The Early Years
Mitchell Elementary School
Mitchell Elementary School in 2004.
City of Richmond Archives
Photograph 2004 43 92.
Click to enlarge image.
Mitchell Elementary School (1908- ) can claim the distinction of being the longest continuously operating school within the Richmond public school system.
The school and a nearby island were named after Richmond pioneer Alex Mitchell.
The school began with one room and served students from Grades 1 to 8. Eventually, in 1922, a second classroom was added and the school raised in order to provide a basement.
In 1926, the basement was deployed as a third classroom, but the dampness in the cellar led to an outbreak of pneumonococcis meningitis in 1928. Three out of four students who contracted it died. As a result, the Metropolitan Board of Health was given the responsibility of ensuring that all Richmond schools met certain standards in the future.
East Richmond School, once an annex
Mitchell School had additional classroom space built on to it throughout the past century, and in 1991 a new modern facility was built; however, at least one of the old structures is still present on site today. It should also be noted that an annex (East Richmond School) at No. 8 Road and River Road was added to Mitchell School’s administrative responsibilities in 1925 and remained as an annex until 1950.