Despite high schools existing in Harford County for white children since 1896, the policy that was put into place at the time had prohibited African American youth from being able to attend secondary schools and further their education past 8th grade. That is why students had to travel to Baltimore and Cecil County, as well as Philadelphia just to be able to obtain a high school education. Then in 1910, the Havre De Grace Colored School was built at Stokes and Alliance Street and a glimmer of hope was presented for African Americans. The school was able to make humongous strides in being able to provide black youth with the same chance for a successful future as the white youth. This was evident when students wanted to attend high school in Harford County they were given the chance now as one was provided for them. Despite the school still being severely behind in terms of the amount of resources that were available to them compared to those of white students, they were able to provide education at the high school level that would help mold the future and careers of many that had attended.
From the beginning, the Colored School of Havre de Grace provided education for primary school age children of negro descent. This Colored School school was built in 1910, with a four-classroom concrete extension being added in 1930. As the students progressed in their education, Harford County did not provide them with any other higher learning past the 8th grade. In the 1920's, Clayton C. Stansbury led the effort to establish a Parent-Teacher Association in Harford County. This resulted in the County agreeing to establish the first Colored high school in 1930. Prior to the building of the Consolidated School for African-Americans in 1953, students had to commute far outside of Harford County to further their education. Students would journey to Baltimore, Philadelphia, or some other distant state to earn a high school education.
In 1935, The Aegis reported on an investigation of the school's fire hazards and safety. The article read as followed:
The Board met in special session on Thursday, Baker, Day, and Harlan present. The board then went to Havre de Grace Colored School to make investigation of reported fire hazards at that place. They were met by a delegation from the Parent-Teacher Association and trustees who asked that a new building with assembly hall be built. The board explained that no funds were available for such a large outlay at the present time. After a careful examination of the property it was decided to make minor changes in stairways, exits, wiring and so forth and to build an additional fire escape in the annex. Mr. James H. Davis, contractor, who also met with the board was employed to make the above improvements after submitting the plans to the Havre de Grace fire chief for approval.
According to Ronald Hathaway, a former Alumni, the teachers and staff were accommodating to the needs of the students. Students learned Math, Science, and History as the teachers guided every student along the way. Despite the books and curricula being outdated, the students were very proud of what they accomplished and learned.
In 1965 the school had closed down due to Harford county school districts being given the opportunity to go along with integration which would allow for whites and blacks to attend the same schools. Which all was new around this time. In an article written by David Anderson which was posted by the Baltimore Sun covered the Havre de Grace Colored School’s history along with an update on what was transpiring at the school. For decades, the school was owned by the Hirsch family and was used as a medical office building. The Havre de Grace Foundation deemed it worthy of buying back, therefore they spread the word and raised awareness about the school’s historical meaning and value. The foundation and it’s volunteers set up fundraisers to help raise money to purchase the Havre de Grace Colored school for $153,000. Their hard work and relentless hours paid off because the money was donated and the building was officially in the hands of the foundation. An article titled “Bridging the Gap” was released by WMAR 2 News in February of this year which discussed the Havre de Grace Colored School and it’s future. The building that once was a school for African American children is now in the process of being turned into a museum and cultural center. Ms. Patricia D. Cole, Mrs. Carol Bruce, and Mr. Emil Cromwell are a few of the many people who have dreamed for this day to keep their Alma Mater alive and to be able to pass along the great stories this small building holds and it has finally arrived.