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.

Moore (Moore Street) School 1113 West Moore Street

Early records of the School Board make no reference to a school in the section of the city west of Brook Road. According to reports in the community, pupils were taught in scattered locations, including two chapels (one of which later became known as Moore Street Church). In Superintendent Binford's annual report for 1874-75, he recommended converting the white school on Brook (Brooke) Avenue to a colored school, but apparently another decade passed before the first school building was erected in this area.

In 1886-87, a sixteen-classroom, two-story brick school was built "to afford accommodation for the out1yin& schools in the neighborhood of Brook avenue." The school fronted on Moore Street; hence the name Moore School or, more often, Moore Street School. This building, one of seven schools built between 1887-1898, is said to be the only one retaining much of the original "interior and exterior character," and has been described as one of the best examples of the period, still publicly owned. A former principal noted that there were no "modem conveniences" in this Victorian structure.

In 1908-09, Baker pupils were housed at Moore on the afternoon shift. Due to the westward growth of the city, a ten-classroom annex (with auditorium and basement cafeteria) was occupied in 1916. Additional playground space was secured in 1922-23 and again in 1929-30. A modem building fronting on Leigh Street was added in 1951; at that time, the two earlier buildings were renovated and the school's name was changed to George Washington Carver.

The enrollment of Moore (Carver) School has varied considerably. At different times when those schools were closed, it absorbed pupils from Newtown, Elba, and Westwood schools; for many years it also housed seventh grade pupils from Randolph School. On the other hand, enrollment declined at Moore (Carver) when houses were razed to make room for the Richmond Petersburg Turnpike and the accompanying rehabilitation program. A lip-reading class was established at Moore in 1941-42.

Enrollment: 1910-1911 417
  1887-1888 947
  1915-1916 857
  1921-1922 1,390
  1950-1951 865
Architect: 1916 Addition Charles M. Robinson
Cost: 1916 Addition Approximately $30,000
Principals: 1886-1900 Edgar M. Garnett (Superintendent 1882-86)
  1900-1901 Dana H. Rucker
  1901-1938 Hubbard G. Carlton
  1938-1951 Oscar Albert Morton
Carver School