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Full text of "Colonial and old houses, of Greenwich, New Jersey"

Class F 1^4- 



Book_^2A4iL 



COLONIAL 

AND 

OLD HOUSES, 

OF 

Greenwich, New Jersey, 



BY 



BESSIE AVARS ANDREWS, 

author of 
'Historical Sketches of Greenwich in Old Cohansey" 



ILLUSTRATED. 



PRINTED FOR THE AUTHOR. 



VINELAND. NEW JERSEY, 



I907. 

G. E. SMITH, PRINTER. 
VINELAND. N. J. 






TO THE DESCENDANTS 

OF THE 

EARLY SETTLERS OF GREENWICH, 

AT HOME AND ABROAD, 

THIS WORK IS INSCRIBED, 

WITH SINCERE RESPECT AND ESTEEM. 

BY THE AUTHOR. 






PREFACE. 

The great interest in later years to everything pertain- 
ing to the early history of our country has been an 
incentive to write the history of the colonial and old houses 
of Greenwich. 

The old town having been the place of my nativity, 
and home for many years, it has been my privilege to cross 
the threshold of many of the ancient houses, some of them 
the homes of valued friends, from whom 1 have learned 
much of the past. 

I have prepared the following pages with much care, 
endeavoring to preserve some of the history of that portion 
of the past which pertains to the home of the early settler. 

From the early records of deeds and wills preserved 
in the archives of the state, and now accessible by their 
publication, 1 have found names and dates not otherwise 
obtainable. I also wish to acknowledge my indebtedness 
to the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society, for 
the use of its valuable library. 

It is hoped that these glimpses of days long gone, and 
the record of men and women who have made the 
old houses their dwelling place, may be of interest to the 
present generation, who should hold as a precious inheri- 
tance the memory of their ancestors, the early settlers of 
Greenwich. 

Bessie Avars Andrews. 

Vineland, New Jersey. 

November 1907. 



"By waters side, on lomly road and village street, 
'Neath ancient trees, whose sheltering branches meet, 
Old houses stand, as they stood long, long ago; 
Each one, a mute witness of life's ebb and flow." 




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CHAPTER I. 

Ilbc (Btbbon IHousc* 

Pleasantly situated on the North side of Cohansey 
River, a few miles from its entrance into Delaware 
Bay, is the old town of Greenwich, which has had more 
than two centuries of existence. 

On the broad street of the village, and throughout the 
Township of Greenwich are a number of Colonial houses 
still standing and a larger number that have stood a cen- 
tury or more. Time, in its ever forward march and 
destroying agencies, and man ever striving to ameliorate 
his environment, have erased many of the primitive ones. 

One of the best preserved and most imposing in the 
village, erected in Colonial days is the Gibbon house. 
A mere passer by will not notice its great antiquity by its 
general appearance, but a close observer will see the old 
fashioned architecture in doors and windows with the nar- 
row shingled roof or awning built over them for protection, 
and the obsolete style of brick laying, having been laid 
lengthways and sideways symmetrically in construction. 

The style has been called the checker pattern; the red 



6 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

bricks are said to have been imported from England, and 
the lighter colored ones were made from the clay on 
the grounds. 

The house was considered elegant at the time of its 
erection, and was so carefully and substantially built that 
it has proved a weather proof structure; for the stormy 
elements have battled against it for one hundred and sixty- 
seven years without defacing its outward form. 

If you enter the interior you will find amplitude and 
many hints of by gone years; a broad hall with an open 
stairway leading to the floor above, a large room on each 
side of the hall; the room on the right from the entrance 
contains two large corner cupboards arched over the door- 
ways, one of them with glass in the doors, which in the 
past displayed the imported china or crockery, and glisten- 
ing pewter which were especially dear to the women of the 
household. A few steps down from the room at the left of 
the entrance lead to the kitchen. A large kitchen was 
considered essential in the days of the Colonies, and was 
the most cheerful and homelike room in the house; the 
glowing hearth radiated brightness and warmth from the 
blazing logs in the wintry season, and the fire dogs usually 
shone with polished brightness. The King's arm was often 
suspended over the fire-place. They chatted and enter- 
tained a neighbor, cooked and dined, and did a great variety 
of work in the kitchen. 

The great capacity of the kitchen of the Gibbon home- 



THE GIBBON HOUSE. ^ 

stead, originally built with its large corner cupboard and 
brick lloor, convinces the visitor of to-day that all the olden 
time industries our great grandmothers engaged in, 
such as spinning and weaving, dyeing and carding, sewing 
and knitting, candle making and such like, were all suc- 
cessfully carried on there, and we feel like pausing and 
bowing our heads with reverence when we think of all the 
"Life and death that have come and gone over that thresh- 
hold of wood and stone," 

The Gibbon House was built by Nicholas Gibbon about 
the year 1730, which he occupied until 1740, then moved 
to Salem, New Jersey. Nicholas and his brother Leonard 
Gibbon were devised a large tract of land in West New Jer- 
sey by Frances Gibbon, of Bennesdere, England, provided 
they settle upon it. They were London merchants and men 
of wealth in a direct line from Edward Gibbon, of New 
York. They were young men of action and energy and 
were conspicuous figures in the early history of Greenwich, 
and did much for the need and prosperity of the incoming 
settler. 

Nicholas was engaged in mercantile business In part- 
nership with Samuel Fenwick Hedge (a great grandson of 
John Fenwick) and Captain James Gould, the last named 
being located in New York, while Gibbon kept store in 
Greenwich. 

The Gibbon brothers erected one of the first grist mills 
in Cohansey, upon the stream called Macanippuck. 



8 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

Still stands the old mill 

At the foot of the hill, 
With the stream flowing close by its side. 

Much the same as of yore 

A hundred years and more 
Have passed since the builders died. 

The brothers later built a fulling mill on Pine Mount 
Run, the writer having seen the decaying timbers when a 
child. The last owner and proprietor was Providence L. 
Sheppard. 

Leonard Gibbon built a stone house a few miles north 
west of his brothers residence overlooking the waters of 
the mill-pond; a portion of this structure is still in existence, 
being utilized by the present owner for barn purposes. 

The brothers were Episcopalians and with their means 
built an Episcopal church on the main street of Greenwich. 
It was named St. Stephen and consecrated in 1729, but has 
been entirely obliterated in times passing years. 

Nicholas Gibbon moved to Salem in 1740 and be- 
came very influential in Salem County. He was appointed 
Sheriff in 1741 and retained the position until 1748 and 
in the same year was appointed County Clerk. He was 
also one of the commissioners of the Loan office for Salem 
County. 

His partner, Samuel Hedge, in the mercantile business, 
dying in 1731, he married the widow (Anna Grant Hedge.) 
From this union they had five children: Nicholas, born Nov- 



THE GIBBON HOUSE. 9 

ember 5th, 1732, died July ist, 1748; Grant, born Novem- 
ber 28th, 1734. He was said to be a man of superior edu- 
cation and culture. He was one of the Surrogates of West 
Jersey, and was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1759, 
a Judge in 1762 and again in 1767, and was Clerk of Salem 
County after his father's death. He was an ardent sym- 
pathizer with the American Cause which he evinced in a 
substantial manner. He was very popular, and at the 
earnest request of his fellow citizens was appointed the 
17th of October, 1774 to solicit funds for the relief of the 
people of Boston when that port was closed to commerce 
by the British; he collected 157 pounds, 3 shillings and 2 
pence, for the purpose. He was elected to the Assembly 
in 1772. He died June 27th, 1776 at the early age of 
forty-two years. 

In the Pennsylvania Gazette, March 29th, 1759, the fol- 
lowing advertisement is found. 

TO BE SOLD. 

A house and lot in the town of Greenwich, in the 
County of Cumberland, West New Jersey. The house is 
of brick, large and well built, two stories high, with a large 
kitchen. It is conveniently situated for a store, also six- 
teen acres of v/oodland and two acres and a half of meadow, 
within three quarters of a mile of the same. 

For title and terms apply to the subscriber, in the town 
of Salem. GRANT GIBBON. 



lO COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

The third child born to Nicholas and Anna Gibbon was 
a daughter, Jane, born May 15th, 1736. She married 
Robert Johnson, Jun., and was the mother of Col. Robert 
Gibbon Johnson, the Historian of Salem County. She 
died August 16, 181 5. Her husband died December 28, 
1796. Ann, the second daughter and fourth child, was 
born April 29, 1741, married Judge Edward Weatherby. 
Frances, born May 14, 1744, died November i, 1788. 

Nicholas Gibbon died February 2, 1758 aged fifty-five 
years. His widow died March 24, 1760, aged fifty -seven 

years. 

The old Gibbon Mansion stands on the Main Street of 
Greenwich, almost directly opposite the modern residence 
of Mrs. Fannie A. Sheppard— known for her many deeds of 
philanthrophy thoughout the county. 

The house has been in the possession of the Wood 
family of Philadelphia for many years. Richard Wood, 
the second, bought the house and land attached, and spent 
the evening of his days with Mary his second wife, who 
was the widow of Job Bacon. After her husband's death 
she remained in the homestead, and her home was consider- 
ed a resort for her many relatives and friends. 




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CHAPTER 11. 

Z\K Bon^ IHouse. 

There are several old houses on the main street of 
Greenwich, not far from the landing. 

One of interest is a stone house, apparently in good 
condition, on the eastern side of the "Great Street," which 
has been in daily use for more than two hundred years. It 
is said that when the Gibbon brothers came to West Jersey 
and took possession of their large estate, before they 
divided their tract of land, this primitive stone house was 
the first home they occupied; and it is supposed to have 
been built by them, but the knowledge concerning the 
builder has not been recorded. 

The Episcopal Church that stood in close proximity to 
this place was built by the brothers, and for a long time, 
tombstones could be seen back of the house, but have 
mostly, if not entirely disappeared. 

The old house is singular in construction; high steps 
leading to the front entrance, while beneath are windows, 
that suggest a basement; there is a long sloping roof and 
the view from the side, like most of the early houses, indi- 



12 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

cate room in the interior. There has long been a tradition 
in the village that the Gibbon brothers built all the early 
stone houses, and their occupancy of this white stone 
structure, gives dignity and interest to the building, that so 
long has withstood the storms of time, and stands erect at 
the present. 

After they built other homes and occupied them, we 
have no knowledge of who dwelt within its walls, until it 
became the residence of Dr. Bond, one of the earlier phy- 
sicians of Greenwich, and is called by the villagers, "The 
Old Bond House." 

Some of the oldest inhabitants have dim recollections 
of the aged physician, just before his departure to the West. 

It is said Dame Fashion never influenced him in his 
mode of dress, wearing the same style in age, he used in 
youth; he was very tall and spare, and his short clothes 
and high boots, gave him a singular appearance to the 
stranger who saw him for the first time. He was said to 
have peculiar religious views, seldom entering a church, but 
regarding the seventh day the Sabbath; the shutters of his 
office were promptly closed every Saturday, and all 
business prohibited on his premises. 

He gained the universal respect of the citizens of 
Greenwich, by his integrity of character, his kindness of 
heart and great sympathy and helpfulness to the sick and 
distressed; he was very conscientious in regard to money 
matters, considering interest for money usury, but glad- 



THE BOND HOUSE. 13 

ly loaning without interest to those he could trus't. 

He was business like in all his transactions, even in 
his proposals for marriage. An old lady resident of 
Greenwich, who a few years ago in her ninety-fifth year, 
passed to the great beyond, sometimes related to her 
friends a proposal of marriage he made to her, when she 
was a young woman. While passing the house, he opened 
the door, inviting her in, informing her he wished to see 
her; on entering, she was much startled by his immediately 
asking her to marry him, she started directly out, saying 
No! No! to his urgent appeal. 

He was thrice married; his first wife was Rebecca 
Burr, second Anna Paxton, and third Eliza Brown. 

The following obituary was originally published in 
one of the Bridgeton papers. 

"Died on the 3rd inst.. Dr. Levi Bond, aged ninety- 
three years; having spent the greater part of his life in 
Greenwich, N. J., in the practice of his profession; in the 
year 1836 he moved to Roseburg, Union County, Indiana," 
where as a shock of corn fully ripe for the harvest he was 
gathered into the garner of God. 

