Tag: NJ Historic Homes

Thomas Edison National Historical Park, Laboratory Complex and Glenmont        211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ 07052

Thomas Edison National Historical Park, Laboratory Complex and Glenmont 211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ 07052

The Thomas Edison National Historical Park

211 Main Street

West Orange, NJ  07052

(973) 736-0550

https://www.nps.gov/edis/index.htm

Open: Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm/Closed Monday-Tuesday/Wednesday-Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm

Note: There are renovations going on at the site so please call ahead to check on hours and fees.

The Thomas Edison National Historical Park, Laboratory Complex and Glenmont home are a step back in time when machines were run by belts and pulleys and music was played on phonographs. Where to the passerby, the buildings betray little evidence of the industries they once started. Discover where America’s greatest inventor changed our world forever.

The Laboratory site Complex contains:

  1. Visitor Center (Restrooms & Gift shop)
  2. Chemistry Laboratory
  3. Chemical Storage and Pattern Shop
  4. Metallurgical Laboratory
  5. Main Laboratory
  6. Powerhouse
  7. Blacksmith Shop
  8. Building 11
  9. Vault 12
  10. Black Maria
  11. Water Tower
  12. Vault 32
  13. Vault 33
  14. Building 35 (Maintenance Facility)

Park Information:

The Laboratory Complex is open Wednesday through Sunday. The Glenmont Estate is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Glenmont tickers are limited and are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis from the Laboratory Visitor Center. Please call for specific hours.

Fees:

Entrance Fee-$10 (Under 16 years old free)

Optional Laboratory Audio Tour-$5

Park Annual Pass-$40

Inter-agency Passes Accepted

Group Reservations: Call 973-736-0550 ext. 33

Filming and Photography: Call 973-736-0550 ext. 50

Corporate Events: Call 973-736-0550 ext. 50

For more Information: http://www.nps.gov/edis (973) 736-0550 ext. 11

Calendar of Events: http://www.nps.gov/edis/planyourvisit/events/htm

*Thomas Edison National Historical Park Facebook.

Directions to Glenmont:

*Please respect the privacy of our neighbors by driving directly to and from Glenmont.

Directions to Glenmont:

*Put your pass on the dashboard of your car

*Right out of the parking lot

*Right at the first light and stop at the gatehouse

*Go up Park Way

*Right onto Glen Avenue

*Left onto Honeysuckle Road

*Right into paved parking lot

*Tour begins in front of the home

*Restrooms located in Potting Shed/Visitor Center

*Information is taken from National Park Service, US Department of the Interior, Thomas Edison National Historical Park, West Orange, New Jersey.

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60796-d1023095-Reviews-Thomas_Edison_National_Historical_Park-West_Orange_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

 

I had visited the Laboratories of Thomas Edison and it is very interesting to tour the floors of inventions. There are very innovative items that I never knew he invented, things like talking dolls and many household items for the kitchen and home.

Edison National Site.jpg

Another room they showed was his private office where he did most of his personal work and spent his sleeping hours when working at the laboratory. Each of the rooms show how and at what stages of the invention process that each object.

Edison National Site II.jpg

Glenmont, the family home, can be a musty place in the colder months. The house smells like it is old. It needed a good airing out. The period furniture are very interesting. The house is full of Victorian elegance but it needs a good renovation. The walls and ceilings  need some plastering and the home needs a good deep cleaning. Still it is interesting that for all their prestige, they still lived more like an upper middle class family.

The history Edison National Historical Park:

Thomas Edison National Historical Park preserves Thomas Edison’s laboratory and residence, Glenmont, in Llewellyn Park in West Orange in Essex County, NJ. These were designed, in 1887, by Henry Hudson Holly. For more than 40 years, the laboratory had a major impact on the lives of people worldwide. Out of the West Orange laboratories came the motion picture camera, improved phonographs, sound recordings, silent and sound movies and the nickel-iron alkaline electric storage battery (Wiki).

