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Jews Help to Restore Church to Be Proclaimed a National Shrine

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The St. James Chapel here, where seven American Presidents worshipped, is now being developed jointly by Protestants, Catholics and Jews into a national shrine. Working together, members of the three faiths have completed restoration of the exterior of the structure, which was decommissioned around 1914. The restorers hope to open it early in 1965 as a museum.

The Episcopal church was opened in 1869 not far from the house where President Garfield died from an assassin’s bullet. Presidents Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Harrison, McKinley and Wilson attended services there. The building was put up for auction during the depression for non-payment of a special assessment. A number of local residents, including many Jews, joined to provide funds to prevent the auction. The building was given to the Long Branch Historical Museum which has maintained it since.

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