ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – After months of restoration efforts, Missouri’s oldest African-American one-room schoolhouse is set to reopen to visitors this weekend.

African Schoolhouse #4 is the only known surviving log African-American school in St. Louis
County. It stands at the Faust Park Historic Village in Chesterfield.

Built in 1893 by a group of Black farmers, the schoolhouse was originally located off Wild Horse Creek Road. The schoolhouse remained in use through the 1950s and was later donated to St. Louis County Parks staff for preservation efforts.

In 2021, the schoolhouse was moved to its current location in Faust Park. Through hard work and determination from several people, it was painstakingly taken apart, piece by piece, but recently back together and restored. An African-American pastor in a white church helped with those efforts.

“When you have a Black pastor, every month is Black history month,” said Reverend Dr. Linda Settles in an interview with FOX 2 earlier this year. “They were behind it once they heard the story, because this is a piece of history. It’s Black history, but Black history is American history. So, it is a piece of Chesterfield’s history that they saw fit to preserve.”

Settles got her congregation involved to help put the one-room schoolhouse back together. The schoolhouse was used to educate as many as 20 children at a time.

“When you stand on these grounds, even though it’s been moved to this area, you just have a sense that you can feel the ancestors, so to speak, and they’re still speaking,” Settles said. “I think they’re rejoicing that this building wasn’t torn down or destroyed, but this piece of American history is being preserved.”

On Saturday, the St. Louis County Parks and Recreation Department will hold a grand opening to celebrate the restoration of the schoolhouse and its new location. A ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. Doris Frazier, a former substitute teacher at the schoolhouse, is expected to attend.

“We’re honored to reopen African Schoolhouse #4 in Faust Park’s Historic Village where it can provide context to an important and painful time in our history – when children were taught in different schools based on the color of their skin,” said St. Louis County Executive Same Page.

St. Louis County has been helping with preservation of the schoolhouse for more than 30 years. For more information on the schoolhouse, click here.