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Allegany County
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Garrett County's "Colored" Schools


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Garrett County's "Colored" Schools

In 2008 and under the auspices of the Garrett County Historical Society, Alice Eary and Jean Grose, two local school teachers, co-authored a publication entitled Garrett County Schools of Yesteryear. The following is a brief overview of some of the information provided in the book about the early existence of two "colored" schools in the county. Detailed information on the schools' Board of Trustees, operating and salary expenses, location, teachers on a year-by-year basis and other background can be found in the book. The publication is available at the Garrett County Historical Society Museum in Oakland, Maryland.

The Oakland Colored School was initially founded in the 1877-1878 school year. It was in operation for two to three years before going into "non-existence" for three years. In 1882 the Garrett County Board of Education "determined to allow a Colored School" in Oakland to be established. Though not totally confirmed, and according to elderly locals as noted in the work by Eary and Grose, it is believed that the school was located at the corner of Fifth and High Streets in Oakland. If this be the case the school would have been located in the Oakland A.M.E. Church building. In 1934 the building which housed the school was purchased and relocated to a farm in the Pleasant Valley area south of Oakland. The building exists today and a plaque identifies it as the old Oakland A.M.E. Church (see Oakland A.M.E. Church page on this website). Between the years 1882 and 1907 enrollment at the Oakland Colored School ranged from 15 to 25 students. The school closed in 1908 due to the enrollment falling below ten students. In 1912, and at the urging of the town's black residents, the Board of Education rented a room to serve as a school. State law required a minimum of ten students. With an enrollment of only eight, the school was closed in 1914.

According to Garrett County Schools of Yesteryear, the population of Garrett County in 1880 was 12,175 people. Most of the 112 blacks identified in the census were employees of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad or worked in the local hotels. Though officially referred to as "Colored School, District 8, Number 1", locals simply referred to the county's second school for black students as the Galliger School. Located on Steyer Mine Road, Galliger School was in operation from 1885 to 1899.




ID:
acaa450

Notes:
Historical information from Garrett County Schools of Yesteryear by Alice Eary and Jean Grose, 2008.

Photographs: These are from Google Earth and show the approximate locations of the two schools. The Oakland Colored School was located at the intersection of Fifth and High Streets in Oakland. See the Oakland A.M.E. Church write-up on this website for a depiction of what might have been the school building.

The second image depicts the Steyer Mine Road and the White Church that is referenced in the above Galliger School write-up. The school was located near this site. It should be noted that the name of the church has nothing to do with race.

Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

Subject:
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Coverage:
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

 
 
Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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