In 1905, members of Black Baptist churches in Spotsylvania collected $1.25 to start the first school for their children. The call came from teacher John J. Wright, who thought the county’s Black youth deserved better education. A two-story school building came into being fifteen years later. After it burned down in 1941, a larger and sturdier structure, John J. Wright Consolidated School, replaced it. Today the building still stands serving students of all races and backgrounds, and also houses the John J. Wright Educational & Cultural Center Museum.
Our permanent exhibit tells the history of African American education in Spotsylvania, while our rotating exhibits explore subjects that impact all county residents. A comparative historical approach allows us to show events through time – making them relevant to every visitor who comes through our doors.
Our Mission is to celebrate Spotsylvania by collaborating with like-minded individuals and organizations to collect, archive, share and facilitate learning about the interactive history of education, culture and civic life of the county’s African American citizens. In so doing, we demonstrate how those interactions within the wider population contributed to the richness of Spotsylvania County’s development.
The John J. Wright Educational & Cultural Center Museum is part of the African American Heritage Trial, which covers 75 miles, telling the stories of courage and perseverance, joy and sadness of African Americans in Spotsylvania County, VA.