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at East Jersey Old Town Village

Smalleytown School, originally standing at the crossroads of Mountain Avenue and Stirling Road, Somerville, was one of five Warren Township school districts in 1879. It was called Smalley School because the land on which it stood was donated by Mr. Smalley, a local man wanting to be sure that his 17 children had an education.

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.


​Smalleytown Schoolhouse at East Jersey Old Town Village
1050 River Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854 
Phone Number: (732) 745-3030
TTY: (732) 745-3888
New Expanded Hours:
Wednesday - Friday: 10am - 4pm
Open until 8pm, Thursdays in
June, July and August
Saturday and Sunday: 12 - 4pm

Text CULTURE to 56512 for Living History Interpreter Schedules!​
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