Turns out there’s a wealth of Rumson history behind the large exterior clockface we featured in last week’s Where Have I Seen This?
The clock graces 68 West River Road, the home of Phil Kuntz, Amy McDonagh and their children. In an email, Phil tells Where:
The original structure is a carriage house, circa 1890, that was part of the Borden Estate. The estate’s mansion burned down years ago. The carriage house was designed by the renowned firm of Hastings & Carrere, the same folks who did the church down the street. There is a clock on the front and back, as well as a bell in a belfry above what is now the master bathroom. The turn-of-the-century clockworks (weight and pulley system) is on the third floor of the house (with a pendulum that protrudes down into the second floor). It could be made operable, and was so for a time by the former owners, but without being hooked up to the clock faces on the house, because that would require drive-shafts to traverse the length of the house at eye level on that floor. Our long-range plan is to have the clock faces hooked up to electric clock motors so we no longer have to live in a house that’s only right four times a day.
This is the second Where Have I Seen This to isolate a feature of the former Borden estate. We ran a photo of the terracotta tiles that cap the brick wall there in October, 2007. Here’s what we wrote the following week:
The original Borden was M.C.D. Borden, a late-19th century textile magnate and polo devotee from Massachusetts who died in 1912. The property was long the host site of garden shows. When his yacht, the Sovereign, was launched in 1896, it was the largest yet built in America, at 251 feet in length, according to a story in the New York Times. Download out-4.pdf
Also writing in to identify the site was historian Randall Gabrielan of Middletown, who offered up some history on the estate in his book “Rumson: Shaping a Superlative Suburb.” It’s got a whole chapter on the Bordens.
Thanks to Phil, Randall, and the other Where fans who wrote in: Trish DePonti, Fred Blumberg, AJ Shanley, Ellen Clayton, Diana Munro, J.C. Kelly, Jenn Woods, Douglas Distefano, Mike West, Les Hathaway, Eleanor Blass, Karen Irvine, Robert Clark, Adam O’Brien, Joan Jay, Christine Jahnig, Wade Davis, Debra Bowler, Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl and Carolynn Ozar-Diakon.
Can you guess Where this week’s photo was taken? Send us your answer by email, please.