Historic Richmond Colored Normal School

A large yellow brick building on the corner, with a black metal fence surrounding the grounds
The Colored Normal High School moved here in 1910

NPS Photo/Maggie L. Walker NHS

Quick Facts
Jackson Ward, Richmond, Virginia
Former Richmond Colored and Normal School
The Richmond Colored Normal and High was organized under the auspices of the Freedman’s Bureau in October of 1867. It was moved to this location in around 1910. Prior to the relocation of Richmond Colored Normal to this building, it was initially the Leigh School for White Peoples and its construction dates to around 1871. After the previous location of Richmond Colored Normal fell into disrepair, it was moved to this location in around 1910. Shortly thereafter, it was renamed Armstrong High School in honor of the founder of Hampton Institute, General Samuel Chapman Armstrong.

After the relocation of Armstrong High School, this building also served as Booker T. Washington Junior High. Notables who attended Richmond Colored Normal included Rosa Bowser, Virginia Randolph, Dr. Sarah G. Jones – the first woman of any race to be granted a license to practice medicine by the Virginia State Board of Medicine – pioneering banker Maggie Walker, John Mitchell, Jr., and Wendell P. Dabney who would go on to found a newspaper in Cincinnati and write a biography of his classmate, Maggie Walker.

Maggie L Walker National Historic Site

Last updated: April 28, 2021