Schoolhouse restorers seek education in site's history


January 02, 2001|By Debra Taylor Young | Debra Taylor Young,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SYKESVILLE Development Corp. is eager to learn what life was like for the children who were taught in the one-room schoolhouse on Schoolhouse Road.

Sykesville Colored Schoolhouse was built in 1903 to educate black children from Sykesville and nearby Howard County.

Sykesville Development Corp. is restoring the structure to be used as a museum.

This is the first project for the organization, according to President Ronald Jackson.

He credits much of the restoration effort to Barbara Lilly, administrator of the nonprofit organization, which was established to spearhead community development and other projects.

"The schoolhouse has had two lives," Lilly says. "First as a schoolhouse, and then as a residence. Each was important. If the structure hadn't been a residence from 1939 to 1980, it probably would have been torn down as just another old building."

Members of Sykesville Development Corp., including Jackson and Lilly, Lloyd Helt as vice president and Mark Bennett as secretary, have sought volunteers to help in the restoration.

Boy Scout Troop 716, led by Bennett, assisted in the restoration of the floor of the schoolhouse, undertook cleanup projects and helped raise funds.

The restoration has included removal of all interior walls, installation of a roof that resembles the one the structure had in 1916, reconstruction of the front porch and the addition of a back porch.

Twenty-five to 30 area businesses contributed to the museum during a recent fund-raising supper, Lilly says.

Members of White Rock Methodist Church, known for their delicious barbecues and church suppers, supplied the meal.

The event raised about $1,800.

"We are very gratified by the response from the business community," Lilly says.

Plans for the museum could include a living history classroom for field trips or summer programs and use of the space for lectures and displays, and as a meeting place for community groups.

Sykesville Development Corp. is interested in oral histories about the schoolhouse from community members.

Sykesville Colored Schoolhouse will be the first museum devoted to African-American history in the town of Sykesville.

Anyone with information about the schoolhouse and those who wish to help with the restoration effort can call 410-7950-8959.

CPR training

Springfield Hospital Center, 6655 Sykesville Road, will offer initial cardiopulmonary resuscitation training classes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Muncie Building.

All sessions and follow American Heart Association standards.

Successful participants will receive a heart association course-completion card. Pre-registration is required.

Information: 410-795-2100, Ext. 3493.

Hospital museum schedule

Springfield Hospital Center Museum, in the Hubner Building on the hospital grounds, has posted its schedule.

This month, the museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Jan. 9; 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 13; 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 21; and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 24.

The museum, which opened in January 1996, includes exhibits of historic objects, documents and photographs of the hospital, which served the mentally ill.

Tour information: 410-795-2100, Ext. 3859 or Ext. 3272.

Debra Taylor Young's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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