Edison’s home was designated as the Edison Home National Historic Site on December 6, 1955. The laboratory was designated as Edison Laboratory National Monument on July 14, 1956. On September 5, 1962, the 21 acre site containing the home and the laboratory were designated the Edison National Historic Site and overseen by the National Park Service. On March 30, 2009, it was renamed Thomas Edison National Historical Park, adding “Thomas” to the title in hopes to relieve confusion between the Edison sites in West Orange and Edison, NJ. Following extensive renovations of the laboratory complex, there was a grand reopening on October 10, 2009 (Wiki).

Historic Glenmont Mansion:

Thomas Edison resided at Glenmont, his 29 room Victorian mansion, for over half his lifetime. Its architect, Henry Hudson Holly, is considered to be the father of the Queen-Anne style architectural movement in the United States. Holly’s crowning achievement, Glenmont, was part of a working estate which presently contains six outbuildings including a barn and a greenhouse. Examples of Thomas Edison’s poured concrete structures, the auto garage and the potting shed are also still in existence. (Wiki).

Glenmont

The interior of the fully furnished Victorian home is a rare example of Pottier & Stymus interiors, a New York decorating firm that lost the majority of its records in a catastrophic warehouse fire in the year 1888. Glenmont’s interiors display rare examples of the firm’s modern Gothic style furniture suites and also include decorative arts objects chosen by the company to outfit this home in Victorian style. The Edison family appreciated the original interiors, consequently making only minimal changes to the home’s decoration during their residency (Wiki).

Glenmont’s period rooms reflect examples of the era’s Eastlake style and Aesthetic Movement style interiors. The first floor library boasts hand stenciled walls in flat, stylized floral patterns with a ceiling of distemperment. Tall case cabinets store leather bound volumes. The decorative arts collection at Glenmont ranges from major works of art and sculpture to everyday objects. The collection, consisting of 40,000 items, includes remarkable examples of Hudson River School artists and antiques (Wiki).

Examples of more utilitarian items include the Edison china collection, still housed in the historic Butler’s Pantry, the household linen collection, family toiletry items, books and household receipts that detail purchases made by the Edison family.  These vouchers reveal to us the Edison’s choice of household products and their spending habits (Wiki).

Disclaimer: The above information on the history of the house and labs came from Wiki and I give the format full credit for the information. The above information also comes from the National Parks Services pamphlet and I give them full credit for the Visitor’s information.

 

 

 

 

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Skylands Manor-New Jersey Botanical Garden  5 Morris Road  Ringwood, NJ 07456

Skylands Manor-New Jersey Botanical Garden 5 Morris Road Ringwood, NJ 07456

Skylands Manor-New Jersey Botanical Garden

5 Morris Road

Ringwood, NJ  07456

(973) 962-9370

http://www.ringwoodmanor.org/Victorian-Christmas.html

The Skylands Manor is decorated for the holidays during the first week of December and only for one weekend as it used for a banquet facility the rest of the time and as a hotel. The first weekend of December is when local Gardening groups are assigned one room to decorate and they have one week to put it together, display their ideas and explain how they did it to the public. The best day to go is the Thursday afternoon opening as it is the quietest day of the four day event with Saturday being the busiest.

skylands manor ii

Each of the eleven rooms that were decorated for the event were amazing each with their own decor, docents and gardeners and theme to the room. The Entrance Hall was elegant with its garland and potted plants, the Octagon Hall used its space wisely with a series of trees and hot house flowers. The women who decorated it had a phenomenal sense of space.

skylands manor iii

The Teaneck Garden Club did a great job decorating the Library with an elegant Christmas Tree and vintage ornaments. Some of the gardeners also came in vintage clothing of the area.

skylands manor iv

Each room had its own personality and was a combination of Christmas decorations and holiday plants.

Watch the calendar for 2019 in early December for the next display.

 

History of the Skylands Manor & People:

Clarence McKenzie Lewis bought Skylands in 1922 from the estate of Francis Lynde Stetson, who founded Skylands in 1891. Mr. Lewis was educated in England and Germany. While he was there, his widowed mother, Helen Forbes Lewis married William Salomon, founder of the New York banking house. Upon his return, Lewis attended Columbia University, where he received a Civil Engineering degree in 1898. In 1908, he married and bought a country place in Mahwah; it was there that Lewis became interested in horticulture.

