Construction began on the one-room school house in 1844, on the property of Jacob R. Shotwell, a former Vice President of RSI Bank. The primary funding, support and oversight for the school came from the Society of Friends (Quakers), who had a history of supporting persons of color. The Friends paid the school’s expenses and the salary of Miss Martha (Matilda) Putnam, who served as both teacher and principal.
The school had an average enrollment of 35 students, and eventually received financial support from state public education funds. In 1882, the school was integrated, and by the mid 1880s, it closed.
In the years that followed, Ms. Lucy H. Eddy, a local philanthropist from the neighborhood established the “Rahway School for Colored Children Trust Fund” that helped to preserve books and artifacts left from the school. These items are currently being stored at the Rahway Library, but will serve as the basis for the restoration and the holdings of the newly envisioned African-American History and Heritage Center of Rahway, NJ.
This site is sponsored by the Ebenezer AME Church. However, it is currently not open to the public.
For further info:.ebenezeramechurch.com or call (732) 382-0541