MHT File Photo
The Clarksburg School
13530, Redgrave Place, Clarksburg, Montgomery County
The Clarksburg School House, located on a knoll above the town of Clarksburg, has been moved about 100 yards, but still maintains it orientation, and was necessary in order to incorporate the old building into the modern Clarksburg Elementary School as a wing. The building is a rectangular structure with a prominent projecting porch on the main (northwest) facade. The porch, in a version of the colonial revival with shingle style detailing, is the one consciously stylistic feature in an otherwise vernacular structure. The entrance is in the center bay of the porch; flanking it are two large 4/4 windows. The entrance itself is flanked by pilasters which carry a triangular pediment; the double doorway is et back from the wall surface and the deep reveals are paneled. The deep eaves cornice is returned into the gable end, which is sheathed in patterned shingles. The upper third of the gable projects forward, supported by five brackets. In the lower part of the gable is a wooden plaque with "Clarksburg School" in raised letters. A frieze band runs along the sides of the pediment. The side walls of the porch both have a single window of 4/4 sash; below the eaves cornice is a wide frieze band. The classroom block runs laterally to the porch. The northeast and southwest (end) walls each have five 4/4 sash windows. They are grouped with two double windows flanking a single window. The roof is a gabled hip, with arched windows or louvers (now covered with plywood) in the exposed peak of both gables. The eaves are deep, but unlike the porch, there is no frieze band. The entire roof is covered with patterned tin sheathing.
The Clarksburg School is the last remaining of four similar frame structures built shortly after the turn of the century in Montgomery County and was in continuous service from 1909 to 1972 when it was scheduled to be razed to make room for new construction. Instead, it was moved approximately 300 feet along the crest of the hill, to be clear of the new construction. The 1909 Clarksburg School is one of the last representatives of a simple but effective type of school organization that occupied a significant niche in the history of public school education. School design did not follow an arithmetic progression from the classical one-room structure by simply adding one room after another, nor was there a sudden jump to the six- or eight-room consolidated school. The two-room school with one room for the lower grades and one for the upper grades was widely used during the first half of the 20th century and represented a major step in the transition to consolidated schools.