Leonardtown, MD – The Drayden African-American Schoolhouse is one of the few one-room school buildings which survive in St. Mary’s County. Further, it is one of the best preserved African-American schoolhouses in the United States. Unlike most schoolhouses of this kind, this structure still sits on its original site and has not been significantly altered. The schoolhouse is also important as one of the few historic landmarks which still exist within the village of Drayden, now a quiet crossroads community. The school served the local African-American community for more than 50 years.
The St. Mary’s County Museum Division will hold a commemorative ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially reopen the recently renovated Drayden African-American Schoolhouse on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 9 a.m. The Schoolhouse is located at 18287 Cherryfield Road in Drayden. County Administrator Dr. Rebecca Bridgett will lead the ceremony. Recreation and Parks Director Arthur Shepherd and Commissioner President Randy Guy will offer additional remarks. A Black History Month Proclamation and citation from the Maryland General Assembly will alsobe read. Light refreshments will be served follow the ceremony at the Paul Hall Hotel Dining Room, 45353 St. Georges Ave in Piney Point, MD.
Due to the passage of time, this important piece of county history was nearly lost. The renovations which saved the Drayden African-American Schoolhouse were made possible through the generosity of Mr. Donald and Christina Cropp, who not only donated monetarily but also their time and expertise. A labor of love for Mr. Cropp, the schoolhouse has been given a new roof, stable foundation, door and all new paint, just to name some of the work done. Through his painstaking research and community-driven resolve, Mr. Cropp was also able to outfit the schoolhouse with historically appropriate furnishings to bring this once active location back to life.
The Drayden African-American Schoolhouse is managed by the Museum Division of St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks and the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County.
For more information, call 301-769-2222 or log on to www.stmarysmd.com/recreate/museums.