Historic Places in South Jersey

Historic Places in South Jersey - Places to Go and Things to Do

A discussion of things to do and paces to go, with the purpose of sharing, and encouraging exploration of South Jersey.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Historic Hugg-Harrison-Glover House in Bellmawr UPDATE

In this mornings Courier-Post, Saturday, December 31, 2016, there was exceptionally good news in regard to the preservation of this historic house.  I will quote directly from the article then I have a couple of anecdotes of my own relating to the history of this house:

"The state Dept. of Transp. has slated teh house for imminent demolition as part of the Direct Connection project, a trreamlining of the congested and busy intersection of Interstates 295 and 76 with Route 42...."

"The State of New Jersey has determined beyond doubt the historical significance of the Hugg-Harrison-Glover House.  These brand new findings - quite frankly what we believed all along - compel us to take urgent and meaningful action to save this historic home" said Rep. Donald Norcross, D-NJ"

What a good piece of news to end the old year 2016.  It broke my heart whenever I drove by the old house to think they would demolish a house that had survived so much to the present day.  "No respect,"  I would say.  

So, Captain William Harrison fought alongside the Marquis deLafayette at the Battle of Gloucester, an almost forgotten even in the more than 700 battles and skirmishes fought in New Jersey during the Revolution.  We were, after all, the Crossroads of the Revolution.  But, unlike New England, we failed to capitalize on our history.

There are at least two extant Glover residences too, in Haddon Heights, I have visited them both:   the story I like best about Glover was one I learned researching the house of one John Glover, later connected to the Haddon Lake Park watercourse, where he had a mill, Glover's Mill.  He had been engaged to a young woman in England when he was conscripted into the British navy.  While he was at sea, his fiance' moved with her family to Pennsylvania, in the new colonies.  You would think the chances of them ever finding one another again would have been slim, but he came to the New World, found her, married her, built a house in what is now Haddon Heights, and ran the mill.  

As for the Huggs, they ran a tavern in Gloucester City, now memorialized at Proprietor's Park by a structure and a plaque, as the place where Betsy Ross was married.  Her family, the Griscomb family, had a farm along the Delaware on the Jersey side, where the Walk Whitman bridge now rises out of the ground.  When she eloped with Ross, they took a ferry from her workplace in Philly, to the tavern to be married.  The Gloucester City Historical Society, located on King Street near the Mill blocks in Gloucester, used to put out a postcard with a photo of the old tavern before it was demolished.  But how could anyone have known the important place Betsy Ross would one day hold in American history as a representative to give a name and peron to the 50% of American's left out of history, women.  And to represent the laboring class, the artisans who made everything that everyone used to live in Colonial American times.  

I am so happy that the hosue will be saved and that part of our shared Revolutionary War history saved along with it and I wish more people shared my love of history.  Some losses haunt me, such as the loss of the trains and the train museum in Pemberton/Browns Mills.  What a wonderful opportunity lost.

I don't know what you or I can do to support this decision but we can write the author, ccomegno@gannettnj.com or call her at (609)533-0306, to offer our opinion and let her knew we read her article and are glad she is keeping up the news about it!

The house is dated in the brick1764, but I read and earlier report that says the middle house was built even earlier and the 1764 addition is the newer section.  

Happy New Year and Happy Trails!  Jo Ann
ps you can reach me at wrightj45@yahoo.com

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