Chestnut Grove School

Other Names:    School No. 2 (1875), Chestnut Woods, Agner

Earliest Documented:    1874

Latest Documented:       1928

Tags       Segregated White Schools    

Description of the school and community published in 1920:

“Chestnut Grove is in the Eighth Election district of Caroline County. However it has not always been known as Chestnut Grove. For a long time it was known as Chestnut Woods, and it is on the map now as Agner.

“There are three different groups of buildings in Chestnut Grove: the school house, church, and store buildings, besides several farm houses around. The most important one to us children is the school house. Its name is Chestnut Grove School. and like the place used to be called Chestnut Woods. It got its name from the many chestnut trees growing around it. The school was not always where it is now. At first it was on the other side of the road and while there the pupils sat on slab benches. In 1874 the Board of School Commissioners purchased a school site from John Lehman and Robert Rooks. Then the people around Chestnut Grove subscribed enough money to build the school house which now stands on the Chestnut Grove road. The building was put up in 1883 and shows its age quite a good deal.

“The Methodist Episcopal church standing by the school house was built about 1885, by subscription. …

“Besides the school house, church, and store building there used to be also a grist mill, saw mill, and post office, about one half mile from Chestnut Grove known as Morgan’s mill pond. Years back a certain William Morgan, for whom the place is now called, bought real estate and built a saw mill, also adding a corn mill thereon. He also built a store house and kept store for some time. After that, it changed hands several times until at last a man by the name John Agner purchased it and continued keeping store there.

The mill was run by water power and was the only one for miles around. All the people came here to mill and as Mr. Agner also had the post office, it was of course quite a thriving place at one time. Later the mills were discontinued and the store moved to Chestnut Grove – the post office, however, keeping the name of Agner until rural delivery came along. (Cochrane et al, The History of Caroline County, Maryland, From Its Beginning, 1920).

(Above) Chestnut Grove School, 1875 Isler Map
(Above) Chestnut Grove School, 1897 Saulsbury Map
(Above) Chestnut Grove School today.

The school was categorized by the school board as a Public School in 1918, and as Rural School 1925 through 1928. (Denton Journal)

The main north-south route, which was eventually replaced by MD 313, ran east of Raccoon Branch before 1900. The school and church described in Cochrane were located west of that earlier route. Both buildings exist today to the east of MD 313.

As of 2019, the 1883 school buiding is maintained by the Chestnut Grove Community Association. The group offers the school as a public meeting room that seats 40.

Chestnut Grove Community Association Mailing Address:
5170 Long Swamp Road
Federalsburg, MD 21632
Peggy Culhane, Treasurer of Chestnut Grove Community Assoc.

Chestnut Grove School seen from Grove Church

Location Precision:          1 meter

Structure Exists:                Yes

Sources: 1875 Isler and 1897 Saulsbury map. Cochrane, pp. 284-288, 320-346. Denton Journal 1925-01-17/page-5, 1928-10-20/page-4.