ROXBURY, NJ – Starting this weekend, visitors to the King House Museum in Ledgewood will see what school was like for kids and teachers of the late 19th century and early 20th century.
The Roxbury Historic Trust has created in the museum on Main Street a replica of a circa-1900 Roxbury classroom. The museum will open to the public April 9 at 1 p.m.
The classroom replication, dubbed “Miss Louise’s School Room“ will feature items loaned by historian Brian Morrell, a member of the Roxbury Historic Trust board of directors who lives in Stanhope, as well as items owned by the organization.
“Brian has a tremendous private collection,” said fellow board member Mary Ann Dudak. She said he loaned desks, chairs, books, lesson plans, photographs of long-gone Roxbury students and other items.
The room was named after Louise King, who owned the 138-year-old house now serving as the museum, said Dudak.
“The wooden desks and attached pulldown seats, the lesson books, and other furniture and artifacts within the school room are authentic to the period,” said the historic trust in a statement. “Old photographs of the Roxbury schools and Roxbury school children adorn the walls. Visitors to this historic ancestor of today's modern classrooms will gain an insight into the learning atmosphere for Roxbury students of 100+ years ago.”
Tours of the King Store and the King House Museums will be available during the opening. Both buildings are listed on the state and National Register of Historic Places, as is the surrounding Ledgewood Historic District (originally called Drakesville.)
Admission to both museums will be free.
“The Museums at Drakesville Historic Park are located on the site of the Essex-Morris-Sussex Turnpike, which followed a branch of the ancient Lenape Minnisink Trail,” noted the Historic Trust. “They are also situated in New Jersey's historic mining district in close proximity to the Morris Canal in Ledgewood, and thus represent many centuries of Roxbury's history.”
The 1827 King Store served as a post office, polling place and general store for nearly a century, according to the historians. It is one of only two surviving Morris Canal stores and the only one with preserved original merchandise.
The King House was features turn-of-the-century additions “and a fine and apparently unique pastoral mural dated 1936 by little-known English painter, James Marland,” noted the Historic Trust. The building saw significant preservation work performed last summer.
Further information about the Museums at Drakesville Historic Park and the openings and special events of the 2017 season can be found at: http://roxburynewjersey.com/trust.htm and on the Facebook Page, "Museums at Drakesville," or by calling 973-584-1457, or 973-927-7603.