The historic Sydenstricker Schoolhouse was built in Springfield, Fairfax County, Virginia in 1928. Once the center of education and social activities in our community, the schoolhouse now stands as a reminder of a past era, and a testament to the many generations of people that have loved, cared for and preserved the building over the years.
The Sydenstricker Schoolhouse is the last remaining example of an early 20th century one-room schoolhouse in Fairfax County in nearly original condition and still on its original site. Except for a few minor changes, the building remains architecturally and structurally intact. It was the last one-room schoolhouse in the county built prior to consolidation, and when it closed in 1939 it was among the last operating one-room schoolhouses in Fairfax County. The schoolhouse has been owned and maintained by the Upper Pohick Community League since they purchased it from the Fairfax County School District in 1954.
If you know anyone who attended the Sydenstricker Schoolhouse or were early members of the Upper Pohick Community League, please let us know. We are always looking for photographs and historical documents that will help us tell the story of the schoolhouse and the people who have been part of its history.
If you are interested in renting the schoolhouse for a meeting, lecture, photoshoot or small event, please contact us. The building has limitations (no reliable source of heating or cooling, no running water, and no bathroom facilities), but we are happy to make suggestions to help you work around these issues. Please visit our Photo Gallery to see images of some recent events held at the schoolhouse.
We are always looking for volunteers who are interested in helping us with various activities at the schoolhouse, or those who are looking for Eagle Scout or Community Service projects. Please contact us for more information.
The first schoolhouse on the site was known as the Pohick School #8, and was built around 1900 on land donated by civil war veteran, Barney Deavers (who is buried within view of the schoolhouse at the adjacent Sydenstricker Methodist Cemetery). It replaced another schoolhouse located a mile away (the Barkers School), which was built around 1874.
The original schoolhouse on the site burned in July 1928. A new, larger school was constructed in only 4 months, and opened to students in November 1928. The school became known as the Sydenstricker School (for its proximity to the neighboring Sydenstricker Church).
On November 23, 1928 the Fairfax Herald reported:
The new school is completed and has been turned over to the school board. It will be opened this week, and contains new desks and other equipment. It is a model one-room schoolhouse.
The belfry still contains the original school-bell. The bell was purchased in the 1920s from a Sears store in Alexandria, and survived the fire of 1928 that claimed the original building.
In 1934 the school was closed, and the children were sent to the Burke School. The community petitioned to re-open the schoolhouse, and in September 1937 the school was re-opened to the first four grades. The schoolhouse closed for good in June 1939.
Despite being closed, the schoolhouse continued to be used regularly for community events, wedding receptions and meetings. In August 1943 the building became home to the Red Cross “Sydenstricker Surgical Dressing Unit”, for the purpose of making bandages for the war. By May 1944 the Fairfax Herald reported that the unit had completed their 10,000th surgical dressing.
In 1954 the Upper Pohick Community League (originally the Sydenstricker School & Community League, which was the "PTA" of the schoolhouse) purchased the building from the school district for $550 to use as a community center. For many years it was the center of social activities in our area. During the 1950s the League sponsored a Boy and Girl Scout troop, as well as a “Litter Buggy” which collected trash from local roads. It was a thriving, active group that influenced the development of local roads, bridges and sub-divisions in a time when our area was very rural. The UPCL still owns and maintains the schoolhouse, and is the oldest continually operating community association in Springfield, and among the oldest in Fairfax County.
The schoolhouse is listed in the Fairfax Inventory of Historic Sites, The Virginia Landmark Register, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.
SUPPORT OUR 2017 RESTORATION PROJECT
(Dates subject to change)
March 9 - UPCL/FSS Working Meeting - 7 PM
March 31 - SUMC Craft Bazaar Set-Up at Schoolhouse
April 1 - SUMC Craft Bazaar at Schoolhouse
April 22 - FSS Donation Drop-Off
April 29 - FSS Yard Sale / UPCL Bake Sale #1
May 6 - FSS Yard Sale / UPCL Bake Sale #2
May 20 - FSS Spring Coffee House
June 17 - Celebrate Fairfax County's 275th Event (Fairfax Courthouse, 10 AM - 4 PM)
September 16 - FSS Fall Coffee House
October 21 - FSS Donation Collection
October 28 - FSS Donation Collection
November 4 - FSS Yard Sale / UPCL Bake Sale #1
November 11 - FSS Yard Sale / UPCL Bake Sale #2
December 7 - UPCL Holiday Party