The Morristown Sewing School Exhibit

Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023 from 11:00am to 4:00pm


The Morristown Sewing School is a little known and little recorded facet of Morris County history. It was run on a volunteer basis by some of the most prominent women in Morristown throughout the 1880s to teach local young girls, most the daughters of tradesman, practical sewing skills. Despite over 500 students attending between November 1879 and May 1889, there is very little documentation of its existence. What is known comes predominantly from two years of research based on the 45 teacher’s books donated to MCHS in 2018. Fortuitously, the books are a gold mine of information as they list not only the teacher of each class, but also the students with their home streets, some of the subjects taught, and dates classes were held. With the books’ assistance, students and their teachers were traced via the census and other records, providing fascinating insight into 2 very distinct strata of Morristown society.

Many of the 487 identified students lived their entire lives in the Morristown area. If one of the women below is a member of your family tree, we would love to hear from you! MCHS is also eagerly seeking any photographs you may have of your ancestor, particularly in her younger years. Email us at [email protected] or call us at 973-267-3465.

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