Our History

Saint Joseph’s School for the Deaf was founded  in 1869 in the Fordham section of the Bronx, New York. The original founders were of the religious order, The Society of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary. The small school building soon outgrew the demand for enrollment and a second branch opened in Brooklyn in 1874. The need for the education of deaf boys opened yet another branch in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx known as Oakland Cottage in 1876. 

During this period, the education of the students focused on dressmaking and cooking for the girls and printing for the boys. In 1891, the boys department printed a monthly newsletter called Saint Joseph of the Oaks. It became a source of revenue for the school for the next sixty years. 

By 1913, the increase in population of deaf children resulted in the opening of our present building. Since then, the handsome red brick building has been an impressive landmark in the Bronx. The surrounding neighborhood, as well as the city and state of New York, applauds the school for its success in educating deaf children for more than 145 years. 

For more information on the Society of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary, visit their website at www.dhmna.org.

Our Archival Museum

St. Joseph’s Archival Museum was established in 1994 during the celebration of the school’s 125th Anniversary. The museum houses hundreds of photographs and memorabilia that chronicles the rich history of St. Joseph’s since it was first founded in 1869 by the Daughters of the Heart of Mary.

Many of the photographs date as far back as the turn of the last century. The Archival Museum is a loving tribute to all the alumni and former staff and students who together established and carried on the mission and goals of the school. It is also a continuously growing museum, as each year new staff and students contribute to St. Joseph’s past. Within the museum, we honor the lasting heritage, pride and dedication of all who have made their contribution throughout the years.

For more info contact Debra Arles

Click the image below to view photos from the museum sorted by decade



SJSD Through the Years