In 1854, the High Bridge was built in Farmville, Virginia as a railroad trestle, that was part of the South Side Railroad, that ran from Petersburg to Lynchburg.
From April 6th to 7th, the Battle of High Bridge was faught, during the Army of Northern Virginia’s retreat after the end of the months long siege of Petersburg.
Presently, the High Bridge is designated as part of the High Bridge Trail State Park. A Civil War era cannon stands along the earthworks where Camp Paradise was once established. Various historical markers discuss the history of the High Bridge, Camp Paradise and the “Black Confederates” who were on duty at the grounds surrounding the historical structure.
In the 1940s and 1950s, the segregated schools for blacks were experiencing overcrowding in Prince Edward County, Virginia. In response, Barbara Jones, a student from the Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville, organized a student strike on April 23, 1951, which lasted for four weeks. The Prince Edward County School Board, in spite of the strike, refused to consider building a new school for the black students. Attorney Oliver Hill and Attorney Spottswood W. Robinson III met with the parents of the students and agreed to represent them if they would agree to ask for the abolition of segregation, in addition to the creation of equal facilities. On May 23, 1951, attorney Spottswood W. Robinson III completed and filed, with the Prince Edward County Clerk of Court, the case Dorothy Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward, a court case was later incorporated into theUnited State Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education of Topekaruling.
In 1959, five years after the Brown ruling, the Edward County Board of Supervisors, voted to shut down all of the existing public schools in the county. This resulted in fences and “no trespassing” signs being erected around all of the local public schools. During the period of “mass resistance” to integration between blacks and whites in public schools, the courthouse was the location of legal battles, which were supported by the NAACP and other groups, that were against the public school closures.