Peter E. Kurtze
Union Grove Schoolhouse
Mason Road, Cumberland, Allegany County
The Union Grove Schoolhouse is a one-story frame building, rectangular in plan, containing a single classroom and an entrance vestibule. These rooms are distinguishable on the exterior by differences in their respective roofs: the major roof, that of the classroom, is hipped, with its ridge on the long axis of the building (roughly east-west); that of the vestibule, on the east elevation, is lower than the main roof, half hipped to the front wall of the classroom, ridge perpendicular to the building axis, and with a small gable over the entrance set in the manner of a wall-dormer. The structure is clapboard on the exterior, painted white, with a black asbestos shingle roof. There are widely flaring boards on the foundation. The window frames, simple classical aedicules, are painted black, as is the door and its frame. Muntins are white in all windows. The windows themselves are 4/4 double hung sash on the east wall flanking the center door, tall rectangular 6/6 on the south wall (four bays), and six-pane awning sash in four square windows on the north wall. All eaves are finished with the same simple molding. All exterior vertical angles are finished with cornerboards.
The Union Grove Schoolhouse is the last remaining one-room schoolhouse on its original site and in unaltered condition, interior and exterior, in Allegany County. It represents a method of education which was once the norm for the entire region and is now a rarity. The building fits into no particular architectural style, though certain details may be interpreted as classical. The composition, proportions, and execution of detail are very fine.