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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Posted on December 8, 2014, in Side Street Sunday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. It’s a pity that the original purpose of this building is changed from bringing new opportunities for the youth to trying to modify their manners. At the beginning, students who attend the school had to contribute to the general benefit voluntarily. I think it a good way to support the society with potential young people and it should be remain today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I do agree. I understand that all things change but wish the original purpose of teaching the youth was maintained.


  3. My great grandfather and a few other family members were students at MTIS. I wish this school had remained open, so much good could have come from it.

    Liked by 1 person

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