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Former Students Of Sykesville Colored Schoolhouse Made Most Of Circumstances

SYKESVILLE, Md. (WJZ)-- On a hill in Carroll County stands a little one-room building that holds a place in history.

At the turn of the last century, segregated African American children in Sykesville had only one place to get an education, but the one-room school got the job done, judging by two former students.

Warren Dorsey has always been a dreamer, even back when he attended the Colored Schoolhouse, now called the Historic Syskesville Colored Schoolhouse, through his first seven grades. He and his 11 sisters and brothers lived next door.

In 1903, it was the only school in the area for African American children.

"This was not a friendly town for people of color," he said.

Friday a group of students from South Carroll High learned about life 'back then.'

The school closed in 1939 and sat in ruins until it was restored and reopened in 2006.

"It tells a story which has been horribly underrepresented in Sykesville," said Pat Greenwald who spearheaded the effort to get the building restored. "Most of the people didn't know it existed."

Warren and Rosie Dorsey are living history for a segregated time in Maryland history.

Rosie went on to be teacher and principal and Warren was a microbiologist and principal also. Their parents never went to school.

"My mother thought education was gonna free you from this," Warren said.

Warren and Rosie are the only siblings alive. Warren celebrated his 97th birthday Friday.

The Schoolhouse also houses 'the Homework Club' where children who need a little extra help are tutored twice a week.

Local schools are always welcome to schedule field trips to the Schoolhouse, which is owned and operated by the town of Sykesville.

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