We’d heard it called “Mrs. Watt’s house” before. But “building dickey?” That one was new.

Last week’s ‘Where‘ generated not only a record number of responses—all of them substantially correct—but some amusing takes on a structure meant to suggest something other than what it really is.


The structure in question, seen at left, is on Ridge Road in Fair Haven, between the Church of the Nativity and Fair Haven Fields. Designed to look like a house, it’s actually a bit of fakery that disguises a Jersey Central Power & Light electrical substation.

Few passersby, it seems, have been fooled. And most of those who wrote in seem to think it was more convincing back in the day, before the power utility started skimping on maintenance.

From Vera Hough of Little Silver:

I have watched its appearance deteriorate over the past 25 years or so. I used to like to check it out on bike rides when I was around 12, and it looked a lot more like a small Georgian-style house when it wasn’t so rusty.

Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre tells us that the borough has asked JCP&L to clean up the site. He writes:

They have been using the property as some sort of ‘staging area’ for their tree trimming trucks, I believe, and the drivers were maybe not the most conscious of keeping the area clean. They have responded, and the problem is going away. I would like to see the shutters replaced or painted, or something. When I was a kid the place looked like a real home, not like the ‘building dickey’ that it is.

We also spoke to them to see if we could use the site for the infamous Fair Haven cell tower, and they declined. They have indicated that they may need to expand their presence at the location. That, of course, would go before the planning board. No official action on that as of yet.

First in with the correct answer, though, was Little Silver’s Dylan Barlett, a past winner. He calls the structure “the fakest house in Fair Haven,” which may be saying something.

Dylan tells us he and his trackmates at RBRHS (he’s now at Lehigh U) “used to run past that almost every day, and no one knew it was fake.” Well, excepting himself, that is. “I knew it was fake, but knowing useless things has always been my job,” he tells us.

Congrats to Dylan and all our posters. And our apologies to all those eager Wheries who saw the words ‘Image not available’ in the photo space last Thursday. We had a posting glitch that we weren’t able to immediately resolve.

Now, speaking of fake houses, what are we to make of this week’s image? Who can tell us what it shows, and where the photo was taken? And if her house on Ridge Road is fake, is this, perhaps, where Mrs. Watts really lives? Email us your guesses, please.

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