Jamesburg High School
Jamesburg, NJ
September, 1906 - June, 1979

The Three Buildings that Housed the Jamesburg High School
The Proud History of Jamesburg High School

In the Beginning...

      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 school.
The First Jamesburg High School       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.
      Jamesburg 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 elementary school.
      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:
The Second, 1911, Jamesburg High 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.”

“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. . .”
      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.”

Mr. Deveney, The First Principal of Jamesburg High School
The Second, 1911, Jamesburg High School     The Second, 1911, Jamesburg High School Cornerstone

     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 farm.
The 1931 Jamesburg High School      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 basis.
      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 grounds.
      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.
The 1931 Jamesburg High School Cornerstone


      Although Jamesburg High School is closed, the building is very much alive. It is now known as “Forsgate Commons,” a complex of office suites.

The Jamesburg High School, now Forsgate Commons     The Jamesburg High School, now Forsgate Commons

      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.

The First Graduating Class...

      Jamesburg High 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.
The Jamesburg High School, now Forsgate Commons
Back row: Marion Paxton, Lenora Grove, Violet Lewis, Alma Grove
Front Row: Mr. Deveney, Alfred Lange, John Applegate, Ellis Martin
Missing from picture: Tina Greenberg

John Applegate and Alma Grove married shortly after their graduation. They thus became Jamesburg High School’s first married Alumni couple.

      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 be proud.

The Jamesburg High School Alma Mater
Tom-Tom, the JHS Mascot


Mulberry & Gold

The Tomahawk

School Newspaper:
The Warwhoop

J.H.S. Handbook:
The Arrowhead


I believe in Jamesburg High School and myself.
I believe that what I am to be is built upon what I am here.
I believe that what my school is and is to be depends upon me.
Believing these things, I pledge myself to uphold her traditions of accurate knowledge, genuine comradeship, and fine sportsmanship.

The Jamesburg High School Alma Mater

Oh, Jamesburg High, our Alma Mater,
our voices now to thee we raise.
Our hearts are true to thee forever,
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 pledge devotion
And honor to thy name

Dear Old Jamesburg High School

Dear old Jamesburg High School
Firm and staunch it stands
Mulberry and gold its colors
Wave o'er all the land

Fight, fight for Jamesburg High School
May its courage never dim.
Hold high its noble colors
Keep fighting till we win
Rah! Rah! Rah!

Loyal And True

We'll always be loyal and true
All through our school days, and when we are through
Our Jamesburg High three cheers for you
We pledge ourselves and all our hearts to you.
Rah! Rah! Rah!

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