LEONARDTOWN, MD – In a joint effort between St. Mary’s County Government’s Museum Division and the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions (UCAC), a series of free open houses will be organized for visitors and the community at the renowned Drayden African American Schoolhouse. The open houses will take place during Juneteenth Weekend, offering a unique opportunity to explore this well-preserved one-room African American schoolhouse. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, 2023; Sunday, June 18, 2023; and Monday, June 19, 2023.

A new partnership received $400,000 in funding to begin tracking African American cultural sites in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

The Drayden African American Schoolhouse is a remarkable testament to St. Mary’s County’s African American history, encapsulating its significance in a single structure. Visitors are cordially invited to delve into the restored schoolhouse’s compelling narrative, uncovering its rich history and understanding its pivotal role in St. Mary’s County education. This educational experience offers a glimpse into the struggles and triumphs of African American students who pursued knowledge within its walls until the mid-20th century.

Karen Stone, the Manager of the St. Mary’s County Museum Division, expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “We are so pleased to open the Drayden African American Schoolhouse during Juneteenth weekend so that our community can learn more about this important piece of our county’s African American history. We appreciate the continuing support of the volunteers who man the interpretive center for us, most of whom are members of the UCAC.”

In addition to the open houses, the Museum Division extends its offerings to school groups, bus tours, and other organized visits who wish to arrange a trip to the Drayden School site. Individual visitors seeking to explore the schoolhouse outside of the designated open house hours can contact the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum at (301) 994-1471 to schedule a visit. Further information regarding the event and the schoolhouse can be found on the official Facebook page: Facebook.com/DraydenSchool.

The Drayden African American Schoolhouse stands as a beacon of historical significance, preserving the stories and struggles of African American students in St. Mary’s County. This remarkable collaboration between the St. Mary’s County Government’s Museum Division and UCAC highlights the community’s commitment to preserving and sharing the region’s diverse heritage. As Juneteenth Weekend approaches, the community eagerly anticipates the opportunity to engage with this vital piece of history and deepen their understanding of the African American experience in St. Mary’s County.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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