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Journey to the Sourlands, and a Journey through Centuries: Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum

The Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum (SSAAM), currently showcasing a one-room schoolhouse at the southwest end of Montgomery Township, and its affiliate Stoutsburg Cemetery in Hopewell Township, will be better able to welcome visitors and introduce a full history of slavery and black settlement in the state as a cornerstone to New Jersey’s African American heritage trail. SSAAM began with the historic former Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, which is entering Phase 2 restoration with support from a 2021 grant of $20,808 from the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission to SSAAM. Grant funding is administered through Somerset County as part of the County History Partnership Program (CHPP), established by the New Jersey Historical Commission in 2015, with local re-granting across New Jersey’s 21 counties. Currently SSAAM is awaiting bids from contractors to complete needed HVAC installation. Since the 1800s the building has been intact with no heat or A/C, and some cosmetic work will also be done.

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