An Old Schoolhouse Served Warwick’s African-American Community

On a side street in Warwick stands a red brick building. This structure, the “Warwick Academy,” was built just before the Civil War swept over the nation, the exact year of erection being recorded in a date stone in the south gable, which reads: “Warwick Academy Institute built A.D. 1859.”

it served as the community’s schoolhouse for decades. During those days, the village on the Mason Dixon Line was a thriving crossroads community, located between Middleton, Delaware and Eastern Shore town. About 400 people lived there in 1880, a place that had abundant crops and fruits, according to the Maryland Directory of 1880. Once a new frame building with two-classrooms was erected by Levi Patterson on Main Street in 1890, the older facility was turned into an institution of learning for African-Americans living in the area of the state line.

At some point in the 20th century, it became a private residence.

Many of Cecil County’s rural communities once had small schools.  As late as 1928, there were forty-tw0 one room schools and seven were for African-Americans, according to the School Board annual report in 1965.

The modern two-room school was built in 1890, according to Ernest Howard's history of Cecil County Schools.

The modern two-room school was built in 1890, according to Ernest Howard’s history of Cecil County Schools.

 

The Warwick Academy once served as the town's African-American School.

The Warwick Academy once served as the town’s African-American School.

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