Posted Thursday, July 12th, 2018

Seward House is on State and National Historic Registers

The Morris County Board of Freeholders last night honored Mount Olive for its preservation efforts with a county preservation plaque to be installed in the circa mid-1800s Seward House, which is an important part of the Township’s history.

photo: (l/r) Freeholders Doug Cabana, Deborah Smith, and Heather Darling, Mt. Olive Historian Thea Dunkle, Mt. Olive Mayor Rob Greenbaum, County Historic Preservation Director Ray Chang, and Freeholders Tom Mastrangelo, John Cesaro and Kathy DeFillippo

(l/r) Freeholders Doug Cabana, Deborah Smith, and Heather Darling, Mt. Olive Historian Thea Dunkle, Mt. Olive Mayor Rob Greenbaum, County Historic Preservation Director Ray Chang, and Freeholders Tom Mastrangelo, John Cesaro and Kathy DeFillippo

The Seward House, which is located in Turkey Brook Park, is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.

The Italianate style farmhouse was constructed in the mid-1800s, and had an 1860 addition. It currently sits on 270 acres of parkland and is not occupied.

Accepting the historic marker last night at the Board of Freeholders’ county government meeting held in Mount Olive was Mayor Rob Greenbaum and Township Historian Thea Dunkle.

Historic restoration work done so far at the Seward House has been financed partly by the Morris County Historic Preservation Grant Program.

photo of the Seward House in Mount Olive

The Seward House in Mount Olive

The Freeholder Board on Wednesday night approved the latest round of voter-approved preservation grants for projects across the county. Included was a $195,960 construction grant for the Seward House project. The money will be used for phase II exterior restoration, including the cupola, cornices, masonry chimneys, slate roof, structural reinforcement of floor and roof framing.

“The excellent preservation work done on the Seward House is helping to preserve a very important and unique facet of Mount Olive’s history,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “The municipal leaders of this effort have done a remarkable job in preserving a real historic treasure for the community. We congratulate them for their outstanding effort.’’

Morris County Historic Preservation Program Coordinator Ray Chang provided details of the Mount Olive project:

  • The Seward House at Turkey Brook Park is representative of the gentry farm of the mid-1800’s. The property has not been subdivided since Colonial times and passed through the female descendants of the Wills, Cooper and then Seward families.
  • The main structure of the house was built around the time of the Civil War, and probably at the time of the wedding of Henry C. Seward. The prominence of the Seward family in the area, and the size and Italianate design of the building, makes it the most significant home built in Mt. Olive before the 1900’s.
  • The building is listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places.
  • With previous assistance from County Historic Preservation Trust Fund grants totaling more than $138,000, the township has successfully completed a Register nomination, preservation plan and a stabilization project. Two additional grants will be providing exterior restoration at the house.

For information on the county’s Historic Preservation Grant Program, visit: https://morriscountynj.gov/planning/divisions/prestrust/historic/

For information on Mount Olive history, visit: http://www.mtolivehistory.com/