Carroll’s Yesteryears

16 February 1992

African American Schools in Carroll County

By Joe Getty

* NOTE – Article missing, copied from Joe’s draft *

During the month of January, the Historical Society sponsored an internship with Western Maryland College. Intern Jeanne Zoulias completed a research project about the African-American schools that existed in Carroll County. This research provided a comprehensive overview of these schools and served documentation for the 1992 African-American History Forum on education.

Assistance for this project was provided by the Carroll County Board of Education. In particular, the school board annual reports provided information about the early history of these schools. The state initiated the county school board system in 1865. By 1867, Carroll County had constructed one school for black children.

In the Carroll County School Board report of 1872, board president William Reese responded to state mandates for black education: “After the passage of the late Amendments to the School Law, our board began to adopt measures to execute the provisions requiring the establishment of a ‘Colored School’ in each Election District in which Africans enough of the proper age can be found to justify the opening of a school for their accommodation; and there is a probability that we shall have six or seven African Schools open during the year to end September 30th, 1873.”

In some cases, the school board reports listed the school buildings by election district. Using reports from 1872-74, 1880, 1884, 1900-02, 1911, 1919-20, and 1935, we have prepared a summary list of eighteen African-American schools and date ranges for their years of operation. If you have additional information about these schools that you would like to share with the Historical Society, please contact us at 848-6494.

List of African American Schools in Carroll County

District 1 Taneytown. Name unknown; location unknown – possibly at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Taneytown; opened 1873 and closed 1874; reopened 1880 and closed between 1884 and 1900.

District 2 Uniontown. Middletown African School – renamed Bark Hill School in early 1900’s; Bark Hill Road, Uniontown; opened 1872 – closed between 1920 and 1935.

District 4 Woolerys. Name unknown; location unknown, possibly at black Methodist Church on Route 32 (church is shown on 1877 Atlas of Carroll County); opened 1874 – closed between 1902 and 1919.

District 5 Freedom. White Rock African School; corner of Streaker Road and White Rock Road, Sykesville; opened 1874 – closed 1938.

Johnsville School; corner of Hodges Road and Johnsville Road, Sykesville; opened between 1884 and 1901; added a Junior High in 1953.

Sykesville School; School House Road, Sykesville; opened between 1901 and 1911; closed between 1935 and 1943.

District 7 Westminster. West End African School – renamed Union Street School; Union Street and Wantz Alley; opened 1872 – closed 1930.

Charles Street School; Charles Street, Westminster; opened between 1884 and 1900; closed between 1920 and 1935.

Western Chapel School; Western Chapel Road, Westminster; opened between 1884 and 1900; closed between 1920 and 1935.

Robert Moton School; Charles and Church Streets, 1930-1948; Center Street, 1949-1965.

District 9 Franklin. Fairview African School – renamed Fairview School; Route 26 Taylorsville, Md. – Fairview Church; opened 1874 in district 9 (Franklin), possibly redistricted to district 13 (Mt. Airy) – closed between 1920 and 1935.

Winfield School; Salem Bottom Road, Winfield; opened between 1884 and 1900; closed between 1920 and 1935.

District 11 New Windsor. White Oak Grove African School; White Oak Grove Church – Route 31, New Windsor; opened 1873 – closed 1874.

New Windsor School. Hawks Hill Road and Old New Windsor Road, New Windsor; opened between 1884 and 1900 – closed 1945.

District 12 Union Bridge. Priestland African School – renamed Priestland School; Priestland Church, Priestland Road; opened 1874 – closed between 1936 and 1943.

Union Bridge School; Route 75 on road to Linwood; opened between 1920 and 1935 – closed by 1949.

District 13 Mount Airy. Parrsville School; Route 37, Mt. Airy; opened between 1884 and 1900 – closed 1950.

Ridge School; Route 27, Mt. Airy; opened between 1920 and 1935 – closed 1947.