Tag: Historical Homes of New Jersey

Mauricetown Historical Society                         1229 Front Street                                Mauricetown, NJ 08329

Mauricetown Historical Society 1229 Front Street Mauricetown, NJ 08329

Mauricetown Historical Society

1229 Front Street

Mauricetown, NJ 08329

(859) 785-0457

http://mauricetownhistoricalsociety.org/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/History-Museum/Mauricetown-Historical-Society-178475328895206/

Open: The first and third Sunday’s of each month/Check their website 1:00pm-4:00pm

Admission: Free but donation suggested. See website

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g46606-d24137792-r844173042-Mauricetown_Historical_Society-Mauricetown_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

Mauricetown Historical Society

I visited the Mauricetown (pronounced ‘Morristown’ like its northern neighbor) on a trip to visit historical societies in southern New Jersey. Mauricetown comes from the Dutch word ‘Mauritus’ for the Mauritus River that flowed through the town. “Maurice’ is the English version of the word.

The town itself was used for shipping and trade up and down the East Coast and between 1830 and 1902, 61 ships were built in the boatyard in the village. The home that the Society is housed in is one of many ship captains homes that was built on this side of town being closer to the river for the other ship captains. Founded in 1984, the Society has taken it upon themselves to start collecting artifacts from the town.

When you first enter the museum to the right, there is an extensive collection of seafaring items and military artifacts. This includes many items from the Civil War and WWI. There was even a rare pair of original sharp shoot glasses.

The Military Collection at the Mauricetown Historical Society (MHS Picture)

In the Formal Parlor, the room was designed with original molding from decor of the house and a copy of the wallpaper that had been found behind paneling that had been put up in the 1970’s. The room was furnished in period furniture that was a mixture of late 1890’s to the 1920’s.

The Mauricetown Historical Society ‘Parlor Room’ with the original molding and copy of wall paper

On the second floor, one room was dedicated to a Captain Bacon and his wife, Carolyn, another was full of pictures of the town of Mauricetown through the times, there was a collection of clothing through the ages and a quilt collection that was very impressive.

There was one quilt on display that had the names of all the sea captains and their families. Many of the decendants of the town come here to research their families and look at this quilt. There is also another quilt with items native to the area.

One of the rooms discusses the Mauricetown Shipping and Fishing industry with all sorts of photos and equipment. There was even a display of the ‘Bridge Key’ from the original bridge that lead into town. There was also an interesting display on the town’s Oyster Industry.

In the Children’s Room, there was an extensive collection of dolls, children’s playthings through the ages, clothing and school pictures of the town through the years.

On the outside grounds, there is a Cookhouse that was separate from the main house in the era of when cooking could start a house fire so the rooms were kept separate from the main house. There was a 1880’s cookstove that still works.

The Cookhouse on the grounds of the Mauricetown Historical Society

On the back of the ground is the Abraham and Ann Hoy House, a small home from 1840 that had recently been lived in by an elderly couple. The house had two small levels with the main rooms designed around the fireplace and heating unit.

The house had been stripped of the modern add ons and they Society wanted it to look like it had when it was originally built. The upstairs had two loft bedrooms and even a small loft above the downstairs fire place where the kids would sleep when it was cold outside.

It really showed how the working people of the town lived in a stark comparison to the sea captains who were running trade for the town. The Society’s members have taken great care in restoring these homes.

The Mauricetown Historical Society at 1229 Front Street

The History of the Mauricetown Historical Society:

(From the Mauricetown Historical Society website):

The Mission of the Mauricetown Historical Society:

It is the mission of the Mauricetown Historical Society to collect, preserve and exhibit artifacts and documentation significant to Mauricetown and the surrounding communities.

The Mauricetown Historical Society is housed in the former home of Captain Edward Compton, who was a local sea captain. This Italianate Victorian structure was built in 1864 by Mauricetown carpender Griffith Pritchard and Samuel Cobb.

The home was purchased in 1984 by the society. At the time, the property was in poor condition and required work inside and outside. Over the past 25 years it has been carefully restored to its present condition by volunteer efforts of society members and others. The restoration is an on-going project and there are still areas of work that are needing completion.

Situated directly across Front Street from the location of the old shipyard where sea-going vessels were built in the 19th and 20th centuries, occupants of this house were able to view the activities of the shipyard and the traffic of the river.

