Washington Valley

The Washington Valley Historic District is located in the Whippany River valley in Mendham Township and Morris Township. Many of the historic buildings within Mendham Township stand along Washington Valley Road, the district’s main route laid out in 1757, and Tingley Road, named after Nathaniel Tingley, a blacksmith who was an early settler and served in the Revolutionary War. Here were the homesteads, farmhouses and blacksmith, shoemaking and carpentry shops of some of the earliest Mendham settlers.

Loree Homestead
Built in 1770 by Samuel Loree, this two-story Colonial house is one of the oldest in the Township. It was a large house for its day, a living room, bedroom and a kitchen with a huge fireplace on the first floor. A divided stairway led to upper level with numerous bedrooms and a third floor attic. A root cellar built into the side of a hill stored apples and is said to have later stored cannons balls for use at Fort Nonsense.
Three generations of the Loree family lived there until 1873. After his Samuel’s death at 33, his widow Sibellia married a young widower Henry Clark Jr. The house was large enough to accommodate Sibellia and Henry’s combined families of nine children until Samuel Jr. was old enough to take possession. Samuel and his wife Sarah Price raised eight children there. Their second son Lewis Loree, a blacksmith, and his wife Phoebe Fithan were married in 1806 and lived there until 1873 when he sold the homestead and moved to Brookside. (Photo 1)

Loree Blacksmith Site
Around 1853, the Loree homestead contained a tenant house. It is a two-story frame with clapboard siding. The core of the house has three bays with a center Dutch-door entry under a large scale porch, and a simpler porch along the entire north side. Additions were made later to the house. The Loree blacksmith shop, located in front of the house between 1860 and 1887, no longer exists. (Photo 2)

The Condict-Guerin House was built around 1772 by Zenas Condict. This vernacular house is a five-bay, center-entry frame house with a stone foundation. It has gable roof covered in wood shingles. It was originally a side-hall house with a shed roof lean-to on the southeast side it was enlarged and restored in the early 1980s.

After Zenas died in 1778 his widow Phoebe owned seventy-eight acres. Their son Ebenezer, a shoemaker received the house lot and forty-two acres of farmland when he came of age. He and his wife Mehitable Burnet raised a family of six children there until they moved West in 1805. The farm was sold to Vincent Guerin, who rented it out for a few years before selling it in 1814 to his son Richard. The Guerin descendents owned the house through 1960. (Photo 3)

Reubon Wood House
Around 1797 Phoebe Condict married Reubon Wood, an American Revolution patriot and they built a house on a five-acre section of the Condict homestead. It is a two-story frame house with clapboard siding. It was originally a three-bay side-hall house, with a field stone foundation. It was enlarged with side additions in the 20th century. A large garage/storage shed was built on the south side on top of an old barn fieldstone foundation. (Photo 4)

Tingley-Connett House
The home of Nathaniel Tingley, who served in the American Revolution, was built in the 18th century. In 19th century maps it is identified as the house of G. M. Connett who operated a nearby grist mill. The East Jersey Cottage style house was originally a three-bay, side clapboard house with stone foundation. It was expanded in the 1980s into a center hall form with shed-roof addition in the rear. (Photo 5 & 6)

Tingley-Cochran House
A member of the Tingley family built this East Jersey cottage home in the late 18th/early 19th century. In the 19th century it was owned by Alex Cochran who added to the Colonial core with a two-and-a-half story gable fronted house. The original clapboard exterior was covered with stucco, although the fieldstone foundation is still visible. Although the smaller East Jersey cottage portion was removed later, the house is still historically significant for its block-and-wing design. It is one of the few remaining buildings in the area representing the classical style of the mid- to late-Victorian era. (Photo 7)

Alward House
The Alward farmstead, named Twin Maples, has six buildings contributing to the Historic District. The main house, constructed by John Alward in 1816, is a story-and-a-half frame building is six bays wide on the south-facing façade. On the first floor are large eight-over-twelve windows, and broad porch has been enclosed with windows. The gable roof contains four dormer and stuccoed chimney. (Photo 8)

A two-story English-style barn has vertical siding with a louvered cupola in the gabled roof. The adjacent one-story stable wing with sliding doors accommodates cars in the original stalls. (Photo 9). On the southeast of the property there is a late 19th century tenant house. It is wood frame, three bays wide with front facing gable roof. The front porch has simple Doric columns. Other outbuildings of the farmstead are a tall, narrow wood house, an ice house with thick walls over above an excavated area, and a cobblestone “butter house” or spring house.

Day’s Mill tenant house
The house, built in 1887, was once the house for the miller of Day’s Mill, a saw mill built by Ephraim and Charles Day nearby on the Whippany River. The mill no longer exists but the remnant of the stone tailrace can be seen on Tingley Road.

The miller’s dwelling is a one-and-a-half story wood frame, now stuccoed, on a fieldstone foundation and gable roof with long extended dormer. It was used as a summer house in the 20th century and converted to a year-round residence in the 1960s. (Photo 10)

Drum-a-Cairne
Built in 1910 for Dr. James Campbell, this Classic Revival estate house is a three bay stuccoed building with additions on either side. The center entry is through a wide rustic stone porch. The broad gabled roof has two shed dormers and stone end chimneys. The property was originally the 18th century site of the early Axtell family settlers and a two story shingled frame outbuilding may have been Silas Axtell’s joiner shop. In the 1750s Ezekiel Beach had his homestead there, but his property was seized and house razed after 1777 when he was denounced as a traitor for fighting with the British. (Photo 11)

Washington Valley Historic District Slideshow Gallery

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