140 Court St, Freehold
The Court Street School is one of the principal structures associated with the segregated history of early twentieth century education for African Americans in Freehold, New Jersey.
The original school was organized in 1915 exclusively for the education of African American children by the Freehold Board of Education. It was a one-room wooden building located just west of the present site. The existing school was constructed in two phases, in 1920 and 1926. All African-American children in Freehold were educated at Court Street School from kindergarten through eighth grade until World War II, when the school was used as an air raid shelter and a ration station.
Under pressure from war veterans, a court order integrated the school and it reopened for kindergarten through third grade in 1949. The school closed in 1974. In 1990, the Court Street School Education Community Center, Inc. was formed as a non-profit, tax-exempt organization, to restore the school for use as an Education Community Center and to preserve it as an African-American historic landmark.
The group received a grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust and the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders to restore the facility. In 1995, the building became an official historic site in the state of New Jersey, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites.
The school now operates as a community education and historical center.
The Monmouth County Historical Association has begun a new initiative to collect the oral history of Court Street School. If you attended school there, or know someone who did, get in touch with MCHA so we can better preserve the memory of this important edifice.
Court Street School Education Community Center. Available: https://www.courtstreetschool.com/