Thursday, May 3, 2018

Salem County Historical Society’s Open House Tour in Fenwick’s Colony 2018

Salem County Historical Society’s Open House Tour in Fenwick’s Colony 2018
Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Salem County Historical Society is pleased to announce that the Open House in Fenwick’s Colony, our popular spring open house tour, will be held on Saturday, May 5, from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm at historic sites around Salem County.

The 2018 Open House Tour will highlight colonial homes and historic sites of central Salem County, many located in Woodstown and Mannington. Several houses on the tour are examples of unique regional pattern brick architecture of the 18th century. Colonial-era houses of worship and sites connected with Salem County’s founder John Fenwick will also be featured.

Visitors will have the chance to tour several 18th century brick houses, including this year's featured house, the Richard Miller House in Mannington. This colonial house was built in the early 1700s as a brick one-over-one dwelling. The kitchen features a large 12-foot-wide walk-in fireplace. Richard Miller, who purchased the house in 1795, was married to Elizabeth Wistar, the granddaughter of Caspar Wistar who founded Wistarburgh Glassworks. The house includes original woodwork and is furnished with period antiques. Be sure to visit this historic treasure, now open for the tour for the first time in many years.

The Richard Miller House (c. 1717) is the featured house of the Salem County Open House Tour.
Pattern brick enthusiasts will also have the opportunity to tour the Waddington Bradway house (first time on tour), Seven Stars Tavern (built 1762), the John Jarman House (built 1755), the Hancock House (built 1734), the James Barrett House (built c.1735), and the exterior of the John Dickinson House (built 1754), the most ornate patterned-brick house in the United States. Two of these houses, the Hancock House and Seven Stars Tavern, feature a furnished colonial tavern room. Many of these sites also have a strong connection to the Revolutionary War, particularly the Hancock House, which was the site of the 1778 massacre of patriot militia by Loyalist soldiers.

The oldest house on the tour is the Samuel Shivers House in Woodstown, reportedly dating back to 1669 when it served as a trading post and tavern, a few years before John Fenwick founded the colony at Salem in 1675. The Salem Oak, where Fenwick is said to have met with the local Lenni Lenape, and the Fenwick Monument, which commemorates Fenwick’s burial, will also be on the tour.

In addition to private homes, the Open House tour will include several old houses of worship, including Quaker meeting houses in Woodstown, Salem, and Hancocks Bridge. Many of the original settlers of Salem County were members of the Religious Society of Friends, and two of these colonial brick meeting houses are still in regular use today. For the first time on tour, the former St. Ann’s Catholic Church (built 1894) will be open, now the headquarters of the Greater Elmer Area Historical Society featuring a museum and archives. The former church includes original stained glass windows. Other local historical societies that will be open for the tour include the Alexander Grant House (built 1721)—home of the Salem County Historical Society, the Samuel Dickeson House (built 1749)—home of the Pilesgrove-Woodstown Historical Society, and the Alloway History Museum.

Historic houses of worship on the tour include this colonial Quaker brick meeting house in Woodstown (c. 1785), along with meeting houses in Salem and Hancocks Bridge.
Federal and Victorian houses will also be featured, including the Samuel Clement House (built 1790s & 1820), the Goodwin Sisters House (built 1821), and the Thomas Davis House (built 1860). The Goodwin Sisters House is recognized as a confirmed Underground Railroad Station; it was the home of Quaker abolitionist sisters Abigail Goodwin and Elizabeth Goodwin. A collection of tall case clocks is featured at the Samuel Clement House, and the Thomas Davis House includes an eclectic mix of artwork and antiques from around the world.

In total, tour participants will visit 20 private homes and sites, all located in Salem County convenient to Route 55, the Delaware Memorial Bridge, Route 295, and the NJ Turnpike.

Tickets may be purchased prior to the tour on the Salem County Historical Society's website Tickets may also be purchased at the Salem County Historical Society in Salem, at Royal Port Antiques in Salem, at Leighton’s in Woodstown, or at The Vintner’s Wife in Woodstown prior to and on the day of the tour.

Please be sure to mark your calendars for May 5th and join us as we celebrate our colonial heritage in central Salem County! Contact the Society for more information at 856-935-5004 or Please also visit our Facebook page to enjoy special previews of the tour.

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