The mission of the Maple Shade Historical Society is to preserve the historical record and advance the interest and awareness of Maple Shade's past. It is to be an agency for the collection of photographs, artifacts and items that represent the history of Maple Shade. To research, recognize and preserve historically important places in Maple Shade.
The headquarters of the Maple Shade Historical Society is the "Little Red Schoolhouse" on West Main Street near Coles Avenue. It started as the "Chesterford School" built in 1811 and deeded to neighborhood subscribers on both sides of the Pennsauken Creek as far as Haddonfield Road.
After the 1871 Free School Law, it became a district school under Burlington County, Chesterford School No. 27. After the Township School Act of 1894, it was a district school in Chester Twp., then including Moorestown, and was School No. 1. Sometime in the 1890s the name was changed to the "Maple Shade School."
Fast forwarding ahead, the school was later used as a home and was seized by the Twp. during the depression for delinquent taxes. Arthur Cutler and some others had it restored in the 1950s and began the Maple Shade Historical Society.
The Little Red Schoolhouse will be open on December 2 from 1-4 pm. Only one open house this month. Happy Holidays!-Dennis Weaver
The purpose of the Historical Society is to try to save and preserve historical places and items and educate people on Maple Shade's history.
The Maple Shade Historical Society has Open Houses at the one room schoolhouse on West Main Street for people to see the school and museum items of the township. The items are not at the school now due to a few things one of which is the need for display cases.
The school is one of Burlington County's one room schoolhouses and is in that tour program. Here is the 2008 tour paper. Here is more information- Schoolhouses.pdf
For years there were school class trips to the schoolhouse. That was many years ago. I was there when Betty Procopio had young Girl Scouts (Brownies) there or maybe they were girls from OLPH. It was fun because Betty would pick old antique items from the museum items and ask, "Does anyone know what this is?" Maurice Rudderow in his 90s was there and would wind up giving the answers.
There was Edith Cutler's talk about "Maple Shade Before Electricity" where she would show the museum items and explain how people lived then.
There was Arthur Cutler's slide show which Joe Dugan later did.
Back to the present, meetings, usually featuring a guest speaker, are held at the Senior Room in the Municipal Building. One of the best ones we had was when Coles Roberts spoke. Some Open Houses are at the Train Station. They were done on 4th of July parade day and around Christmas time.
There is a Christmas Dinner at a restaurant in town.
There is oral history work where someone is interviewed perhaps on video or could be written and anyone could take part whether a member or not.
The Burlington County Farm Fair has a History Tent with table space for whatever Historical Societies. (In future have a table.)
There are a few Work Days each year like when we pick up the sticks at the schoolhouse with the coming of spring. We do not have to do this as the Twp. takes care of the grounds but it helps and gives you some pride.
We could plan a yearly trip or two to other Historical Societies or places.
July 2, 2023
Here is what happened in the Maple Shade Historical Society in 2008. I think they mean the work was done in 2008 for National Register. The school was placed on the register in 2009. MSHS2008.pdf
Here is the National Register of Historic Places in Burlington County, NJ- https://nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/nj/burlington/state.html
I am the new president and accept the challenges ahead. I have been an active member of the society since 2003. In the last several years I went through skin problems and unemployment which only in the end resulted in me making books of historical education of the township of Maple Shade.
If you think there is cool stuff at my website, in many ways the books take it all a step further. This website is not the Maple Shade Historical Society website. I will devote this page for announcements though.
The Maple Shade Historical Society is down to a handful of members and among them I am the youngest at 61 1/2. We need a few people who will give some sweat, time and dedication when needed. That might not always be the same people and obviously won't be the oldest people.
Some future goals will be display cases and a set day or 2 per month for open house at the Schoolhouse for about 4 hours.
That is about it for now. Also open to hearing ideas.
June 26, 2023
856-667-8728 (Land line, no cell phone)
324 South Lippincott Ave.
Maple Shade, NJ 08052