Hayden High School, a historic African American high school located in rural Franklin, Virginia, was built in 1953. The school was named after Della I. Hayden, who was born into slavery and later graduated from Hampton University in 1877.  Ms. Hayden founded a private boarding school for African American girls nearby the site of the existing High School, in 1904. She served as Principal of the school (Franklin Normal School) until her death in 1924. The existing structure is an approximately 50,355 square foot brick building on 6.1 acres which served as the high school for African American youth in the City of Franklin from 1953 until 1970 and played a key role in desegregating the educational system in Virginia. After 1970, the building operated as a middle school until it was closed in 1986. The school was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. It is Della’s spirit for learning, teaching and community that will be memorialized in this center.