Guide to the Records of High Street Presbyterian Church (Newark, N.J.) 1852-1949 MG 8
TABLE OF CONTENTS
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
(973) 596-8500 x249
© 2004 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Laura Ruttum as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Finding aid encoded by Laura Ruttum. January 2004. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
The High Street Presbyterian Church saw its beginnings in a small Sunday school founded by Mrs. Martha Dickerson and Miss Nancy Hunter in 1842, when these two women “…took pity on the unchurched children of the neighborhood and gathered them in private homes for teaching….” This school continued to grow until Mr. William Ketcham, a neighborhood carpenter, permitted the two women to house their school on the second story of his carpenter shop on Mercer Street. The school and the fledgling church went through several reincarnations until the High Street Presbyterian Church was organized on September 16, 1849, and the building-built for $43,252.01 on the corner of High and Court Streets-was dedicated on May 18, 1852. The first pastor of the church was Reverend Daniel W. Poor, the congregation consisted of eighty-five members, and the initial board of trustees included William Pennington, Aaron Coe, William Ketcham, Charles Taylor, and John R. Weeks.
Over the approximately ninety years the church was at the High Street home, the following pastors served the church: Dr. Daniel W. Poor, 1849-1869, Dr. J.H. McIlvaine, 1870-1887, Dr. Lewis Lampman, 1888-1906, Dr. Henry K. Denlinger, 1907-1909, Dr. John J. Moment, 1911-1918, Dr. Alexander Cairns, 1920-1925, and Dr. Alexander Barron, 1925-1926.
In 1926, the High Street Church consolidated with the Old First Presbyterian Church of Newark, founded in 1666. The church maintained their independent status and congregation, along with their own reverends, but fell under the care of the Old First pastors and administration from this point forward.
In 1945, the High Street Church building was sold to the Saint James A.M.E. Church, founded in 1900, and the High Street congregation transferred largely to the original Old First Church.
The architecture of the church is noted for its beauty and originality, as indicated by this quote from the 1884 History of Essex and Hudson Counties, “The walls are of brown stone, arranged in ornamental Gothic style, without any wood on the exterior except the doors, the window sills and frames being of stone, beautifully carved…. interior is pronounced to be one of the most elaborately finished churches in the State. The designs on the windows are entirely original, and were executed by a special artist employed for the purpose by the congregation. No two are alike, and the representations are true to nature.”
This collection consists of a record book of missionary efforts by the High Street Presbyterian Church in cooperation with the First German Church, a record book for the Church’s Sunday School, and four scrapbooks compiled by a long-standing member of the church containing numerous materials interfiled. These materials range in date from 1852 to 1950, and include Sunday school roll books, brochures, photographs, manuals, financial reports, lists of congregation members, notes on church history, service books, newspaper clippings and other miscellany. These loose items were removed from the scrapbooks, which was already disbound, and filed alphabetically by topic following the scrapbooks.
The materials document the founding members of the church, its finances over the years, the various church groups hosted by High Street, the social and fundraising events organized by these groups, the biographies of some of the prominent members of the congregation, the discussion surrounding various projected consolidations with other Newark Presbyteries (most of which did not occur), and many of the services and sermons delivered throughout the history of the church.
This collection is arranged by format and chronologically therein. The materials in the scrapbook have been maintained in their original order.
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.
Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.
The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.
For related materials in print on the High Street Presbyterian Church, see:
Schnall, Kenneth B. (1965) “Nineteenth Century Churches of Newark” Ph.D. thesis, Newark.
For collections related to the High Street Presbyterian Church at the New Jersey Historical Society, see:
For collections related to the High Street Presbyterian Church at other institutions, see:
Miscellaneous Church Records, 1841-1901, the Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Donated to the New Jersey Historical Society by Miss Wilhelmina A. Knapp.
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 8, High Street Presbyterian Church Collection, The New Jersey Historical Society.