From The Archives
c. 1750 Federal Farmhouse
Long Hill, New Jersey
The John Boyle-Dunn Home - 42 Old Mill Rd, Millington, NJ
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|Heated Sq. Ft.||2,836|
|Unheated Sq. Ft.||200|
- Has Rentable Unit(s)
- 1st Floor Bath
- 1st Floor Laundry Room
- Bonus Room
- Dining room
- Dry Basement
- Finished Basement
- Living room
- Music Room
- Utility Room
- Walk out Basement
- Master bedroom upstairs
- Storm Windows
- Detached Workshop
- Built-in Bookcases
- Built-in Cabinets
- Ceiling Fans
- Ceramic Tile
- 4 Fireplaces: Wood
- High Ceilings
- Original wood windows
- Wood floors
- Shingle Roof: Asphalt shingle
- City water supply
- Septic Tank
- Cast Iron Radiators
- 9-foot Ceilings
- Plaster Walls
- Ripple Glass
- 1750s kitchen/dutch oven
- 1750s mantelpieces
- 1750s wainscoting
- 1750s wavy glass windows
- 1750s wide board flooring
- front porch
- rear patio
- separate barn/workshop
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Local and Regional Links.
Living in the 18th Century - Working in the 21st.
We've heard the same amazed observation from dozens of visitors to Old Mill Road: "It's as if I've traveled back in time!"
Drive down Old Mill Road and you enter a different world. This was the center of Millington from the 1730s to the 1880s when the railroad's arrival and the creation of the Acme Harrow factory moved the town center to the top of the hill. The only other house on the road, 47 Old Mill Road (the original 1732 Solomon Boyle home), became the Post Office and General Store. The barn on the 42 Old Mill Road property may have been the blacksmith shop. Across the river, reached by a bridge that lasted until the 1930s, were the grist mill, lumber mill and forge built by John Boyle who also constructed the home at 42 Old Mill Road.
Amazingly, very little has changed. The most compelling characteristic of the home and its surroundings is its serenity. What’s better than relaxing on the front porch during a soft Spring rain? Maybe curling up with a book on the front porch swing (although the gentle murmur of the river may put you to sleep.) On the hottest days, it’s 10 degrees cooler in the Adirondack chairs by the river. The back patio is a perfect spot for a quiet breakfast, or lunches and dinners with friends. Try it yourself. Sit down in one of the chairs and look around and notice what you see. In winter, you can lounge in the solarium with sunlight streaming through the windows and look at the snow-draped barn and frozen river.
Over the centuries, the original vernacular "I House" -- fireplaces at each gabled end of the 3-story bank house -- went through changes. At some point, the addition on the east side of the house that now contains the den and upstairs 3rd bedroom and guest bath was constructed. The front porch is also a later addition. We added a laundry room and four-season solarium on the rear, non-historical part of the house.
But John Boyle, were he to time travel and return to the house he built, would find much that would be instantly, comfortably familiar (although the electric lights and entertainment center would certainly puzzle him). The original wide-board hemlock floors, fireplaces and mantles, first floor 6x6 windows, and wainscoting have all been preserved and restored.
For historical pictures, go to http://www.johnboylehistorichome.com/historic-photos.html
At the same time, the house is served with cable and high-speed internet, and New York City is an hour away via New Jersey Transit Mid-town Direct rail service, a two minute walk up the hill. Newark Airport is 30 minutes away and the property is close to both Interstates 78 and 287.
The 1996, 2003, and 2013 Long Hill Township Master Plans describe and affirm Long Hill Township's essential character.
"In many ways, Long Hill Township is a rural oasis in a region otherwise characterized by suburban residential tract development, highway commercial uses, corporate offices and interstate highways. When juxtaposed against these neighboring land uses, Long Hill's vast open space network, its tree canopied streets, wetland areas, river corridor and sweeping topographical characteristics combine with its secluded residential areas and varied commercial districts to form a municipality unique in the region."
