CARNEYS POINT
SCHOOLS
                                 Wiley School/Canal School/Wrights School

An 1876 manuscript of Salem Schools by William Reed says the Wiley school began in 1829 and had recently had
improvements.  In 1916 the Penns Grove Record says the Wiley School was built closer to 1796.  The same time as
the “School House Green which stood on the line between the Bevis farm and Harvey Pedrick’s.”   Wiley School House
was located on the north side of the Penns Grove-Sharptown Road (Route 48).  It is not known when it stopped being
used or was demolished. William Reed also said in his manuscript that the Wright School “had the appearance of long
use, and of having stood for more than a half century.” The Wrights School was at the junction of Forked Hickory
Road and the road later named Old Wiley Road.  It appears that Canal School was also known as Wrights School, was
opened in 1835 and located near Golden Corners. It closed after 1914.














                                         Cove School – Lafayette Seminary

Lafayette Seminary opened in 1834 for religious and school purposes.  Attendance in the school numbered 80 in
1871.  A 1916 article in the Penns Grove Record states that the original school was torn down in 1878 and the Cove
School was erected.  By 1910 the number of students dwindled to 20 through the transfer of students to the new
Penns Grove Schools.  Cove school closed in 1912 to make room for the new Lafayette School which opened in 1917.
According to the same article the school was “moved up the road towards Georgetown to a plot of ground near the
woods and will be used for public meetings”.  Other accounts say it was moved to the area occupied by Fenwick Park
and was moved again later.

                                                             Central School

Central School located on Central School House Road was opened in 1870 and closed after 1914.  No further
information is available regarding this school.  










                                            Green School #1/duPont School

Green School #1 or duPont School opened in 1915. A newspaper article in 1926 written about the dedication of
Pershing School states that in 1915 the site where Pershing School would be built in 1927 was a cornfield and across
the street was a sweet potato field.  The sweet potato field would be the site of duPont #1 or Green School #1.  The
article stated that houses went up so fast and families moved into make smokeless powder that in order to
accommodate their children the duPont #1 School was built. It was an eight-room, one-story wooden framed structure.  
This is where the Union Presbyterian parking lot is currently located (Shell Road and Walker Avenue). In 1927 there
were 8 classes K-4.  The Principal was Mrs. Verna Dowling. There were three 1st grade classes, three 2nd grade
classes, one 3rd grade class.  In 1936 there were eight classes K-3.  One Kindergarten class, three 1st grade classes,
two 2nd grade classes and two 3rd grade classes.  By 1948 schools were so overcrowded the Board had to rent
space from the Union Presbyterian Church for the kindergarten.  A special planning commission recommended a
school northeast of Penns Grove for grades K-6, another K-6 school southwest of Carneys Point, an addition to
Pershing School and abandonment of Green School within five years.  The school was still in use in 1969. The exact
date of demolition is unknown.















                                                          Lafayette School


The old Cove School building was moved and construction began on Lafayette School and was completed and
occupied in September 1917.  Located on Shell Road, this was a three-story brick building with wood floors.  There
were eight classrooms and an assembly hall.  In 1927 there were eight classes, grades 5-8.  The Principal was Miss
Clara Layton who also taught the only eighth grade class.  There were two 7th grade classes, three 6th grade classes
and two 5th grade classes. In 1936 there were eight classes grades 6-8 with three 8th grade classes, two 7th grade
classes and three 6th grade classes. The school was later demolished 1992 after the completion of the new Lafayette-
Pershing School.















                                       Green School #2 - Bungalow School

Green School #2 or Bungalow School, was a ten-room building erected in the fall of 1917 due to overcrowding in the
schools.  This photo was taken in 1919.  The teacher was Marion Johnson.  The school was located on Georgetown
Road where the YMCA once had tennis courts.   It was demolished in 1927 when the Pershing School was built.  
Another account by Esther Featherer in “Reflections” states “there was another school, a “one room” school up along
Georgetown Road.  There a special fourth grade and I spent a school year.  A big stove kept us warm all winter.  
Recess was on our own and we felt like real pioneers”. It is assumed that these are two different schools on
Georgetown Road as the descriptions differ, one being a ten-room building and the other being a one room building.













