Warren County Treasure: Ohio’s First School for Black Children

Harveysburg, Ohio, has a hidden treasure: The state’s first school for free Black children, built by white abolitionist Elizabet
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Harveysburg, Ohio, has a hidden treasure: The state’s first school for free Black children, built by white abolitionist Elizabeth Harvey in 1831 (named the Harveysburg Free Black School) and maintained by the Harveysburg Community Historical Society for almost 200 years.

“People are amazed that this little village has housed this, didn’t know that it existed,” historical society treasurer Lucy McCarren on Thursday told WCPO-TV.

McCarren doesn’t want it hidden anymore. She and other members of the historical society hope to build an educational cultural center nearby to showcase the schoolhouse’s history, display artifacts used by its original students and provide a more comfortable experience for visitors. (The original building was constructed to meet 1831 standards of comfort, which means no running water or bathrooms.)

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