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Winkler Shop School


The Charles County school system acquired the Winkler Shop Road Schoolhouse, constructed around 1890, in 2010. The building is a one-room schoolhouse located on Crescent Lane near the junction of Turkey Hill Road in La Plata. The former owners are Edward L. Sanders Jr., Louise Sanders and E. Larry Sanders III. The Sanders family donated the building to the school system earlier in 2010.

Charles Wineland, assistant superintendent for supporting services, said it will cost the school system $49,000 to have it gently disassembled and moved to a parcel beside Theodore Davis Middle School on the North Point High School campus. The money will be taken from the school's fund balance, he said. Wineland said students would play a big role in researching the school and writing a curriculum based on lessons from when the school was operational. Students also would play a role, but not the sole role, in reconstructing the interior of the school including furnishings.

Sanders said with all of the factors coming together, it only made sense to donate it to the school system. After all, Sanders said that, while a hundred years ago schoolhouses were on privately owned properties, the houses do "tie in to the history of what is now the Charles County school system."

Sanders said he and his family could see the passion Richmond and the school board had for the historic value of the schoolhouse when the Sanders family came before the Charles County Board of Education.

The Winkler Shop Road Schoolhouse, according to Maryland Historic Trust documents, originally was named the Page Schoolhouse Property and sold to the board of school commissioners in Charles County in 1885 in order to have a schoolhouse to educate white children. African-American children were segregated at the time and had their own schools.

According to records, the structure is of wood-frame construction with wood siding. Two windows are on both the north and south sides of the structure and there is one window on the west side of the building. The small single-frame schoolhouse no longer was used after a tornado hit La Plata in 1926, killing 13 children who were attending a two-room schoolhouse. The schools were consolidated into one brick building in 1928.

The owners sold the Page Schoolhouse back to the Page family, and they sold again in 1942 to the Spaulding family. Sanders said his family helped with the upkeep when the Spauldings owned the building and it was passed to the Sanders family.