Jamesburg High School
September, 1906 - June, 1979
Proud History of Jamesburg High School
In 1905, a group of
interested Jamesburg citizens assembled to discuss their children’s continuing
education. Although the Borough of Jamesburg had a fine elementary school,
students wishing to pursue a secondary education had to board a train and travel
to either Freehold or New Brunswick to attend high school. After much discussion
and thoughtful reflection, it was decided that Jamesburg would open its own high
In September, 1906, Jamesburg High School
welcomed its first students. Classes were held in an upstairs classroom of the
Jamesburg Elementary School. It shared this room and a teacher with the school’s
8th graders. There were 7 students.
High School continued to grow. By the 1909 school year the student population
exceeded 90 students. It graduated its first class in 1910; there were 8
students. The increase of high school students caused the building to become
over crowded. On April 20, 1911, the Jamesburg Board of Education voted to build
a new school building that would adequately accommodate the increasing high
school population. The new high school was to be built directly opposite the
The new Jamesburg High
School building welcomed its first students in September, 1912. Shortly
thereafter, Jamesburg High School’s first principal, Curtis A. Deveney, wrote of
the new school:
“One of the
things the people of Jamesburg are proud of is an up-to-date High School. The
building was designed by J.H. and Wilson Ely of Newark. It is constructed of
brick and Indiana limestone, and contains four classrooms, a chemical
laboratory, a manual training room, assembly, principal’s office and a
library.” Mr. Deveney served as
Jamesburg High School’s Principal from 1909 until his death in 1927. He is
called the “Father of Jamesburg High School.”
“Because of its central location pupils attend the High
School from Helmetta, Spotswood, Cranbury, Old Bridge, Monroe, Madison, East
Brunswick and South Brunswick Townships.”
“The town counts itself
fortunate in having a High School, for now she need not have her High School
boys and girls journey on railroad trains to New Brunswick or other High
Schools. . .”
The 1911 building served as the home
of Jamesburg High School until June, 1932. A growing student population
compelled the Jamesburg Board of Education to construct a new high school
building on Forsgate Drive, then a large field which was part of Peter Davison’s
The new Jamesburg High School structure was
designed by the architectural firm of John Noble Pierson and Son of Perth Amboy
and was erected in 1931-1932 at a total cost of $165,000.
The building was equipped with a
Physics-Chemistry laboratory, a Biology classroom laboratory, an industrial arts
shop, gymnasium, auditorium, an office training suite, a home economics suite,
and school offices. The seventeen classrooms were furnished with movable desks
and decorated in pastel colors. Flourescent lighting, book shelves, and
blackboard and bulletin board space added to the attractiveness of the rooms.
The home economics program was housed in its
own facility with ample space for a sewing laboratory and several cooking units.
The business department occupied the Office Training Suite which was built as an
addition to the main building in the Spring of 1963.
The gymnasium had shower and locker
accommodations for both boys and girls. The auditorium, separated from the
gymnasium (which doubled as a stage) by curtains, seated 464 persons.
Office facilities included a guidance
counsler's office suite to provide for privacy during interviews with students
or their parents. The 331 steel clothing lockers lined the halls and provided a
storage place for the student's belongings. They were assigned on a homeroom
The playing field which still lies at
the rear of the school building, provided for a regulation baseball diamond, a
one-quarter mile cinder track, and outdoor basketball court, and a soccer field.
The school grounds were nicely landscaped and the grass was kept well cut. The
student body took great pride in the fine appearance of the building and
The Jamesburg High School sign on
the front lawn (no longer standing) was a gift of the Class of 1963.
This Jamesburg High School building welcomed
its first students in September, 1932. It served the needs of Jamesburg area
students until it graduated its last class in June, 1979. Jamesburg’s high
school students now attend Monroe Township High School.
High School is closed, the building is very much alive. It is now known as
“Forsgate Commons,” a complex of office suites.
Both of the early buildings that
housed Jamesburg High School were demolished in the late 1960s to make way for
the present Grace M. Breckwedel Middle School. Miss Breckwedel was an Alumna of
Jamesburg High School, Class of 1914 and a long-time teacher and elementary
school principal in the Jamesburg school system.
School graduated its first class in 1910. There were eight students in the
graduating class: John Applegate, Tina Greenberg, Alma Grove, Lenora Grove,
Alfred Lange, Viola Lewis, Ellis Martin and Marion Paxton.
Marion Paxton, Lenora Grove, Violet Lewis, Alma Grove
Front Row: Mr. Deveney,
Alfred Lange, John Applegate, Ellis Martin
Missing from picture: Tina
John Applegate and Alma Grove married shortly after their
graduation. They thus became Jamesburg High School’s first married Alumni
Between September, 1906
and June, 1979, approximately 6,100 students attended Jamesburg High School at
some point in their academic lives. Jamesburg High School graduated 4,100
students in its seventy three year history. While Jamesburg High School may be
closed, its influence lives on in the hearts and minds of the thousands of
students who walked its hallowed halls. It is a history of which its Alumni can
Mulberry & Gold
THE JAMESBURG HIGH SCHOOL PLEDGEI believe in Jamesburg High
School and myself.
I believe that what I am to be is built upon what I am
I believe that what my school is and is to be depends upon
Believing these things, I pledge myself to uphold her traditions of
accurate knowledge, genuine comradeship, and fine
The Jamesburg High School Alma MaterOh, Jamesburg High, our Alma
our voices now to thee we raise.
Our hearts are true to thee
our lips will ever sing thy praise!
Let all thy sons and
daughters hail thee,
And ever sing of thy great fame.
To Jamesburg High we
And honor to thy name
Dear Old Jamesburg High SchoolDear old Jamesburg High
Firm and staunch it stands
Mulberry and gold its colors
o'er all the land
Fight, fight for Jamesburg High
May its courage never dim.
Hold high its noble colors
fighting till we win
Rah! Rah! Rah!
Loyal And TrueWe'll always be loyal and true
All through our
school days, and when we are through
Our Jamesburg High three cheers for
We pledge ourselves and all our hearts to you.
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Inc. 2004 - 2009