The original Oak Cottage (the lower level of the section closest to the camera in the post card photo) was
most likely built circa 1818. The mill (apple distillery) was built in 1828. The house has had many
renovations and updates through the years - with one major update, renovation, and addition built
sometime between 1855 - 1880 - when the (William) Marsh family owned the house (which is also the
period the Second Empire design was popularized in America.) The Camardella family brought about
additional renovations during the 1920's. The house is a classic example of Second Empire (General
Grant) style -and is one of very few protected and preserved homes of this style in the area.
Oak Cottage was one of the homes cited in the designation of this area as a National Historic District. Oak
Cottage was a 'contributing factor' in the area receiving the official Historic District status - and therefore is
protected as the Historic treasure that it truly is. It is also on the New Jersey register of historic places. ~
The Oak Cottage property has a two story 'carriage house'. This carriage house was once a water wheel
powered 'apple distillery' built by Ephraim Marsh in 1828.
The ownership history of Oak Cottage was researched by the Washington Township Historic Committee
and has been passed on to us. We will share the links in ownership with you:
The earliest records discovered trace the ownership back to 1827. In April of this year Ephraim Marsh
acquired the land from Ira Whitehead who was acting as executor of Joseph Heath. The Marsh
and the Heath families were both noted owners of two renowned resort hotels. It is interesting
that the two most important men on the mountain (at a time when Schooley's Mountain was at
the peak of its social prominence) BOTH owned Oak Cottage. Ephraim Marsh himself must have
built the Apple Cider Mill on the property; because on November 22, 1828 John Gray purchased
the property and "the recently erected Apple Distillery" from Marsh and his wife. On April 6, 1835
John Gray sold the property to Charles and Rachel Robinson. On October 30, 1850 Rachel Robinson sold
the property to Lawrence Milford. Robert Hockenberry was the next to purchase the property on October
By the 4th of July, 1855 the property was back in the hands of the Marsh family. William Marsh
had acquired part of the property on July 2, 1855 from Robert Hockenberry - and the remainder
was devised to him by the will of his father, Ephraim Marsh. The property remained in the hands
of the Marsh family for another 25 years. The Marsh family, therefore, must have converted Oak
Cottage to the Second Empire design- as the time frame for Second Empire can be dated to that
exact period. The Marsh family sold the property on October 23, 1880 to Daniel and Angeline Robert for
Daniel and Angeline Robert owned the house for nearly 20 years before selling it to Elizabeth Miller on
September 15, 1898. Elizabeth only owned the house for a very short time - selling it to Sara Thompson on
April 24, 1899. Sara also only owned Oak Cottage for a brief time - selling it to Albert Collier on December
Albert and Emma Kleinert then purchased the house on March 31, 1906. Fourteen years later they sold the
entire property to the Carmadella family - transferring it on April 29, 1920. Oak Cottage then remained in
the Camardella family for over 85 years - until it was sold to JFCGE Holdings, LLC in May of 2006.
Oak Cottage had fallen into severe disrepair over a 40 year vacancy - extending from the mid-1960's until
the sale in 2006. Robert and Michele Pulis realized that emergency intervention was essential. They
embarked upon an immediate and intensive rescue and restore process. Robert (Bob) Pulis (a very
experienced and talented craftsman) invested nearly 3 years of loving intensive labor on Oak Cottage.
Some technical work (such as heating, plumbing, and electric) required the attention of licensed specialists.
In all instances only the best and most talented craftsmen were utilized.
Many challenges and hardships were met and overcome. The financial and time expenditures were
massive. But it has all been a worthwhile endeavor - as Oak Cottage now stands true, handsome, strong,
and proud -- once again reigning as "The Gem of the Mountain".
|Oak Cottage: National Historic Register & New Jersey Register of Historic Places
|For more information please call: 973-945-6311
Or email: admin@OakCottage.info
|"Historic preservation educates and enriches the mind and spirit of a people. ... we who are the stewards of this priceless legacy ... may we accept with deep resolve the
obligation to bequeath it—as unaltered as possible—to future generations.”
FROM HOME PAGE:
Oak Cottage is also known as 'The General Grant' and 'The Gem of the Mountain'. -- It is very rich in history. Oak Cottage is likely one of the first homes in the region to display the Second
Empire (General Grant) style.
Many well known historic figures are said to have visited Oak Cottage. Schooley’s Mountain was, after all, the location of one of this country's very first “health resorts”. It boasted several
grand resort hotels - with 300 to 425 rooms each. As the resort grew in popularity, wealthier summer residents began building for themselves which were considered romantic, suitable for rural
homes, and compatible with the natural landscape. It is noted that these summer cottages were built in as close proximity to the grand hotels as possible. Oak Cottage is located directly
across the street from what was the main entrance to the elite Heath House.
Much of Schooley’s Mountain’s tourism success was due to the skill of hotel owner Ephraim Marsh. Marsh was also a judge, president of the Morris Canal, mine operator, owner of the
renowned Heath House, AND OWNER OF OAK COTTAGE.
Oak Cottage (The Gem of the Mountain) itself is featured on at least two postcards. Schooley’s Mountain was *the* summer community - populated by America’s elite. (1)Some noted visitors
to Schooley's Mountain include: Thomas Edison, Vice President George Dallas, Governor Edward Coles, General J. Chadwalader, Rutherford B. Hays, Governor William Pennington, E.D.
Morgan, the Vanderbilts, C.V.S. Roosevelt, and Ulysses S. Grant and his family. Oak Cottage's Second Empire style became Grant's chosen and utilized style of architecture during his
presidency. Due to his fond memories of Oak Cottage? --We like to think so.
(1) Some information was gathered from the following source:
Beck, Henry Charlton. (1956) The Roads of Home. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press
THE NOTABLE HISTORIC OAK COTTAGE HAS BEEN FEATURED IN THE JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2010 ISSUE OF "PRESERVATION MAGAZINE" AND ALSO
APPEARED IN CONJUNCTION WITH "NEW JERSEY PRESERVATION" IN 2010 AS WELL ~
Oak Cottage has also been featured on radio shows in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey and has been featured in The Daily Record, The Star Ledger, and the
Observer Tribune multiple times between 2006-2010.
is portrayed in the
painting as the 2nd
Historic Oak Cottage & The Mill/Carriage House
National Historic Register & New Jersey Register of Historic Places
The FULLY RESTORED Piece of History know as Oak Cottage
NOW FOR SALE
Buy Direct From Owner!
Contact Us Today for More Info!!
Call Michele: 973-945-6311
|100 Years Later ...
Oak Cottage 2008 Below