Friends of the Howe House Purchase Historic Home

In December, the Friends of the Howe House announced that they purchased Montclair’s first property owned by a freed enslaved man, James Howe, with the help of donors. The sale was finalized for the property at 369 Claremont Avenue, which dates back to 1780.

From the Friends of the Howe House: The James Howe House represents the importance and vibrancy of Montclair’s black community, both historically and in the present. One of the oldest structures in Montclair, dating to the Revolutionary era, this house helps tell the story of freedom and slavery, the development of a black community, and also the founding of Montclair as a town.

James Howe worked as an enslaved man for Major Nathanial Crane in the early 1800s. Crane manumitted Howe after almost two decades of servitude ending his enslavement. In Crane’s 1831 Last Will and Testament, he left House the house, $400, and about six acres of land. Howe used the home and property to support his family, and evidence suggests that a small black community developed around the James Howe House.

The Friends of the Howe House plan to preserve the house and gardens, develop it as a site to teach the history of slavery in North America, and celebrate the impact of African Americans in New Jersey. The group will host several upcoming events to secure James Howe’s House.

One River School of Art presents “Howe House Party”

Friday, January 27, 2023

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

The History of Howe House: A Panel Discussion

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Howe House Art Matters Art Exhibition and Auction

Thursday, March 9, 2023

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

For more information, visit the Friends of the Howe House website.