THE YEAR 1854

SPAN OF A CENTURY
1828-1928

100 YEARS IN THE HISTORY OF CAMDEN AS A CITY

COMPILED FROM NOTES ANDS DATA COLLECTED BY
CHARLES S. BOYER

PRESIDENT CAMDEN COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PUBLISHED BY
CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY COMMITTEE
OF CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS AND NOTES BY PHILLIP COHEN IN 2003

A rolling mill was erected at the head of Third Street in 1854, for the manufacture of bar iron. This plant was subsequently became a part of the Camden Rolling Mills Company. It was badly damaged by a fire on December 23, 1867, but was rebuilt, At the time of the fire it was one of the most extensive industries in Camden, but misfortune overtook it after the death if its active head, J.W. Middleton. It was sold by order of the United States District Court in 1870. The foundry was purchased by Jesse W. Starr & Sons, who sold the rolling mill and attached property to Philadelphia capitalists. 

The public school system was actually inaugurated in Camden in 1854, upon the organization of the Board of Education of the City of Camden. Prior to that time the school system was under the supervision of the School Trustees of the Township of Camden. During the period from 1843 to 1854 much had been done to improve facilities, but until the Act of 1854, incorporating the Board of Education, there was a constant struggle between the School Trustees and City Council. The first public school was opened on May 8, 1843, in rooms in the Academy Building at Sixth and Market Streets. The Kaighn School, at Newton Avenue and Chestnut Street, upon land donated by the Kaighn family, was erected in 1854 and was the first school building erected by the Board of Education. This building burned down in 1903  and was replaced by a new structure in 1904. The second school house was the Genge School at Sixth and Market Streets, built in 1862 upon the site of the old Academy. In 1868 the third school house was built, which was the Stevens School, so named in honor of E.A. Stevens, who donated the land upon which it was built. 

The E.A. Stevens School

 

The Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church was organized on May 9, 1854. It was an outgrowth of the Berkeley Street Sabbath School, organized April 8, 1848. The cornerstone of the old church was laid on August 7, 1855. The lecture room was dedicated on December 25, 1855, and the main audience room January 29, 1857. In 1892 a chapel was erected in the rear of the main structure, the cornerstone of which was laid July 28, 1892. The cornerstone of the new church was laid on June 17, 1897. This church building was dedicated on May 14, 1898.

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