Havre De Grace Consolidated School
Havre de Grace Consolidated School was built at 201 Oakington Road in 1953. The school was created to combine the former Havre de Grace Colored Elementary and High schools under one building. Havre de Grace Colored High School was the first school that allowed colored students in Harford County seeking a secondary education to get one without having to travel out of the county to get it. The combining of the elementary and high school meant that students could now go from grades kindergarten to 12 all at the same school. The class of 1965 was the last to graduate from Havre de Grace Consolidated because after that Harford County Public Schools integrated black students into the school system. The school was renamed to Oakington Elementary, and later Roye-Williams Elementary School, which is still the school’s name to this day. The school got that name from the former principal of Havre de Grace Consolidated School, Mr. Leon S. Roye, and the former principal of Bel Air’s Central Consolidated School, Dr. Percy V. Williams.
Backstory and Context
Havre De Grace Consolidated School has a long and very important history. The school has seen three different name changes since it opened in 1953. When the school first opened it was an extension of Central Consolidated. Havre De Grace Consolidated allowed African American students to finish their high school education and went up to the 12th grade. When the school first opened in 1953 the first graders that year made up the last graduating class in 1965. The graduating class of 1965 consisted of only 45 students. Havre De Grace Consolidated was then renamed Oakington Elementary and then later renamed Roye-Williams Elementary School which is what it is still named today.
One of the most well known teachers of Havre De Grace Consolidated was Mabel Hart. Ms. Hart was a teacher at Havre De Grace Consolidated from 1945-1965. Ms. Hart taught at Central Consolidated until 1953 when Havre De Grace Consolidated opened its doors for the very first time. She also continued to teach at the school after it was renamed Oakington and was fully integrated. She taught there until she retired in 1978. In 2011 Mabel Hart was inducted into the Harford County Public Schools Hall of Fame as the 61st member. Mabel Hart is still alive today and still lives in Havre De Grace Maryland.
Another notable teacher at Havre de Grace Consolidated and civil rights activist in the Harford County community is Dr. Rev. Janice Grant. An alumni of Havre de Grace Colored High school, Ms. Grant grew up when Harford County Public Schools were segregated. In an interview in 2016, Grant recalled the scarcity of places to teach within Havre de Grace consolidated, saying “We didn’t even have enough rooms for school in the high school. We used churches.” Grant worked at Havre de Grace Consolidated until its integration in 1965.
Havre De Grace Consolidated had a long and hard road to its eventual desegregation in 1965. In order for this to happen the teachers had to stage a one day strike. The teachers wouldn’t leave the campus until Dr. Willis would agree to talk to a representative from the school. This strike and eventual conversation between Dr. Willis and the school representative led to the creation of a desegregation committee. This committee helped the school to fully integrate in 1965. Today the school still continues to teach and nourish groups of young children from the ages of 5 to 11 years old. The school no longer teaches high school students. Havre De Grace Consolidated is still open even though it is now called Roye-Williams Elementary.
Harford County Historical Society , Accessed May 14th 2020. https://www.harfordhistory.org/.
Havre De Grace Colored School Museum and Cultural Center , Accessed May 14th 2020. https://www.hdgcoloredschool.net/the-history.
Anderson , David . Harford County's segregated high schools held their last graduations 50 years ago , The Baltimore Sun . Accessed May 14th 2020. https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/harford/aegis/ph-ag-last-consolidated-schools-class-0603-20150608-story.html.
Mims , Courtney . Bridging the Gap: The Havre De Grace Colored School , WMAR Baltimore . Accessed May 14th 2020. https://www.wmar2news.com/news/region/harford-county/bridging-the-gap-the-havre-de-grace-colored-school.
Interview with Janice East Moorehead Grant . https://collections.digitalmaryland.org/digital/collection/hclt/id/350/.