Museum Tour: The Schoolhouse
Standing near the entrance to the Schenck Farmstead/West Windsor History Museum is a small, one-room schoolhouse with small bell tower. This is a recreation of the old "Princeton Junction Parsonage" schoolhouse, which once stood at 297 Clarksville Road (next to the Maurice Hawk School).
Records suggest the original structure was constructed some time between 1828 and 1860. This schoolhouse was one of several in West Windsor. Children up to grades 8 were taught here. It is currently unknown why this was called the "Princeton Junction Parsonage," but it may have doubled as a religious gathering place for either the Dutch Neck Presbyterian Church or Princeton Baptist Church.
Four teachers are known to the Historical Society:
The school shut down in 1917 due to the opening of Dutch Neck and Penns Neck Schools. For the next several decades, it served as a residence for several families - including the Silcoxes and Stives.
When the property owner desired to construct a larger residence in 1994, the school was relocated to the Schenck Farmstead at 50 Southfield Road. It was reconstructed with new materials and opened around 2013. It now serves as a memorial to the township's earliest educational efforts. Inside the schoolhouse are myriad artifacts from centuries of education within the township - from furniture, to drawings, to school supplies. Visit the farmstead and be transported back in time!
- “West Windsor Township Meeting Minutes, 1797-2012.,” n.d. Original Township Committee meeting minute database located in the Municipal Center.
- Lake, D J, and S N Beers. Map of the Vicinity of Philadelphia and Trenton from Actual Surveys By D.J. Lake and S. N. Beers. Assisted by F. Beers, L. B. Lake and D. G. Beers. Philadelphia, PA: C.K. Stone and A. Pomeroy, 1860. https://dspace.njstatelib.org/xmlui/handle/10929/34112?show=full.
- “Penns Neck School Register - 1908-1909.” Trenton, NJ, 1908. Located in the Historical Society of West Windsor's archives at the West Windsor History Museum.
- “Penns Neck School Register - 1909-1910.” Trenton, NJ, 1909. Located in the Historical Society of West Windsor's archives at the West Windsor History Museum.
- “Penns Neck School Register - 1910-1911.” Trenton, NJ, 1910. Located in the Historical Society of West Windsor's archives at the West Windsor History Museum.
- “Penns Neck School Register - 1912-1913.” Trenton, NJ, 1912. Located in the Historical Society of West Windsor's archives at the West Windsor History Museum.
- “Three School Houses Bring Only $1,720.” Trenton Evening Times, November 28, 1917.
- Silcox, Irene, Silcox, James P., Stives, Fred E., Stives, Mary D. “Indenture.” Windsor, 1926. Located at the Archives of the Historical Society of West Windsor at the West Windsor History Museum.
- "Broadside,” Spring 2002. Newsletter about the history of the Schenck Farmstead, produced by the Historical Society of West Windsor.
- Trenton, Alyssa Mease/The Times of. “West Windsor to Open Museum at Newly Restored Schenck Farmstead.” nj, January 29, 2013. https://www.nj.com/mercer/2013/01/west_windsor_to_open_museum_at.html.