Colleen Betti, a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been working on her dissertation that focuses on the black schools known as Bethel, Glenns/Dragon and Woodville in Gloucester from about 1881 to 1951.
Betti has done archaeological work at all three school sites as part of her dissertation work. When she learned this spring that Woodville, on Route 17 across from the LightHouse Church, would be having a large parking lot and turn lane installed at the end of the summer, she felt the need to act.
Betti said the large parking lot would be beneficial because it would allow school and other large groups to visit the site, but it would also mean any archaeology under the lot would be destroyed. “Very few of these early school sites have been dug, maybe only a dozen in Virginia, and on those sites it has mostly only been STPs (shovel test pits),” she said.
Betti worked with the Fairfield Foundation in Gloucester to secure a grant of almost $10...
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