Other Names: School No. 4 (1875), School No. 1 (1896)
Earliest Documented: 1875
Latest Documented: 1896
Listed as School No. 4 in Denton Journal 1877 and on 1875 Isler map adjacent to (NW of) “Colored Church” at Boonsboro crossroads. The geographic location is based on 1875 map and position of the present cemetery. No school is shown in the 1897 Saulsbury map.
Location Precision: 50 Meters
Structure Exists: No
Primary Source: 1875 Isler map
Boonsboro School staff and students. Date unknown.
Schoolhouse is visible in background, right.
Back row third from the left is Harry H Wooters, born 1894.
Photo provided by Dorsey Wooters.
See also our web map of Segregated White Schools in the Historic Landscape of Caroline County.
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The History and Cartography Behind the Story
We used these map sources to identify the sites of historic schools:
- 1875 Map of Caroline County by John B. Isler
- 1897 Map of Caroline County by M.L. Saulsbury
- U.S. Geological Survey Historic Maps, 1920-1944
We verified locations and cross-checked school names and numbers by searching the Denton Journal online.
We explored many sites using satellite imagery and high-resolution Maryland State aerial imagery.
We continue to collaborate with Ms. Jean Kelly, Caroline County Historical Society Archivist Volunteer and author of the forthcoming Historic One-Room Schools of Caroline County, to validate historic school locations and identities and gather stories about school students, teachers, and activities.
We also collaborate with the Choptank River Heritage project and its Caroline Digital History Project. CCHS maintains archives of research on many of Caroline’s historic schools. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Above: Hillsboro School re-discovered using historic maps and high-resolution aerial imagery.
Historic One-Room Schoolhouses of Caroline County
The Historic Landscape of Caroline CountyWe identified historically segregated white schools in the Choptank River Heritage area, primarily by georeferencing the 1875 Isler and 1897 Saulsbury maps of Caroline County. In the map shown on this page, use the toggle at...
The Historic Landscape of Caroline CountyWe identified historic black schools in the Choptank River Heritage area, primarily by georeferencing the 1875 Isler and 1897 Saulsbury maps of Caroline County. In the map shown on this page, use the toggle at the upper left to...
Bethel School was active before 1890 when it discontinued, and the Smithville farm alliance used the (original) building. Identification and location are based on Denton Journal info about Houston’s Branch School moved for Bethel School in 1927 and likely associated with Bethel Church.
Through 90 years of racial segregation and funding disparity, black schools in Caroline County were sacred ground in the fight for literacy, democracy, and civil rights.
Eight are still there.
Stand in the Place.
The school building is adjacent to Union AME Church, which has maintained and used it for church activities and storage. Union Colored School was listed in school board announcements at least between 1896 and 1928.
It might be too late to visit this sacred site. Aerial imagery (2017) indicates that the building described by the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT CAR-159) has been significantly modified or removed and replaced.
Jonestown School does not appear on the 1875 or 1897 maps of Caroline County. Black students from this area probably attended nearby Johns Colored School before the Jonestown School was built. The location of Jonestown School on Harmony Road (MD Route 16) is verified in oral history published by Coppin AME Church (formerly Jones Chapel).
We found this school by comparing the 1920 USGS topo map with Maryland state aerial imagery. It was listed in school board announcements between at least 1896 and 1928.
The “Denton Colored School” was later known as the Kennard Industrial School, named after Lucretia Kennard, who taught here during the early part of her career. This historic school is documented in MHT CAR-126.