His urbanity of manners and integrity of character, 
gained for him universal respect, and by many to whom 
when diseased, he was a successful minister and sympa- 
thizing friend." 

A short distance south of the Bond house is another 
of the old earlv houses, which was known as Judy 



14 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

Husted's home years ago. 

It is thought by some the Historic Tea was stored in 
the cellar of this house in 1774; standing as it does in front 
of old Market Lane. According to the tradition of the old 
residents, the house owned by Dan Bowen, in whose cel- 
lar the Tea was stored, stood near the entrance of Market 
Lane on the south side of the street; this house was oc- 
cupied for a long time by David Sutton, a shoemaker. 

In after years when the ground was plowed where 
the conflagration of the Tea took place, evidence of the fire 
was seen by the residents. 

In the same vicinity farther north on Greenwich 
street are two old houses low in their style of archi- 
tecture, that belong to the remote past. One of them 
is the Harding homestead and has never passed out of 
the family, it was owned and occupied for many years by 
Ercurious Fithian, who married a daughter of John Hard- 
ing. It is still in the possession of a grand-daughter, Mrs. 
John Wheaton. 

The other one is located on the western side of the 
street and a part of it was utilized for the Post Office of 
Greenwich for many years. It was owned by another 
daughter of John Harding and the two homes were called 
the homes of the sisters. 

As we go north on the eastern side of the street, we 
soon approach the old residence of the late Hannah Moore 
Sheppard who died at the advanced age of ninety-two 



THE BOND HOUSE. 1 5 

years — the last of a large family of brothers and sisters, all 
of whom lived to be aged. This white house makes a fine 
picture as it stands surrounded by lovely trees and shrub- 
bery; the four quaint glass "Bulls Eyes" over the doorway 
bespeak of the past and make the house interesting. 

About fifty years ago this home was one of the most 
attractive in the village; rare palms, exotics, and gay beds 
of flowers adorned the lawns, creeping vines and climbing 
roses were artistically trained around the windows and en- 
trance; rare species of cacti with its showy blossoms 
graced the front porch, while the dark green odorous box 
bush environed the house and lawn. Dr. Ephraim Holmes, 
a practicing physician of Greenwich was nearly a life long 
resident of this home; he was a descendent from the early 
settler by that name. 

Across the street from the Sheppard residence, south, 
is the home of the late Mary W. Bacon. There has long 
been a tradition in the village, that the oldest part of 
Miss Bacon's home, imprisoned a pirate in the days of 
piracy, and the people of the village heard the rattling of 
his chains as they passed the house. 

On the main street of the village, in the vicinity of 
these houses stand a row of stately sycamore trees, whose 
aged boughs have swayed in the stormy blasts of many 
winters, and at every returning springtide, the Robin Red- 
breasts have alighted in the fair branches of the tall trees, 
mid leaves that sigh and whisper in the wind, and sang 



l6 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

their joyous matin and vesper songs; there are twelve of 
them in number, standing so close together that they 

"Mix their boughs and interlace, 
in a slumbrous fond embrace, 
While the one wide street runs down 
To the wharf at Greenwich town." 




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CHAPTER 111. 

There is a fine old brick house at Greenwich wharf or 
near the bank of the Cohansey river; a portion of the 
building is of very ancient date, it is thought to have been 
built, 

When the Indian brave 
Steered his bark o'er the wave. 
And roamed the forest at will. 

The primitive part is of medium size, but additions 
have been made to the original from time to time by the 
different owners, and to-day stands a large brick mansion, 
situated at the beginning of the "Great Street" and the 
junction of the river. 

There are wooden buildings attached to the house as 
you go towards the wharf, that in the past have been 
utilized as store and residence. 

The river as in old colonial days affords easy com- 
munication to Philadelphia. The Vv-riter well remembers 
v/ith friends sitting on the steps of the lower house, watch- 
ing and waiting for the steamer as it made its way through 



l8 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

the crooked reaches of uld Cohansey; suddenly emerging 
from behind a strip of woodland in full view to our longing 
eyes, then entirely disappearing until the short blasts of 
the whistle and the splash of the paddle wheels informed us 
of its nearness to the landing. 

This homestead stands on the sixteen acre lot original- 
ly bought by Mark Reeve the emigrant, who came from the 
mother country in the "Griffin" with John Fenwick. He 
bought the lot August 9, i6S6, the second lot sold by the 
executors of Fenwick, in laying out the town afterwards 
called Greenwich. 

Fenwick's executors were William Penn, then 
Governor of Pennsylvania, John Smith, Samuel Hedge and 
Richard Tyndal, the last three were each to have five 
hundred acres of land for their trouble. 

It has been said that Mark Reeve built the oldest part 
of the present house, but there were wooden buildings upon 
the lot, that have long ago passed into oblivion, and the 
house that he built, and made his home for a few years, it is 
quite possible was one of them. He was a man of much 
ability, and became a large land owner; he purchased a 
plantation in Mannington, where he resided until after 
Fenwicks death. He sold the lot in 1689 to Joseph 
Browne, reserving a burial lot where his wife was buried; 
he then purchased a large tract of land south of 
Cohansey river. His death occurred November, 1694. 

Joseph Browne was a man of affluence; he was en- 



TUl= SHIiPPARD HUUSH. 19 

gaged in mercantile business in Philadelphia before 
coming to Greenwich, and it is supposed he continued in 
trade, as he owned the wharf, and a full rigged sloop 
valued at £180, At his death in 171 1 his inventory in- 
duced dry goods, groceries and hardware. 

He left 142 ounces of silver plate valued at £64. 11 sh. 
8 p. six negro slaves £220. an Indian boy £40. His prop- 
erty in real estate was considerable including three houses. 

After his death, his son Joseph Browne, Jun., con- 
veyed the lot to Thomas Chalkley, an eminent minister 
among the society of Friends, who married his mother in 
1714. In 173S he sold the lot to John Butler, who sold it 
to Thomas Mulford, in a short time Mulford sold it to 
William Connover, and in the year 1760 he sold it to John 
Sheppard; it remained in the Sheppard family until nearly 
the close of the nineteenth century. 

The lot is full of historic interest. A short distance 
north stands the orthodox meeting house, which was 
established at an early period in the settlement of the 
place. Mark Reeve, William Bacon, James Duncan and 
others made application for assistance to the Salem meet- 
ing, to build a meeting house. The first building was a 
primitive log structure; the location was chosen to ac- 
commodate the Friends on both sides of the river. The 
meeting increased largely in its membership, as the settlers 
came, and the land taken in the region of tiie Cohansey 
river. Many Quakers came to West Jersey, fleeing frorr 



20 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

persecution in England, assisted by William Penn. In 
after years it was deemed necessary to build the brick 
meeting house, which has remained until the present time. 

The old deed for the ground where the meeting house 
stands, is dated December 25, 1693. 

"Joseph Browne of the town of Greenwich, upon 
Caesaria alias Cohansey river, Salem County, Yeoman to 
Charles Bagley, for a lot fifty feet wide on the street, and 
fifty-five feet long, between grantors dwelling house and 
his barn, for a meeting house and grave yard of the people 
in scorn called Quakers who worship God in spirit and in 
truth." 

Free from creed, from ceremony or ritual. Free from 
tyranny, oppression or imprisonment, that followed the 
adherents of George Fox in the mother country. When 
the quiet Sabbath dawned upon them, they assembled in 
the small meeting house, with the peaceful Cohansey on 
one side of them ever flowing onward to the sea, and 
God's first temples standing in their native grandeur 
around and about them, to worship in spirit and in truth, 
"for the Father seeketh such to worship him." 

The influence of this meeting became great throughout 
the country and early inthe eighteenth century was denomi- 
nated the school of the prophets. There were many 
minister members of Greenwich monthly meeting which 
were considered eloquent in their discourse, and it is said 
they were living examples of their precepts. 



CHAPTER III. 

iihe Sbcppav^ Mouse, 

There is a iine old brick liouse at Greenwich wharf or 
near the bank of the Cohansey river; a portion of the 
building is of very ancient date, it is thought to have been 
built, 

When the Indian brave 
Steered his bark o'er the wave, 
And roamed the forest at will. 

The primitive part is of medium size, but additions 
have been made to the original from time to time by the 
different owners, and to-day stands a large brick mansion, 
situated at the beginning of the "Great Street" and the 
junction of the river. 

There are wooden buildings attached to the house as 
you go towards the wharf, that in the past have been 
utilized as store and residence. 

The river as in old colonial days affords easy com- 
munication to Philadelphia. The writer well remembers 
with friends sitting on the steps of the lower house, watch- 
ing and waiting for the steamer as it made its way through 



l8 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

the crooked reaches of old Cohansey; suddenly emerging 
from behind a strip of woodland in full view to our longing 
eyes, then entirely disappearing until the short blasts of 
the whistle and the splash of the paddle wheels informed us 
of its nearness to the landing. 

This homestead stands on the sixteen acre lot original- 
ly bought by Mark Reeve the emigrant, who came from the 
mother country in the "Griffm" with John Fenwick. He 
bought the lot August 9, 1686, the second lot sold by the 
executors of Fenwick, in laying out the town afterwards 
called Greenwich. 

Fenwick's executors were William Penn, then 
Governor of Pennsylvania, John Smith, Samuel Hedge and 
Richard Tyndal, the last three were each to have five 
hundred acres of land for their trouble. 

It has been said that Mark Reeve built the oldest part 
of the present house, but there were wooden buildings upon 
the lot, that have long ago passed into oblivion, and the 
house that he built, and made his home for a few years, it is 
quite possible was one of them. He was a man of much 
ability, and became a large land owner; he purchased a 
plantation in Mannington, where he resided until after 
Fenwicks death. He sold the lot in 1689 to Joseph 
Browne, reserving a burial lot where his wife was buried; 
he then purchased a large tract of land south of 
Cohansey river. His death occurred November, 1694. 

Joseph Browne was a man of affluence; he was en- 



TIIl£ SHEPPARD IIOUSIZ. 19 

gaged in mercantile business in Philadelphia before 
coming to Greenwich, and it is supposed he continued in 
trade, as he owned the wharf, and a full rigged sloop 
valued at £180. At his deatii in 1711 his inventory in- 
duced dry goods, groceries and hardware. 

He left 142 ounces of silver plate valued at £64. 11 sh. 
8 p. six negro slaves £220. an Indian boy £40. His prop- 
erty in real estate was considerable including three houses. 

After his death, his son Joseph Browne, Jun., con- 
veyed the lot to Thomas Chalkley, an eminent minister 
among the society of Friends, who married liis mother in 
1 7 14. In 1738 he sold the lot to John Butler, who sold it 
to Thomas Mulford, in a short time Mulford sold it to 
William Connover, and in the year 1760 he sold it to John 
Sheppard; it remained in the Sheppard family until nearly 
the close of tiie nineteenth century. 

The lot is full of historic interest. A short distance 
north stands the orthodox meeting house, which was 
established at an early period in the settlement of the 
place. Mark Reeve, William Bacon, James Duncan and 
others made application for assistance to the Salem meet- 
ing, to build a meeting house. The first building vvas a 
primitive log structure; the location was chosen to ac- 
commodate the Friends on both sides of the river. The 
meeting increased largely in its membership, as the settlers 
came, and the land taken in the region of the Cohansey 
river. Many Quakers came to West Jersey, fleeing fronr 



20 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GF^EENVVICH. 

persecution in England, assisted by William Penn. In 
after years it was deemed necessary to build the brick 
meeting house, which has remained until the present time. 

The old deed for the ground where the meeting house 
stands, is dated December 25, 1693. 

"Joseph Browne of the town of Greenwich, upon 
Ciesaria alias Cohansey river, Salem County, Yeoman to 
Charles Bagley, for a lot fifty feet wide on the street, and 
fifty-five feet long, between grantors dwelling house and 
his barn, for a meeting house and grave yard of the people 
in scorn called Quakers who worship God in spirit and in 

truth." 

Free from creed, from ceremony or ritual. Free from 
tyranny, oppression or imprisonment, that followed the 
adherents of George Fox in the mother country. When 
the quiet Sabbath dawned upon them, they assembled in 
the small meeting house, with the peaceful Cohansey on 
one side of them ever flowing onward to the sea, and 
God's first temples standing in their native grandeur 
around and about them, to worship in spirit and in truth, 
"for the Father seeketh such to worship him." 

