About 100 Little Silver residents, joined by Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, celebrated the completion of restoration work on the three barns at the Parker Homestead Sunday.
The structures, the oldest of which is believed to have been built in the 1790s, and the Parker farm site on which they sit are “as important as Jamestown” in the history of America, Mayor Bob Neff told the crowd.
The restoration, funded with a $250,000 Monmouth County Open Spaces grant, was completed after a dispute with a contractor was resolved and a second contractor, Drill Construction, came on board in January, said Keith Wells, a trustee for the nonprofit Parker Homestead 1665 Inc., the nonprofit that oversaw the project. Two carpenters, Joe Rubel and Mike Cerniglia, were credited for work.
Click the “read more” for additional photos. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
Monmouth County University professor Richard Veit and his archeology students will conduct a “tree-ringing” test on the Parker Homestead-1665 barns this Friday, to determine the age of the structures prior to restoration work.
Press release from Parker Homestead-1665 Inc.
Efforts to preserve one of New Jersey’s oldest homes – the Parker Homestead-1665 in Little Silver – have now extended to the three barns on the historic property, thanks to a generous grant from the Monmouth County Municipal Open Space Fund. The $250,000 grant from the county will help fund the restoration of three barns – a horse barn, a livestock barn and a wagon barn – representing the second phase of restoration efforts at the 1665 property.
The work will be performed by Nickles Contracting of Haddon Heights, which works specifically on restoration projects including some of the state’s most significant historic structures, including Drumthwacket, Absecon Lighthouse, Lucy the Elephant, and the Parsippany home of famed furniture designer Gustav Stickley, and closer to home, the Little Silver Train Station.
Committee member Keith Wells is pictured at an 18th century fireplace, recently rediscovered inside Little Silver’s historic Parker Homestead.
By KAREN J. IRVINE, Press contact for Parker Homestead
It has survived the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and the countless storms that have battered the Jersey Shore for centuries. It has avoided fire and flood and miraculously escaped the developers’ wrecking ball.
And now the Parker Homestead — with its simple, lovely farmhouse that has stood in a quiet corner of Little Silver since 1665 — is being rewarded for its centuries of perseverance with badly needed restoration.
With seed money from grants provided by Monmouth County, a dedicated band of Little Silver residents has overseen the stabilization of the white farmhouse — one of the oldest structures in New Jersey, and one of the oldest in the United States to be continually occupied by a single family for eight generations — are now forming a 501c(3) not-for-profit corporation to begin raising funds for the ultimate complete restoration of the home and out buildings.
The interior restoration began in early October, and has already uncovered two long-neglected features of the house — a circa 1721 bricked-over fireplace, and large wooden ceiling beams that support the gorgeous wide board floors of the second story.