                                                             Pershing School

In 1927 the new John J. Pershing School was opened and the Green School #2 was demolished. Pershing School was
a two-story brick school with concrete floors.  There were six classrooms, a basement with room for manual training,
domestic science and an assembly room with 250 seats.  When it opened in 1927 there were six classes grades 3-4.  
Miss Mary Elwell of Salem was the principal.  There were three 3rd grade classes and three 4th grade classes.  In
1936 there were five classes grades 4-5.  Three 4th grade classes and two 5th grade classes.  
Before the high school was constructed in 1935, three classrooms and one basement room in the Pershing School
were rented to the consolidated high school district. By 1948 schools were so overcrowded the Board had to rent
space from the Union Presbyterian Church for the kindergarten.  A special planning commission recommended a
school northeast of Penns Grove for grades K-6, another K-6 school southwest of Carneys Point, an addition to
Pershing School and abandonment of Green School within five years.The school was demolished in 1992 after the
completion of the new Lafayette-Pershing School.











                                                          Field Street School

By 1948 schools were so overcrowded the Board had to rent space from the Union Presbyterian Church for the
kindergarten.  A special planning commission recommended a school northeast of Penns Grove for grades K-6,
another K-6 school southwest of Carneys Point, an addition to Pershing School and abandonment of Green School
within five years.  The Planning Commission recommended the purchase of land and construction of a twenty-room
school building in 1954.  A lot at Field Street and Gary Avenue was purchased in November 1954, construction started
April 1955.  The school officially opened February 20, 1956.  On March 18, 1956 the Field Street School was
dedicated. The total cost of the project was $370,000.  The new building consisted of 17 classrooms, a multipurpose
room, principal’s office, teachers’ room and combination clinic and remedial reading room. It was considered to be one
of the lowest cost buildings of its kind erected in the state of New Jersey.  Originally the school was to house 550
students grades K-5 students.  When it opened there were 480 students. This school currently provides education for
grades 1-3.  Enrollment from 2009 to 2016 was around 550 students with 41 teachers.











                                                     Penns Grove High School

It became evident in 1963 that additional classroom space was needed.  Students at Penns Grove High School on
Maple Avenue were on a staggered schedule due to overcrowding.  In 1964 the Board of Education began the
process to purchase land on Harding Highway.  After several referendum defeats the project was finally approved and
in 1968 planning for a new building began.  Ground breaking ceremonies were held in July 1969 and work started
August 1969.  The new $3.9 million-dollar school opened on January 4, 1971 with thirty regular classrooms, fourteen
specialty rooms (art, shops, science labs, etc), eleven business and faculty rooms, auditorium, gymnasium, and
cafeteria.  There were 1,014 students, and 58 teachers.  This high school would serve the Penns Grove, Carneys
Point and Pedricktown area.   The school continues to serve as a high school.  Enrollment continues to decline with
684 students in 2009 and 554 students in 2016 and 53 teachers.












                                                Lafayette-Pershing School

In the mid 1980’s the Lafayette and Pershing Schools were cited as being sub-standard facilities.  These schools were
situated on land owned by the E.I. DuPont Company.  The school district had never obtained clear title to the property.
At that time DuPont representatives arranged for the land to be made available at no cost to the district. After
obtaining the property the Lafayette-Pershing School was designed to replace the existing Lafayette and Pershing
Schools on the same site.  The new building was to provide adequate space for children in K-1 as well as students with
special needs. The two older Lafayette and Pershing Schools had to remain open and operational during the
construction of the new building.  The new school was completed in late August 1991 with three days to prepare for
the students.  The school open house and dedication ceremony was held on April 4, 1992.The new building contained
five self-sufficient kindergarten classrooms, eleven first grade classrooms, an art and music classroom, a computer
education classroom, three special education classrooms, a gymnasium and librateria which combines the function of
the library and cafeteria.  Each classroom contained a sink area, ample storage cabinets and bookcases and separate
storage room which has a small refrigerator for snacks.  There was a Macintosh LC computer in every classroom.  
The school currently provides education for pre-k and kindergarten, and students with special education.  In 2009
there were 359 students enrolled.  There was a sharp decline in 2011 to 208 students, but enrollment was back up the
next year to 368 and continues at this level through 2016 with 326 students and 14 teachers.