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The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Little Bennett Regional Park – Kingsley Schoolhouse

A large blackboard with writing inside a late nineteenth century one-room schoolhouse. In the foreground is a small desk with an open book, kerosene lamp, and other items.
Kids at Kinsley Schoolhouse
Interior of Kingsley Schoolhouse


Built in 1893 in response to the need for a school within walking distance of farms located in the Little Bennett Creek Valley, the Kingsley Schoolhouse served the local, rural farming community until it closed in 1935. Each year, around 20 children ranging in age from 6-12 years old attended the school. Since the immediate area was known locally as Froggy Hollow – due to the large number of frogs that could be heard peeping in the low-lying area – the school acquired the nickname of Froggy Hollow School.

When in session, each school day ended the way it began: with the ringing of the school bell.  A wood burning stove was used to warm the room. The classroom was sparsely furnished with a slate chalkboard, simple wooden desks, a globe and a Victrola record player. The playground was behind the building and included swings and seesaws. If weather permitted, the boys and girls played basketball, softball, dodge ball and other participated in other activities like fishing, ice skating, and sledding. The schoolhouse was decommissioned after school busses began to transport students to larger schools that had been constructed in the upper county, and attendance at Kingsley began to dwindle.

Beginning in 2007, the schoolhouse was re-opened for an annual event co-sponsored by the Clarksburg Historical Society and the Little Bennett Regional Park management.  Since 2012, a dedicated corps of volunteers opens it monthly to visitors, hosting events and free guided tours.  The building has been furnished to represent the 1920s and early 1930s, the period that former students recalled in a series of oral history interviews recorded by the Department of Parks.


Between 2007 and 2012, Parks led an effort to rehabilitate the one-story, gable-end structure which had fallen into disrepair.  The original 1893 window configuration was restored with the reconstruction of new windows.  Although the schoolhouse did not have shutters originally, they were added to protect the new windows.  The cupola was rebuilt and the schoolhouse bell which had been removed at one time was returned to its original location.