Lewis & Edgar Reed’s One-Room Schoolhouse

Darneston School

Circa 1898 class photo taken at Lewis and Edgar Reed’s one-room schoolhouse (Darnestown School). There were six grades in the school with one teacher. Minnie McAtee, teacher (right rear).

One of the most amazing photographs in my grandfather’s collection is of the one-room schoolhouse where he and his brother, Edgar, went to school.  The photo was labeled “Darnestown School”.  I cannot say with any certainty where this school was located, but my mother (Lewis Reed’s daughter) thought it was located on Thomas Kelley’s Farm on Route 28 in Darnestown.

In most rural (country) and small town schools, all of the students met in a single room. There, a single teacher taught academic basics to several grade levels of elementary-age boys and girls. The classroom of a one-room schoolhouse probably looked much like your own. The teacher’s desk may have been on a raised platform at the front of the room, however, and there would have been a wood-burning stove since there was no other source of heat. The bathroom would have been outside in an outhouse. It seems a far cry from the modern school world of today, but it was the reality of the rural education system.

Darnestown One room School

Darnestown School. Note the outhouse on left. Photo by Lewis Reed

Source: Germantown MD Wikipedia


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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

2 responses to “Lewis & Edgar Reed’s One-Room Schoolhouse”

  1. Harold Redden says :


    Thank you for the all the hard work to put this site together. As a 40+ year employee of Fitzgerald Auto Malls starting at Colonial Dodge in 1974 I was aquainted with many of your associates. When I was sent to Lakeforest to be service manager upon opening in 1978 I met your brother Barry.

    I noticed that Authur Watkins and two Burdettes were among those photographed. I beleive they were the founders of Watkins Burdette Dodge in Frederick (we aquired that store in 1985). I met Mr. Watkins at that time who stayed on for a couple if years.

    Fast forward to 2009 and the GM/Chrysler bankruptcy. We lost all three local Dodge stores plus Lakeforest Chrysler Jeep (which had more volume than any other similar store in the district). Our friends in Germantown lost their Dodge store too.

    I hope all is well with your family.


    • Reed Brothers says :

      Hello Harold,

      Thank you for stopping by our blog and for leaving such a nice comment. You are correct, Arthur Watkins and John Burdette started Watkins-Burdette Motor Co, sometime in the late 1950s. I was very young at the time, but I do remember Arthur Watkins. Thanks again for taking the time to visit and share your story.

      Best wishes to you and yours for this holiday season,

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