Education in Marfa for children of Mexican descent dates from the 1880s, and is commemorated today in the historic school house built in 1909. Mexican American students in Texas were not separated from their Anglo counterparts by state law like African American students were. Instead, Texas school districts established separate elementary schools for Mexican American children through the practice of de facto segregation.In Marfa, where the majority of the population was Hispanic, that school was the Blackwell School. Blackwell closed in 1965 when a new elementary school opened and Marfa’s schools achieved integration.
In 2007 a group of former students got together to save their original school building that was threatened with demolition.
The Blackwell School Alliance works to preserve and restore the its 1909 historic "Mexican School" building; interpret and commemorate the era of segregated Hispanic education; and serve the Marfa, Texas, community culturally, historically, and educationally for the benefit of all Marfa residents and visitors, now and into the future.
The Blackwell School has photographs and memorabilia on display that have been donated by students.