The influence of this meeting became great throughout 
the country and early inthe eighteenth century was denomi- 
nated the school of the prophets. There were many 
minister members of Greenwich monthly meeting which 
were considered eloquent in their discourse, and it is said 
they were living examples of their precepts. 



THE SHEPPARD HOUSE. 21 

Mark, John and Benjamin Reeve, grandsons of Mark 
Reeve, were recommended ministers of the Greenwich 
Monthly Meeting, as also, was the noted James Daniels, 
who travelled not only in this country, but England and 
Ireland in the ministry. 

Thomas Chalkley who for more than forty years, 
travelled and preached among the Friends, occasionally 
visited Greenwich and held meetings there; in 1724 he was 
accompanied by Thomas Lightfoot and Benjamin Kid who 
spoke to the people. 

In his journal of 1726 he mentions the malignant dis- 
temper which had prevailed at Cohansie, from which more 
than seventy persons had died; he continued his visits un- 
til the infirmities of age prevented, having as travelling 
companions James Lord, John Evans, Elizabeth Stephens 
and others who assisted him in his labors. 

In later years there were eminent men who were 
habitual in their attendance at the Greenwich Meeting, 
among the most prominent were Clarkson Sheppard the 
son of John and Mary Sheppard, who was an esteemed 
minister of the society of Friends, and Dr. George 
B. Wood, whose marble bust graces the Library of 
the University of Pennsylvania, with an inscription be- 
neath that tells of his great life work in the study of 
Materia Medica for the benefit of humanity. Dr. Wood was 
rorn in Greenwich and in his youth, and in after years when 
besiding at his summer residence, was a regular attendant 



22 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

at the Greenwich Meeting. 

To-day the meeting house is seldom used for a gather- 
ing, but it stands as a memory of the past, 

"When ancient farmers with their dames. 

Maidens with quaint, pleasing names; 
Pallid cheek and cheek of rose 
Smooth alike in calm repose; 
Tresses braided shyly down 
Over eyes of clearest brown, — 
Broad brimmed hats, and bonnets gray 
'Neath the branches trod their way 
To this meeting house that stands 
Overlooking fertile lands." 

The old homestead was in the possession of the 
Sheppard family for more than a century; the Sheppards 
settled in old Cohansey at an early date and became very 
numerous. It is said there were four brothers, David, 
Thomas, John and James, who came to America from 
Tipperary, Ireland. 

They resided in Shrewsbury, East Jersey for a time; 
about 1683 they settled south of the Cohansey River, 
formerly called Shrewsbury Neck. 

it is thought the name Sheppard implies that they 
were of English descent. 

John Sheppard was a descendant of Thomas Sheppard 
the emigrant; he was a prominent member of the Cohansey 
Meeting; his descendants were numerous, and the last 



THE SHEPPARD HOUSE. . 23 

lineal descendant that occupied the homestead was Philip 
Garrett Sheppard who died in the last decade of the nine- 
teenth century; he was buried in the enclosed Sheppard 
burial ground back of the old meeting house. Philip's 
mother's maiden name was Margaret Garrett and she be- 
longed to one of the oldest English families that first settled 
in Pennsylvania; their forefather came in the vessel with 
William Penn and landed at Chester in 1682. 

After the death of Philip G. Sheppard, the property 
was again sold. At this period of the twentieth century, 
the house and sixteen acre lot are in the possession of 
Isaac Ridgeway; who with his wife, a model for good 
housekeeping, make the old homestead an ideal residence. 

in the roomy interior the modern furnishings blend har- 
moniously with the corner cupboard, narrow casement or 
broad door, that are reminders of its antiquity, and add 
much to its attractiveness. 

In front of the house are ample grounds with fine views 
of "Old Cohansey River" with its tidal ebb and flow, 
winding through its reedy shores and marshes on its way 
to the Delaware. 

A road from the "Great Street" passes by the front 
of the house through the grounds to the landing, where in 
olden time a ferry crossed the river conveying travel- 
lers and teams. Many crossed to attend the Quaker 
Meeting and the Presbyterian Church at the head of 
Greenwich. 



24 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

It is said the son of Rev. Daniel Elmer passed by the 
Fairfield Church, where his father was pastor, crossed the 
river and attended Rev. Andrew Hunter's church as he 
favored the "New Lights." 

It was at this landing December 1774, the brig Grey- 
hound under command of Captain Allen, with a cargo of 
tea, destined for Philadelphia, anchored. Fearing some 
opposition, he had the tea stealthily conveyed and stored in 
the cellar of Dan Bowen's house, near the open market- 
square. On the evening of December 22, it was taken 
out and burned by some of the patriotic citizens of Cum- 
berland County, disguised as Indians. 

In the summer of 1748 when the French and Spanish 
privateers, after capturing our vessels, entered Dela- 
ware Bay, came up along the Jersey side, placed twenty- 
seven prisoners in a boat and landed them at Cohansey. 



CHAPTER IV. 

Bacon'0 adventure. 

In the vicinity of Bacon's Neck, we find houses dating 
back one hundred years, and a few still standing that were 
built in colonial days. 

These necks of land lying south and west of the 
village of Greenwich, between the town and river, are 
divided into farms; most of them are fertile and productive. 

They are bordered by the marshes of the river. The 
marshes yield a fine salt hay, which is cut and stacked 
by the energetic farmer in August or September, then later 
drawn to the farms, and used as a fodder and fertilizer, 
making the soil rich and productive when used freely, hi 
February and March the stubble of the marshes is burned 
all along the shore, in order to make a better yield of hay 
the coming season. The fires can be seen many miles, as 
they lighten the horizon, they have been called storm 
lights in Pittsgrove and northern townships; as the air be- 
comes smoky and is followed by copious rains. 

A ride is charming through the made roads of the 
marshes in May or June when the grass takes on its rich 



26 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

velvety shade of green, waving softly in the summer 
breeze, and stretching along the margin of the river, as far 
as the eye can see, with nothing to break the green sward 
but the small streams flowing through. 

Samuel Bacon, a Quaker and a seaman of East Wood- 
bridge, New Jersey, was the first settler in Bacon's Neck. 
He bought of John Adams and wife Elizabeth (a daughter 
of John Fenwick) two hundred and sixty acres, November 
22, 1682. He became a large land owner along the 
Cohansey River, and the neck still bears his name. The 
early settler like the Indian settled along the sea coast 
and the shores of navigable rivers. 

Samuel Bacon later bought of "Shawkamum and 
Ethoe, Indian proprietors of the land called Ca-ta-nan-gut, 
near Cohansey or Delaware River, 400 acres, between a 
fast landing on Cohansey Creek called Young's Neck, and 
hereafter Bacon's Adventure. The deed dated June 25: 

1683." 

The consideration for the 400 acres conveyed to the 
Indians was "two coats of Dussols, three blankets, two hand- 
fuls of powder, six bars of lead, two shirts, two knives, two 
pairs of stockings, two looking glasses, two hoes, two axes, 
two needles, two awls, one gun, one gilder in wampum and 
two pairs of scissors." 

The deed is made of stiff parchment bearing the 
mark of the Indians; the seals being of leather, with red 
sealing wax attached. 



BACON'S ADVENTURE. 27 

In 1Q05 a farm on the Bacon tract being sold by one of 
the lineal descendants of Samuel Bacon, the antiquated 
deed was brought to light in the transfer of property. 

We learn in 1688 he added 360 acres to his possessions, 
adjoining George Haslewood and Elinor Lewis, (a spinster), 
on the north side of C^esaria alias Cohansey River. He 
gave William Bacon, a planter of the same place, 100 
acres, a part of the 360 acres he bought of John Adams, 
May 21, 1688. 

The forests of centuries growth were waiting for the 
pioneer's axe, to change the lofty tree to man's uses. 

The sturdy Bacon made use of the natural resources to 
develop his primitive home and farm; making peaceful 
deals with the Indians, who left their native haunts with 
reluctance, but were so attracted with the white man's ap- 
parel and implements, they were willing to barter their 
lands to possess them. 

He not only cleared the land for his interest, but for 
those that followed him. Time like an ever rolling stream 
bears each generation away. They leave their impress 
upon wood and stone, they have wrought into abodes, 
which are voices of the past to living generations. 

Samuel Bacon's first home must have been a log 
dwelling, as it was the first house constructed in a wooded 
country. The descendants of the settler built more 
substantially and later a large brick house was built 
on the tract, having servant's quarters; the brick was made 



28 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

from clay on the place. 

An incident that occurred at this place during the 
Revolutionary war, has been handed down from generation 
to generation. When the British held possession of Phila- 
delphia, they sent their soldiers into the Delaware and its 
tributaries, to weaken the American military stations, and 
invade along the shores. 

One day an old servant of the Bacon family called 
Peggy, saw the British landing a short distance from the 
home. She gave the alarm that the "Red Coats" were 
coming. Phebe Bacon the daughter, took the baby 
William from the cradle and ran to Gross's hill, near 
Roadstown, where she met her parents and returned with 

them. 

They were gone when they arrived, had committed no 
depredations, only had taken some cattle and returned to 
their boats. 

We give an extract of a letter from an American 
Officer in Cumberland County, West New Jersey, May 6, 

1776. 

"This serves to inform you of an alarm we had about 
eleven o'clock this day, of a party of regulars, landing on 
Tindall's Island in Bacon's Neck, about four miles from 
Greenwich; supposed to be about thirty in number; shoot- 
ing down the cattle, taking them on board, etc., whereup- 
on I called the militia together as soon as possible, and 
upon our appearance, a gun was fired from on board one of 



BACON'S ADVENTURE. 29 

the vessels, for them to repair on board, which they did 
with the greatest precipitation. Our men pursued so close- 
ly that we were near taking three of them prisoners, one of 
whom left an excellent musket behind which we got with 
some cartridges. 

They hollowed to our men to go on board the King 
Fisher, and they would pay for the beef, it is supposed 
they took off between 20 and 30 head of cattle, 5 they left 
dead on the shore, and wounded many others, which with 
all the others we have drove from the water side. They 
have taken this morning a shallop belonging to Daniel 
Richards, bound from Philadelphia to Morris river, but the 
hands escaped to shore." — "Pennsylvania Journal and 
Weekly Advertiser. May 8, 1776." 

This colonial house on the Bacon tract was destroyed 
by fire, at the time of the civil war. When the house was 
burned it was in the possession of James H. Bacon, a 
descendant of Samuel Bacon in a continuous line. Mr. 
James Bacon was a man of culture and refinement; a 
faithful member and supporter of the Greenwich Presby- 
terian Church, acting officially as elder for many years; he 
also ably filled the position of chorister until failing health 
caused his resignation. His son, Henry Bacon, at the 
present time owns a part of Bacon's Adventure, and re- 
sides near the site of the colonial house. 

From the second story windows of his residence can be 
seen 



30 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

"Many a sail of sunlit snow, 
Bearing its precious cargo through 
The far distant shimmering blue." 

There was an old family burying ground on the farm, 
a few stones have been preserved. 

A half mile or so east of Henry Bacon's home stands a 
house, a century old and more. It was occupied by 
William Bacon and his descendants, the higher part was 
added to the lower in 1812. 

A few miles south of the Bacon farm is the Hall home- 
stead. A large brick house with the date 1785 and the 
initials of the builder, "G. S. D." on the exterior. 

The brick in building was burned on the farm, and 
the walls are said to be fifteen inches thick; a quart of 
apple jack was placed in the walls while in construction. 

We are told that one of the hod carriers was so strong 
he carried ninety bricks at a time in building the house- 
equivalent to 450 lbs. 

The interior is spacious, with large airy rooms, high 
ceilings, high mantels over large fireplaces; suspended over 
one of the mantels is a large powder horn, with the date 
of 1787 upon it, having a small horn measure attached. 
The present owner knows little of its history, but it is 
thought to have been a horn from one of the cattle raised 
upon the place, and preserved in that form. A large 
mahogany sideboard built in the parlor is an interesting 
feature of the room, having a shelf that can be drawn for 



BACON'S ADVENTURE. 3 1 

the decanter and glasses, as was the custom in those daj's 
to pass a stimulating cordial to the visitor, or at social 
gatherings. 

