• Schoolhouse currently undergoing restoration and open by appointment only
  • After the restoration, the schoolhouse will be open to the public on a regular basis
  • Major programs include lectures about the life and legacy of Clara Barton, group and family tours by appointment, and exhibits that will open upon the restoration of the Schoolhouse
  • ADA accessible
  • Parking
  • Free

Clara Barton Schoolhouse

142 Crosswicks Street, Bordentown, NJ 08505


Clara Barton, best known as a Civil War nurse and founder of the American Red Cross, was significant in New Jersey history for establishing the first public school in the state. She took a teaching position in Hightstown, and while visiting Bordentown, was disturbed by the number of children she found in the streets because their families could not afford private school. Barton met with the local school committee and convinced them to let her educate the children in a free school. She opened the school in 1852 with only six male students in attendance. At the end of the first year, attendance grew to 600 students. The town officials built a new public school but replaced Barton as principal with a man. She then left for Washington, DC, where she became the first full-time employee of the Federal Government in the Patent Office. Barton went on to become the Angel of the Battlefield in the Civil War and founded the American Red Cross.


  • Learn about the incredible life and legacy of Clara Barton
  • Attend a lecture at the schoolhouse
  • Explore shops and restaurants in Bordentown City

Journey through Jersey strives to have the most up-to-date information, but always check with the site itself before planning a visit.