Maplewood (John A. Voorhees) House

Burnt Hill Road
Skillman
NJ 08558

Maplewood (John A. Voorhees) House

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The Maplewood House is on the NJ State Register of Historical Place, and National Register of Historic Places.
Recorded in 1693 as being owned by Arnet Sonmans, a wealth, remote landowner, the property surrounding what is today Maplewood was sold into the Van Horne family in 1705. By 1735, records show that the property contained "houses, barns and orchards". John A. Voorhees and his wife Janette Kershow purchased the farm in 1754. It became known as Maplewood and remained in the Voorhees family for the next 144 years.
In 1845, Captain John A Voorhees, the grandson of the first John A. Voorhees to settle on the farm, completely renovated or reconstructed an older farmhouse into the configuration which can be still seen today. In 1873, the house was described as the largest house in Somerset County and in 1898 the entire farm was purchased by the State of New Jersey for use as the New Jersey State Village for Epileptics. Maplewood is a notable example of a large, 19th century, Greek Revival residence. It was associated with the prominent Voorhees family for 144 years, but what truly sets the house apart from other cultural resources is its association with the early years of the Village for Epileptics.
Shortly after the State had purchased the property, Maplewood was converted into a multi-purpose facility while the campus and planning was being developed. In 1898 it was the administrative offices, residence of the Superintendent and his family, the Steward and his wife and the first eight male patients admitted. Within two years the patients were relocated from Maplewood and the house was solely used for the administrative offices and the residence of the Superintendent and the other key employees. It appears that the house was renovated just around the time the house was exlusively used by the administration. This renovation, which most likely updated the amenities and brought a Colonial Revival styling to Maplewood, became an iconic identity for the house.
Architectural Chronology Summary
The farm was settled and developed starting in 1754. What the physical and documentary study showed was that there was no obvious evidence remaining of a mid-18th century dwelling. The farm was inherited by John A. Voorhees in 1828 and he reportedly replaced the original house with the core that currently stands today in one substantial building campaign in 1845.
At first glance, the house appears to demonstrate a core of a very Federal, 5-bay, center-hall, double pile core in the main wing. A quick overview of the house would lead to the conclusion that the house was thereafter expanded and renovated to update it with Greek Revival styling.

Destroyed by fire November 19, 2011

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Maplewood (John A. Voorhees) House

added by Montgomery Twp NJ

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