Seneca Schoolhouse – Poolesville, Maryland - Atlas Obscura

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Seneca Schoolhouse

The oldest surviving one-room schoolhouse in Montgomery County, Maryland.  


In 1865, an enterprising local farmer, Upton Darby, began raising funds to build a schoolhouse for the children of local farmers, which inspired neighbors to pitch in with cash and labor to bring his vision to life. This beautiful one-room schoolhouse was up and running the following year, using distinctive red sandstone from nearby Seneca Quarry.  

The school was run by the community for its first 11 years and was taken over by the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) system in 1876. It operated under the banner of MCPS until its closure in 1910. The schoolhouse spent some time as a four-room subdivided house, before being abandoned and ultimately conveyed to the state of Maryland in 1970. It then became part of Seneca Creek State Park.

A historic preservation project undertaken by the Historic Melody District in the late 1970s raised money to restore the old schoolhouse. It re-opened as the Seneca Schoolhouse Museum in 1981. The museum became a popular venue for field trips, where children could experience what life was like for students attending classes in this old schoolhouse. 

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