Good Things Happened Here
In 1829 the State of New Jersey enacted the Public School Law that divided the area into eight school districts. Funding was secured and in 1830, the Crossroads Schoolhouse opened its doors to children in the Central School District of the Township of Chester. The building was run by the Congregational Church for 88 years; the bottom floor was a large classroom and the upstairs served as a chapel for the Congregational Society.
The property was sold in 1918 to be used as a private residence. Over the years, owners made many improvements such as adding a kitchen to the west side of the building, and turning the old chicken coop into an artist studio and shop. The current owners (Pereira Family), purchased The Schoolhouse in 1968. They added a pool and remodeled the artist studio into a Pool House, complete with kitchenette and 3-piece bathroom. In the 1980s, the bright and airy Breakfast Room was added next to the kitchen and soon became a hub of activity while great smells came from Plum Cookery Catering. Fifteen years ago, the Home Office and Guest Room addition was completed, adding 1500 square feet and 1.5 bathrooms. The bottom floor of the addition is still used as a professional office/powder room for an insulation consulting firm, and the top floor became a magnificent guest retreat with full bathroom and added storage. For the last 50 years, the schoolhouse was blessed with joyful family gatherings and spoiled, well-fed guests.
Recently, a piece of Schoolhouse history was found while cleaning a local barn. The Chester Historical Society was contacted about an 1834 bronze bell found in the barn of Edward Orr, a recently deceased local attorney. Orr was the lawyer for the town of Chester for many years and may have also been a member of the local Board of Education in the 1930s. When the schoolhouse bell tower was taken down, the bell was temporarily stored in the Orr barn. The bell gathered dust through the Depression, WWII and was forgotten until 2015, when the Orr family found it and gave it to the Mayor of Chester. The bell will soon be featured in the new Chester Town Hall Lobby.
During your tour of this unique property, you'll notice every detail was completed with impeccable taste, keeping the character and texture of the stone schoolhouse intact, while adding comfortable and elegant function. From the authentic brass locks on every door, to the ship lap ceiling in the breakfast room, to the wood, stone and tile finishes throughout, the Pereira family has been a dedicated and loving steward of The Schoolhouse. They are ready to hand their labor of love over to a new owner. Do you hear the schoolhouse bell ringing for you?