Mission Statement:

The mission of Hosanna School Museum is to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of Harford County, Maryland through the lens of the African American experience within national contexts.


Image of Hosanna School Museum

Hosanna School today

The building of Freedmen Bureau schools was mandated by law across all of the former slave-holding states for the purpose of educating the recently freed African Americans.

The property upon which Hosanna stands was first owned by a free African American man named Cupid Paca.  In 1822 Paca bought fifty acres of land running from Berkley into Darlington.  When he died, his holdings were divided among his surviving children.

In the mid-1800’s, Cupid Paca’s son, James, sold 1/4 acre of his share of inherited land to be used as “a school house lot.”

The Freedmen’s Bureau funded the construction of a two story frame building which was used as a schoolhouse, a community meeting place, and a church. In 1879 the operation of the school was assumed by the Harford County School Commissioners.

In 1907 the school building was actually condemned for use as a school.  Still, Hosanna remained active as a schoolhouse for local African American children until 1945.

In 1948, Hosanna Community House, Inc. was formed by African American men in the community so that they could continue to have a community meeting place. In the late 1950’s, Hurricane Hazel sheared off the top floor of the building. The corporation, with its limited funds, preserved what was left of the building by placing a roof on the remaining structure.

After these repairs, the building was once again used as a community center, particularly by The Boy Scouts.  In 1983 the corporation received funding from the State of Maryland to stabilize the building.

Actual restoration of the remaining floor of the building began in 1993.  A grand opening and dedication of the partially restored Hosanna School took place on September 10, 1994.  Restroom facilities and a handicapped access ramp were also added. In September of 2005, the restoration of the second floor was achieved. After several stages, it now stands as the original two-story structure.

Hosanna Community House, Inc.’s main goal is to preserve and share this landmark and the history and culture associated with it, as unique in the history of Harford County and of the United States of America.


Hosanna works with several organizations in the community: Harford County Government, Harford Community College, Hays-Heighe House at Harford Community College, Harford County Public Library, Havre de Grace Boys & Girls Club, Hosanna A.M.E. Church, Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway, and the Maryland Humanities Council.


Executive Director: Iris Leigh Barnes

Program and Education Coordinator: Roxann Redd-Wallace

Board of Directors


President: Sharoll Williams-Love

Treasurer: James Thornton

Secretary: Donna Lewis

Financial Secretary: Tom Owens

Parliamentarian: Agnes Minor


Eugene Chapman

Patricia Cole-Barfield

Mike Dixon

Barbara Mobarak

Contact info:

410-457-4161, info@hosannaschoolmuseum.org

Mailing Address:

PO Box 305

Darlington, MD 21034

Physical Address:

2424 Castleton Road

Darlington, MD 21034

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