This mansion was built by Gabriel S. Davis who 
married Sarah, the daughter of Ebenezer Miller, Sr. His 
father owned a large tract of excellent land in Bacon's 
Neck, and he became heir to his father's possessions. 
They were distinguished members of the Greenwich 
Quaker Meeting. 

Gabriel Davis was a very benevolent man. He fre- 
quently assisted young men of little means to start in 
business, and was a blessing to the poor and needy around 
him. 

In his will he devised the greater part of his landed 
estate to his nephew, Ebenezer Hall. The homestead and 
farm are still in the possession of one of his descendants, 
John H. Hall. 

Across the fields fronting the Hall homestead and fac- 
ing the Central Railroad stands another brick residence, 
very similar in construction to the other houses in Bacon's 
Neck, built one hundred years ago or more. A lower 
and a higher part, with an entrance from the street from both 
parts, in the lower part was the large living room, sitting 
room, dining room and kitchen combined. On the first 
floor of the higher part was the sacred parlor, which con- 
tained the best furnishings of the household, rarely 
opened — only on state occasions, and to the casual visitor. 



32 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

Our grandparents when they visited relatives or 
friends, arrived at an early hour in the afternoon, and the 
women always carried their sewing or knitting; and the 
garment was being made or the stocking grew, as they 
chatted and visited. Usually on the second floor over the 
parlor was the spare chamber, dedicated to visitors. This 
room contained the four post bedstead with its snowy 
canopy, decorated with hanging fringes. Over the huge 
feather bed, made of the softest downy goose feathers, 
were spread the home spun linen sheets and woolen 
blankets, then a patchwork bedquilt made in designs of ex- 
quisite needle work. The lower part of the bed was 
covered around with a valance. 

The last mentioned house is known as the Sheppard 
homestead, but was built by a man by the name of Bacon, 
and was the birthplace of Daniel Maskell Sheppard, who 
was a former merchant and townsman of the village of 
Greenwich. He was a descendant of John Sheppard, the 
emigrant. His grandmother was Hannah Maskell, a 
descendant of Thomas Maskell, who was one of the grant- 
ors of the site for the Greenwich Presbyterian Church. 
Mr. Sheppard was a man of sterling integrity and a faithful 
attendant and liberal supporter of the church that was 
founded by his ancestor. At the time of his death he 
was one of the largest land owners in Greenwich town- 
ship, and was universally respected and mourned. His 
tenants found in him a sympathizing friend, as desirous 



BACON'S ADVENTURE. 33 

of promoting their interests as liis own. 

A short distance south from the Sheppard home is a 
rough cast house. It was known originally as the Brown 
homestead. A portion of it dates back to colonial days, 
and was built by Jonathan Brown, of whom there are no 
descendants in Greenwich township at the present time. 

About a half mile south of the Hall homestead, nearer 
Bayside, stands the old colonial, gambrel roofed Dennis 
house. It was built by Philip Dennis. He is supposed to 
have been the son of Jonathan Dennis, who died in 1720, 
having three sons, Philip, Charles and Samuel. Philip and 
Hannah Dennis owned large tracts of land in Bacon's 
Neck. Philip's Creek bears his name. 

An oven still remains in this house that baked many 
loaves of bread for the Revolutionary soldiers. Philip 
Dennis afterward moved to Greenwich, where he built a 
stone plastered house, off of the Main Street, on the road 
to Bacon's Neck. It is now owned and occupied by the 
heirs of Smith Tomlinson. On the west side of the build- 
ing are the initials "P. H. D. 1765." This house has been 
so well preserved and cared for by the owners, that its an- 
tiquity is not apparent to the casual observer. 

Westerly from the Hall homestead we find another 
brick mansion, apparently located near the centre 
of a tract of 296 acres. The building of the house dates 
back to 1800. Its capacious rooms, large windows and 
doors with brass knockers are suggestive of colonial 



34 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

days. The kitchen of the house is very large. We were 
told that in the olden time, the oxen used on the farm were 
trained to enter the kitchen and draw the back log to the 
fireplace. 

The house with English Ivy clinging to its walls is 
charmingly situated, almost environed by grand and lofty 
trees. A pleasing landscape fronting the homestead, ex- 
tends many miles, dotted here and there with a farm 
house, a tall cedar or a sycamore. 

The western boundary of the tract is a strip of 
woodland, where the Oak and Pine their branches en- 
twine, and the Maple hangs its corals in the spring, and 
the leaf of the Christmas Holly grows to perfection, as 
its habitat is the sea coast. In the open fields near the 
woodland is an aged tree, in whose branches the fish 
hawks have built a large nest, where they have reared 
their young for many years. 

From this home there are fine views of the blue 
waters of the bay, and you can catch many a gleam of 
the snowy sails, and sometimes see the smoke stack of 
an ocean steamer whose destination is a port on a 
foreign shore. 

The building of the house was commenced by a man 
whose name was Sheppard; having died before com- 
pletion, it was bought and finished by Mrs. Mary White. 
Her maiden name was Thompson. She first married 
Thomas Sheppard. Her second husband was Samuel 



BACON'S ADVENTURE. 35 

Silvers. Their son Tliomas Silvers was an inventor; liis 
most noted invention was a steam governor. Her third 
husband was William White. There is a romance said to 
be connected with Mrs. White in Revolutionary days. 
When the soldiers marched on Greenwich street, they 
were much admired by the village maidens, and some of 
them laughingly selected their husbands; she is said to 
have married her selection. 

There was a wharf on the place where vessels landed 
some of the material for building. The farm for a long 
time was in possession of the Harmers. At present is 
owned by Morris Goodwin whose wife is a daughter of 
Mark Harmer, the former owner. 

As we take the main road and go south again, past the 
Bacon Neck school house, we soon enter Tappan's Lane. 
Jacob Tappan early settled in Bacon's Neck; evidently 
the lane was named from him or his descendants. 

We can see from this locality two colonial houses in 
what was formerly called "Seventh Day Lane," the ywere 
built by some of the early Sheppards, probably David, and 
some time in the last hundred years have been owned and 
occupied by men by the name of Caleb Sheppard. 

The well known resident of Shiloh, Caleb Henry 
Sheppard is a descendant of one of these families. 

They were Sabbatarians and regular attendants of the 
.Seventh Day Baptist Church in the village of Shiloh. 

The house nearest the bay was built to face the water, 



36 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

and is owned by Franklin Maul, an extensive land owner, 
and resident of the village of Greenwich. The other is 
in the possession of Edwin Glaspell. 

There are trees with aged boughs slowly decaying on 
the Bacon tract; some are used for landmarks, and are 
thought to have belonged to the original forest when John 
Fenwick settled along the Delaware and its tributaries. 

Fenwick purchased the land while in England, and was 
a legal owner, but policy and a sense of justice incited him 
to make compensation to the native Indians. 

in 1675 seventh day and ninth month he made a deal 
with old King Mohawskey and his chiefs: "Myopponey, 
Alowayes, Saccutorey, Neconis, and his mother Necco- 
ssheseo, Monnutt and other Indians, for the land along 
Game or Forcus Creek, (now Salem), Delaware River." 
Then we find he made another deal with old "King 
Mohawskey and other Indians, 1675, sixth day of twelfth 
month for the land called. Little and Great Cohansick 
along Delaware River, between the mouth of Cannahocink 
Creek, and Weehatquack Creek, next to Cohansey 
River, which a part of the land in 1683 became "Bacon's 
Adventure." 




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CHAPTER V. 

Ehe ®l^ Stone Itavcrn. 

In the colonies the tavern, wayside inn or ordinare, 
as sometimes called was an institution of much importance. 
Not only were they for the entertainment of the traveller, 
or a stopping place for the stage coach to change horses 
and continue their long tiresome journeys, but they seemed 
to be a necessity to the old time villages. 

They were news depots, where it was the custom of 
the men to meet and discuss the latest news of country, city 
or village. 

The landlord was usually the most popular man of 
the village and supposed to be the best informed. 

In far famed old New England with its granite hills, 
at one time the tavern was erected near the meeting house 
and served as a noon or "Sabba-day house." The noon 
house was sometimes attached to the meeting house where 
the congregations gathered between services for warmth 
and to partake of their noontide lunch, if the tavern was 
near the meeting house our Puritan forefathers and mothers 
after enduring the icy cold of a wintry day, at the conclu- 



40 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

sion of the morning service, which usually consisted of 
painfully long prayers, sermons and psalm singing, were 
glad to repair to the tavern where they found warmth and 
cheer. The women often carried foot stoves, but the coals 
of fire they contained seldom lasted until the conclusion of 
the service. 

At the tavern they partook of their refreshment with 
more comfortable surroundings in preparation for the after- 
noon meeting. Sometimes the landlord of the establish- 
ment was a Deacon of the meeting house. The clergy of 
that remote period, and all the people sipped the popular 
toddy, punch or flip, and the New England rum was in- 
dispensable in every family, although a drunkard was con- 
demned and considered as reprehensible as at the present 
time. "At an ministers ordination in New England in 1785 
eighty persons attending the morning service drank thirty 
large bowls of punch before going to meeting, and during 
the entire day, there were seventy-four bowls of punch, 
eighteen bottles of wine, eight of brandy, and a quantity of 
cherry rum drank by the people in attendance." Many of 
the descendants of these sturdy New Englanders settled in 
"Old Cohansey," and a goodly number in Greenwich, 
and naturally brought their customs with them. 

In the old Stone Tavern on the main street of the 
village, almost directly facing the lower road to Bacon's 
Neck, in colonial days, could be found these old popular 
beverages. 



THE OLD STONE TAVERN. 4I 

Punch was sweetened liquors prepared with many 
flavors, and was served in large bowls, some of the bowls 
are still preserved by the residents of the village. Toddy 
was made of sweetened liquors and hot water and was 
served in large tumblers. 

The ingredients of flip were home brewed ale, sugar 
and Jamaica rum. It was usually heated with an iron 
stick, called a loggerhead, which was placed in the live 
coals, until it became red hot, then thrust into the mixture, 
making it boil and seethe, and giving it a burnt, bitter 
taste, which was considered palatable; then a mug of flip 
was ready for the thirsty traveller or flip lover, it was 
usually served in a pewter mug. Metheglin was another 
of those old time popular drinks, which consisted of a 
mixture of sugar and honey. 

In Salem, New Jersey, in 1729, the tavern prices for 
liquors was regulated by the court as follows: 

A rub of punch made with double refined sugar and 
one and a half gills of rum, gd. 

A rub of punch made with single refined sugar and 
one and a half gills of rum, 8d. 

A rub made of Muscovado sugar and one and a half 
gills of rum, yd. 

A quart of flip made of a pint of rum, - - gd. 

A pint of wine, ish. 

A gill of rum, - 3d. 

A quart of strong beer, 4d, 



42 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

A gill of brandy or cordial, .... 6d. 

A quart of metheglin, 9d. 

A quart of cider royal, 8d. 

A quart of cider, 4d. 

One gill of rum, ------ 3d. 

A gill of brandy or cordial, .... gj, 

A pint of wine, .._... ish. 

Most of these drinks originated in India, and were 
brought to this country. The wisdom of the present age 
denounce these insinuating beverages, which, though 
pleasant to the taste, the after effects prove more harmful 
than beneficial; thus verifying the scriptural text "Wine is 
a mocker, strong drink is raging, and whosoever is deceived 
thereby is not wise." 

The old Stone Tavern is another building in the village 
that belongs to the remote past, it is not in ruins nor in 
a dilapidated condition, but has been remarkably preserved 
considering its great age. It has long since been abandoned 
in its use as a tavern, and in these latter days, is used as a 
residence. 

The quaint old tap room with its verandah in front, 
remains much the same as it did when the weary, way- 
worn horseback traveller from Salem or the country 
thereabouts, with wife pillioned on the back of the saddle, 
found rest and refreshment, before crossing the ferry 
on their journey to New England town; or the Revo- 
lutionary officer, or soldier assuaged his thirst, as the 



THE OLD STONE TAVERN. 43 

militia after the drill, gathered within and around its walls. 

Many of "Old Cohanseys" brave and noble sons 
enlisted in the Revolutionary war and filled every position, 
on land and sea, from brigadier general to private. Time 
like distance displays to us their true value, as they 
left the plow and home, to sacrifice their health and lives 
for patriotism. 

