LEONARDTOWN, MD – The St. Mary’s County Government’s Museum Division, in collaboration with the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions (UCAC), announced the final free Open House of 2023 for the community and visitors at the Drayden African American Schoolhouse. The event is slated for Saturday, October 7, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with monthly open houses to resume in April 2024.

A cornerstone of St. Mary’s County’s African-American history, the Drayden African-American Schoolhouse is renowned as one of the nation’s best-preserved one-room African-American schoolhouses. During the event, attendees can explore the schoolhouse’s restored interior and delve into its significance within the educational landscape of St. Mary’s County. Guests will also have the opportunity to listen to true stories depicting the experiences of African-American students who attended the school until the mid-20th century.

“The Division is pleased to offer open houses at the Drayden African American Schoolhouse each month so guests can learn more about this important piece of our county’s African American educational history,” stated Karen Stone, Manager of the St. Mary’s County Museum Division. Stone added, “We further appreciate the continuing support of the volunteers who staff it for us, most of whom are members of the UCAC.”

Volunteers from the UCAC will be present at the Open House to provide historical context and share stories about the schoolhouse with visitors. The event is open to all age groups, and admission is free.

In addition to the scheduled Open Houses, the Museum Division offers tailored programs for school, bus, and other organized tour groups interested in visiting the Drayden site. For individual visitors wishing to explore the schoolhouse outside of open house hours, arrangements can be made by contacting the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum at (301) 994-1471.

For further information about the Drayden African American Schoolhouse Open Houses, programs, admission prices, and more, interested parties are directed to visit the schoolhouse’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/DraydenSchool or call the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum at (301) 994-1471.

The upcoming Open House aims to be an enriching experience for those interested in understanding the pivotal role of the Drayden African American Schoolhouse in the educational and social fabric of St. Mary’s County. With its well-preserved structure and rich history, the schoolhouse stands as a vital link to the past, offering a unique window into the African-American educational journey in the United States.


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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