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Maryland Industrial and Agricultural Institute for Colored Youths

The Maryland Industrial and Agricultural Institute for Colored Youths was a school in North Laurel, Maryland, United States founded in 1901 by Ernest Lyon for the education of African-American students in central Maryland.

Maryland Industrial and Agricultural Institute for Colored Youths

United States
Other nameLaurel Colored Agricultural and Industrial School
FounderErnest Lyon
PrincipalR.J. Pollard


In 1901 Ernest Lyon, the pastor at John Wesley Church in Baltimore, Maryland and a professor at Morgan College, purchased 87 acres (35 ha) of land[1] located near the city of Laurel, Maryland and the Patuxent River for the establishment of a school dedicated to the education of African-American students,[2] and served as the institution's first president, with agriculturalist R.J. Pollard as principal. Lyon was inspired by Booker T. Washington's advocacy of industrial education for African American children, and Washington later wrote in support of the Maryland Industrial and Agricultural Institute and similar institutions to the Maryland State Commission of Education.[3] Pollard described the aims of the mission of the institute's founders as "the establishment of a Hampton or Tuskegee in Maryland-in the Black Belt of Maryland-as we have styled it."[1]

The school was also known as the "Laurel Colored Agricultural and Industrial School."[4]

The school merged with Bowie Normal School.[5]

Funding and curriculumEdit

Although the Industrial and Agricultural Institute initially had difficulty securing adequate funding from the Maryland State Legislature to support its operation[6] and relied largely on private funding,[7] by 1909 it was one of a number of industrial schools for African-American youths that were commended by the Maryland State Commission of Education as a model of industrial education.[8] All students received instruction in English, as well as in one of more of the following subject areas: "carpentry, mechanical drawing, farming, cookery, dressmaking, laundering and housekeeping."[9] Students cultivated crops on the school's farmland which were used to feed school attendees and staff as well as livestock cared for by the students.[7] The initial class consisted of eight students, who boarded on campus.[1]

Present dayEdit

In January 2010, the Laurel Historical Society gave a lecture about the school, describing the event as "unraveling one of Laurel's great mysteries".[10]


  1. ^ a b c "News from the Field". The Southern Workman. 31: 407–408.
  2. ^ The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol. 14. James T. White & Company. 1910. p. 421.
  3. ^ "Education of Colored Youth. State Board Considers the Question. Booker Washington's View". The Baltimore American. August 29, 1907.
  4. ^ "State Aid Denied Medical Schools". Baltimore American. March 25, 1910.
  5. ^ "Dr Lyon, noted negro cleric and former diplomat, dies". The Baltimore Sun. July 18, 1938. p. 16 – via
  6. ^ "Asked $25,000 for Negroes. Commissioner Harris' Decision in Against a Maryland College". The Baltimore Sun. April 19, 1902.
  7. ^ a b "For Colored Youth. Commencement at the Maryland School, Near Laurel". The Baltimore American. May 31, 1905.
  8. ^ "May Urge Regents. State Commission of Education Nearly Ready to Report". The Baltimore Sun. December 8, 1909.
  9. ^ "School for Colored Youths". The Baltimore American. October 11, 1905.
  10. ^ "Calendar of Events for January and February 2010" (PDF). News & Notes. Prince George's County Historical Society. January 2010. p. 8. Retrieved December 14, 2017.