“It’s important to me because I want other people to know about this and get involved so they can help us preserve the building and everything,” said Kenneth Moore, the historical society’s youth ambassador. “That way we can educate them more about the history of the building.”
Elizabeth Harvey, the school’s founder, also founded Harveysburg along with her husband and was a passionate abolitionist guided by her Quaker faith. Quakers were among the white religious groups most openly opposed to slavery in early American history, and their tradition of social activism continued into the 20th century with movements focusing on Black enfranchisement, women’s suffrage, prison reform and mental health care.
The Harveysburg Free Black School educated students from its opening in 1831 until the early 1900s, when other schools in the community began to accept Black children alongside white.
McCarren said she is proud to have the schoolhouse in her community, and hopes other Ohioans will recognize its value for students across the state.
“I think it’s important for us to remember that so everybody will know that there were some folks who were interested in freedom for everyone,” McCarren said.