Daily Archives: December 8, 2014

Side Street Sunday (7)

The New Jersey Manual Training and Industrial School for Colored Youth (aka Bordentown School)  is located in Bordentown New Jersey.  I never knew that this school existed.

Reverend Walter Rice, a college educated former slave founded the school in 1886.  It was originally called Ironside Normal School and was located in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  From what I briefly read this school was designed to prepare African American children to attend college and to be self-sufficient.  The school relocated to Bordentown in 1886 and it often referred to as the  Tuskegee Institute of the North.

When the state of New Jersey took over the school in 1894 it changed the focus from preparing the students for college to teaching trades.  Students helped to run the school as part of their education. They were responsible for the farms, preparing meals, running the printing presses, repaired and maintained buildings, operated mechanical systems, and carried out major landscaping and site work projects. 

When segregation was outlawed in 1947 the school closed a few years later in June 1955.  It reopened as the E.R. Johnstone Training Center for the developmentally disable.  When this closed in the 1990 it became a correctional facility. 

From teaching to punishing what would Reverend Walter Rice think today if he was to see this?

Thanks for visiting, all comments are welcome.

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