The Nicolas Gibbon House                                   960 Greate Street                                     Greenwich, NJ 08323

The Nicolas Gibbon House 960 Greate Street Greenwich, NJ 08323

The Nicolas Gibbon House

960 Great Street

Greenwich, NJ 08323

(856) 455-4055

Nicholas Gibbon House

http://www.co.cumberland.nj.us/gibbonhouse

Open: Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm/Monday Closed/Tuesday 1:00pm-4:00pm/Wednesday-Saturday Closed

Admission: Free but a donation suggested

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g46477-d24137202-r844109193-The_Gibbon_House-Greenwich_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

The Nicholas Gibbon House

I was very impressed by the Nicholas Gibbon House when I took a tour one Saturday afternoon. There were no large crowds to deal with and the parking is perfect with plenty of room to move around. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with all sorts of seasonal flowers surrounding the house. When I visited I thought I was mistaken and it was someone’s home. There was a lot of care put into both the exterior and interior of this home.

Nicolas Gibbon was a local merchant who moved to Greenwich in 1730 and continued to live here until the 1760’s. The tour guide explained to me that the townspeople would not let him build a church here (it was a Quaker region) so he and his wife decided to move out of the area. Richard Wood and his family moved into the house in 1760 and lived in the house until the 1920’s. Over that time, parts of the house were modernized and rebuilt. The Wood family later in the generations founded the WaWa store chain.

With the exception of the Nicolas Gibbon’s nephew and his wife’s portraits, all of the furnishings are not originally from the house. The downstairs is set up with a formal dining room and parlor area fully furnished in Victorian era furniture, paintings, rugs and silver. The silver collection of the house is very elaborate and some of the pieces came from the Hershey family of Pennsylvania.

The library and study has rare books that were used for research as well as a working fireplace that was used for both light and heat. Downstairs is the kitchen with a large hearth and all the equipment and serving items for kitchen and dining use for the home.

The tour guide explained to me that during some of the past fundraisers, the hearth was used to cook foods of the time period that were served for events.

Upstairs you have an elaborate master bedroom with all sorts of formal furnishings for a upper middle class family living in the area. What was the interesting part of the second floor of the home was the “Everything Room”, which contained a extensive collection of toys and dolls, Civil War historic items, period clothing, bonnets, top hats and parasols, an extensive collection of quilts and Hair Art which was a Victorian tradition of making art from the hair of the dead.

There was a collection of ‘Sewing Samplers’, which is how young women learned how to perfect their sewing skills which was part of their domestic training for being a housewife.

The collection of the house really gave a glimpse into the lives of people from the 1840’s until almost WWI. How much life has changed but not too much.

Historic Marker outside the home

History of the Gibbon House:

In 1730, Nicholas Gibbon who had inherited more than 3000 acres of land nearby, bought a 16 acre lot in Greenwich on which he built a replica of a London Townhouse he had admired. The brick, fired on the property, was laid in the Flemish Bond pattern brought from Kent, England: this design is achieved by using a red stretcher and blue header producing a definite and attractive pattern. Rubbed brick is a further architectural feature, outlining each door and window opening as well as being used to emphasize the four corners of the house.

The Upstairs bedroom at the Gibbon House (Cumberland Historical Society.com)

The home, appropriately furnished with products of 18th and 19th century atrisans contains a reception hall, a paneled dining room, a formal drawing room and a kitchen dominated by a huge walk-in fireplace in which demonstration of colonial open-fire cooking are conducted.

The walk-in fireplace at the Gibbon House (Cumberland Historical Society.com)

There is a small store on the back porch where post cards, gifts and a fine collection of books and pamphlets on the history of the area may be purchased.

On second floor, in addition to a bedroom, are exhibits of 19th century locally made, rush seated. “Ware” chairs, children’s toys, dolls and clothing as well as Civil War artifacts donated by local families.

Kearney House (Blackledge-Kearney House) Alpine Landing                                                Alpine, NJ 07624

Kearney House (Blackledge-Kearney House) Alpine Landing Alpine, NJ 07624

Kearney House (Blackledge-Kearney House)

Alpine Landing

Alpine, NJ  07624

(201) 768-1360 ext. 108

https://www.njpalisades.org/kearney.html

Open: Most weekends & holiday afternoons from May to October

Fee: Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g29743-d19332567-Reviews-Kearny_House-Alpine_New_Jersey.html

I took my first trip down to the Kearney House in Alpine, NJ and was able to walk the grounds, visit the Alpine Landing and see the amazing views of New York and of the Hudson River. This spot gives you breathtaking views upstream of the surrounding Hudson River.

The house was closed but the vegetable gardens were full of late Fall produce and the gardens could have used some weeding. I will have to wait until the house opens up again.

