Early nineteenth century schools were of two types. One, the Academy, was an outgrowth of
eighteenth century religious education, with curriculum focusing on the
classics (Latin and Greek). The second
type was the small, local school following English and common school
curriculum. This consisted of teaching
reading and writing to children. These
small, one room schools were usually of frame or stone construction. The Smalleytown Schoolhouse is representative
of an early one room schoolhouse, typical of many that existed throughout eighteenth
and nineteenth century New Jersey.
Smalleytown district, in 1869, had a school-aged population
of 163. Only six attended for the entire
10 months school was in session. By
1872, the school aged population dropped to 68, staying open only 9 months of
the year, its one female teacher worked for only $30 a month salary. The school aged population fell again in
1882, to 51. By 1884, the school closed
and the property most likely reverted back to Augustus Moore, who had inherited
William Moore’s property in 1845.
Augustus Moore lost the property to a Sheriff’s sale in
1894, the building and property then passed through eight more owners until the
school was moved. During the 1960s, the
building was maintained as a temporary church by the Epiphany Lutheran
congregation for their permanent structure was built. The congregation donated the school in 1976.
Here the building has been restored to its original
simplicity. It stands as a reminder of
how and where children of the nineteenth century were taught.