard sales, membership drives, memorial donations, concert series, rentals, and autumn festivals. The lovely, blue stage curtain is an example of the old barter system from The Growing Stage in exchange for use of the school for their children's theater performances.