Historical Society of Chatham Township
Red Brick Schoolhouse Museum
Photograph: Tom Salvas
- See artwork highlighting the artists of the Chatham Colony Association
- View artifacts including bead work, needlework, weaving
- Learn about the Native Americans of the area and the importance of the Great Swamp
- Tour the exterior of the Bed Brick Schoolhouse and review planned historic preservation
- Go on a driving tour of Historic Markers of Chatham Township
- Parking available across the street at Church of Christ, 382 Fairmount Avenue
The Red Brick Schoolhouse was built in 1860 and called the Mount Vernon School in honor of George Washington. For over 150 years it has been a focal point of the Township, serving as a school, a Sunday school, a community center, home of the Chatham Art Club and the Chatham Township Hall. In 1991, it became the historical society museum displaying artifacts, documents and photographs from more than three centuries of Township life.
Through the years many interesting people have called Chatham Township home. The original inhabitants of the area were members of the Lenape tribe who made good use of the bounty of the Great Swamp. Following them were early settlers who created a farming community. Dairies, truck farms and the greenhouse industry prospered. After World War I the population continued to grow and thrive. In the 1920s, a group of mostly eastern European Jews formed a colony within the town. Madame Bey ran a boxing training camp that turned out world champions. Local residents were instrumental in the grassroots battle to save the Great Swamp from becoming a jetport. As the value of land rose development increased, but many historic sites and buildings remain and can be viewed on our narrated Driving Tour of Historic Markers.