Founded on the grounds of St. Joseph Parish as a one-room schoolhouse in 1856, the original structure of St. Joseph School was destroyed by fire and was rebuilt in the aftermath of the Civil War. With many of the Irish quarrymen who settled here having served in Texas during the war, the area of Cockeysville including the St. Joseph campus became known as “Texas, Maryland.” Built with a foundation of stone from the nearby quarry, the new facility opened in 1868 with two large classrooms that were shared by eight grades.
To this day, this sturdy building remains a vital part of the school. Renovations over the years have included the installation of electricity and plumbing, a science lab and library, and enlargement – which doubled the usable space.
Although the church owned the building, the school was staffed and supported by Baltimore County. In 1926, when a new public school was constructed in Cockeysville, all desks and educational materials in the facility were donated to St. Joseph School. The Sisters of Mercy had been traveling from Mt. Washington to Texas by train for weekend religious education classes and they began their full-time mission.
They continue to serve with true dedication and skill, setting the high standards of their faith for the entire school community. Their numbers have been augmented with the addition of a select group of dedicated lay teachers.
With the growth of “suburbia” throughout the 1950s and 60s, enrollment at the school climbed rapidly. During this time, the balconies of the church hall were partitioned to provide more classroom space and eventually this building was rebuilt to accommodate four classrooms as well as two church halls. In October 1958 (exactly 90 years after the original school building was completed), a new, much larger school building was occupied.
Within two years, as the demand for education within a total Christian atmosphere grew among local Catholic parents, it was necessary to build even more classrooms by adding a third level (with four classrooms) to the new building. As a result of VISION 2000, a capital campaign has provided an expansion of parish facilities to include school classrooms, a new library, and a large multi-purpose room for school and parish use.