Freehold Borough Historic House Tour Set for June 16
An announcement from the Freehold Borough Historical Preservation Commission:
The Freehold Borough Historical Preservation Commission will be hosting their annual Historic House Tour from 10 am to 4:30 pm on June 16, 2012. Last year’s success of merging art and music with history brings a partnership back with the Freehold Borough Arts Council (FBAC).
This year the theme will be the Battle of Monmouth. The borough played such an integral part in the battle and we want people to learn about that piece of history and see the remaining structures from that time period.
Visitors will be able to view the Covenhoven House which was built 1752-3. It served as headquarters for British General Sir Henry Clinton before the Battle of Monmouth in 1778. Also featured will be the Craig House. During the Battle of Monmouth, this 18th-century farmhouse was the home of John and Ann Craig and their three children and was rumored to be used as a hospital by the British forces in June of 1778. Another stop will be Monument Park. The park and monument commemorate the pivotal June 28, 1778 Battle of Monmouth. The 90’ granite column topped by a statue of Columbia Triumphant depicts Revolutionary War scenes and seals of the 13 colonies.
The tour will also feature several homes in the borough that are noted for their charm, architectural details, and individual qualities that make them unique and interesting. This tour allows people to recognize the historical beauty the borough has to offer.
A highlight of the tour will be the Crown Jewel of East Main St., the former Laird Applejack Family home that will serve as the home base for the Tour. Tickets for the tour will be sold that day at the house, located at 74 E. Main St. Visitors will be able to see all the rooms throughout the four separate living levels that have charmed passerby and visitors since the house was first built in the late 19th century. Additionally, musicians and artists from the Freehold Borough Arts Council will present programs, exhibits and live entertainment in several of the more than 25 rooms in the stately Victorian. Refreshments will also be available.
Originally built for the Laird family, the Crown Jewel of East Main has been in the family of the present owner for more than four generations. Its high ceilings, magnificent woodwork, variety of precious woods in the columns and cornices that accent the beauty of another era, will be further enhanced by the installation of antique furniture, compliments of Circle of Life Farm, an antique dealer in Columbus, NJ. Some of the antiques will also be for sale the day of the tour.
Seeing the home from East Main St., makes it easy to appreciate its well preserved clapboard siding, its metal roof and open porches. But beyond, there is also a secret garden and a very private carriage house, both of which will also be on the tour. Within the house, the parquet floors are themselves a work of art, their designs unique and varied. The double door entryway opens to a central foyer with a sweeping staircase leading to the mysterious beauties of the upper levels. A second staircase leads from the kitchen to a maid’s apartment on the second floor, and fireplaces accent several of the larger rooms on two levels.
While at the house, ask one of the Historical Commission members the story of Elizabeth Smith, the designer of ladies bloomers, and her friends Susan B. Anthony and Cady Stanton. They’re all attached in some way with the history of a home that has charmed and captivated borough residents for decades.
Come see the charm and feel the coziness of 15 Vredenburgh Ave, a 1920s Sears catalog home. This house has been beautifully restored and maintained with its hardwood floors and wood staircase. The front porch with its ceiling fan and wicker furniture is so inviting and relaxing.
Back by popular demand is the Taylor Farm Homestead, owned by Nelson Kuperberg and David Giffler, was built in 1870, originally as part of a 100-acre potato farm. Its kitchen features wooden workbenches remodeled into a center work island and is adjacent to a garden room with French doors and a den with a wood-burning fireplace. Even the unfinished third floor of the house offers unique interest with its exposed beams and large windows offering bird’s eye views of the surrounding area.
Also returning to this year’s tour is The Burgess home. Dating back to the 1880s, the house was originally owned by the Farrington family; Mr. Burgess acquired it in 1979 and has been refurbishing it and restoring it ever since. There are about ten rooms on two levels, including a spacious pantry off the kitchen dominated by a large carpenter’s bench turned kitchen counter. Notice the furnishings in each of the bedrooms, the collection of artwork and bronze, the molded ceilings and stained glass windows.
We want people to enjoy the history and recognize the unique beauty of Freehold. Save the date and plan on having a fascinating day enjoying not only the historic homes, but some of the local restaurants and businesses as well.
Bus transportation and a tour guide from the Friends of Monmouth Battlefield will be provided this year for the tour. Tickets are $25 and will be on sale at Freehold Borough Hall or at 74 East Main Street the day of the tour. Please purchase your tickets in advance since seating will be limited on the bus. A map and parking information will be provided for visitors who wish to do the tour on their own. For more information please contact the event co-chairs Lynda Keller at 732-421-3750 or at email@example.com, Barbara Wagner at 732-371-7212, or Muriel Smith at 908-461-1769.