“Old First” dates back to Elizabethtown’s beginnings. The original building was the meeting house for public affairs on weekdays and a house of worship on Sundays. The first colonial Governor, Phillip Carteret, maintained his office there, and the first meeting of the New Jersey legislature was held there in 1668. The British burned the early buildings in 1780. The present-day sanctuary opened a decade later, with a new steeple installed in 2008.
Snyder Academy is adjacent to the First Presbyterian Church. The original building opened in 1767 as a classical school known as The Academy, at which Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton were students. Burned during a 1779 British raid, The Academy was rebuilt and reopened in 1787 and closed in 1834. Rebuilt again in 1863 and in 1917, it has been used for a parish house, offices and Sunday school. A substantial donation from the Harold B. and Dorothy A. Snyder Foundation funded a major renovation, complete with a 250- seat theater, commercial kitchen and art studio.
Listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places
Operated by the Old First Historic Trust
• New Jersey’s most historic burial ground, with more than 2,100 gravesites spanning four centuries, including graves of Jonathan Dickinson (founder of Princeton University), and the “Fighting Parson,” Rev. James Caldwell and his wife (both killed during the Revolutionary War)
For Hours: snyderacademy.org or call (908) 353-2131.
Also on Facebook & Twitter @SnyderAcademy
Photo By KForce at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17957295