I recently visited the Kearny House of their Fall event “Punch & Pie at Mrs. Kearny’s Tavern”. That was an interesting night. First let me say that it is pitch black in that park. The Alpine Basin has no lights in the park and you will be in the dark the whole trip down the hill. I had a minor incident travelling down the hill so take it slow.

Kearny House II

The Kearny House illuminated at night

Once I was down for the event, it was interesting and fun night. Tavern musician, Thaddeus MacGregor, entertained us with all sorts of songs for the evening and there was storytelling by the gentleman who runs the historical site.

There was a candlelight tour of the house, so we got to see the second level with the upstairs bedroom, the attic area which really was drafty and the room above the new addition that is used for storage. The area was once heated by fireplaces and since the downstairs had a fire lit, the whole house was nice and warm. They had once of the original rope beds that had been tied and antique toys.

Kearny House III

Heating the punch

The first floor had the fireplace lit and the whole room was illuminated by candles which made the room very warm and cosy. It was interesting to see one of these homes that has no electricity and how it operates. It must have been very interesting to live at time.

kearny-house-iv.jpg

The Main Room lit by fireplace an candle light

What calmed me down after a long night was the delicious homemade pies that they served at the event. They had a strawberry rhubarb and apple that were just delicious. So flaky and filled the freshest fruit. It really cheered me up. They also had cheeses, roasted peanuts and a hot spiced cider to drink. I could have used something stiffer but it was still nice to drink and had the most wonderful flavor. Overall it was a nice night of desserts and snacks and good storytelling and the view of New York City was incredible.

kearny-house.jpg

The house illuminated by candlelight (Kearney House.com)

Do not venture into this park at night! Please take it slow down the hill to the landing. My suggestion is to do a dry run when it is light out so you know where you are going.

The History of the Kearney House:

(I credit this to the Kearney House pamphlet and Wiki)

The Kearney House was built in the 1760’s by the Blackledge family and was the home of Maria Blackledge, who was the daughter of Benjamin Blackledge, who lived in the home with her husband, Daniel Van Sciver.

Maria Blackledge father, Benjamin Blackledge, was an educator and public official, who taught Dutch citizens the “Kings English”. He was the first clerk of Harrington Township, NJ and served as Justice of the Peace and Judge of the County Court of Common Pleas and elected to the assembly of Bergen County, NJ. Mr. Blackledge’s wife, Caroline Tallman (Cathalyntie Tallema), was the daughter of Dowe Hermanszen Tallema and Maritie Haring, of the prominent Haring family of which Harrington, NJ was named after (Wiki).

The house was built in this location when the farmers of Closter, NJ built the Closter Dock Road through a pass in the cliffs to the Hudson River so they could deliver their goods to New York City. The house was most likely built to be a dockmaster’s house to supervise the busy river landing.

Kearney House

The Blackledge-Kearney House

The house was purchased in  1817 by James and Rachel Kearney. With them were their three children from Rachel’s first husband, Abraham Powles, who died two years earlier. James and Rachel then had five children of their own. Rachel also adopted a daughter.

Mr. Kearney died in 1831 and Mrs. Kearney used the home as a tavern. The northern part of the house was expanded in 1840 to house the tavern part of the building. Besides offering food and spirits, Mrs. Kearney’s tavern served as a meeting place for the captains and crews of the sailing vessels that arrived and departed daily from the docks here and for the local workforce of quarrymen, dock workers and tradesmen.  The upstairs room in the new addition may have been for lodgers staying at the tavern.

Kearney House II.jpg

The Kearney House furnishings

The Palisades Interstate Park Commission bought the house in 1907 after Rachel’s death in 1897 and in 1909 had the big porch built as a grandstand for a dedication ceremony for the new park. Through the 1920’s, the Commission used the house as a police station. The house is now open to the public on select weekends and holidays for touring and special events.

The property offers beautiful views of Yonkers, NY and the Bronx and from the Alpine Landing especially in the coming Fall, amazing views of the foliage and of the cliffs surrounding the Hudson River.

Alpine Boat Basin.jpg

Alpine Boat Basin by the Kearney House

Zabriskie-Quackenbush House                                                421 Franklin Avenue                                                       Wyckoff, NJ 07481

Zabriskie-Quackenbush House 421 Franklin Avenue Wyckoff, NJ 07481

Zabriskie-Quackenbush House

421 Franklin Avenue

Wyckoff, NJ  07481

http://www.zabriskiehousewyckoffnj.org

https://www.wyckoff-nj.com/zabriskie-house-board-trustees

https://www.facebook.com/wyckoffzabriskiehouse

Open: Please check out their website for the dates when the house is open to the public.

