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The Mary Hoye School

The Mary Hoye School Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Mary Calmes Hoye died October 20, 1875 aged 87 years

John and Mary Hoye lived in the Hoye Mansion on Washington Street. This is one of the oldest structures in Cumberland. In recent years it has served as the First Church of Christ Scientist and is now a law office. The 1820 census shows the Hoyes household as consisting of four family members and ten slaves. The slaves included a coachman, cook, maid, and several children of the Dorsey and Robeson families.

Upon John's death in 1849, he had provided for the freedom of the slaves in his will. However, Mary refused to accept these provisions. It is written that this was prompted by her hope to have more money for her Negro charities. Upon her passing, the will of Mary, or "Lady Hoye" as she was popularly known, provided that a major part of her estate go to the Trustees of the "Mary Hoye School House". She also provided a lot for the school house which was finally built on Independence Street. The Mary Hoye School served black children for many years until the opening of the Mechanic Street School and was then later used as a "colored" YMCA and club house. It was eventually sold in 1927 under court order with the proceeds divided among Cumberland's four black churches.

Mary's will also stated that a major part of her estate was to go the African Missionary Society, "for the purpose of Christianizing the African Race."

Whenever the rector came for dinner, it was Mary's custom to have him pray for her "dear people" prior to the meal being served. She would always end the prayer for her servants herself with, "Lord make them free in their thouls and bodies." Mary had a lisp.


Text and photograph - Albert Feldstein

Text from Feldstein's Gone But Not Forgotten, Volume II, newspaper articles by Michael Mudge and Elvis Jones and the book entitled, The Hoyes of Maryland

As shown above, all that remains of the Mary Hoye School House on Independence Street are the steps.

Collection Location:
Allegany County

Allegany County (Md.)--Biography; Allegany County (Md.)--Women.

Allegany County, (Md.)

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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