They were tired of the arbitrary acts of the mother 
country, to them it was liberty or death. If they escaped 
the cannon ball in battle, they came home with camp fever 
or some disease that sent them to a premature grave. 

As we enter the old cemetery of Greenwich, and 
others of West Jersey, where these immortal heroes have 
slept for many years — comrade side by side — many of them 
having no stone to mark their place of burial, we feel we 
are treading on sacred ground; and hope the time will come 
when monurrents will be erected with inscriptions, that 
shall tell future generations where sleep our heroes who 
assisted in delivering us from English tyranny, and gave us 
our own Columbia 

"The queen of the world 

And the child of the skies." 

We find recorded that Jeremiah Bacon, an inn holder, 
bought a sixteen acre lot adjoining Edward Hurlburt, 
June ist; 1696. 

The courts were held in Greenwich four times a year, 
appointed by Governor Belcher. They were held in the 



44 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

Presbyterian Church and the tavern. 

At the March term of court in 1716 the granting of 
Hcense began, they were granted to Jacob Ware in Green- 
wich, 1728, 1729, 1741, 1742; VViUiam Watson 1733 — 1742; 
James Canuthers 1737 — 1739; John Foster, 1737; Fitz Ran- 
dolph 1739; John Butler 1741 — 1742. 

These figures give evidence that there was more than 
one hostelry in Greenwich. 

John Butler is said to have kept a tavern at the wharf 
as he owned the property at one time. 

The old stone plastered house now in possession of 
Jeremiah Jones on the opposite side of the street from his 
residence at North Greenwich, dates back to colonial days 
and was used as a tavern at one period of its history. It 
was built by Samuel Ewing, and at one time owned by 
George Githens, which gave it the name of the "Githens 
place." 

It is said in 1748 when the court convened in the old 
stone tavern the last time before taken to Cohansey 
Bridge, the opposing party gave vent to their disapproval 
by kicking their chairs and glasses and a general riot en- 
sued. 

Beckly Carl was landlord of the tavern it is thought 
previous to Charles Davis, who was proprietor about one 
hundred years ago. He was father of Edmund Davis who 
was the popular landlord of Davis' Hotel in Bridgeton for a 
number of years. 



THE OLD STONE TAVERN. 45 

Then later John Miller became a landlord for a time, 
of whom Captain Charles Miller a townsman of the village 
is a descendant. 

These later years the building is in the possession of 
the Wood family of Philadelphia. it was owned by Dr. 
George B. Wood, whose handsome brick residence is on 
the west side of the street. The old Wood homestead is 
on the same side of the street farther south; a low gambrel 
roofed house, near the residence of Captain Charles Miller. 

The Woods were numerous and highly respected 
citizens of the village; Richard Wood the second of that 
name, was a cooper by trade. He was the grandfather of 
Dr. George B. Wood and lived in the old homestead. 

In later years the Wood house was occupied by a man 
named May, who was considered by the villagers a great 
pedestrian, walking to Bridgeton every morning, where he 
was working and returning in the evening, and occasion- 
ally walking to Philadelphia, he is remembered by some of 
the oldest residents. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Zbc JTitbtan IHouec* 

There are three roads from the main street of Green- 
wich to Sheppard's Mills, as they were formerly called; 
they are usually known throughout the county by the 
name of the owner. About half way to the mills, back 
from the middle road is an old unpretentious house; ap- 
proached from the road by a long lane. If the age of the 
place could be determined by two colosal sycamores that 
shade the house, we would say it was centuries old; they 
are like two hugh sentinels, with immense trunks and wide 
spreading branches, guarding the old house. 

There were originally three of them but one was 
destroyed by lightning many years ago. The tree 
receiving the bolt probably saved the house from de- 
struction. 

The architecture of the house is similar to the others 
already described built in the days of the colonies; the 
living rooms are on the ground floor, with a few steps 
leading to the higher part. 

This place is of great interest to many as it was the 






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THE FITHIAN HOUSE 49 

home of Philip Vicar Fithian. He was born December 29, 
1747. It is supposed in the original part of the structure 
which still remains, he first opened his eyes to the dawn 
of day, and began to grow; and as he grew to years of un- 
derstanding, he began to imbibe the religious training of 
his devoted and pious mother; she prayerfully taught him 
the Holy Scriptures and planted within his bosom the seeds 
of holiness, which afterwards blossomed bright and verna' 
in his daily walk of life. 

As Philip advanced in years he began his school life 
in Greenwich — possible at the old Quaker stone school 
house which was within walking distance of his home. 
This school building was torn down about fifty years ago, 
because of its great age and wornout condition. It stood 
near the Quaker burying ground and was enclosed by a 
rail fence; the entrance was by stile. 

A new frame school building was erected on the site 
of the old one but as Quakerism began to decline in the 
village, and the new public school building was built on the 
opposite side of the street; a Quaicer school could not be 
supported and the school house was changed into a 
residence. 

About a half a mile farther north stands an old stone 
school house which has outlived its usefulness as a school 
building and is called the Town Hall, as it is solely used for 
town purposes. 

It was located near the old Mulford residence, which 



50 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

was destroyed by lightning a few years ago. 

The building was commenced in 1810 and it is said the 
militia of the War of 1812, assembled within its walls and 
drilled on the grounds, before it was fully equipped as a 
school house. 

As Philip grew into young manhood, he became very 
studious, and began to enshrine the golden passing hour, 
by transmitting his thoughts and deeds, and the most im- 
portant events to paper, keeping a daily journal, which 
became characteristic through the remainder of his short 
life. Its preservation has been of intrinsic value in un- 
locking the history of the past. 

In his twentieth year he began studying Latin under 
the tuition of Rev. Enoch Green, of Deerfield. Under 
his instruction and that of Rev. Andrew Hunter— with 
whom he was a general favorite— he prepared for col- 
lege. He graduated from the College of New Jersey in 
1772. At Princeton he frequently met Miss Elizabeth 
Beatty, who was the fairest of women to Philip; whom he 
afterward married; whose acquaintance he had formed at 
the old brick parsonage at Deerfield, where she frequently 
visited her sister, Mrs. Green. 

Soon after graduation he secured a position as tutor in 
the family of Colonel Robert Carter, an aristocratic gentle- 
man of Westmoreland County, Virginia, who was a large 
land owner and lived in a style approaching the grandeur 
of the mother country; he creditably filled the position for 



THE FlTHiAN HOUSE 5 1 

more than a year. 

As we read his journal, we get flashlights of the real 
man, and his ideals; the ideal is the mysterious ladder that 
enables the soul to attain greater heights and take a 
stronger hold of the Infinite; for the true and absolute ideal 
is God. 

He had a clear Christ vision for the redemption of the 
world and his desire was to preach the gospel, and presents 
himself to the Presbytery for examination for the ministry 
in 1773. In his journal he introduces us to many of the 
old inhabitants, and unconsciously displays his gallantry as 
he assists the Boyd and Ewing girls and others of his ac- 
quaintance to alight in the saddle; he speaks of Amy 
Ewing's marriage to Robert Pattison who afterward became 
celebrated in affairs of state and country. 

He describes the sudden tempest accompanied with 
lightning and thunder after a long drought; and v/e who are 
natives of the old town and have passed through so many 
similar gusts of wind and storm, find his descriptions very 
real and can almost feel the sting of that pestiferous insect, 
the mosquito, as swarms gather around him as he crosses 
the ferry to attend the ordination of Mr. Holinshead, at the 
Fairfield Church. 

He was licensed by the Presbytery of Philadelphia, 
December 6, 1774, and supplied the vacancies of West Jer- 
sey during the winter. He also served as a missionary on 
the Pennsylvania frontier. 



52 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

He was married to Elizabeth Beatty, October 25, I775- 

In 1776 he was appointed chaplain in the Revolution- 
ary Army. After some months of service he fell a victim 
to dysentery, brought on by exposure in camp, and died 
October 8, 1776. 

The Fithians are one of the oldest families of Cumber- 
land County. They are of English descent. William 
Fithian, the first person in this country by that name, 
settled in East Hampton, Long Island, in 1640. He had 
two sons, Enoch and Samuel. Josiah, the second son of 
Samuel, settled in Greenwich. He married Sarah Dennis, 
November 7, 1706, a daughter of Philip Dennis the Quaker 
preacher. Their sixth son, Joseph, married Hannah 
Vickers. Philip Vickers Fithian was Joseph and Hannah's 
eldest son. 

At the death of his parents who died in a few days of 
each other, Philip inherited the farm and home. 

There is in possession of Mrs. Mary A. Mulford, of 
Bridgeton, New Jersey, a deed of transmission, made in 
1788, from Joel Fithian and Elizabeth, his wife, to Amos 
Fithian, and the deed states this land became the property 
of Elizabeth Fithian, the present wife of Joel Fithian, by 
the will of Philip V. Fithan, dated July 2, 1776, and Philip 
received it as heir at law by his father, Joseph Fithian. 

Elizabeth Beatty Fithian, the widow of Philip V. 
Fithian, married his cousin, Joel, and their youngest son 
was Dr. Enoch B. Fithian, the centenarian of Green- 



THE FITHIAN HOUSE 53 

wich. Their eldest son, Charles Beatty Fithian, was a 
Hfe long resident of the village. His well preserved old 
homestead is on the main street, south of the public school 
house at the turn of the road. Two of his children are still 
living; Mr. Samuel R. Fithian and Mrs. Emily Fithian 
Lawrence. 

The place was bought in 1812 by James Flannigan, 
the father of Mrs. Mulford, who, with a sister residing in 
Bridgeton, was born in the old homestead. When pur- 
chased by Mr. Flannigan, the house was considered old, 
with large chimneys and all the old time arrangements; 
they made alterations, but parts of the house remain the 
same as in revolutionary times. 

Samuel R. Fithian, a nonegenarian, says there has 
been no apparent change in the house since he was a boy. 

Then the old house is historic. 

We have been informed by the late Mary C. Fithian, 
that her uncle repeatedly told her and others, that those 
brave young men, who asserted the spirit of independence, 
before it was declared by the colonies in 1776, by their 
action in destroying the tea of the East India Company, 
stored at Greenwich, met at Philip Vickers Fithian's home 
on the evening of December 22, 1774, to make their final 
arrangements. 

The young patriots from Cohansey Bridge, Fairfield 
and elsewhere, meeting at the Howell homestead near 
Shiloh, joined the Greenwich party at the Fithian home. 



54 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

which was environed by field and forest and sufficiently 
retired to prevent their plans from being known to the 
villagers, to whom the burning of the tea that eventful 
night, came as a surprise. 

It is said upwards of forty participated in this daring 
deed. Their names are not all known, but those who are, 
were mostly past their majority and members of families 
of influence and standing. 

The following list has been preserved: 

Ebenezer Elmer, James B. Hunt, David Pierson, 

Timothy Elmer, John Hunt, Stephen Pierson, 

James Ewing, Andrew Hunter, Jr. Henry Seeley, 

Thomas Ewing, Joel Miller, Josiah Seeley, 

Joel Fithian, Alexander Moore, Jr. Abraham Sheppard, 

Philip V. Fithian, Ephriam Newcomb, Henry Stacks, 

Lewis Howell, Silas Newcomb, Silas Whittaker. 

Richard Howell, Clarence Parvin, 



CHAPTER VII. 

^bc Mar^ Mouse. 

There is an old colonial house at the head of Green- 
wich, north of the Presbyterian Church. The larger part 
remains, while the lower part had so changed in the lapse 
of time, that it has been torn down and is in ruins. 

It has long been known as the home of the eminent 
centenarian, Dr. Enoch B. Fithian. The house is a room)^ 
wooden structure, but in style was built similar to the old 
brick houses in Cumberland County. There were two 
front doors facing the street; the path from the gate led 
to the door that entered the sitting room, where you 
usually found the aged Doctor, ever ready to extend a 
hand of welcome to relative, friend, neighbor or whoever 
chanced to call. A few steps from the sitting room ad- 
mitted you to the hall, where there was an entrance to the 
large parlor; back of the parlor, two rooms, the doctor's 
medical office and bedroom; a front entrance in the hall, 
and a stairway leading to the floor above. 

Adjoining the sitting room, was a large shed with a 
brick floor, from which you entered a stone kitchen at the 



56 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

rear of the house, hi front of the house stand two tall 
stately sycamore trees of many years growth. 