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46945-d10359429-Reviews-The_Zabriskie_House-Wyckoff_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I visited the Zabriskie House in May 2016 and 2019 for the Northwest Bergen History Coalition 6th Annual History Day. The house is left the way the last owner. Grace Zabriskie,  willed it to the town with all the original furnishings.

The historic signage

It has period furnishes, family heirlooms and antiques. The docents will take you on a tour of the house and show you where all the later additions were added and how they make up the whole house. As you walk through the house, you can see the difference in structure of the home plus how the last owner lived.

Zabriske House I

The Zabriske House in Wyckoff, NJ

Don’t miss touring the gardens in the Spring as Mrs. Zabriskie worked with a Botanist to plant the gardens to bloom at different times. She planted it in stages so that she could entertain in them but still treated the gardens similar to the house as if you had to walk into a room. It is very nice and colorful in the Spring.

On the terrace there are people to guide you through the house and docents to take tours. The ladies had a nice reception laid out for all of the people who came to visit.

The Van Voorhees-Quackenbush-Zabriskie House in the Fall of 2022

The original stone structure of the Van Voorhees-Quackenbush-Zabriskie House was built in 1730 by William Van Voorhees. It is believed to be the oldest house in Wyckoff, NJ. In 1824, William’s son, Albert, completed a major addition to the house in the classically Dutch colonial style. The original structure then became the dining room (NWBHC).

Zabriskie House IV

History of the House: (Taken from the Wyckoff History Page)

The Van Voorhees-Quackenbush-Zabriskie House has been a local landmark for over 275 years and is believed to be the oldest structure in the Town of Wyckoff, NJ. In 1720, William and John Van Voor Haze, yeoman of Bergen County, purchases 550 acres of land in what is now Wyckoff. The brothers were descended from Dutch settlers who emigrated from Holland in 1660 (Wyckoff History).

The first stone house was built circa 1730 by William. The land was cleared and the family farmed, raising table crops and staples such as grain, corn, potatoes and grapes. Over time, apple orchards and dairy farming became main occupations in the area. The Jersey Dutch were especially skilled at animal husbandry. They were considered the best farmers and gardeners in the American Colonies (Wyckoff History).

There were only about 20 families in the area in 1775, when the house served as the village store and tavern. William’s son, Albert, served in the Militia in the Revolutionary War. The original stone structure later became the dining room of the house, when a large addition was added in 1824 by William’s son, Albert when he was 86 years old. He had just one son, John, but likely expanded the house for his nine grandchildren and their wives and children. Over the years, in addition to serving as a home, the house served as a not only home, tavern and store but also as a hotel and ballroom for area parties (Wyckoff History).

Zabriskie House II.jpg

The original 1730 house has a steeply pitched roof and overhanging eaves designed to protect the building and foundation from rain. It has a two piece “Dutch” door to allow ventilation while keeping animals outside. Inside is a five foot high fireplace which originally was the sole source of heat and was used for all cooking (Wyckoff History).

The much larger 1824 structure is three stories originally tall with a sub-basement. It contains four fire places, again for heat. It has two half and four quarter moon windows and two oval windows. There are four bedroom with pegs to hand clothes on (no closets then). Its exterior demonstrates the classic Dutch Gambrel roof with an upper 23 degree roof line and then a lower 45 degrees roof line. This beautiful design was developed by the Dutch in northern New Jersey and up the Hudson River and is found nowhere else in the world. The typical Dutch front porch has two benches on either side of the entrance (Wyckoff History).

The house in the Fall

The property left the Van Voorhees family in the mid-1800’s. In 1867, it was purchased by Uriah Quackenbush. Uriah and Keziah Quackenbush had one son, John, who died as a young adult. Grace Quackenbush was his only child and was two years old when he died. She was raised in the house by her grandparents, who left the property to her when they passed on, after Grace had married John Zabriskie (Wyckoff History).

The Zabriskie Pond across the street

During her lifetime, Grace modernized the house (including adding an indoor bathroom) and restored the appearance of the home using authentic period antique furniture and furnishings. She also created three beautiful formal gardens on the landscaped property with her friend, Mrs. Elizabeth Spencer, a botany major (Wyckoff History).

The house is considered one of the finest examples of American architecture in northern New Jersey. The current House Museum has been called one of the finest in New Jersey. In 1973, Mrs. Grace Q. Zabriskie, who was the last resident, willed the house and its antique furnishings to the Township of Wyckoff, when she died that year. The “Zabriskie” house belongs to everyone in Wyckoff to enjoy (Wyckoff History).

The Zabriskie Pond in the Fall of 2022

Please check out their website for when the house is open to the public.