This area was named in honor of the large and loud frog population around Little Bennett Creek. Before Kingsley School was built, white children living on nearby. were sent to neighboring community schools. With no bus transportation, students had to walk quite a distance through back woods to get to school. The local African American children attended classes at the old Hyattstown Christian Church since public facilities were segregated by race in Montgomery County until 1961.
A group of concerned parents appealed to the County for the construction of a new local school, which opened here in September 1893. The school was named after the Kings a prominent family in the area. Kingsley school remained open until 1935 when low enrollment during the Great Depression forced it to close.
The classroom was sparsely furnished with a slate chalkboard, simple wooden desks, a globe, and a Victrola record player. A wood burning stove heated the classroom. Bathroom facilities were separate outhouses for boys and girls located directly outside the schoolhouse.
The playground was behind the building and included swings and seesaws. If weather permitted, the boys and girls played baseball, softball, dodge ball and engaged in other activities like fishing, ice skating, and sledding. Each school day would end the same way it began, with the ringing of the school bell.
Restoring the Past
The Kingsley School was built with funds provided by the State of Maryland. There was only enough money for basic construction materials to build a simple, one-room building.
There have been many changes to this building over the years. After the school closed, the structure was in private hands until 1964 when Montgomery Parks acquired this property. In recognition of the historical significance of this century old structure, Montgomery Parks began renovations in 2008. Park historians used a combination of recorded interviews with former students and area residents, old photographs, and archived documents to revive this school to its 1920s appearance.
During renovation, the deteriorated windows and exterior framing were replaced. The cloakrooms were reconstructed. A new wood floor replaced the missing original one, and the slate chalkboard was repaired. The schoolhouse was given a fresh coat of paint using historically accurate colors.