Germantown School History


On September 25, 1922, Isaac B. Henry and Mary L. Henry turned over the deed to two acres of land on Trappe Road in the Germantown section of Berlin Maryland to the Board of Education of Worcester County for the sum of $10, thereby initiating Worcester County’s participation in one of the largest public private partnerships in 20th American education: The Rosenwald Rural School Building Program, a program that fostered the construction of more than 5,000 schools for African American students across the southern United States. A joint vision of Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald, the fund offered communities funding contingent on community and government participation and the location of an appropriate site.


The Germantown School’s east facing location on Trappe Road fulfilled requirements of the original 2 room Tuskegee-design: an east facing orientation to capture the morning sun through its signature high profile windows.  The Germantown Neighborhood of the 1920s raised funds to match those of the Rosenwald foundation and Worcester County government.  As in other Rosenwald-funded communities across the south, this sum was raised quickly, and the school opened its doors in 1922 serving grades 1-3 in one room and grades 4-7 in the other.  Approximately 50 students from Germantown and the surrounding areas attended the school each year from its opening to its closure in the 1950s. 

Germantown School becomes county Garage

After the school was closed, the board of education deeded the school to the county, and it was converted into a garage. The original floors and windows and the school grounds were used for country vehicles.

Germantown School Restoration

The National Trust for the Historic Preservation has identified the Rosenwald School as the type of building worthy of preservation.  In the late 1990s, at the urging of Germantown residents, the County Commissioners returned the Germantown school to the community so that preservation could take place.  For the next 10 years, the community worked to raise the funds to restore the school to its original condition.  This was, again, a public/private partnership dedicated to preserving this important part of history. Groundbreaking for the restoration project began in 2010 and was completed in 2013.