History of Oldfields School
150 Years of Each Girl's Success
Oldfields School, Maryland's oldest girls' boarding school, is situated on more than 180 acres in Baltimore County. Anna Austen McCulloch founded the school in 1867, when she and her family moved into an old farmhouse in Glencoe, Maryland. Built in the 1700s, the modest clapboard home still stands as the oldest building at Oldfields and is affectionately known as "Old House".
Mrs. McCulloch felt the need to provide an education for her eight children, and it seemed logical to her to invite some of her nieces and nephews and a few local children to her classes. At the start, she did not feel that she was running a formal school; she always claimed she “took a few ladies to educate them.” In fact, she was creating the foundation for the philosophy and tradition that Oldfields embraces today. Standing on its knoll, Old House is much larger today, with the addition of New House.
The history of Oldfields School is rich with innovation. Oldfields was one of the first girls' schools to introduce chemistry into its curriculum. In 1878, Oldfields pioneered one of the first riding programs in the country, and in 1912, a gym was built, one of the first at a girls' school south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Oldfields has always boasted an educational program that meets the needs of each individual student. The School's student to faculty ratio is among the lowest in the nation. Oldfields faculty is trained to use different methods and tools to meet the diverse learning needs of each student.
While Oldfields maintains its status as one of the top all-girls' boarding schools in the country, the School's history and integrity are never lost. Oldfields is rooted on a campus that has been part of the Baltimore legacy for 148 years. Within these roots is the work of every teacher, student, and staff member who has passed through the School and affected our community in some way.