Schools in the Town of Potomac

Schools in the Town of Potomac (HM26H6)

Location: Alexandria, VA 22301
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 49.696', W 77° 3.55'

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1908 Town of Potomac 1929

In September 1900, Alexandria County opened the original Mount Vernon School on this property to educate children up to the 8th grade. In spite of continual expansion, crowding was always a problem. By 1932, it was necessary to rent the bank building at 2401 Mount Vernon Ave. for classroom space. In 1935, the Mount Vernon School took over the former George Mason High School building next door and operated both school buildings. In 1968, the former high school was completely renovated and expanded, and the original Mount Vernon School building was demolished to make way for the current playground. The schools were all white, as there were no African Americans in the town in the 1920s. The few blacks in the surrounding areas were sent to Alexandria's African American schools, and the county paid their tuition.

Since Alexandria County had no high school, parents began agitating for the school board to pay their children's tuition to City of Alexandria high schools in 1915. In 1917, the district school board bought the Richard Lloyd house, about a half-mile west of here, and converted it into the George Mason High School with two teachers and thirty students. In 1925, the Lloyd house was sold to the Episcopal Church for use as St. Agnes' Girls School, and the building in front of you was constructed as the new George Mason

High School. Following annexation, the City of Alexandria built George Washington High School (now a middle school) south of here.

Mount Vernon School is seen here in 1907 from approximately this vantage point. At that time, the faculty consisted of just two teachers. The second floor was a single room and served as a town hall, but the building was extended to the rear and a portico added to the front of 1908. For the 1909-1910 school year, the faculty consisted of principal James Rollins of Laverne Avenue at $75 per month, and Mazie McFarland, Ella Davies, Gertrude Allan and Margaret Bashford as teachers at $50 per month. The playground now occupies the original school lot.
Special Collections, Alexandria Library

The George Mason High School class of 1929, consisting of thirteen girls, was the last before the Town of Potomac schools were absorbed by the City of Alexandria. Ruth Gary, who graduated along with her brother Robert, was born in Del Ray, but the family moved in the 1920s to 2911 Holly Street in Mt. Ida. Alma Keys was the daughter of Owen Keys, a railroad engineer and part-time land investor and his wife, Sallie, who lived at 207 Clifford Ave. Milton Harding was the son of John Harding, first president of the Bank of Del Ray, and his wife, Annie. The Hardings lived in the impressive house at 2100 Mount Vernon Avenue.
Memories, George Mason High School yearbook, 1929, Private Collection

As seen here, by 1929 Mount Vernon School had expanded considerably. George Mason High School is on the right in the background, by this time staffed by a principal, assistant principal and ten teachers.
Special Collections, Alexandria Library

Produced for the Town of Potomac Centennial in 2008 by the City of Alexandria. Research and text by Leland Ness
HM NumberHM26H6
Year Placed2008
Placed ByCity of Alexandria
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, April 1st, 2018 at 10:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 321254 N 4299733
Decimal Degrees38.82826667, -77.05916667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 49.696', W 77° 3.55'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 49' 41.76" N, 77° 3' 33" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)703, 202
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2580-2598 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria VA 22301, US
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