NRHP: The Schoolhouse Museum

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For the past 8 years, the Northwest Bergen History Coalition has been holding a themed History Day. On History Day, several historic sites in the area are open, running tours and stamping passports. This year, the theme was ‘How Immigration & The Railroad Shaped Our Towns’ with 10 sites participating.


This one-room schoolhouse, built by the Dutch Reformed Church for $4600, operated as a public school from 1872 until 1905.  It operated as School District No. 45.  When the towns incorporated in 1894, the schoolhouse became part of the Ridgewood school system.

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Towards the front of the museum, the historical society has maintained a display of the original desks and pot belly stove. During this school’s period, students attended school in the same room with the same teacher from 1st through 8th grade. The school year was short…only 60 days.


When I visited, the rest of the building was being used for the “Thread of Life” exhibit, with costumes from the historical period on display. The exhibit runs through December 2018.


I managed to tour five of the participating sites that day. To see my posts on the other NW Bergen County historic sites, click on the following links:

  1. The Old Stone House (Ramsey)
  2. The Schoolhouse Museum (Ridgewood)
  3. The Hermitage (Ho-ho-kus) Coming Soon
  4. The Zabriskie House (Wyckoff) Coming Soon
  5. The John Fell House (Allendale) Coming Soon

Location: 650 E. Glen Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Designation: National Register of Historic Places

Date designation declared: 11/22/1974

Date of my visit: 4/28/2018

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10 thoughts on “NRHP: The Schoolhouse Museum

  1. I love visiting old schoolhouses showing how we used to learn. I started off in a one room schoolhouse Grade 1 & 2 and used to walk a mile and a half (uphill both ways, ha, ha) in the summer. I feel we are teaching children about the world these days, but not always about life. Could be I am just getting old and introspective. Thanks for this post. Allan

    1. Thanks Allan! When I was a kid, my grade school ran out of room for all the students enrolled. So for second grade, we were bused to the colonial schoolhouse in a nearby historic village. I sat at a cast iron desk with an ink well, much like the ones pictured above, except the seat was attached. And ha ha…for grades 3-5, back in the main school I had to walk through the woods, uphill, both ways 🙂

      1. In my rural 1 room schoolhouse, our young lady teacher was trying to be helpful. When there was a lice outbreak, she boiled all our combs and they came out all curvy with sproinging teeth. I no longer need a comb, but I still think of this incident. She also used to heat our soup (brought in pint sealers and quite often the sealers would explode. My school had classes from 1-8, so with that kind of stress, Miss Enns could not be good at all things, I guess. Allan

    1. Yes, well we were one of the original colonies so there’s a lot of great history here. Fortunately there are still enough people interested in preserving our heritage or it would all be condos and skyscrapers by now 🙂

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