1750 Colonial Era – Milford, New Jersey – $599,900

SOLD / Archived Post From 2012
Added to OHD on 4/9/12 - Last OHD Update: 6/7/15
  • Beds: 3
  • Baths: 1.5
  • Acres: 25
115 Old River Rd, Milford, NJ 08848 Maps: Aerial View, Street View
  • Beautifully restored Del. riverfront historic Pursley's Ferry House & former Tavern c.1750; 25 ac-24 ac.farm-assessed; significant Lenni Lenape archeological site;on Nat'l Register of Historic Places.
Historical Information
National Register of Historic Places
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10 Comments on 1750 Colonial Era – Milford, New Jersey – $599,900

  1. john c (589 comments) - 04/09/2012 at 6:18 pm //

    Kelly, is it possible on this site to leave a comment that one would be willing to be the care-taker for any absentee owners? Absolutely tranquil and the only thing it lacks is me!

  2. Robt. W. Robt. W. (829 comments) - 04/09/2012 at 9:26 pm //

    Very handsome place, the historic elements nicely featured, and the new elements very thoughtfully inserted. Thoughtful is the keyword: clearly somebody knew not only how far to go but when to stop (getting even one of those things right is usually cause for celebration.)

    It’s a great case study in what more owners of historic houses might aim for in designing kitchens and bathrooms: a sensitivity to materials and quality, and a respect for the original design features elsewhere – without attempting to make modern flush toilets and gas ranges and refrigerators look like 1750s “period fixtures” (or hiding them all behind overwrought, out of scale cabinetry.)

    Beautiful setting, too.

  3. JimH Jim (3751 comments) - 04/10/2012 at 2:42 am //

    In addition to tasteful restoration and furnishing, this house has received a very professional marketing presentation with staged photography usually used for more upscale homes. This area has become more desirable in recent years, but the same house would easily bring a million in the trendy New Hope area 20 miles down the river, and one can still buy a nice but modest place for $200K. The little village of Milford is 5 miles downriver; this is actually Holland Township. A defunct old railroad has occasional tourist runs past your backyard here. I posted a link to a nearby place (57 Old R) before and there are a couple of other homes for sale on this stretch:

    • Virginia "Beth" Harpell (2 comments) - 08/07/2014 at 11:27 pm //

      Thank you very much for the wonderful reviews for my marketing presentation–I was the realtor for this property. This is just a stunning early stone home in a fantastic Delaware Riverfront setting. The seller had incredible taste, and there had been several modern spaces that she was able to blend early material back into, such as the kitchen antique wideboard pine floor and beams, to soften and “age” the areas. Her antiques were perfect in placement and shape too–it was always an absolute pleasure to show. The yard and farm were so welcoming that I never wanted to leave….!

      To see others that I’m sure you’ll love, please visit http://www.HistoricHouseHunter.com and feel free to email me directly at Beth@HistoricHouseHunter.com

  4. Bev (28 comments) - 04/11/2012 at 10:22 am //

    Very nice! This is what I like to see in a historical home. Just lovely. The modern things seem to blend right in.

  5. Ryan (913 comments) - 04/12/2012 at 10:48 am //

    This is the fourth or fifth house I’ve seen from this region to have two identical side-by-side entry doors. I guess that was a tradition with the German settlers there, but I wonder what it’s about. I mean, why have two separate entrance doors right next to each other? When I first looked at these pics, I was thinking that I wouldn’t change a single thing, but I’ve since realized that I couldn’t find one single, comfortable place to sit in the entire house, so I would definitely bring some more plush seating in. And after looking at the bird’s eye view of this property, I’m also wondering if the house was affected at all by last year’s horrible flooding. It seems to be located very close to the river, but I suppose maybe it’s just high enough up that it didn’t get soaked.

    • JimH Jim (3751 comments) - 04/12/2012 at 10:51 pm //

      Ryan, I think the double doors on this one have to do with its use as a tavern. The right side has storage instead of windows and a cooking hearth where food was prepared, and the larger left side was more formal for seating with stairs to bedrooms upstairs. They did have two-family houses back then, but I don’t think this was one of those.

    • Robt. W. Robt. W. (829 comments) - 04/12/2012 at 11:36 pm //

      It’s definitely a regional design, and is often referred to as the “Pennsylvania Farmhouse Plan” which derives from Germanic and Continental models, and owes to earlier models of the “hall-parlor” (two roughly equal rooms ) and “Quaker plans” (a house divided left and right into two slightly unequal halves, with the larger half a large room extending from facade the full depth to the rear wall, and two roughly half-sized rooms to the other side, set one behind the other — with no designated circulation space/stair hall).

      The twin doors almost never owe anything at all to functionality and everything to a desire for symmetry — the influence of high-style English Georgian models affecting the facade but not the internal arrangement of a Continental plan.

      Some Pennsylvania Farm House plans have three-room plans, though two-room plans are more common (discounting rear ells.) In Southeastern and South Central Pennsylvania, this form is quite common, as spills over heavily into parts adjacent parts of Maryland (and with diminishing prevalence in other parts of Pennsylvania.) In this key area the form was greatly popular from about 1780-1860, and occurs in lesser numbers to either side of these dates. The 1755 date of this house marks it as an early example. I agree with Jim that in the case of a ferry house/tavern, dual facade doors take on an added layer of function and certainly would have been useful; I’d hesitate to say, though, that the form was chosen as more fitting to a tavern. Ignoring later additions, it’s quite a small house, and I expect there was not a lot of segregation of function (or privacy). The English Georgian model of a center hall or even a side hall plan would certainly have added its own set of benefits to a mixed residential/commercial house; in many ways it might have been a better choice were segregation of functions a goal.

      Gerald Foster’s “American Houses: A Field Guide” (2004) is one of the better popular surveys of early house forms, and I think he has a good description of this form. Also, Mary Miley’s website History Myths Debunked puts to rest a lot of baseless old saws of house design — the lies tour guides repeat until they are accepted as truth: http://historymyths.wordpress.com/ Don’t recall her tackling these two-door facades, but they do incite a lot of reverse engineering in trying to ascribe modern meaning to them (often overlooking the stronger influences of tradition and aesthetics.)

      • JimH Jim (3751 comments) - 04/13/2012 at 7:00 am //

        Robert, you won’t get a descendant of 18th century German settlers like me to believe they added a extra door “in response to the prevailing craze for symmetry” as Foster puts it, without there being some practical benefit to the arrangement, even if they had to invent one.

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