Seven Oaks History

The Seven Oaks"Family Tree"
Our Historical Roots

Perry Hall was a farming community founded in the early 1700's. The area is named for a land grant originally called "The Adventure" by George Lingan in 1684. By 1773 it was owned by Corbin Lee who began to build a mansion. Mr. Lee died before the house was completed. It was then acquired by Harry Dorsey Gough, a Baltimore merchant who changed the name to Perry Hall after his family estate in England.

The area remained rural until after World War II when the farms began to be sold and homes were built. The new homes lured families from the city and the need for schools increased to where we are today.

The first school in Perry Hall, called Scholars Plains, opened in 1724.  It was a log school on the west side of what is now known as Allender Road near the Great Gunpowder Falls. It closed by 1784 after suffering for many years from lack of funding and other problems.

In 1857 two schools, a "colored" and white, were built on the west side of Allender Road and continued until 1923.

A log school was built at Belair Road and Horn Avenue in 1874. In 1878, Mr. Gough gave one acre of ground at Belair and Forge Roads for a school. A three room brick and frame school was built on this site.

By 1925 a larger building was needed and a six room school was built one mile south of Forge Road on Belair Road (currently the Gibbon Center, next to the Perry Hall Fire Station). As the area grew, the Perry Hall Elementary School, a 24 room school at Joppa and Belair Roads was built in 1956. It was soon overcrowded and the six room school was reopened as an annex to the elementary school. The need for upper schools increased and in 1963 the doors opened at 4300 Ebenezer Road as Perry Hall Senior High School. In the fall of1967 the high school moved to its current location at 4601 Ebenezer Road, serving 1685 students. The other school building became Perry Hall Junior High School (later changed to Perry Hall Middle School).

Other elementary schools were built as the community grew; Chapel Hill in 1962, Gunpowder in 1970, Joppa View in 1990 and our own Seven Oaks in 1992.

The land where Seven Oaks Elementary School is built is part of a tract known as Darnell's Sylvania, surveyed in 1683. It was bought by Hercules Courtney in 1782.

The property passed through several hands over the next 150 years. Recorded history through this time is unavailable. It was owned by a farmer named Jimmy Conner who sold it to Baltimore County in the late 1960's. Baltimore County held the land until construction of the Seven Oaks Senior Center in 1991 and Seven Oaks Elementary School in 1992. Mrs. Karen Schafer served as Seven Oaks principal from 1992 to 1995. During that time the school established itself as a progressive and child-centered learning environment. Three portable classrooms were added due to the expanding enrollment. C. Thomas Bowmann was principal in 1995-1997.  Mrs. Deborah Anthony served as Seven Oaks principal from 1997 to 2003.  Mrs. Carol Wingard was appointed principal of Seven Oaks in 2003.

Seven Oaks Elementary School is located in the Perry Hall area in the northeastern section of Baltimore County. This once rural area has been designated by the county for rapid suburban growth and has become densely populated in thelast 15 years. The housing is comprised of newly built and established individual homes and townhouses. Commercial businesses and shopping centers are conveniently located in the community. Recreational activities are provided through commercial businesses and well-established county sponsored recreational programs. The area is basically a stable community, with some new housing within the last three years.

This middle class community is comprised of predominately professional and semi-professional residents. Families abound and a Senior Center, located adjacent to the school, provides activities for a growing senior population in the county.

Seven Oaks Elementary School has a planned capacity of 500 students in kindergarten through grade five.

The Open Door Program provides quality day care before and after the regular school day. The school is a site for some Perry Hall Recreation Council programs, such as a Tot Program for three and four year olds.

The professional staff consists of highly qualified teachers and resource specialists, instructional assistants, a nurse, two administrators, office secretaries, cafeteria staff, and a custodial staff. Many of the staff members live in the immediate and surrounding community.

Parents are actively involved in all phases of school life. A large PTA membership coordinates many volunteer programs and sponsors activities for the community. An abundance of parental volunteers assist classroom teachers as needed. Parents and staff combine their efforts to assess and formulate school philosophy and policy.

Computer education, an automated Media Center, and other technology provide state of the art research, reinforcement, and enrichment activities for students. The latest instructional materials supplement the Baltimore County Curriculum. Seven Oaks staff members work to ensure success for all students.