HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — The Township of Hamilton Historical Society is seeking some extra help from residents to offset the cost of two criminal incidents that occurred in January at a 100-year-old schoolhouse.

The nonprofit organization hopes to double its normal fundraising efforts this year to fix a theft and act of criminal mischief, President John Ash said. The pastor of the Presbyterian Church said copper pipes were stolen from the organization’s headquarters — Little Red Schoolhouse Museum on Mill Street — in January.

Two windows also were broken in the small library building behind the schoolhouse the same month, he said. The windows have since been boarded up.

No arrest has been announced in either case, Ash said.

The school building became the organization’s headquarters in 1996, Ash said. The red brick building opened in 1903 and was used by the school system until 1992, he said.

The society began sending out letters to township residents last month asking for donations. Ash said the organization hopes to raise between $3,500 and $4,000 to cover the repairs and install an air conditioner that was disconnected in the incident, he said, adding that the organization usually sets $2,000 as its annual goal.

The pipes were on the outside of the building and the theft caused thousands of gallons of water to spill out and freeze on the street and sidewalk, Ash said.

No items were stolen and no damage was caused to the building, he said, adding that there was no attempt to break into the building.

Ash is optimistic the society will recover from the incident.

“We rolled with the punches,” he said. “I think we’ll get the funding. There are a lot of good people who will step up and we can offset the damage’s cost.”

The society is also hoping to increase its programs this fall with a monthly speaker series, Ash said. The guest would speak on a different aspect of the township’s history.

Contact Joel Landau:

609-272-7215

If you can help

Contributions can be sent to the Township of Hamilton Historical Society, P.O. Box 482, Mays Landing, NJ 08330. http://www.hamiltonhistorical.com/">For more information, click on here for a link to the historical society.

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