• Note: Much of the history of the Richmond Public Schools was recorded in the context of a segregated society, and the reader should readily discern between pre- and post-desegregation observations. The terms "black," "colored," "Negro," and "white" in this booklet should not be considered offensive as they have been used according to the custom of the particular period. Since 1962, the division has omitted such racial designations from its reports and publications.

Bellevue School (Old)

  • For the first three months of the 1871-72 session, the Bellevue classes were scattered in various parts of the city in rented buildings. The school, one of the first three built by the City, opened January 1, 1872, with twelve teachers. The 1872-73 annual report notes that several classes, located in Masonic Hall on 25th Street, were under the supervision of this principal; the 1874-75 annual report lists the "school" at Springfield Hall as part of this group.

    In 1904-05, a "new and suitable building" was erected and equipped as a manual training center. Bellevue's third story was condemned and removed in 1908-09; pupils were relocated to the lower floors for four-hour daily sessions. The building continued in use as an elementary school until the new Bellevue School opened in September 1914, at 2301 East Grace Street. Old Bellevue was used for classes of mentally-handicapped pupils and as a vocational school (Bellevue Special School) until about 1927, when the last classes were removed.

    In 1936-37, a cooperative arrangement was made with the Citizens Service Exchange to remodel the school for use as a trade training center for white youth. (The following year, an elementary school principal reported that many library books had been repaired by the Bellevue P.W.A. project.) The building was used for storage and later as an instructional supply warehouse until the new City warehouse was occupied in 1960, at 2907 North Boulevard. Old Bellevue was declared surplus to the City, January 20, 1977; it has since been converted to condominium property.

    Enrollment:

    1874-1875 658
    1913-1914 783

    Cost:

    $21,500
    Lot (150' x 150') 3,750

    Principals:

    1871-1876 James H. Peay, Jr. (Superintendent 1876-82)
    1876-1887 Edward W. Cone
    1887-1895 George R. Pace
    1885-1910 Elihu Morrissette
    1910-1911 Joseph H. Saunders
    1911-1914 Ernest Shawen

    See: Bellevue School
    Bellevue Special School