Glenwood Institute – Matawan, New Jersey - Atlas Obscura
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Glenwood Institute

Matawan, New Jersey

A condo complex once housed a boarding school with the 24th U.S. Vice President among its notable alumni.  

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Garret Augustus Hobart was born in Long Branch, New Jersey on June 3, 1844. Hobart, who grew up in nearby Marlboro, held a number of elected positions in his home state leading up to his election as Vice President of the United States under President William McKinley in 1896. As vice president, the good-natured Hobart was well-respected in Washington D.C., and considered a close friend and advisor to the president. Tragically, Hobart’s time in office was cut short, when he died of heart disease on November 21, 1899, at the age of 55. Upon learning of his death, President McKinley told family members, “No one outside of this home feels this loss more deeply than I do.”

One of the academic stops on Hobart’s ascent to the second-highest office in the land was a prominent and co-educational academy in Matawan, New Jersey. Middletown Point Academy opened in 1834, across the street from its current location on Church Street, on the second floor of the Farmers’ and Merchants’ Bank. When the original single-room location was grew too small, a two-story building was built for the academy at the corner of Church and Jackson Streets. The school operated out of this smaller structure until 1857, when the current building was erected. 

Between 1873 and 1874, Robert Laird Borden, a future Prime Minister of Canada (1911–1920), served as a professor of classics and mathematics at the academy. In his memoirs, he noted that most of his students were from the village of Matawan, and described the people of the village as “highly educated and cultured.”

In 1874, the academy was enlarged and renamed Glenwood Institute. Over the course of its history, the three-story Italianate-style building also housed the Collegiate Institute of Middletown Point and the Matawan Military Academy. 

The building ceased to operate as a school in 1915 due to competition from free public schools in the area, and was later converted into condos. A two-story unit in the building went on the market in 2013 with a list price of  $169,000, and advertised “two bedrooms, one full bathroom, spacious rooms, nine-foot ceilings, decorative moldings and a basement.”