Helen Lewis Salomon, the mother of Clarence Lewis, was widowed in 1919. Not only thereafter, she and her bereaved son agreed to a joint project; she wanted a Tudor-style showplace; he wanted plants and gardens. Mrs. Salomon worked closely with the architect on Skylands Manor but she died in 1927 before its completion.

John Russell Pope (1874-1937) “an architect born to work, in the grand style” was educated at City College, Columbia University, the American Academy in Rome and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. He trained under Bruce Price, the master builder of Tuxedo Park. Pope designed many outstanding public buildings, such as the Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art.

Tutor Architecture originated in England in the late Gothic period and continued to be popular into the Renaissance. It features half-timbering on the exterior, crenelated walls, large groups of rectangular windows, oriel or bay windows and intricate chimney complexes The interiors usually had large central halls, wood paneling, molded plaster ceilings and elaborately carved staircases. Tudor Revival became a popular style for the elegant country houses of wealthy Americans.

The builder of Skylands was the Elliot C. Brown Co., of New York City, which also built the country homes of Franklin Delano Roosevelt at Hyde Park and E. Roland Harriman (Arden House).

Samuel Yellin (1885-1940) decorative metal designer and craftsman, who performed to call himself “the blacksmith”, fashioned the lanterns. electrical fixtures, lamps, gate, and spiral staircase rail for Skylands Manor.

Native Granite for the exterior walls of Skylands was quarried at Pierson Ridge above Emerald Pond in the eastern part of the property in Bergen County.

Mrs. Salomon purchased a collection of antique Stained Glass Medallions from an English collector. The 16th century German, Bavarian and Swiss panes were set in leaded windows by Heinegke & Smith of New York City.

Disclaimer: This information on the details of the history of Skylands Manor was taken directly from their pamphlet and I give them full credit for it. Please call the manor for times that it is open as it is used a banquet/catering facility and a B & B.

Ringwood Manor-A New Jersey State Park 1304 Sloatsburg Road, Ringwood, NJ 07456

Ringwood Manor-A New Jersey State Park 1304 Sloatsburg Road, Ringwood, NJ 07456

Ringwood Manor-A New Jersey State Park

1304 Sloatsburg Road

Ringwood, NJ  07456

Phone: (973) 962-7031

Fax: (973) 962-2247

http://www.ringwoodmanor.org

Admission: Adults $3.00/Children 6-12 $1.00/Children 5 and under Free

Review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46774-d9564482-Reviews-Ringwood_Manor-Ringwood_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I have visited the Ringwood Manor during the Christmas holidays over the last three years and it keeps getting better. Each room in the house is tastefully decorated for the holidays. The Great Hall was decorated with garland and ornaments with a large tree in the corner.

The formal dining room was set for Christmas dinner for the family after church. The elegant china was set on the table with poppers and small Christmas gifts for the guests. The side boards were set with the dinner entrees and sides for the family meal.

ringwood manor christmas

Each room was set for the holidays with garlands, trees and decorations. As it was explained to me on another house tour during the holidays, the Victorians would normally only decorate one or two rooms for the holidays and not the whole house. The whole house might be decorated based on the wealth of the family and the amount of servants to take care of the home. Needles would have to cleaned up and the trees would have to be attended to on a daily basis.

One of the nicest rooms that was decorated was the screened in porch. Here there was a tree set with presents, hot house flowers and garland lining the room. The sunlight shined throughout the room and the decorations sparkled.

Each room had a docent to explain the decor or what the room’s use had been in the family’s time. A visitor can roam the house at their leisure and see the rooms as many times as they want. There is also a gift shop in a room off the formal dining room that contains some beautiful Christmas crafts for sale by the Women’s Club of New Milford. Some of these women are very creative and sell the most amazing Christmas ornaments made of glitter, wood, branches, walnuts and moss.