Having a personal conversation with the late Dr. 
Fithian regarding the house, he said it was built by Dr. 
Samuel Ward. In reviewing the pages of history, we learn 
that Dr. Ward was born in the State of Connecticut, in the 
year 1736. He commenced the practice of medicine in 
Greenwich, about the year 1760, so conclude the house 
was built about that time. He was a man of greater in- 
telligence than the physicians who preceded him. His skill 




Courtesy of the Bridgeton Pioneer. 

THE WARD HOUSE. 



THE WARD HOUSE 57 

as a surgeon made a favorable impression upon the citizens 
and he soon became the established physician of the 
community. 

He was an ardent lover of his country, sometimes 
writing and publishing papers regarding the political 
agitations of the time. He possessed the qualification of a 
gentleman and it was said of him, he was the real Christian. 
The purport of these words are ever the key note to a har- 
monious and successful life. His practice became extensive 
and his exposure to the elements traveling altogether by 
horseback is thought shortened his days. A short walk 
from the old house takes you to the cemetery where a 
massive tablet has been erected over his remains with the 
following inscription: 



Memorial 

of 

Samuel Ward, 

Who departed this life 

February 27, 1774, 

In the 38 year of his age. 

This inscription 

Is a small tribute to the memory of 

The once humane, generous and just, 

The uniform friend, 

The tender husband, 

The assiduous and successful physician, 

The lover of his country, 

and the 

Real Christian. 

The last end of the good man is peace. 



58 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

Very little is known of the physicians of Greenwich 
that preceeded Dr. Ward. It is thought their medicines 
were principally if not wholly derived from the vegetable 
kingdom, and many of the Indian remedies were used in 
their practice. 

Dr. Ward married Phebe Holmes, the daughter of 
Jonathan Holmes, who was a prominent member of the 
old Greenwich Church. 

Philip Vickers Fithian, was granted a leave of absence, 
May 1774, while teaching in Virginia, to visit his "dear old 
home in Cohansey." -'- 

He travelled the distance on horseback, the principal 
mode of travel before the Revolutionary War. He called 
on Mrs. Ward soon after arriving, and found her distressed 
and sorrowing after her late beloved husband, who had 
died a few months previous. He attended the Greenwich 
Church the following Sabbath and dined with Mrs. Ward, 
in the old homestead. 

Reader leave the present age and go back with me, 
one hundred and thirty-three years, and in spirit attend 
service in that small brick church, that cool May morning. 
It was within sight and only a short distance from Mrs. 
Ward's residence. The young and tender leaves on the 
trees around the church and throughout the county had 
been blackened by the cold; it was thought the fruit hap 
been frozen beyond recovery, and probably the flax too. 

*Philip V. Pithian's journal, while tutor in Virginia, has been 
published by The Princeton Historical Association, Princeton, N. J., 

1900. 



THE WARD HOUSE 59 

Mr. Fithian writes he saw, handled and measured ice two 
inches thick the fifth day of May, and a considerable 
quantity of snow fell the day previous. 

The dimensions of the church were thirty-four by 
forty-four feet. Pews around the walls and benches in 
the central area. There were galleries reached by stair- 
ways outside. It is the communion season; we can almost 
hear their solemn vows and hymns of love and praise as 
with bowed heads, they partook of the broken emblems of 
the Holy Sacrament, administered by Rev. Andrew Hunter 
and his assistant elders. In their worship they were re- 
newing allegiance to their crucified King, and praying for 
freedom from the British yoke. The people of the colonies 
were being imposed upon by oppressive taxation, by King 
George and his Parliment, whose subjects they were. 
There were dark ominous war clouds threatening the 
country to crush the spirit of freedom and patriotism which 
was so nobly demonstrated in Andrew Hunter, his 
parishioners and the citizens of Cumberland County. The 
Greenwich Church was thought the largest and most im- 
posing in South Jersey, when completed in 175 1. In 1740 
when the celebrated Whitefield came to Cohansey, the 
building could not contain the people, so they assembled in 
the forest north-east of the church. Benjamin Franklin, 
who is said to have been the most illustrious American of 
the past, tells us he had a loud clear voice and articulated 
his words so perfectly, he could be heard and understood 



60 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

at a great distance, preaching to thousands in the open air. 
It has been stated there were three thousand in the Green- 
wich gathering. 

To-day the tomb of Andrew Hunter, with its moss 
covered tablet, is keeping the ground sacred where the old 
church, built and dedicated to the worship of God by the 
early settlers, stood for many years. Mr. Hunter, after 
preaching for thirty years within its walls, fell a victim 
to dysentery in 1775, and was buried beneath the middle 
aisle, near the pulpit. If you have time and patience to 
read the darkened stones that encircle the tomb, you will 
find such names as Maskell, Ewing, Fithian, Brewster, 
Holmes, Bacon, Brown, Dennis and many others, who 
were members and supporters of the old church, all gather- 
ed around him in death. 

"Time, as with magic wand 

Changes all. 
Builds aloft and 

Makes to fall." 

In 1775 Mrs. Ward married Dr. Moses Bloomfield, who 
was a practitioner of medicine of Woodbridge, New Jersey. 
He was a man of culture and of fine appearance, and con- 
sidered one of the best physicians of his day. He filled 
many prominent positions of trust and honor during his life 
time. His opinion was highly valued and much sought 
after in civil and church matters. "He was named a 
trustee in the charter of the Presbyterian Church 1756, 



THE WARD HOUSE 6l 

30th year of his reign of George II. Also a trustee named 
in the charter by George III, of free school lands in 
Woodbridge, New Jersey." He first married Miss Ogden, 
of Elizabethtown and by this union several children were 
born; the eldest son, Joseph Bloomfield, became Governor 
of New Jersey. We read the following inscription on his 
tombstone in the cemetery at Woodbridge: 

"In memory of Dr. Moses Bloomfield, forty years a 
physician and surgeon in this town, senior physician and 
surgeon in the Hospital of the United States. Representa- 
tive in the Provincial Congress and General Assembly. 
An upright Magistrate. Elder of the Presbyterian Church. 
Born December 4, 1729, died August 14, 1791, in his 63rd 
year. 'Tim. i: 12. I know in whom I have believed.' " 

His widow survived him and was buried by the side of 
her first husband, Dr. Ward, in the Greenwich cemetery. 
A large tablet was erected to her memory with this 
inscription: 

A 

Memorial 

of 

Phebe Bloomfield, 

Daughter of Jonathan Holmes, Esq. 

In June 1766 she married Doct Ward of Greenwich & 

survived her husband. Was again married to Doct 

Bloomfield of Woodbridge in 1775, whom she survived 

& departed this life after a tedious & severe illness on 



62 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

the 29th of August, 1820, in the 82nd year of her age. 
She was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Bridge- 
ton, upward of 12 years, and was esteemed by all her 
connections and acquaintances. 

Our age to seventy years is set 

How short the time, how frail the state 

And if to eighty we arrive, 

We rather sigh and groan than live. 

We read the epitaphs and take the path back to the 
deserted house. We are loath to leave it, not because 
there is any particular style or beauty in the architecture 
of the old colonial building, but because in the olden time, 
it has been the home of and frequented by such excellent 
people. Real men, noble men of culture and intellect, 
whose very manhood was uplifting to humanity about 
them. Men who served not only God and their country, 
but their fellow men. it has been justly said that the early 
physicians of Cumberland County were "Martyrs to the 
cause of humanity," and were they not? In their daily 
professional calls they never knew the luxury of an easy, 
cushioned, covered conveyance, but were obliged to travel 
on horseback many miles through the tall forests, follow- 
ing the Indian paths from one lonely clearing to another; 
not only exposed to the summer's heat and winter's cold, 
but the stormy wind and driving rain. The storms and 
darkness often compelling them to seek shelter for the night 
in the pioneer's log cabin, or wherever it could be found. 



THE WARD HOUSE 63 

These exposures induced fatigue and colds which con- 
signed them to an early grave. They lived life's little 
day, but as Carlyle tells us, "they cast forth their acts, 
their words into the ever living, ever working universe, 
and they are seed grains that will flourish after a thousand 
years have passed." 

Then the old house is interesting because it was the 
home in later years of Dr. Enoch B. Fithian, whom some 
of us were permitted to know in the evening of his life. 
Time had whitened his hair and furrowed his brow and he 
had retired from active professional labor — after rendering 
his fellowman a service of forty-one years — when the 
writer first remembers him. His practice covered a large 
area, and he was the leading physician among his fellow 
practitioners. He filled honorable positions in the 
Medical Societies of state and county. His mode of travel 
was a covered two wheeled vehicle called a gig. it was 
drawn by one horse with a motion so irregular, that it 
would contrast strangely with the handsome rubber tired 
carriage used by the physician to-day. 

Much has been said and written of this remarkable 
man, who attained the great age of one hundred years and 
six months. He was born May 10, 1792, and died Novem- 
ber 15, 1892. There is no epitaph with the inscription 
upon the monument that marks his burying place, like the 
earlier physicians; his great modesty forbad it. But we 
who knew him saw embodied in the man, goodness, moral 



64 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH, 

courage, the old time gentleman and the Christian. Then 
he was a great store house of knowledge, having lived 
through one hundred eventful years, and being an intelli- 
gent observer, he imparted to others as occasion demanded. 

The writer remembers taking tea with Dr. Fithian and 
his niece, the late Mary C. Fithian, when the day previous 
the news had flashed across the wires from Europe, that 
Pope Pius IX was deceased. The Doctor— being three 
days the eldest — had lived contemporary with him, and had 
been a close observer in the eventful periods in the his- 
tory of papacy while he occupied the papal chair. He 
spoke of his many reforms which did much for the ad- 
vancement and improvement of the city of Rome and its 
institutions. He spoke of his physical weakness, and 
his activity in attending personally to all public affairs, 
civil as well as ecclesiastical of his oftke. When we left 
the old homestead we had a better insight into the life of 
the late Pope than if we had read his biography. 

The church and community are indebted to him for col- 
lecting and preserving the records of its past history. 

We take one look at the yard and garden where the 
modest lillies of the valley grew in profusion, and every re- 
turning spring sent up their spiral like snowy blossoms, and 
made the air fragrant with their sweet and delicate odor at 
the time of the aged Doctor's birthday anniversary, and 
were eagerly sought after by many of the guests in attend- 
ance. We leave the old deserted house and go away, for 



THE WARD HOUSE 65 

"Life and thought here no longer dwell." 

Another house with an interesting history in the same 
locality of the Ward house, was the Hunt homestead. It 
stood south of the church and was destroyed by fire about 
twenty years ago. The house was two stories high with 
five rooms on the first floor, with large open fire-places, 
high mantels and every old time arrangement. The parlor 
contained a Franklin stove. The Hunts were of Scotch 
Irish ancestry and one of the old families of Cumberland 
County. 

Robert Hunt, the first known by that name, settled in 
Shiloh and married Rebecca the daughter of Isaac and 
Hannah Barret Ayars, a grand-daughter of Robert Ayars, 
the first settler of Shiloh. 

This house was the homestead of James B. Hunt, a 
grand-son of Robert Hunt, who, with his brother John, 
v/ere among the historic tea burners that eventful night in 
1774. James Hunt was a soldier in the Revolutionary 
War; he was in the battle of Trenton, and later in life be- 
came a judge of the County Court. He married Sarah, 
daughter of Maskell Ewing. 

Their sons, Thomas Ewing and Reuben Hunt, were in- 
fluential citizens of Greenwich and active members of the 
Presbyterian Church, Thomas serving as elder for many 
years. They were farmers; Reuben cultivating his father's 
farm, and living and dying in the homestead. It was also 
the home of his daughter, Mrs. Eliza Kellogg, nearly her 



66 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

entire life. 

There are two descendants of the family still in Green- 
wich. Mrs. Ruth Wallace, a daughter of Mrs. Kellogg, 
who resides very near where the old house stood, and 
Thomas E. Hunt, son of Thomas Ewing Hunt, who is an 
extensive land owner and one of the most successful 
peach growers of Greenwich township. 



1 



CHAPTER VIll. 

nnaeF^clI an^ EwtnG Mouses, 

As you go to Bacon's Neck from North Greenwich, 
you find old houses along the roadside, a quarter of a 
mile or so apart, with a hundred acres, more or less, front- 
ing, or back of the house, as the land has been cleared for 
cultivation. 

