Josephine School Community Museum – Berryville, Virginia - Atlas Obscura

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Josephine School Community Museum

Berryville, Virginia

A renovated schoolhouse that highlights the history of Clarke County's Black community. 


The Josephine City School was built in 1882 by former enslaved people and freedmen living in the community to provide a grade school education to their children.

In 1930, the Clarke County Training School was built nearby to expand educational opportunities to students of high school age. The school was renamed W.T.B. Williams Training School in 1944 to honor a Clarke County resident who had served as Dean of the Tuskegee Institute.  

The name changed to Johnson-Williams High School between 1949-1966, and after integration, it was called Johnson-Williams Intermediate School and continued to operate as a high school until 1987.

In 1992, the high school building was converted into senior living apartments and it still operates in that capacity today as Johnson Williams Apartment Community.

The Josephine School was renovated in 2002 and opened as a museum in 2003. The living museum seeks to connect the stories of its past with visitors seeking to learn the history of Clarke County’s Black community. Aside from presenting the school as it was in the late 19th-century, they collaborate on cultural events within the county that align with their mission.

Know Before You Go

The Museum is open by appointment only. To schedule a visit, call 540-955-5512 or send an email to

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June 9, 2022

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