Montgomery Museum Makes a Map of Local Black History Sites

Kevin Burkman, board member of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum, handed over a poster-sized, detailed map of black history sites in the Sourland Mountain area to elementary school last week. Village of Skillman as part of its educational outreach program.

The Montgomery, Hopewell Valley, Princeton and Hillsborough school districts, as well as the Princeton Day School, also received copies of the map for use in the classroom.

Burkman, a geographic information system mapping analyst, used historical records to locate 25 black history sites in central New Jersey. The locations include:

  • Stoutsburg Cemetery, one of the oldest African-American cemeteries in the state, where local black residents, including Independence War and Civil War veterans, were buried from the 1700s.
  • Minnietown, a community in Hopewell where African Americans and Native Americans lived until the late 1800s
  • Put Tavern, a Sourland Mountain business owned by former slave Harry Put
  • The Higgins farm at Montgomery, which served as a stop on the Underground Railroad
  • Registered in the National Historical Register Church of Mount Zion AME at Skillman, the current headquarters of SSAAM.

Burkman hopes schools will use this map to expand knowledge and appreciation of black history in New Jersey.

“If the students look at this map and think a little more about how African Americans have contributed to the history of their communities from the very beginning, I will consider it a job well done,” he said. he declares.

The only African American history museum in central Jersey, SSAAM is committed to sharing the culture, experiences, and often overlooked contributions of the state’s black residents, from slavery to the present day.

“SSAAM is always keen to engage in outreach activities with our neighboring communities,” said Executive Director Donnetta Johnson. “Together, we will build a broader engagement and an understanding of our rich history and our common future.”

As part of its education program, SSAAM will provide free copies of the map to schools, organizations and local governments. Email [email protected] for more information.

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