Bring History to Life!
Empower! Experience! Enlighten! History comes to life in the day of a student in an authentic one room school house.
The Wilson Academy was built of brick on an acre of land deed to the Board of County School Commission by Peter and Elizabeth Neff Smouse on July 24, 1874. John Jacob Smouse and his brother, Peter, constructed the school for the area. Charles A. Smouse, son of Peter, purchased the school in 1902 for sixty dollars after it was replaced by the Union Grove School. A porch was added on the front and side. The interior was partitioned into a living room, kitchen with pantry and two bedrooms. The building still stands on Smouses Mill Road and in recent years was donated to Allegany College of Maryland.
In 1901, the Union Grove One Room School was built to replace the Wilson Academy. The school was built for children living along this section of Mason Road. Union Grove School also became a community center for the surrounding area.
In 1946, the Board of Education deeded the school and property to the Boys 4-H Club and it remained a club house for many years. At one point the Preservation Society replaced the roof, saving the building. The building remained vacant for many years and began to deteriorate. Richard Heavner, trustee for the 4-H club, donated the school to the Allegany County Historical Society in October 2007 with the intention that it would be restored.
The schoolhouse has been completely restored with a grant from the Maryland Historic Trust and matching funds from the Allegany County Historical Society. The restoration project was overseen by Historical Society Board member, Howard Buchanan.
In Spring of 2020, thanks to grants from the Community Trust Foundation and the DelFest Foundation, local 3rd and 4th grade student will be able to enjoy the schoolhouse free of charge. For more information call 301-777-8678.
DIRECTIONS TO THE UNION GROVE SCHOOLHOUSE
From Cumberland area on I-68:
Go left at end of ramp toward North 220
Take next left onto North 220
Go right on Smouses Mill Rd
At 14410 Smouses Mill Rd. see Wilson Academy, which is now owned by Allegany Community College of Maryland
Note Terra Angelica Inn. This was the site of the Smouses Mill and on this land was the first schoolhouse for the area.
Go right onto Mason Road
Note the Union Grove Campground on left.
Union Grove Schoolhouse is on the right immediately after the Union Grove Campground. A small white building.