Posted Thursday, August 15th, 2019

Union Schoolhouse is on the State and National Historic Registers

The Morris County Board of Freeholders last night honored the Washington Township Historical Society for its continuing preservation efforts on the circa mid-1830s Union Schoolhouse, which is an important part of the township’s history.

The county governing board presented the Society with a county preservation plaque to be installed in the Schoolhouse, which is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.

(l/r) (seated) Freeholder Stephen Shaw, (standing) Freeholder Director Doug Cabana, County Planning and Preservation Director Christine Marion, and Carole Stober, Annette Sadloski, Mary Ann Kordys, and Roxanne Wallace of the Washington Township Historical Society

(l/r) (seated) Freeholder Stephen Shaw, (standing) Freeholder Director Doug Cabana, County Planning and Preservation Director Christine Marion, and Carole Grobels, Annette Sadloski, Mary Ann Kordys, and Roxanne Wallace of the Washington Township Historical Society

The German-masonry building, located on Fairview Avenue, was constructed in 1830. Its served as a school for 56 years and then was transformed into housing, and later used as a library and historical center.

Accepting the historic marker (to be placed on the Schoolhouse) at the Board of Freeholders’ county government meeting held in Washington Township was Washington Township Historical Society President Annette Sadloski and Trustee Mary Ann Kordys.

Historic restoration work done so far at the Union Schoolhouse has been financed partly by the voter-approved Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

“We applaud the excellent work being done to preserve the Union Schoolhouse, which is a very important and unique facet of Washington Township’s history,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “The Historical Society and municipal leaders have done a remarkable job in saving and enhancing a real historic treasure for the community.”

the Union Schoolhouse

The Union Schoolhouse

Morris County Planning and Preservation Director Christine Marion provided details of the Washington Township project:

  • The name “Union Schoolhouse” commemorates two separate congregations who formed a union and worked together to build a church and school to be used jointly for religious and educational purposes;
  • The Schoolhouse has been used for three purposes throughout its 189-year history. Constructed in 1830 using German masonry techniques, it originally served as a school on the second floor and community and prayer meeting space on the first;
  • It operated as a school for 56 years until 1886 when it was sold to a private resident. It became a multifamily residence for 80 years until it returned to its original role as a community asset, becoming a library and historical society in 1967. It continues to serve as the headquarters of the Washington Township Historical Society today.
  • Currently owned by Washington Township, the building is a key contributing building in the German Valley Historic District, which is listed on both the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places;
  • With assistance from County Historic Preservation grants totaling more than $162,000, the Historical Society has successfully completed a Preservation Plan, an exterior restoration project, and will soon restore the cedar shingle main roof.

For information on the county’s Historic Preservation Grant Program, visit: https://morriscountynj.gov/planning/divisions/prestrust/historic/

For information on the Washington Township Historical Society, visit: http://wthsnj.org/

Freeholders Award Historic Marker for Washington Township Historic Preservation Project