The first house known to be colonial is the Maskell 
homestead, about a mile from Greenwich street. One look 
at the antiquated structure, with its moss covered gambrel 
roof, standing alone in its style of architecture, convinces 
one that it is the oldest house on the street and was 
built in the remote past; the high part built of brick and 
stone which are gradually crumbling, contain the original 
features. In olden times the house and farm were called 
"Vauxhall Gardens." 

It was the custom of the early settlers to name their 
places of settlement; the name sometimes giving the place 
distinction throughout the country. As "Fenwick's Court" 
"Bacon's Adventure," "Tindall's Bowery," Watson's Run- 
thrope" and "Holly Bourne." 



68 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

It is supposed the Maskell property was named after 
the Vauxhall public gardens of Philadelphia, which no 
doubt were named after the famous Vauxhall public gar- 
dens in London, which were constituted after the restora- 
tion, (May 1660), and continued for nearly two centuries. 
They were situated in Lambeth opposite Millbank, near the 
Manor called Fulke's Hall, from which was derived Vaux- 
hall. 

Thomas Maskell, the emigrant, married Bythia 
Parsons in Connecticut in 1658. Their son settled in 
Greenwich, early in 1700, and built and lived in this old 
homestead. He was highly respected and became a man 
of much usefulness. He was one of the grantors of the 
site of the Presbyterian Church. We learn in 1709 he as- 
sisted in taking an inventory of Samuel Hedge's estate. 
He was a witness to Gabriel Davis' will, who died in 1714. 
He also witnessed and took inventory of Robert Robbins' 
estate, in 1715, and Jonathan Wood's in 1727. He died 
January 2, 1732. 

Thomas Maskell, the third, was appointed sheriff by 
Governor Franklin, in 1769, holding the office for three 
years. 

There are large tablets erected in the Presbyterian 
cemetery at Greenwich to the memory of Thomas Maskell 
the third, and his wife. If we read the inscriptions, it 
gives us an insight to the character of these noble people. 



MASKELL AND EWING HOUSES. 69 

"Beneath this stone was buried the body of Thomas 
Maskell, Esq., who died September g, 1803, in the 83rd 
year of his age. He spent a long life in the exercise of 
every domestic, and many public virtues, and exhibited a 
bright example of integrity, economy and Christian pro- 
priety of conduct. As he lived, so he died, in the faith of 
the Gospel of Christ, and with a lively hope of a Glorious 
Immortality, through the merits of his obedience and 
death." 

"His flesh shall slumber in the ground. 
Till the last trumpets joyful sound. 
Then burst the chains with sweet surprise, 
And in the Saviour's image rise." 

"In the memory of Esther Maskell, relict of Thomas 
Maskell, Esq., deed., who died September nth, 1805, in 
the 58th year of her age. She was an affectionate and 
condescending wife, a tender and indulgent parent, and a 
bright pattern of domestic virtue, and economy. As a pro- 
fessor of religion, was attendant and devout, and died in 
the faith of Jesus Christ and lively hope of redemption 
through his blood. 

Let surviving friends be solicitous in imitating her vir- 
tues, and follow her footsteps as she followed Christ and 
did good, and to improve their bereavement by diligent 
preparations for meeting her in a future state." 

"Hear what the word from heaven declares 

To those in Christ who die. 
Released from all their earthly cares. 

They reign with him on high." 



70 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

An old plastered house stands a short distance north of 
the Maskell homestead. It was built by Jacob Harris, but 
is now the residence of James Butler. The interior of this 
house is of superior finish and the parlor originally contain- 
ed an arched corner cupboard, which was removed in after 
years. 

The next house south of the Maskell place is the Ewing 
homestead. Its modernized appearance, does not suggest 
to the observer, that a portion of the house was erected 
when our country was unborn as a republic, and under 
kingly rule. The east room and hall are known to have 
been in use for nearly 200 years. Thomas Ewing settled 
in Greenwich about the year 1718. He married Mary, 
daughter of Thomas Maskell, March 27, 1720. Her father 
gave her as a marriage portion, one hundred acres of 
land. Their house when first erected, stood near the south 
west corner of the cross-roads. In after years was moved 
father south where it now stands, and the large parlor 
added which at the present time remains much the same, 
through the changes the years have made in the building. 

The parlor still retains the old Franklin stove, which is 
used for heating the room. Benjamin Franklin says in his 
autobiography: "he invented in 1742 an open stove for the 
better warming of rooms." Governor Thomas was so 
pleased with the construction of the stove, that he offered 
him a patent for the sole vending of them for a term of 
years, but he declined from a principle, "as we enjoy ad- 



MASKELL AND EWING HOUSES. Jl 

vantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad 
of an opportunity to serve others with an invention of 
ours." 

They grew in favor and were used in very many 
houses in Pennsylvania and the neighboring states. 

Finley Ewing, a Scotch Presbyterian, left Scotland 
with his wife Jane, during the religious oppressions, and 
settled in Londonderry, Ireland. For his bravery at the 
battle of Boyne Water, in 1690, he was presented with a 
sword by King William 111. Thomas Ewing, their son, was 
born in Londonderry, and came to America on account of 
the troubles in Ireland and settled in Greenwich. 

Thomas and Mary's eldest son was Maskell Ewing, 
born in 1721. He attained to much prominence in his 
neighborhood, being appointed to various offices; "in 1757 
was Sheriff of Cumberland County, from which he retired 
in 1760. He was commissioned March 22d, 1762 one 
of the Surrogates for West Jersey, holding the office un- 
til 1776. He is said to have been County Clerk also, 
and Judge of the Common Pleas." 

He married Mary Paget, of English descent, in 1743. 
She was a woman of remarkable ability. There were ten 
children born to them and this energetic woman, made their 
clothing from the flax and wool raised on the farm, besides 
house linen and bedding, candle making, cheese making 
for market, raising poultry, and all ordinary housework 
without any assistance, only as her young daughters grew 



72 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

to aid her. It is said slie read many good books in the 
evening by placing them on her lap while her hands ap- 
plied the knitting needles, "And on the Sabbath, a folio 
Flavel, the Institute of Calvin, and her Bible were the 
treasures in which her soul delighted." 

If we could lift the veil that hides the past of this old 
home, we would see much simplicity in food and costume, 
and what we deem necessaries in the present age, would 
have been great luxuries to that household. 

While her husband was battling with nature's field and 
forest, preparing pastures to be clothed with flocks and 
herds; this noble woman was keeping the home life 
and was planting the seeds of practical industry, integrity 
and economy. Woman's domestic love and training make 
the home, and homes and mothers largely determine the 
career of the children. If the mother's domestic ideal is 
high, pure and noble, her children will rise up and call her 
blessed, and her influence goes on down the ages and 
never dies. But when fashion and the modern club 
rule the life of the mother to the neglect of the home, 
sad will be the consequence to our social, industrial and 
civil life. 

There was the strictest economy among the early set- 
tlers. In a Quaker settlement of one of our neighboring 
states, for a number of years there was only one pair of 
boots; they were owned by one of the leading families, and 
were loaned by the true spirit of "ye olden time" to the 



MASKELL AND EWING HOUSES. 73 

neighbor, who was going to the city or on a journey. 

A single great coat has been known to serve the com- 
munity on such occasions. Only one blanket was used 
before Christmas, two after, giving us an idea of the bodily 
hardiness of the early settler, 

Maskell Ewing died in 1796. The children of Maskell 
and Mary Paget Ewing fdled places of honor, and some of 
the sons were prominent figures in the history of the past, 
filling important positions in the state and country. 

Their son. Dr. Thomas Ewing, was born January 
13, 1748. In his boyhood he attended the classical school 
of Rev. Enoch Green, at Deerfield, and afterwards studied 
medicine under the direction of Dr. Samuel Ward, of 
Greenwich. He married Sarah Fithian, daughter of 
Samuel and Abigail Fithian. They moved to Cold Spring, 
Cape May, where he practiced medicine until after Dr. 
Ward's death, then settled in his practice. 

He was one of the disguised Indians in the famous "Tea 
Party" at Greenwich. When the Revolutionary War be- 
gan, he was commissioned surgeon of a brigade to be raised 
in the lower counties. He was appointed by the Legisla- 
ture, and commissioned Major of the 2d battalion of the 
Cumberland regiment, commanded by Col. David Potter. 

He was present at the disastrous retreat from Long 
Island, and narrowly escaped being captured. He made 
several voyages during the war with Captain Collins, mak- 
ing successful captures. In 1781 he was elected a member 



74 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

of the State Legislature; his health rapidly declined and he 
died October 7, 1782. 

The stone that marks his grave in the Presbyterian 
Church yard in Greenwich bears this inscription: 

Thomas Ewing, Esq., 

Surgeon, 

and 

Practitioner in Physic, 

After having served his country 

With fidelity and reputation, 

In a variety of important offices 

Civil and Military. 

Died highly beloved 

And much lamented, 

Oct 7, 1782, 

hi the 35th year of his age." 

He had two children; Samuel, who died young and 
William Bedford Ewing, who became a prominent phy- 
sician of Greenwich. 

Another son, Maskell, born January 30, 1758, was 
elected Clerk of the Assembly before he was twenty-one 
and moved to Trenton to attend the duties of the office, 
where he remained for twenty years. He was Recorder 
in Trenton for sometime, hi 1803 he moved to Philadel- 
phia, then to Delaware County, Pennsylvania, represent- 
ing the latter county in the State Senate for six years. He 
died August 25, 1825. 



MASKELL AND EWING HOUSES. 75 

James Evving, another son of Maskell and Mary Ewing, 
was a member of the "Tea Party." He was elected to the 
Assembly from Cumberland County in 1778, and took 
up his residence in Trenton in 1779. 

He was the author of an ingenious "Columbian 
Alphabet," an attempt at a reformed system of spelling, 
which he explained in a pamphlet published in Trenton in 
1798. He was Mayor of Trenton 1797 — 1803. He died 
October 23, 1823. His only son, Charles Ewing, born in 
1780, was Chief Justice of New Jersey 1824 — 1832, dying 
in office. 

In after years the Ewing homestead came into the 
possession of Ercurious Sheppard, and later Ebenezer Har- 
mer. Then it was owned by Wilmon Bacon, who ex- 
changed with Silas Glaspey for a farm near Sheppard's 
Mills — one was tired of clay and the other of sand — so they 
agreed to change farms, it remained in the possession of 
the Glaspeys for a long time. During their ownership the 
house was said to be haunted. Many changes were made 
by the different owners by enlarging and adding rooms. 
The back part of the house was rebuilt by William 
Glaspey. In an upper west room was a door opening into 
a north room. When Mr. Glaspey rebuilt the north room 
he had no use for the door, but built against it, leaving it 
with its old heavy hinges and bolts. It would open about 
two inches against the wall of the next room, and persons 
sleeping in this room are said to have seen a dear little 



76 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

Quaker lady come from behind this door and stand at the 
foot of the bed, but since the place has become the prop- 
erty of Warren Butler, who has thoroughly renovated and 
modernized the house, and Mrs. Butler, the real Quaker 
lady presides in loving and gentle dignity in the home, 
the illusive Quaker lady has not been seen. 

Charles Ewing, the only descendant of Thomas Ewing, 
that bears the name who resides in the Ewing homestead 
on Greenwich street, has named this old house, "Resur- 
rection Hall," for after a lapse of years it is remodelled and 
stands among the other houses on the street as though it 
wholly belonged to the present age. 

The Ewings in the past were quite numerous in the 
village, and erected a number of houses, some of them en- 
tirely gone, and have passed into oblivion, while a few still 
remain. 

A house on the Bacon's Neck road from lower Green- 
wich, where Ephraim Bacon resided for years, and later 
followed by his son, Theodore, is said to have been built 
by one of the Ewing brothers and dates back toward 
colonial daj-s. The house was built with heavy doors and 
hinges, some of them having the old time latch string. 
The large, white stone plastered house on Bacon's 
Neck road, owned for many years by Samuel Fithian, and 
later by his son, Josiah, was built by George Ewing. 

The old frame house west of the Wood residence, and 
near the railroad, is said to have been built by James 



MASKULL AND EWING HOUSES. ^^ 

Ewino;. These two houses date back to the time of the 
colonies, and are in a fair condition and still habitable. 

