Daniel Christian Flory (1854- 1914) was principal of the Beaver Creek Graded School near the village of Spring Creek, Virginia, in 1879. Motivated by the need for teacher training institutes and desiring more higher education opportunities for German Baptist Brethren, D. C. Flory opened the Spring Creek Normal School in the autumn of 1880. The school was coeducational, heavily rooted in German Baptist Brethren tradition, and open to all faiths. This was the beginning of Bridgewater College.
By the second session, the school’s name appeared on its catalog as Spring Creek Normal School and Collegiate Institute for Males and Females. Students at that time could participate in a Normal (teachers training), Scientific or Classical course of study. By September 1882, D.C. Flory’s school was moved four miles east to the town of Bridgewater, Virginia. It went by the name the Virginia Normal School from 1882 to 1889.
There are no known photographs of the Spring Creek Normal School building. The depictions of it shown here were made from students’ memories and artists’ interpretations.