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Somerset Hills Real Estate

Historic Henry Southard Home Listed for Sale
& Will Host the 2017 THSSH Members Holiday Party

The historic home once owned by Henry Southard

BASKING RIDGE, NEW JERSEY - November 17, 2017
The Historic Henry Southard Home located at 87 North Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge is for sale.

Built in 1790

The house was built after the Revolutionary War in 1790, for Henry Southard and his family. Henry Southard was born in 1747, the son of Abraham and Cornelia (Barnes) Southard. At the age of 24, He married Sarah Lewis in 1771. They eventually had 12 children including Samuel L. Southard who attended the Basking Ridge Classical School, graduating in 1802 prior to the construction of the Brick Academy (in 1809). His teacher and the pastor of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church was Robert Finley, the head of the B.R. Classical School, and a great friend to Henry Southard. Henry named his youngest son Finley Southard. Mr. Southard Sr. was a revolutionary war veteran serving as a Wagoner and Teamster carting commissary stores. He also served in the NJ State House of Representatives for Somerset County for 9 years, and in the U.S. Congress 1801-11 and 1815-21. “One description by a
contemporary called him a plain, unpretending man of good, solid sense.” He was listed as a slaveholder in 1808, 1810, and 1813, a somewhat unfortunate, but common practice for a man of property at the time. He died in Basking Ridge living with his daughter, Sarah S. Doty, in 1842 at the age of 92. His grave stone can be found in the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church graveyard.

Recent Updates

This handsome 5 bay, 2½ story center-hall colonial was originally constructed in 1790, and has recent improvements. The original front of the home with the screened porch faces south: not the adjacent road located to the west. The house is oriented towards the sun which is common in early federal period farm houses. Thus, the current entry by the driveway is actually the original rear door which explains why this entry does not face the stair. The original home likely had four rooms on the first floor with a side wing, shed-roofed kitchen addition to the east. This wing was removed for the current family room/ kitchen, in-law suite and garage. The current living room on the right (west) was very likely two parlors with single openings and separate fireplaces in the original layout. This was a common arrangement for this period as well as later federal homes. There is a slight bump in the right hand entry wall near the basement stair which may indicate a former door opening in to the “rear” parlor. The wall separating the two west bedrooms likely indicates where this original first floor wall was located. The conversion of these original first floor parlors into a single room was most probably done in the early part of the 20th century to “modernize” the home.

Southard Home Kitchen

There are many early materials and historically sympathetic elements in the home. There are two fireplaces in the original home, and some wide plank floors still exist. Early trim and flooring has been matched and treated respectfully. The windows are not original but are likely from the late 19th and early 20th century. The French doors in the dining and living rooms are also probably early 20th century colonial revival installations. They would have replaced earlier windows. It is unlikely that the house had a porch over, or surrounding the front door as this is a Victorian feature. The current porch, however elegant, is a sympathetic modern replacement of a late 19th or early 20th century feature. The age of the home reveals itself most clearly in the basement with the hand hewn beams and stone foundation walls. There is a full basement under the stair and east side of the house with a low ceiling. The west side of the house has a very tight crawl space. This is a typical arrangement for the period. Digging a full basement was difficult, time consuming work in the late 18th century. Basements did not have to be large as there were no mechanical systems, water tanks or work rooms. They were used primarily to keep food fresher.

Backs Up to Lord Stirling Park

Southard Home Yard

This home along with 1 1/2 acres of open field bordered by woods backs up to Lord Stirling Park and Southard Park and with two ponds containing waterfowl and fish. The park is child-friendly and quiet. This property is one of the premiere early historic properties in the Somerset Hills area and is well worth a visit.

THSSH Members Holiday Party

THSSH is holding our members only Christmas party at the home with the gracious permission of the current owner. This event is free for the members, but your membership must be current, so don’t forget to renew - Click Here

Click Here for Membership Benefits and information

Additional Information

Refer to https:/// for photos of the house. 

The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills is concerned about local historic properties as many historic homes have in the Somerset Hills been demolished over the past thirty years.

Dan Lincoln
Submission Date: 11/21/17


About The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH)

THSSH logoFounded in 1928 originally as the Historical Society of Basking Ridge, the mission and name of the society was later changed to The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization including all five communities of the Somerset Hills region: Bedminster Township, Bernards Township, Bernardsville ,Far Hills, Peapack-Gladstone which are all located in Somerset County, New Jersey.

The mission of The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH) is to acquire, conserve and share local artifacts and information on matters of local historic interest; cultivate interest in local history; encourage the preservation of local historic resources; facilitate historic research; and preserve, operate, and interpret the Brick Academy.

To further this mission, THSSH sponsors events and activities that promote community awareness and appreciation of the history and architecture of the Somerset Hills. THSSH headquarters is at the Brick Academy in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township, where our collections of items of local historic interest are available to the public.

About the Brick Academy

BR_Brick_Academy_Sketch_08_sm.jpgThe Brick Academy (also known as the Basking Ridge Classical Schoolhouse) is a 1809 Federal-style architectural structure located in the center of Basking Ridge in Bernards Township. The Brick Academy has been a boys’ private preparatory school, a public school, a meeting hall for several fraternal and benevolent organizations, and the Bernards Township municipal building. It currently serves as the headquarters of The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills, as well as a schoolhouse and museum to local history. The Brick Academy also celebrated its bicentennial in 2009.



the Brick Academy
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