“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
District Heights in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Ridgeley Rosenwald School

Ridgeley Rosenwald School Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Richard E. Miller, December 9, 2015
1. Ridgeley Rosenwald School Marker
Inscription.  The Ridgeley School was opened in 1927 as Colored School No.1 in Election District 13 in the African American community known as Ridgeley*. Named for a prominent local African American family, the Ridgeley School along with a church and society hall, were the focal points of the community. The school was a recipient of a Rosenwald Fund grant, one of nearly 5,000 schools built for African American children in the South.

The Rosenwald Fund was established by philanthropist Julius Rosenwald in 1917. It followed educator Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee model of self-help, supporting improved vocational education for agriculture and industry in a segregated society. The program provided seed money for the construction of schools, and the local African American community provided the rest with tax revenue, cash and in-kind donations.

The Ridgeley School is one of the best examples of a Rosenwald School in Prince George's County. Of the County's 27 Rosenwald Schools, the Ridgeley School is one of nine that remains.

Originally, the school consisted of two large class rooms (each of which served at least three grades),
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a central passageway, and an entrance flanked by two cloakrooms. A third classroom was added by the 1950s. The school provided education to African American children in the central section of the County until it closed in 1954, the same year that the Supreme Court deemed segregation in schools unconstitutional in the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The site was later used as a special education center, administrative offices, and school bus lot for the Prince George's County Public School System. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission began restoration of the Ridgeley School in 2009, maintaining many of the school's original architectural features.

The spelling of "Ridgeley" varies.

Erected 2011 by The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCharity & Public WorkEducation. In addition, it is included in the Rosenwald Schools series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1927.
Location. 38° 53.41′ N, 76° 51.685′ W. Marker is in the District Heights, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker can be reached from Central Avenue (Maryland Route 214) east of Ritchie Road (Truck Route
Ridgeley Rosenwald School image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Richard E. Miller, December 9, 2015
2. Ridgeley Rosenwald School
Maryland Road 214). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8507 Central Avenue, Hyattsville MD 20785, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ridgley (approx. half a mile away); Tragedy Strikes Trooper 2 (approx. 1.2 miles away); Marvin F. Wilson Stadium (approx. 1˝ miles away); This Memorial Honors Philip Reed (approx. 1˝ miles away); Development at the Wilson Farm Site (approx. 1˝ miles away); History of the Wilson Farm (approx. 1˝ miles away); Elizabeth Keckly (approx. 1.6 miles away); Osborne Perry Anderson (approx. 1.6 miles away).
More about this marker. The marker panel is on the lawn at the west side of the school building/museum. Visitors arriving from Ritchie Road from the south can easily locate the entrance gate for the facility's parking lot - approximately 1/4 mile east along "Truck Way". The barrier gate is opened from inside the restored school building in response to the requests of visitors.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 30, 2015, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 639 times since then and 46 times this year. Last updated on January 1, 2016, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 30, 2015, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 24, 2024