Black History Month

Throughout Black History Month we will be sharing some local history.

Middletown Colored SchoolRecords indicate the first public school for black children in Frederick County was the Middletown Colored School which dates back to 1912. It’s believed that Elizabeth Thompson, one of several teachers who taught at the Middletown Colored School between 1912 and 1960, was the first black teacher in Frederick County.

Old Stone ChurchPresbyterians in Winchester constructed the Old Stone Church around 1788. In 1858, the building was leased to the Old School Congregation Baptist Church of Color for $500. In 1878, Winchester’s first public school for black children, the Winchester Colored School, opened in the building. By the 1920’s, the building was no longer large enough to house all of the students enrolled at the school so the city decided to construct the Douglas School which opened in 1927. Douglas School
Black students from Woodstock to Winchester who wanted to pursue an education beyond the eighth grade attended the Douglas School. The school closed in 1966 after the integration of Winchester and Frederick County Public Schools.

During the time that schools were segregated, there were a number of facilities that served black students residing in Frederick County. These schools included the Middletown Colored School, the Leetown Colored School, the Opequon Colored School, the Mt. Zion Rosenwald School, the Winchester Colored School, the Douglas School and the Stephens City Colored School.

Frederick County Colored Schools Prior to Desegregation

Former Frederick County Middle SchoolFrederick County Junior High School (the former Frederick County Middle School on Linden Drive) was Frederick County’s first fully integrated public school. Following a judge’s ruling regarding integration of Frederick County’s schools, students began being assigned to schools based on where they lived, not their race. Julian BrownIn 1965, Julian Evoid Brown, Jr. became the first black student to graduate from James Wood High School.