OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY
Port Republic School #7
3080 Broomes Island Road
Port Republic, MD 20676
This original Port Republic School #7 schoolhouse was built on its present site circa 1868 and opened for children, grades 1 – 7, for families who lived in the Port Republic area of Calvert County, Maryland. What memories surround this little Southern Maryland school house. For over a hundred years it has stood in its shady grove on the grounds of Christ Church in Port Republic, Maryland. Here came the youth of Calvert County to sit at wooden desks, to open red and tan McGuffy Readers, to write on slates and to eat mid-day meals from tin lunch pails. Here during recess games of “Annie Over” and “Bug in the Gully,” they raced shouting over the sun-dappled play ground. Here a single, dedicated teacher taught reading, writing and arithmetic to seven grades of boys and girls in a classroom at times so crowded that the young students had to sit along the edge of the teacher’s platform or cram themselves into the aisles between the desks, their warm bodies supplementing the heat that in winter radiated from the iron chunk stove in the center of the room. The old school house remained in continuous use until the consolidation of schools in 1932, at which time it was closed, a victim of progress. Abandoned and almost for gotten, it withstood the passing seasons. Colonies of bees sought refuge beneath its dilapidated roof and poison ivy crawled and wound over its neglected walls.
In 1957 the schoolhouse and its property were transferred to its present owner, Christ Church Parish. The schoolhouse had suffered the ravages of time until 1976 when it was restored by the Calvert County Retired Teachers Association as a Bicentennial Year project. On July 24, 1977, after months of hard work by teachers and community volunteers, the old school bell rang out once more and the little one-room school house, filled with its memories, memorabilia, and a video, was ready for visitors. Today groups of school children spend the day recreating a one-room school experience, including a walk through the woods to school and lessons taught as they would have been at the turn of the 20th century. The Calvert Retired School Personnel Association and the Friends of the One-Room Schoolhouse share responsibility for the maintenance and educational programs offered to school-age children and adults with an interest in historical buildings and education. Currently, the Calvert County Public School curriculum includes a day at the schoolhouse for all fourth grade students who experience a typical day in a one-room school and learn about life in rural Calvert County, before electricity, indoor plumbing, cars, and buses. The Schoolhouse, located at 3080 Broomes Island Road in Port Republic MD, is open by appointment and Open House days to be announced.