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Historic Churches of Somerset County, New Jersey

by Frank L. Greenagel

pages, 135+ b&w illustrations, tables, glossary, appendices, bibliography, index
6.758 x 9.5 in., paperback.  List price: $24.99
Published by The History Press, Charleston, South Carolina
ISBN-13:   978-1-59629-202-4   Publication date: December 2006

This richly-illustrated guide to all of the eighteenth and nineteenth century churches and meetinghouses of Somerset County, New Jersey is the definitive work on the founding, construction and architecture of the fifty-nine surviving churches from the county's early history. From the sophisticated Gothic Revival designs erected in stone by leading architects to the simple wooden-frame meetinghouses built by hand by members of the congregation, the book offers an engaging account, illustrated by stunning photographs, of the visual and material presence on the landscape of Somerset's religious architecture.
The project reflects more than eight years of fieldwork and research, and traces the influence of social, cultural and economic forces, as well as architectural styles and changes in the liturgy. It is clear from this account that the religious architecture of the region provided structure and meaning, as well as an identity to the rural and village landscapes of the area more than a century ago. Particular emphasis is accorded those churches listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. The work includes a glossary, bibliography and a guide to the churches by municipality.

The book was honored with the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission's Award
in History Education in 2007.

Phillipsburg resident Frank Greenagel is an established local and regional historian and photographer. He focuses on the religious architecture and the associated cultural and economic history, and lectures frequently on those subjects. He is the author of several books and articles on the state's religious architecture, notably The New Jersey Churchscape (Rutgers University Press, 2000), The Warren Churchscape (2008), and Historic Churches of Sussex County (2008). He has photographed more than 1,250 old churches, meetinghouses and synagogues in New Jersey, and expects (eventually) to complete books on the religious architecture of all 21 counties in the state. He is also the author of the article on “religious architecture” in the Encyclopedia of New Jersey, and of an extended analysis of late Methodist architecture, published in New Jersey History, the country's oldest scholarly journal dedicated to history. A former professor at the Universities of Minnesota and Colorado, Dr. Greenagel is an accomplished photographer who once studied with Ansel Adams. He uses a large format camera and shoots only in black-and-white.

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