Early Public Schools
The Colvin Run School
Did you know that Colvin Run Elementary School is not the first Fairfax County public school named Colvin Run? In the 1800s, a small village formed near the intersection of present day Walker Road and Colvin Run Road south of Great Falls. The village was known variously as Leigh’s Corner and Colvin Run. In April 1894, the Dranesville District School Board purchased one acre of land in the village from James Mateer and his wife Olivia, and constructed a two-room schoolhouse on the site. The earliest known teachers of this school are Clara Follin and Ida M. Cockrill. The schoolhouse was completely destroyed by fire in 1908, and a new two-room school was constructed on the same site.
On the map, above the schoolhouse symbol, you’ll see the name Dr. Leigh. This refers to Alfred Leigh, Jr., a prominent country doctor who graduated from the Medical College of Virginia in 1880. His home, built around 1900, still stands today. His father, Captain Alfred Leigh, served as one of the first school trustees of the Dranesville District School Board from 1872 until his death in 1899.
The Colvin Run School continued to operate throughout the 1920s, and around 1925 an auditorium was constructed on the rear of the building. During the 1928-29 school year, enrollment at the school fell significantly, to 29 students, well below the average attendance number required by law to justify the operation of a two-room schoolhouse. The school opened again in the fall of 1929, with 30 children in grades 1-7 in a single classroom, and closed permanently in June 1930. In 1931, the Fairfax County School Board sold the Colvin Run School at auction and the property was purchased by the Colvin Run Citizens Association.
The Andrew Chapel School
During the planning and construction process, before our school was officially named Colvin Run, the school site was referred to as the Andrew Chapel Elementary School. This site name was a fitting choice because close to Colvin Run Elementary School stands another early Fairfax County public school known historically as the Andrew Chapel School. Named for nearby Andrew Chapel Church, this school taught elementary grades and two years of high school until it closed in the early 1930s.
Below is a list of teachers we’ve gathered for the Andrew Chapel one-room and two-room schools.
1886-1887: H. C. Stroman
1887-1888: E. F. Wyckoff
1909-1910: Roberta Swetnam
1911-1912: Elizabeth Snead
1917-1918: Mary M. Sneed and Vivienne Mays
1925-1926: Joseph T. B. Rector (Principal), Miss I. B. Merchant, Ruth Yates
1926-1927: Joseph T. B. Rector (Principal), Nellie I. Williams
1927-1928: Joseph T. B. Rector (Principal, Grades 4-8), Ruth Virginia Day (Grades 1-4)
1928-1929: Jean Robinson (Principal, Grades 4-7), Ruth Virginia Day (Grades 1-4)
1929-1930: Blanche C. Oliver (Principal, Grades 4-7), Ruth Virginia Day (Grades 1-3)
1930-1931: Pearl Coffey (Principal, Grades 4-7, she resigned in April 1931), Mary E. Kephart (Grades 1-3)
1931-1932: Marguerite Finley and Mary E. Money
Three historic FCPS schools were located in close proximity to Colvin Run Elementary School. Their locations have been labeled on this map of Fairfax County drawn by Griffith Morgan Hopkins in 1878.
Schools of Yesteryear
Learn more about the history of the early Fairfax County public schools in our area.