Monday, February 18, 2008

Remembering the Past at Mr. Caldwell's School

The Cecil County Board of Education celebrated the legacy of one its former schools on February 10th when it rededicated the central office on Booth Street as the George Washington Carver Education Leadership Center. This facility, the county-wide high school for African-Americans in the era of segregated education, graduated its last class in June 1964.

The blast of strong winds and snow showers rattling the building on this special Sunday wasn’t able to put a freeze on the excitement at the ceremony. An overflow crowd of several hundred former students, friends, educators, and others eagerly looked on as Dr. Carl Roberts discussed the reason for rededicating the building while others recalled its history. This large turnout on this wintry Maryland Sunday and the conversations that filled the hallways afterwards as old friends rekindled memories and recalled past experiences spoke to the strong bonds that remains for George Washington Carver alumni and family.

A community’s history is important and it is essential that we preserve reminders of the past so we have context for understanding current events. Dr. Roberts, the Historical Society of Cecil County thanks you for helping assure that we recall this part of our heritage and for helping to make sure we keep in mind a time when the challenges at Principal Caldwell’s school were different.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The House was Packed for Tillie Pierce Performance

An outstanding performance by University of Delaware history major Abby Harting playing Matilda “Tillie” Pierce wrapped up our winter living history series. Fifteen-year-old Tillie witnessed the battle of Gettysburg and she wrote about those dramatic days later in her life. The house was full as Abby, in character, vividly told guests about the civilian side of this pivotal Civil War battle. The emotions felt by a young lady witnessing dreadful scenes that July in Gettysburg caught the audience up in the show. Once she finished the performance, the crowd peppered her with lots of questions. If you missed this show, you missed a superb portrayal. In addition to portraying Tillie, the Middletown Delaware resident has done reenacting and interpretations related to the War of 1812 at Fort McHenry. Abby sometimes plays the young Civil War era lady at the Tillie Pierce House Bed and Breakfast in Gettysburg. If you missed this engaging performance, perhaps you can catch her there over the summer. Look for more information on next year’s winter living history series later this year.