Danville Native Restores Historic African-American Elementary School

Danville, VA - Danville native Annie Mosby has been working for years to restore Harvey Colored School. It's been sitting idle on Route 58 for nearly 50 years.

On Saturday, the school was officially unveiled to Mosby's friends and family.

"Christmas time was a memorable time because we had to go in the woods and run in cedar and get Christmas trees, put them in the school," said Evelena Smith, a former student of Harvey Colored School.

For many African-Americans who grew up in the Callahan Hill community decades ago, it was a day full of nostalgia that all started 10 years ago with former Harvey Colored School student, Annie Mosby.

"On my 57th birthday, my husband asked me what did I want. I said I want my school house because it was sitting there," Mosby.

"It was in my husband's family and after he died I sold the school house to Annie," Lamar Barr, the former owner of the school.

"It sat there for 10 years. The last year I came home with two carpenters and we took the school apart, plank by plank, numbered it, and I hauled it home on the back of trailer," Mosby said.

The two carpenters put the Harvey Colored School back to together again in Mosby's backyard.

Although the building looks complete on the outside, there's still some work to be done on the inside.

Mosby says once all the electrical work is done, the building will be 100 percent complete.

"I love the school. Simple as that, I love the school and I want to save it," said Mosby.

"I'm delighted to see it restored and revived," Barr said.

Historical memorabilia of the school and its students are displayed in the school's classroom.

"It's nice. It's history and something that she can pass down," Mosby said.