Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

Old Carpenter Street School

New Jersey Historic Preservation Bond Program
Grant Award: $94,812 (1996)
Grant Recipient: Bethel A.M.E. Church
County: Gloucester
Municipality: Woodbury City

A rare antebellum survivor, the Old Carpenter Street School may be New Jersey's oldest existing schoolhouse built for African-Americans. It is also the oldest surviving structure associated with the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Woodbury, a congregation founded in 1817. Built by Joseph Tatum in the vernacular Gothic Revival style in 1840 (with modifications in 1870 and 1930), the small frame building became a public school in 1881. Eight years later, a larger schoolhouse was built a block away, and the Old Carpenter Street school became a parish house.

The Trust grant helped fund exterior and interior rehabilitation.

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