There are roads leading from Bacon's Neck to 
Stathem's Neck in a westerly direction. This neck of land 
is bordered by the marsh and waters of Stow Creek 
River, which empties in the Delaware near Bay Side. 

Stathem's Neck comprises very fertile farms. The 
first known settler was Thomas Stathem, who paid quit- 
rents for the land as early as 1690, along with Mark Reeve, 
Obadiah Holmes, Samuel Bacon, Joseph Dennis and 
others, for land in Cohansey precinct; these quit-rents 
were collected for the heirs of Fenwick, and were paid 
yearly, according to the number of acres each owned. 

The brothers, Philip and Zebulon, soon followed 
Thomas in settling in the same locality. Zebulon was a 
carpenter as well as a yeoman, and he and his brother 
Philip bought 600 acres of John Smith, of Salem County, 
December 31, 1698. 

The Stathems became very numerous from these three 
progenitors, and the neck still bears their name. 

Thomas Stathem in his will provided for an old negro 
servant in the family by leaving him £40. 

The Stathem's brick colonial house is still standing on 
a back road leading to Flax Point, and is owned by Isaac 
Ridgeway. 

There is a tradition handed down from generation to 
generation concerning this old house. It is said to have 

U6f "^ 



78 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

secretly held gold, taken in traffic with the British during 
the Revolutionary War. 

At that period it was the home of one Philip Stathem 
who was a Tory. Having herds of cattle, he would kill 
and dress them during the day, and when the gathering 
darkness covered land and river, would take the dressed 
meat by boat, to the British vessels which were foraging 
along the Delaware and its tributaries. He received pay- 
ment in gold. When returning home he would raise the 
shelf of the high mantel over the fire-place, which was con- 
structed on hinges, and empty his coin. 

The late Dr. Thomas E. Stathem purchased a part of 
the ancestral tract of land and did much to beautify the 
surroundings by setting out fruit trees. 

It remained in his possession during his life time. The 
only descendants at the present time in Greenwich Town- 
ship, are David J. Stathem, the well known merchant of 
North Greenwich, and Miss Lizzie Woodruff, whose 
mother was a sister to the late Dr. Thomas E. Stathem. 



CHAPTER IX. 

®lt) IHouees. 

On the straight road to Roadstown, from North Green- 
wich, we find two story brick houses. They are finely 
situated on high ground, facing the street, with hundreds 
of fertile acres around them. 

The house farthest north is dated 1783, with the 
initials "B. R. R." engraved with the date. The time of 
building and the initials were sometimes wrought with 
bricks of different colors, and sometimes shown by letters 
and figures in iron on the front. This property was in the 
possession of Josiah Harmer, about seventy years ago; 
then later was bought by the Woods of Philadelphia. It is 
now owned by Frank Lupton. The living room is com- 
modious and opens into a large shed on the eastern side, 
and an inviting porch on the western, shaded by a roof 
attached to the house. A few steps from the main living 
room lead to the higher part on the first floor, where are 
two pleasant rooms facing the street, with an outer en- 
trance from the east room, where we find another restful 
porch. 



8o COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

Another brick house a short distance south of the 
Lupton house, is dated 1786. It was originally a Tyler 
homestead. The Tylers were numerous in the village in 
the past, but at present there is no resident by that 
name who is a descendant of the old families. There is 
property owned in the township, by the sons of the late 
John Tyler, who have moved elsewhere. One noticeable 
feature of this house is an old English hall extending 
through the middle, with an entrance north and south; 
when thrown open to the southern breezes of a hot sum- 
mer day, it is cool and inviting. 

The most striking feature of many of the better 
dwellings of colonial architecture in the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries was the wide open passage or hall in 
the middle of the house, entered directly on passing the 
main entrance. Here the family sat to receive guests, and 
were sometimes scenes of festivity. They were said 
to be a "relic of the primitive undivided Anglo-Saxon dwell- 
ing." William Penn built a large hall in the centre of his 
mansion on his manor at Pennsbury, here he met his 
council and held parleys with the Indians. 

in the past a row of Lombardy poplars graced the 
road, fronting this old house. 

it is said William Penn set the fashion of planting them 
along country roads. At present the farm and home is 
owned by Edward Lloyd. 

From the highest hills of these rolling farms, there are 



OLD HOUSES. 8l 

fine views of the bay and river. When the many trees 
that intervene have disrobed their livery of green, and the 
mists of the morning have rolled away, much of the ship- 
ping can plainly be seen. The water and sky seem to be 
in close proximity to each other, and the high masted 
schooners look to be piercing the clouds. 

A gentleman from the eastern part of the state was 
riding for the first time over the road through these hills to 
the village, when the atmospheric conditions were favorable 
for clear views of the bay and river. He saw the bay 
along the southern horizon, and the river along the western. 
He exclaimed, "1 would not live in the village under any 
condition," for said he "The waters will some day sub- 
merge this whole section of country." 

But hath not "He divided the sea with His power, and 
hath compassed the waters with bounds" until the end of 
liaht with darkness. "The Lord of Hosts is his name." 

"Then at night the beacon's glow 
Over tides that ebb and flow, — 
Over shoals of silver sand 
By the salt sea breezes fanned, — 
Pinning fast her sable gown 
With a star, above the town." 

There are four lights that can be distinctly seen from 
the light houses, from these hills. 

One is "Old Cohansey" light, which is situated on 
the marsh at the mouth of Cohansey River, near the 



82 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

junction of Delaware Bay and River. This light guides 
the mariner over the bay and two rivers. 

Another is "Ship John" light, — which apparently 
stands in the middle of the bay. Sometime during the 
eighteenth century, a vessel by the name of John, after a 
thrilling experience with the ice, was wrecked by 
striking a shoal near the site of this light house. 

The government made a foundation of stone, then 
erected an iron light house at a cost of $200,000 for the 
future preservation of its shipping. Through the courtesy 
of the late Capt. George W. Sloan, the writer was enabled 
to visit this interesting light house. Capt. Sloan was en- 
gaged during the Civil War in transporting supplies for the 
government, from Philadelphia to Washington, D. C. and 
other places. He commanded the Atlas and Swallow and 
other steamers. Upon retiring from active service he 
spent the evening of his days in the village of Greenwich, 

The two other lights that can be seen from the hills 
are Duck Creek and Reedy island. 

About a half mile from Edward Lloyd's residence, on 
the road to the cross roads leading to Stow Creek township 
and the city of Salem, stands an old brick house, which 
was originally another Tyler homestead, it is similar in 
architecture to the other brick houses in this locality and 
was erected about the same time. The homestead and 
farm of about three hundred acres of productive land — a 
portion of it skirting the waters of the mill pond — is owned 



I 



OLD HOUSES. 83 

at the present time by Capt. Charles Miller. About mid- 
way between the two Tyler homesteads, on the hillside, 
stood a colonial house in by gone years. It was known as 
the Tomlinson homestead, the birthplace of Mrs. Rebecca 
Jones, (whose maiden name was Tomlinson), who is a 
resident of the village. About the time of the Civil War, 
the place became the property of Newbold Reeves, a 
Quaker, who removed the old house and erected a large, 
attractive residence upon the site. The home and farm 
are now owned by Mary Bacon Watson, a lineal descend- 
ant of Samuel Bacon, the first settler of Bacon's Neck, and 
the place is known in the village as Hillside Farm. 

There have been other colonial houses along the road- 
side, nearer the village than the last mentioned, one 
stood near the residence of Mrs. Hannah Edwards, and 
another on the site of the home of Charles Watson, for- 
merly owned by Robert Ayars. There are others that 
have been entirely obliterated from the landscape, and 
for a time ruins of an old well, or a clump of lilac bushes, 
hinted to the passing traveller, that an old house had been 
near, but time with its revolving seasons and passing years 
is ever changing the landscape scene, and all physical and 
material substances, and yearly waving grain or grass 
covers the home of many an early settler. 

There is a group of three interesting old houses on the 
main street, in the vicinity of the Presbyterian parsonage. 
They stand on the right side of the street as you travel 



84 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

south. 

The first building was erected for a Methodist Church, 
and was built on the south side of Pine Mount. With the 
tide of emigration, there came very few Methodists, so a 
church of that faith could not be supported. It was sold to 
the Hicksite Quakers, and removed to the main street. 
The building contained two stories, with a stairway on the 
outside. The first floor was used for Quaker Meeting, and 
the second for a private school. About a half century ago 
it was moved across the street farther north, and trans- 
formed into a dwelling, and the present brick Quaker 
Meeting House erected where it formerly stood. 

The next house south, is the Williams' homestead. 
The progenitor of the family raised in this home, of whom 
there are descendants in Greenwich and other places in 
Cumberland County, was a son of a planter in the Island 
of San Domingo, He came to Greenwich in a vessel when 
a young lad, fleeing from the insurrection in that Island in 
1800. His name was Jean Jacques Couer Deroi. He 
changed his name to William Williams, — possibly after the 
signer of the Declaration of Independence by that name 
from Connecticut. He was much respected by the citizens 
of Greenwich, dying at the ripe age of seventy-nine years, 
October 22, 1869. His widow, Easter Williams, survived 
him and lived to be a nonegenarian. 

The third or last house of the group is the old Stewart 
home and is in possession of Mrs. Sallie Young, a descend- 



OLD HOUSES. 85 

ant of the family. 

As we go farther south, on the left side of the street 
we find a large wooden house that is thought to be one 
hundred years old. It is owned by William Test, who 
formerly lived there. It is the nearest house to the Hick- 
site Quaker Meeting House, and has always been the 
home of Quaker families. Farther down the street at the 
turn of the road stands another house that is a century old. 
Seventy-five years ago it was the home of Joseph and 
Cynthia Sheppard. it has been enlarged and modernized 
and is now the pleasant home of Howard and Sarah 
Mulford Hancock. There are other old houses in the 
village and a few colonial houses in the township, that the 
writer is not familiar with and failing to obtain their history, 
has not mentioned them in this work. 

All along the crooked reaches of the river and scatter- 
ed through "Old Cohansey," now Cumberland County, 
stand old houses; some in the last stages of decay; others 
so substantially built, they reveal to us in a measure the 
character of the builder. 

"As the creation of a thousand forests are in one 
acorn," so the creation of many lives, and our own, came 
through the victory the early settler gained by his ener- 
getic struggle with the forest, the soil, the climatic dangers 
and the Indian. 

The wheels of progress move steadily onward in Times' 
rushing current, and as man develops the latent God given 



86 COLONIAL AND OLD HOUSES OF GREENWICH. 

powers within him, he leaves his crude beginnings and 
makes better conditions. He has but to look around and 
beneath him, to see nature's bountiful resources for 
material, and we see evolved from the primitive one room- 
ed log cabin, with its oiled paper opening to admit rays of 
light, the stately many roomed mansion, with windows 
of clearest crystal, through which the sunlight penetrates 
the entire building. If man follows the highest light within 
him, which is as a fixed star steadily shining, though clouds 
with their shadows sometimes seem to obscure it, his end 
is peace, and he is crowned with glory and honor, 
"and his works do follow him." 

Greenwich with its old time houses, holds an enviable 
position in "Old Cumberland." The sons and daughters 
of the old town who have gone forth from these homes into 
a larger sphere of action, have always been able to look 
back with reverent pride to the place of their birth, with its 
traditions and historical associations. 

By an act of legislature, provision has been made for a 
monument, which will soon be erected to commemorate 
the burning of East India tea, December 22, 1774, by its 
liberty loving citizens. 

To-day "Old Cohansey," (of which during the 
eighteenth century, Greenwich, with its broad streets, 
churches and schools was the principal place), now Cumber- 
land County, with its cities, towns and villages, is 
pulsating with life and modern progress. Of the country's 



OLD HOUSKS. 87 

marvelous growth, Greenwich has had little share, but 
during all the years has maintained its reputation for 
industry, intelligence and generosity. 

With more than two centuries of existence and honor- 
able record, as a crown of honor, we still find within the 
borders of this ancient town, as of yore, peaceful and 
happy homes, where the old time hospitality prevails; 
and on its rich productive farms, we hear the rustle of 
corn and murmur of the brook, which is as sweet music to 
our ears as to our forerunner the Indian, who loved 
nature's gladness. 



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