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Wilmington in New Castle County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

H. Fletcher Brown: The Man and the Vocational School

 
 
H. Fletcher Brown: The Man and the Vocational School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, March 15, 2019
1. H. Fletcher Brown: The Man and the Vocational School Marker
Inscription. In 1938 the Wilmington Board of Education proudly dedicated a new vocational high school on the northwest corner of Market and 14th Streets. State and city dignitaries attended the ceremony that officially opened a school that for the next three decades would, as the local press reported, provide "learning experience which will prepare (students) for direct entrance into the business and industrial life of the community."

The school was the gift of Wilmington businessman and philanthropist, H. Fletcher Brown. In recognition of his generosity, the board named the school in his honor, the H. Fletcher Brown Vocational High School.

The school closed in 1969 when Delaware Technical High School opened. The city demolished the building in 1972 to make way for urban revitalization.

(Captions:)
H. Fletcher Brown (1867-1944) was a chemist, Vice President of the DuPont Company, honorary member of the Rotary Club of Wilmington, and a benefactor of Delaware education. His interest in education led him to serve on the Delaware State Board of Education, the boards of the Wilmington Institute Free Library and the University of Delaware, and as a life member of the National Education Association. For over a decade, he served on the Board of Park Commissioners that oversaw Wilmington's parks including
H. Fletcher Brown: The Man and the Vocational School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, March 15, 2019
2. H. Fletcher Brown: The Man and the Vocational School Marker
this one.

Credit: Courtesy of the Hagley Museum and Library.

H. Fletcher Brown Vocational High School opened in 1938. E. William Martin, architect, designed the handsome brick school with a symmetrical main block anchored by a two-story expanse of windows at the entrance and tall mullioned windows arrayed on either side of the door. Wide elegant steps ornamented with white stone led up to the building from Market Street. An extension at the building's north end followed the site's contours that sloped down past Old Soldiers Park toward the Brandywine River.

A plaque over the entrance read: "A person who works with his hands is a laborer. A person who works with his hands and mind is a craftsman. A person who works with their hands, mind, and heart is an artisan and a Brown Vocational graduate."

Credit: Courtesy of the Delaware Historical Society.

The school yearbook, suitably entitled "Artisan," captured the events of each school year and published pictures of the year's graduates. The volumes also reflected the story of school desegregation in Delaware. Until the decision of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, Delaware law required that the state's public schools educate black and white students separately. After Brown v. Board of Education, integration was the mandate and the first African-American students attended
Nearby statue to honor H. Fletcher Brown image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, March 15, 2019
3. Nearby statue to honor H. Fletcher Brown
The Apprentice

To Honor

H. Fletcher Brown

His Generous Gifts
Supported Vocational Eduation
and Training in Delaware
May 11, 1984
H. Fletcher Brown Vocational High School. The 1956 yearbook reflected that profound change, depicting for the first time youngsters of both races attending classes and graduating together.

Credit: Courtesy of the H. Fletcher Brown Vocational High School Alumni Association

 
Erected by Wilmington Rotary Club, Delaware State Parks, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
 
Location. 39° 44.974′ N, 75° 32.771′ W. Marker is in Wilmington, Delaware, in New Castle County. Marker is on West 14th Street west of North Market Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1313 N Market St, Wilmington DE 19801, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Soldiers' Park (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Looking Back... (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Looking Back... (was about 700 feet away but has been reported permanently removed. ); First Presbyterian Church (about 700 feet away); McKinley (about 800 feet away); Brandywine Village (approx. 0.2 miles away); Joseph Tatnall House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rodney Square (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wilmington.
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsEducationScience & Medicine
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 16, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 63 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 16, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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