Under the pioneering leadership of educator T. N. Williams, the Carver School was built in 1939 to serve African American students living in Salem and Roanoke County. The school was named for Black educator George Washington Carver who was regarded as the most prominent Black scientist of the early 1900s. The school was constructed on six acres at the corner of Fourth Street and South Broad Street–then known as Water Street–and contained classrooms for students from elementary through high school. The school soon became a beloved anchor for the Black population, representing hope and community in the challenging days of segregation. Teachers demanded excellence, resulting in winning basketball and football teams, marching band, choirs, and grand theatrical productions. School activities and graduations were important social gatherings for the community, and many of its graduates went on to college and graduate school, becoming leaders in their fields. At the height of enrollment, there were 483 students at Carver. In 1966, after integration, the name was changed to Salem Intermediate School and it served as a middle school. When Salem Schools became independent, the name of the school was returned, now as G. W. Carver Elementary School.