CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – Crews have revitalized a historic African American schoolhouse, and it’s almost ready for tours.
The St. Louis County Parks Department has been working to rebuild the schoolhouse and add it to the historical village in Chesterfield’s Faust Park. Mark Harder, who became a St. Louis County councilman seven years ago, wanted to make that vision a reality.
According to records, the African American schoolhouse stood on Wilson Horse Creek Road in the late 1800s. The schoolhouse was designed for African American children. The building was created to meet the state’s constitutional rule to provide an education for all Missouri children.
The one-room schoolhouse, known as Chesterfield School No. 4, was one of a handful in the county in the 1800s. It was closed in the 1950s. The property was sold, and the new owner built a home on the property and converted the schoolhouse into a garage. The most recent owner was not willing to release the building to the county.
Three years after a tour of the property, Harder got a call to help a woman in Chesterfield with a tax issue in St. Louis County. It led to Harder exploring the property and eventually getting approval to dismantle the school house and restore it at Faust Park.
Its original logs, some fixtures, and bits of paint from the blackboards are still present. The Schoolhouse sits next to the Alt School House. The Alt schoolhouse taught white children in grades 1 through 8 in alternating years during the same period as School No. 4.
“We celebrate the progress of many volunteers and Parks employees who have worked hard to make this dream a reality,” said the St. Louis County Council in a news release. “We also want to thank the Parks Foundation for its fundraising efforts as well.”
The building is expected to be completed and open for tours soon. For more information, contact the county council at 314-615-5443.