RPS: A Mini History: Bits & Pieces

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.

Fulton (Robert) School 1000 Carlisle Avenue (Corner Carlisle Avenue & Union Street)

Named for the community in which it was located and for the American inventor, Robert Fulton. The community is believed to have derived its name from the Fulton family which at one time was prominent in the area.

Robert Fulton opened January 1917, with kindergarten-grade 7, and seating for 1,083 pupils. This building replaced the older school (Nicholson) which was located in the flat area of Fulton near the James River. The selection of the site on the hill terminated a considerable controversy which divided the community at a time when the spread of the colored population could not be foreseen. One historian wrote that the school "stands on an eminence like a temple, overlooking the community in which it serves."

For a number of years, the principal of Robert Fulton had supervision over the Indian School and Webster Davis School. Mechanical improvements (heating) were made in 1955. The enrollment declined at Robert Fulton as colored families moved into the area between the hill and the river. When the last white school on Church Hill was closed in January 1969, the pupils were transferred to Fulton.

Fulton closed in June 1979; it was declared surplus to the City, August 1, 1980. The building was subsequently purchased by a citizen (Russell Garber) who converted it into an arts center.

Enrollment: 1917-1918 609
  1978-1979 337 (final)
Cost:   $105,000
  1955 64,405
Principals: 1917-1918 Charles A. Taylor
  1918-1922 Coalter C. Hancock
  1922-1923 Vernon Jones
  1923-1930 William Hansen Deierhoi
  1930-1933 Horace R. Eckles
  1933-1942 J. T. Walker
  1942-1957 Florence Minor Lohmann
  1957-1966 Imogen Buckner Wright
  1966-1969 Vernon Pickett Paulett, Jr.
  1969-1979 Lvnnette S. Arrington
Nicholson School