Evesham Friends Meeting House - Mt. Laurel, NJ
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 56.106 W 074° 53.519
18S E 509229 N 4420559
Quick Description: This building, still in use, is also know as the Mt. Laurel Meeting House. This is the oldest meetinghouse still in use in The United States. It gained historical significance (National Register of Historic Places) on April 22, 1982.
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 2/14/2008 6:45:54 PM
Waymark Code: WM35PH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 47

Long Description:

The historical sign on the front of the property states the meeting house was built in 1760 with an addition being built in 1798. There is a brick which bears the second date. The actual congregation was officially formed in 1695. It is located at the intersection of Hainesport Mount Laurel & Mount Laurel Roads, on the Mount Laurel Road side.

On the grounds are the remains of some HUGE trees. They are big enough to live in and must have been extremely old before they met their demise. "The property slopes slightly to the northwest and is adorned with trees. These include huge oaks and a sassafras tree, listed as the largest of its kind in New Jersey." Check out the tree at N 39° 56.115 W 074° 53.473 or the giant stump at N 39° 56.107 W 074° 53.461. The latter is bigger than a man that doubles as a shelter.

This large structure is typical in design of the meeting houses built by members of the Society of Friends in the Delaware Valley. It is unusual, although not unique, in being constructed of stone. The stone is laid as coursed ashlar on the front - that is, cut into regular blocks and laid in rows - and random rubble on the sides and rear.

Although traces of different building periods are scarcely discernible, the building was constructed in two phases. The older section to the east was erected in 1760; it was extended by half its length to the east in 1798. Also dating from the late 18th century are the pews, wide board wainscoting, stairs, and gallery supported on wooden columns. The only alterations have been the installation of a stove in 1877 and of electric lights in the 20th century.

The Revolutionary War is also mentioned on the historical sign as this building played a small role in the fight for freedom. "During the British evacuation of Philadelphia on June 19 1778, a contingent of British troops under the command of General Sir Henry Clinton is believed to have camped on and around the grounds of the Evesham Friends Meeting."

Please click HERE to visit one of my sources for information about this meeting house.

Web Address: [Web Link]

Physical Address:
1625 Hainesport-Mt. Laurel Road
Mount Laurel, NJ USA

Hours of Worship: 10:30 AM

Year Built: 1760/01/01

Still in Use?: Yes, Every Sunday

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