Other Names:  School No. 4

Earliest Documented:  1896

Latest Documented:  1928

Description

Maryland Historical Trust site MHT CAR-159 notes that “it appears to have been constructed around the turn of the century.”

Denton Journal 1896 list school no. 4.  Located in 1896 Election Dist. No. 4.  Categorized as Colored School in 1928.

Structure Exists? 

Possibly.  May have been replaced with a newer residential structure after 1977.  

Above is the building that was documented by MHT in 1977:

“Marsh Creek School is now a residence, and it has been remodeled for that purpose. It retains the large section of the school but the addition n the front was built for converstion into a home. the old part of the building was three bays long and had one room with tall ceiling. It was like many early schools in Caroline County.”

Below is 2017 aerial imager of the building at the location mapped by MHT in 1977. Imagery indicates that the smaller bays have been removed from the structure, or the building has been removed and replaced.  Or MHT may have incorrectly mapped this location.

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Historic schools in green are still standing.

Stand in the Place.

Bethel Colored School

Bethel Colored School

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.

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Union Colored School

Union Colored School

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.

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Jonestown Colored School

Jonestown Colored School

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).

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Hillsboro Colored School

Hillsboro Colored School

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.

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Denton Colored School

Denton Colored School

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.

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Chitman’s Lane Colored School

Chitman’s Lane Colored School

Listed in 1896 school expenditures in Elect. Dist 5, Comparing 1875 and 1897 maps shows the new section by river of road that runs to Agner/Chestnut on 1897 map. Now Chipman’s Road. Geo coords are precise for existing building that is marked as church/school on 1906 USGS map. USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) lists this location as John Wesley School.

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Bridgetown Colored School

Bridgetown Colored School

According to research in the files of the Caroline County Historical Society, the property on which the school stood was acquired by the church in 1881. It is conceivable that the first section of the structure was built after that date. The addition could have built as late as 1910.

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The History and Cartography Behind the Story

 

We used these map sources to identify the sites of historic schools:

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 caroline.digi.history@gmail.com for more information.

Above: Hillsboro School re-discovered using historic maps and high-resolution aerial imagery.