The decor of the home changes over time and there are different things to see every year. The barn also on the property as you drive in has more artwork and crafts. In the Gardener’s Shed next to the house, the Society has a small cafe with sandwiches, desserts and coffee/tea/hot chocolate.

The tour of Ringwood Manor is wonderful during the holiday season and the rest of the house opens up during the warmer months of the year.

History of the House:

This 582 acre historic site is open to the public year round. The historic house museum, Ringwood Manor is open Wednesday to Sundays year round.

History of 19th Century Manor House and Landscape:

The present manor house was begun by Martin J. Ryerson in 1807. He and his sons controlled not only the iron mines and forges on the property but also operated productions at four other locations in the area. The Ryerson family resided in their 10 room Federal style home for almost 50 years.

In 1853, the Ryerson’s house and property were purchased by business partners Peter Cooper and his son in law Abram S. Hewitt. The 22,000 acre ironworks and the Ryerson’s home were purchased for a sum of $100,000. Their company, Cooper-Hewitt & Company, grew to be the fifth largest corporation in the United States. The Hewitt’s, one of the most influential and wealthiest families of the 19th century, fell in love with the Ringwood estate.

They decided to make this site of their summer home, naming it The Forges and Manor of Ringwood. They enlarged the home of the Ryerson’s, constructing major additions or renovations in 1864, 1875, 1900 and 1910. The completed 51 room house is 226.5 feet long and features 28 bedrooms, 24 fireplaces and 13 bathrooms and more than 250 windows. The house was built in an eclectic style, typical of the Victorian period. In 1875, the Manor House was an excellent example of the Gothic Revival style of architecture. By 1900, the Hewitt’s changed the exterior facade to its present appearance, adding the neo-classical portico and columns of the front porch and affixing white stucco to the exterior walls. The furnishings of the house reflect the varying tastes and styles of the family and time period.

The formal gardens surrounding the Manor House were developed by Mrs. Hewitt and her daughter, Eleanor around 1900. Their design was influenced by the Hewitt’s many trips overseas. The gardens possess a mysterious old world charm that captivates visitors as they enjoy the serenity of reflecting pools and the progression of blooms from early spring to late fall. Placed throughout the garden are French and Italian statuary and garden ornaments as well many interesting architectural items from New York City acquired while Abram Hewitt served as Mayor and Congressman. Examples of these features include columns from the old New York Life building, gates from the Astor family’s home and gate posts from Columbia College. Relics from the iron company that are found on the grounds include a trip hammer and anvil, cog wheel and a Dictator-class mortar the base of which was created by the Hewitt’s company and used at the Battle of Vicksburg in Mississippi during the Civil War.

History of Ringwood, NJ:

Colonial Ringwood:

Long before the Forges & Manor of Ringwood existed this property was occupied by the Native American people. Prehistoric artifacts found on the grounds confirm their inhabitance back to the Archaic and Woodlands periods. Living in a hunting and farming paradise, these Munsee-speaking Lenape peoples dwelled at the head of the Topompock or Ringwood River Valley. This paradise attracted colonial prospectors, who by 1740, came for the iron ore found in the ground. Recognizing the rich magnetite ores, Cornelius Board settled here in 1739 and first utilized the property for iron mining. He was followed shortly thereafter by the Ogden family who established the Ringwood Company and built the first blast furnace here in 1742.

After twenty years of production, a German promoter, Peter Hasenclever, organized the American Iron Company to exploit the resources in colonial North America, purchasing the Ringwood area in 1764. He would also develop forges at Long Pond and Charlotteburg but made Ringwood the center of his iron empire. Hasenclever established iron plantations and developed the production of flax and timber across 50,00 acres of land stretching through New Jersey and New York, from present day Butler to New Foundland and Nova Scotia. The iron was said to have been “the best iron in the American colonies.” Robert Erskine, the last ironmaster of the American Iron Company, was sent from England in 1771 and would manage the company during the Revolutionary War.

(History of Ringwood, NJ)