That description is reinforced in the Master Plan's Historic Element:
"Most people find in Long Hill Township’s rural-influenced surroundings a setting in which they feel comfortable and at home. The individual buildings, properties and the tree-canopied roads that connect them fit together in a traditional arrangement that has deep roots in our past. As such, these patterns represent an historical identity that can be recognized and understood in contrast to modem development patterns, which often seem patternless and haphazard. The historic development patterns still clearly evident in Long Hill today reflect an organization and coherence in the landscape in many ways.
Compared with neighboring towns, Long Hill Township has preserved a significant amount of its historic character. The township contains over 70 sites or districts of historical significance, based on National Register and New Jersey Register of Historic Places criteria. Beyond that, the township is still visually shaped by the survival of the early settlement pattern and road alignments making up its historic neighborhoods and streetscapes."
It is a community of families of all ages, with excellent schools, active and passive recreation resources. Most important, residents of Long Hill Township care about their community. Residents are active in a wide range of volunteer organizations. For a list, go to: http://longhillnj.gov/links.html.
Living Off the Land
For many families, eating healthy food is an essential living requirement – especially for their children. That includes no chemicals, antibiotics, pesticides, or GMOs.
If that’s a life-style preference for you, 42 Old Mill Road is the perfect place to be!
In our first Spring in 1988 we planted a 40’ x 60’ garden. It flourished in the rich river-bottom soil (that has never been treated with chemical pesticides or fertilizers!). In years when there were severe droughts and restrictions on the use of our city water supply, we just dropped a sump pump into the garden well.
In addition to fresh asparagus in Spring and salads, we enjoyed kale, rhubarb, cauliflower, peppers, garlic, cabbage, tomatoes, green beans carrots, zucchini, Swiss chard, beets, and broccoli all summer. Each fall we’d put away a winter’s supply of vegetables.
Soon there were 50 different varieties of herbs growing alongside the vegetables and in the kitchen garden by the back door. We nurtured all the usual favorites – thyme, oregano, basil, fennel, rosemary, lavender, parsley, sage and chives.
JoAnn added dairy goats to the menagerie, and for 18 years we treated ourselves to goats’ milk and fresh herbed chèvre. In May through June we'd eat brook trout; in February we’d invite friends to tap the maples for sugar; in October we’d invite our friends back to press cider from our three apple trees. Like to preserve succulent jams and jellies? The raspberry bushes are right next to the driveway.
We farmed primarily for our own purposes and so never applied for a Farmland Tax Assessment, but the property would easily support a qualifying farm. One easy option: raise bees and sell the honey as our local dentist does.
We found Elysium here. Habitarunt Dio quoque sylvas,
When we bought the house in 1987, we knew it needed a lot of love and attention. That's been the work of the past 30 years.
The four fireplaces and mantles, 6x6 windows on the first floor, and dining room wainscoting are all original.We preserved and restored the historic core, most notably in discovering the original hemlock wide boards under two layers of later flooring. We pulled up the boards, planed them, and put them back down using reproduction wrought iron nails. The old windows on the first floor are protected with internal storm windows.
In the process, we strengthened the core foundation in 2005. Since that work was completed, there has been no significant cracking or shifting in any of the interior rooms or external facade.
In 1990 we added a mudroom/ laundry room with half-bath and a shower (essential when we were a working farm and would come in from garden or goat barn!).
In 2014 we updated the second floor master suite and added a master bath. In 2015 we closed in the back covered patio to create a four-season solarium. and added a new outdoor patio. In 2016 we also updated the eat-in kitchen with granite countertops and installed wide-board hemlock floors (cut and milled from a tree on our property) to match the historic floors in the rest of the first floor. That same year we closed in the metal beams in the ground floor office (original 1750s kitchen.)
At the same time, we also updated the mechanical infrastructure of the home. All exposed knob and tube wiring has been replaced; the old galvanized water pipes have been almost completely replaced with copper, plastic or pecs. We installed a new furnace in 2003, a new septic system and above ground oil tank in 2008 (the old in-ground tank was properly removed), and installed new flues in the dining room fireplace and furnace chimney in 2014.
The house has been protected against termites by Viking Pest Control's Sentraguard system since 2000.
Archived in July, 2019
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