Farmville Female Seminary Association

Founded on March 5, 1839, as the Farmville Female Seminary Association, Longwood is one of the oldest colleges originally for women in the country. In 1842 the cornerstone was laid for the first true college building, which is today known as Ruffner Hall. The College was fortunate to make it through most of the Civil War unscathed. It wasn’t until the last few days of the War, as Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his troops retreated from advancing Federal forces through Farmville, that a skirmish ensued on High Street. According to one account, “Minie balls felt about the building (Ruffner)— one crashed through a window where several girls were standing, and when they had recovered from their panic, their friends in gray had vanished like the phantom of a dream.”