One-Room Schoolhouse
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Children of all ages went to the same school and met in the same room. Can you see how the desks near the front are smallfor first graders?
Port Republic School No. 7
Photograph by Beverly Valcovic.
From 1696, there was supposed to be a Free School in each county and an import tax to pay for these schools was collected between 1696 and 1723. The laws passed after that date paid for the school with donations for the schools. However, as frequently happens, the funds never amounted to enough to support the school and pay the headmaster. Therefore, the schools wound up charging a fee to keep the school open and pay the teacher. A few of the buildings which once held these schools still stand in Maryland.

During the winter, you would have been lucky to have a desk near the stove, because that was the only heat in the school.
Port Republic School No. 7
Photograph by Beverly Valcovic.
For over a hundred years a one-room schoolhouse has stood on the grounds of Christ Church in Port Republic, Maryland. The children of Calvert County sat at wooden desks, to open red and tan McGuffey's Readers, to write on slates and to eat mid-day meals from tin lunch pails. Here during recess games of "Annie Over" and "Bug in the Gully," they raced shouting over the playground.

The teacher's desk was raised above the students' desks by a step or two. Can you see the step in the lower left of the picture?
Port Republic School No. 7
Photograph by Beverly Valcovic.
Here one teacher taught reading, writing and arithmetic to seven grades of boys and girls in a classroom at times so crowded that the young students had to sit along the edge of the teacher's platform or cram them selves into the aisles between the desks, their bodies warming each other in winter, because the heat that radiated from the iron chunk stove in the center of the room was often not enough.
Anne Arundel Free School (Anne Arundel County).
Thank you to the Maryland Manual Online for the use of this picture..
Mt. Zion One Room School House Museum (Worcester County)
Open mid-June through August, 1-4 pm.
Thank you to the Worcester County Department of Tourism for the use of this picture..
One-room School at Easton. (Talbot County) c. 1890
The schoolhouse has been restored as a museum

© Copyright July 31, 2002, Office of the Secretary of State.
Last Modified September 16, 2003.