Today, September 5, we honor Anna Austen McCulloch, Oldfields School's founder. The School's 152 year story was compelling from the very beginning. In a video highlighting the early years of the school (click here to view) our community learned about the strength and determination of a 43 year-old mother of eight, who was uprooted from a comfortable life in Staten Island, NY, and found herself on a "rustic" farm in Glencoe, MD. She proved to be a woman of remarkable adaptability and optimism as demonstrated in her diary."The house is a homely farmhouse--but roomy, sunshiny, and clean--convenient...the place grows on me every day. It has great natural beauties." (McPherson, Mary King. Oldfields School 1867-1989, A Feeling of Family.) Naturally Anna had to provide an education for the younger members of the family, and it seemed logical that she should include some of her nieces and nephews and a few local children in her classes. Thus began Oldfields School.
Special guest, Harriet Austen Stokes Iglehart (a descendant of the Austen family and a wonderful neighbor) joined the students for the event in the David Niven Theatre. As is traditional, the entire community walked up the path to Immanuel church to lay a wreath on Anna's grave, while bagpipes played in the background. After the singing of the Oldfields Alma Mater and Oldfields Song, "Sheep On The Hill," we went about our day with renewed thankfulness for the aspirations and dedication of our founder, Anna Austen McCulloch.