The original building purchased from the Redemptorists for roughly $18,000 no longer exists. It was demolished to make way for the new St. James Church and Rectory. The oldest remaining building was constructed in 1852, and the first addition was constructed in 1862.
On July 24, 1864, IND’s first class graduated in a public ceremony, accompanied by cannon fire and the burning of bridges between Washington and Baltimore. Through decades of challenges, IND stood tall. IND helped slaves reach freedom as part of the Underground Railroad. Sisters and students nursed both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. In 1885, the building housing the current Parlors and Auditorium was constructed. The course of instruction during the post-Civil War period included etymology, rhetoric, composition in prose and poetry, logic, reading, and elocution, mental philosophy, arithmetic, bookkeeping, astronomy, geography, sacred and profane history, physics, botany, chemistry, physiology, German, French, Spanish, plain needlework, vocal music, and drawing. In 1892, the current Chapel was built.
During the buildup of WWI, the sisters were ordered to register and be fingerprinted, since most were German, and the U.S. was at war with Germany. The sisters took care of students and each other during the deadly 1918 Flu Pandemic, as a few sisters succumbed to the disease. As the years passed, the School Sisters read the signs of the time and added to the high school curriculum, revealing a belief that education means enabling the whole person to realize the fullness of her potential. IND emphasized cultural subjects but did not fail to follow practical trends.
IND was among the first schools in Baltimore to recognize the value of instruction in business subjects. An academic–business course was listed in the course of studies as early as 1896. As the roles of women changed during the early 20th century, IND’s academic/commercial program became so highly respected that businesses in the Baltimore area regularly contacted the school in June, eager to hire IND graduates.The graduates of the Class of 1923, 12 in number, were the first to complete what is known as a four-year standardized high school course. IND was placed on the Maryland State Department of Education list of approved non-public secondary schools on February 27, 1924. Expansions were made in 1926 for additional classroom space.
When city buildings were burned during the riots of the late 1960s, IND was spared because of its relationship with the community. In the 1970s, when other city schools left for the county, IND stayed. Our roots here are deep and our commitment to the people in the community surrounding us very strong. We’re right where Blessed Theresa intended us to be. In 1992 the Marion I. Knott Gymnasium was constructed where the courtyard with convent garden, gazebo and Blessed Mother’s Grotto once was. The grotto was later relocated to a small courtyard off the first floor.
Over the years the School Sisters continually educated themselves, so that they could provide the best education possible for their students. They prepared their students with the academic and practical knowledge they would need to face the world with confidence and to cope with ever new challenges. They constantly reinforced values of faith in God, self-confidence, and commitment to excellence.
Text quoted from the indofmd.org/about-ind/the-ind-story
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