• 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.


  • 308 Nicholson Street (Near Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Viaduct)
    Nicholson School was named for the street on which it was located.

    The first public school in Fulton (Rocketts) began in 1869, with three classes in rented rooms on Nicholson Street. This school was under the supervision of the principal of Bethel School (near 20th & Main Streets), a school which was also attended by the upper grade pupils from Fulton.

    On October 1, 1872, the classes were brought together at 308 Nicholson Street in what seems to have been a residence with a monthly rental of $12.50. The School Board purchased the two-story property in August 1872; partitions were removed to make four classrooms. In August 1873, it was reported that the cost of the property and repairing and fitting up of same was $3,160.75. As the community grew, it again became necessary to rent rooms for additional classes.

    In July 1892, the School Board Clerk reported that the building was not well fitted for school purposes and had been pulled down; the schools (classes) were occupying rented rooms until the new school was completed. The nine-room, two­-story brick building (at the same location) was occupied April 7, 1893; a residence for the custodian was provided in the rear of the premises. In 1901, an auditorium and additional classrooms were built to accommodate a full complement of grades. Nicholson School was closed in December 1916, and its pupils were transferred to the new Robert Fulton School. The July 1919 annual report notes that ''this building( has been turned over to the War Camp Community Service, with the consent of. City Council" For a number of years, the building was used for storage until it was subsequently demolished.

    1893-1894 407
    1916-1917 627 (final)

    1893 $12,000 (approximately)

    1871-1888 Bethel Principals
    1888-1906 Stephen O. Perkins
    1906-1909 M. L. Bonham, Jr.
    1909-1910 James E. Allen
    1910-1912 Samuel Page Duke
    1912-1913 George E. Bennett
    1913-1914 Samuel Page Duke
    1914-1916 Charles A. Taylor