Originally known as Northumberland County Training School, this institution opened in 1917, under principal John M. Ellison. Local African Americans raised more than $7,000 to build the school and received additional funding from the Rosenwald Fund.
Julius Rosenwald, chairman of the board of directors of Sears Roebuck and Co., created this fund in 1917 to finance the building of rural southern schools for blacks. Some 5,000 Rosenwald schools were built in 15 states, including 308 in Virginia.
On 12 Nov. 1932, under its principal the Reverend Dr. Henry M. Ruffin, the school was renamed the Julius Rosenwald High School. It closed in 1958.
The Julius Rosenwald High School was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 23, 2023.