20020717 Fosterfield's

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Tuesday December 31, 2002

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Families, Friends Gather
for Farmhouse Reopening

Photos By Joe Gigli

MORRIS TWP. The newly restored first floor of the 1920s farmhouse at Fosterfield's Living Historical Farm is now open for public viewing after its dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony. It has been home to several families between 1915 and today, so it was appropriate that descendants of those same families gathered among the crowd of about 100 for its opening ceremony and tour. (above left) Interpreter April Lyzak, of Randolph; and

Farm Hand Juan Bombin, of Dover; look over the farmhouse as many generations of the Woods Family gather for a family portrait.  (right) Joe Youngman, as Mr. Woods; greets the guests to start the tour of the farmhouse.

At Fosterfields Living Historical Farm

Old Farmhouse
with a New Beginning

Photos By Joe Gigli

By Jeanne Dikdan Gigli

MORRIS TWP. The newly-restored first floor of the 1920s farmhouse at Fosterfield's Living Historical Farm is now open for public viewing after its dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony. It has been home to several families between 1915 and today, so it was appropriate that descendants of those same families gathered among the crowd of about 100 for its opening ceremony and tour.

 The original house was built by Jonathan and Abigail Ogden in 1774 whose family owned the property until 1826. Earl Beech and his family were the last to occupy the house prior to the Morris County Park Commission assuming ownership in 1979. Today, the farm foreman and his family occupy the second floor serving as site caretakers and continuing a tradition that began more than 200 years ago.

However, in 1915 all except the foundation

(top) Mark Texel, Historic Sites Manager, Morris County Parks Commission; Gordon Parsons, nephew of Edward and Agnes Woods; and Commissioner Judith Schleicher, Cultural and Education Committee Chair, Morris County Park Commission; during the ribbon Cutting. (above) Sue Youngman, voulenteer Interpretor, welcomes guests. (below) a view of the parlor.

was destroyed by fire when the current dwelling was built on the original foundation. The first floor has been restored in the style of  the 1920s with the help of a restoration architect and general contractor. It took 7 months to complete and was funded with grants from the N.J. Historic Trust's Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund, The 1772 Foundation and the Morris County Park Commission Improvement Trust Fund.

 Following warm words of welcome, congratulations and acknowledgements from various state and county dignitaries, Gordon Parsons, who was 10 years old when he worked on the farm in 1918, officially opened the refurbished house for public tours. He was accompanied by his wife of 75 years, Annabel..

Some of the major restoration work done includes refinishing of all wooden surfaces such as trim, mantles,

floors, doors and windows; repairing and repainting ceilings and walls to their original color; installation of a new forced hot

(above) Chuck Knill, Great Grandson of Edward and Agnes Woods, holds his daughter Marlises, as they tour the farmhouse. (left) A view of the restored kitchen. (below) A view of the Barns.

air heating system and antique lighting fixtures rewired to simulate period-correct lighting levels; and installation of a refurbished sink and functional coal/wood burning cook stove

(left) Mark Texel, Historic Sites Manager.

(above center) The dedication ceremony. (right) BC the barn cat. (below

left) Interpreter Joe Youngman. (below right) A view of the restored farmhouse.

(left) Farm Hand Juan Bombin, of Dover; and Interpreter April Lyzak, of Randolph. (below) Geese in the corn fields.

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