Highlands Presbyterian Church, formerly referred to as the Schooley's Mountain Presbyterian Church is located in what was once the heart of the Schooley's Mountain Community. Schooley’s Mountain was a popular summer resort from the 1770’s. By 1820 there were two hotels attracting patrons from all over the east coast. The Highlands Presbyterian Church was originally founded as an ecumenical congregation in 1825, partially to meet the religious needs of the summer visitors. A stone chapel, located diagonally across the street from the present structure, was constructed later that year and served five denominations, Baptist, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists and Presbyterians.
By 1870, the stone chapel building no longer could serve the needs of the surrounding community and the present building was constructed
The Hackettstown Gazette reported on the new church: "The audience room of the church is 35 feel by 50 feet with a choir loft with a roomy and handsome vestibule. The walls are beautifully frescoed and the woodwork grained in walnut and butternut. The windows are handsome stained glass. There is a spire of graceful proportion on the north corner, and on the opposite corner, there is a tower some fifty feet high with a gilded cresting. "
The church still is the home to an active religious community (http://www.hpchurch.net), who proudly note that their steeple is still one of the highest around.
Side view of Highlands Presbyterian Church
A view of Highlands Presbyterian Church taken from the hotel on the corner of Schooley's Mountain Road and Pleasant Grove Road sometime after 1870.