Built n 1871, this was the first public school building in Perth Amboy. The original eight-room school, which was doubled in size in 1905, exemplifies the best class of public school building erected in New Jersey in the years after the Civil War. These schools are characterized by masonry construction with a projecting entrance porch and stair tower. This Italianate style also includes arched windows, a low -pitched hip roof and wide overhanging eaves supported by heavy brackets. Such buildings reflected the growing civic pride and consensus in favor of public education.
In 1989 Public School No. 1 was renamed in honor of the first African American to vote under the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The son of former slaves, Thomas Mundy Peterson (1825-1904) cast his ballot in a municipal referendum on March 31, 1870, at Perth Amboy City Hall. Mr. Peterson served as custodian of Public School No. 1 from the time of its opening in 1871 until 1877.
This Historic Site Marker is a gift to the people of Perth Amboy from the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, 2012.