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Darnestown in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Andrew Small Academy

Darnestown

 
 
Andrew Small Academy Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 22, 2013
1. Andrew Small Academy Marker
Inscription. The years following the Civil War were a booming time for Darnestown. Local residents repaired damages from the war and returned to their daily means of livelihood. Andrew Small was a C&O Canal contractor and became familiar with Darnestown during his career. In 1867 upon his deathbed, he bequeathed $35,000 to the community to construct a school. His gift was used to found the Andrew Small Academy, on of the few accredited college preparatory schools in Montgomery County and a rarity for a rural area before the public school system was created.

The Academy building was constructed in 1869 to the southeast of the Darnestown Presbyterian Church and soon began to draw pupils from outside of the community. The third floor was used as living quarters for boarding students. Day students from Darnestown and neighboring communities also attended. The academy was a cultural center for the community, providing avenue for plays, concerts, recitals, and even a literary society.

Though the Academy was closed in 1907, the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners of Public Schools took over the building and used it as a high school until 1927, when it became an elementary school. The building was demolished in 1955 and replaced by the existing Darnestown Elementary School, which stands only a few hundred feet from the (sic) where the
Andrew Small Academy image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 22, 2013
2. Andrew Small Academy
Close-up of photo on marker
academy was once located.

Textbook Learning

Children learned the alphabet, expanded their vocabulary, and were given daily spelling 'slate work' courtesy of the McGuffey Reader, the most popular American textbook in the 19th century.
 
Erected 2012 by Montgomery Parks M-NCPCC.
 
Location. 39° 6.198′ N, 77° 17.452′ W. Marker is in Darnestown, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Darnestown Road. Click for map. Marker is in Darnestown Square Heritage Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 14029 Darnestown Road, Gaithersburg MD 20878, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A 19th Century Crossroads (here, next to this marker); The Origins of Darnestown (here, next to this marker); Clues to the Past: Oral History and Archaeology (here, next to this marker); Disease, Death, and Medical Discoveries During the Civil War (a few steps from this marker); Darnestown: A Strategic Point of Defense (within shouting distance of this marker); Civil War Troops & Darnestown Residents (within shouting distance of this marker);
Class of 1890 at the Academy image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 22, 2013
3. Class of 1890 at the Academy
Close-up of photo on marker
Montgomery County Historical Society
The Signal Corps and Wartime Communications (within shouting distance of this marker); The Civil War in Darnestown (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Darnestown.
 
Categories. Education
 
Washington Post Display Ad for the Academy, 1903 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 22, 2013
4. Washington Post Display Ad for the Academy, 1903
Andrew Small Academy
Darnestown. Montgomery Co., MD.
Incorporated 1867. Ideal location, remarkable for its healthfulness and freedom from undesirable influences. Prepares for college, for business, and for life. A limited number of boys board with the principal. Excellent instructors. Very low rates.
W. F. McIlwee, B. S. Principal.
Close-up of photo on marker
Montgomery County Historical Society
Cover of McGuffey's First Eclectic Reader image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 22, 2013
5. Cover of McGuffey's First Eclectic Reader
Close-up of photo on marker
Relief Print and Slate Work<br>From Lesson XLI image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 22, 2013
6. Relief Print and Slate Work
From Lesson XLI
Some horses can trot very fast. Would you like to ride fast? One day I saw a dog hitched to a little cart. The cart had some corn in it.
Close-up of photo on marker
McGuffey's First Eclectic Reader
The Teacher image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 22, 2013
7. The Teacher
Scuplture by Cheryl Foster. One of six sculpted portraits in Darnestown Square Heritage Park.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 333 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   7. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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