A history of schooling in Alleghany County, Clifton Forge, and Covington, Virginia

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Virginia Tech


This dissertation is on the history of the development of schooling in Alleghany County, and the cities of Clifton Forge and Covington, Virginia. Studying the past can provide a clearer perspective of the present and suggest courses for the future. Rather than focus on a topic as broad as education, this paper concentrates on the principal method used by government to educate its citizens; schools.

In relating the events affecting school development in this area, actions by local, state, and federal governments, as well as the influences of individuals and events, are studied and discussed. The efforts of education associations, societies, and philanthropic institutions are included where they had a direct bearing on local educational policies and practices. Secondary sources provide most of the historical information about trends in education and schooling on a state and national level. Primary documents and sources provide the specifics relating to this locality. Reports of school commissioners and government officials and records of school boards provide much of the information as well as newspapers of the period. Personal letters and interviews also provide a perspective on the topic.

The purpose of the dissertation is to document one aspect of local heritage, the development of schooling, and preserve various facts of history in a readable form. There is also a desire to focus attention on education and the local public schools in the hopes that both awareness and support will increase, thus leading to a system of schools that are not only adequate but exemplary in all respects. The contribution of this study to the field of education in general and school administration in particular is a more in-depth understanding of schools and their development.