St. Francis de Sales and St. Emma at Belmead have a rich human history that includes Native Americans, African Americans, and Europeans. They are places of past and present human activity. The mansion at Belmead is on the historic register, and St. Francis de Sales is in the process of obtaining this status. Both buildings are significant for groups of persons who have been connected through time to the land and the heritage that connects both sites.
The St Francis/St. Emma site, built in the 1890's, had two high schools, one for girls and one for boys. These two educational institutions influenced the lives of many African American woman and men.
The schools are located on top of a rolling hill overlooking the James River. Take a ride into Powhatan and have a picnic lunch by the majestic James River!