The Lawnside Historical Society, Inc. is asking for contributions to replace the leaking wooden roof, the heating & air conditioning system, and to make other repairs at the Peter Mott House Underground Railroad Museum. The cost exceeds $101,000.
The Society restored the 1845-era farmhouse, placed it on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places, then opened the historic site to the public in 2001. The Mott House, 26 Kings Court, is named for an agent of the Underground Railroad who carried freedom-seekers in his wagon to Quakers in Haddonfield and Moorestown. The Rev. Mott was a preacher and Sunday School superintendent at Mount Pisgah African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lawnside. Many newly freed people settled in here; Mott also may have escaped bondage.
The repairs include clapboard, chimney, windows, sashes, doors, stairs to the second floor, and the cedar shingle roof, which is crumbling after 20 years. The original furnace is inoperable and the air conditioning system must be upgraded and replaced.
The pandemic eliminated tours by schools, individuals, and community organizations, an important source of income, making donations and grants more important than ever. Contributions are tax-deductible and can be made on the Society’s website, petermotthouse.org, or by check to the Lawnside Historical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 608, Lawnside, NJ 08045.