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Christiansburg High School

1935 (205 College Street)

The third structure to serve as Christiansburg High School, this building was built by Morris C. Miller in 1935. Christiansburg’s first (1907) and second (1921) high schools still stand at 410 East Main Street and 200 Junkin Street, respectively. The 1935 school property was previously part of the old Montgomery Female Academy, which was torn down to make room for a new high school building. The high school moved from College Street to new facilities on 43.6 acres at 100 Independence Boulevard in 1974.

The Montgomery Female Academy, established by the Presbyterian Church in 1852 as the counterpart to the Montgomery Male Academy, was one of the most highly regarded womens’ institutions in the South. The school closed in 1908, after the blighted administration of Virginia O. Wardlaw, one of the so-called “Black Sisters.” Wardlaw and her sisters Mary Snead and Caroline Martin, known for dressing all in black, were suspected of having a hand in the death of Mary’s son John Snead in Christiansburg in 1906. The sisters were then implicated in the murder of Martin’s daughter in 1909. Virginia died before trial and Caroline died in the New Jersey State Hospital for the Insane in 1913.

Montgomery Female Institute

The Montgomery Female Academy c. 1906.

Christiansburg High School

Christiansburg High School c. 1957.

 (photos courtesy of the D. D. Lester Collection)

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