Drayden in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
An African American Story
The Drayden Schoolhouse stands upon its original site on land donated by Mary Ellen and Daniel A. Gross in 1889. The simple one-room design is characteristic of practical Victorian architecture and of other one-room schools in St. Mary's County at that time.
When the school opened its doors in 1890, Drayden was one of three schools for African American children in the Valley Lee District, an area which also contained nine white schools. One teacher taught grades one through seven, with as many as forty or more students attending class in the single room.
There were no public high schools open to African American students in St. Mary's County until 1934. Some students attended Pomonkey High School in Charles County. Many Catholic children attended Cardinal Gibbons Institute. In 1944, when Drayden closed, the schools were still segregated, but there were two public high schools available to African American students, Banneker and Jarboesville.
(Above) Photo of Cardinal Gibbons Institute courtesy of St. Peter Claver Church.
(Left) Drayden's unique feature is
(Far Left) African American schools in St. Mary's. Broken circles indicate approximate locations. Map courtesy of the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions.
Erected by Commissioners of St. Mary's County; St. Mary's County Museum Division; Friends of the St. Clement's Island and Piney Point Museums; Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions; Destination Southern Maryland; Maryland Heritage Area Authority.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Churches & Religion • Civil Rights • Education. A significant historical year for this entry is 1889.
Location. 38° 10.215′ N, 76° 28.951′ W. Marker is in Drayden, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. It is in . Marker is on Cherryfield Road, half a mile south of Slye Way, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 18287 Cherryfield Rd, Drayden MD 20630, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Drayden Schoolhouse (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Drayden Schoolhouse (here, next to this marker); British Landing Prevented (approx. 2.6 miles away); John Llewellyn (approx. 2.8 miles away); The Landing of the Ark and the Dove (approx. 2.8 miles away); Laura Maryland Carpenter Blinn (approx. 2.8 miles away); Thomas Allen Senior (approx. 2.8 miles away); Entrance to First State House of Maryland (approx. 2.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Drayden.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 20, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 19, 2021, by Sean C Bath of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 70 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 19, 2021, by Sean C Bath of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.