Ridgeley School was built in 1927 for the education of African American children who lived in the Ridgley Community and surrounding Area. It was built on two acres of land provided to the Board of Education by an African American Women named Mary Eliza Ridgley. Mary Eliza Ridgley was the mother of Mrs. Mildred Ridgeley Gray, a community activist, alumna of Ridgeley School, educator, Prince George’s County resident, and member of Gethsemane United Methodist Church.
A number of members of Gethsemane United Methodist Church, their parents, grandparents and other family members also attended Ridgeley School as children. The construction of Ridgeley School was funded by Mr. Julius Rosenwald through the Rosenwald Fund, the Prince George’s County Board of Education, and the Ridgeley community.Today, Ridgeley School functions as a historic school museum and it goes by the name Ridgeley Rosenwald School. The school museum includes a 1927 recreated classroom, exhibit and community meeting room, a reading room, as well as a recreated home economics and industrial arts exhibit space.
Ridgeley Rosenwald School is owned, managed and operated by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. The Prince George’s County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated provides tours and programs at the museum for the community by appointment on Wednesdays from 11 AM to 2 pm and on the fourth Sunday from 2 pm to 4 pm.
As a Rosenwald School, Ridgeley is recognized as a landmark of historical and cultural significance. It is a designated historic site under the Prince George’s County Historic Preservation Ordinance and it is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Source: Tiffany Williams Jennings