2014 at the Vought House
Christopher Vought was born in February 1714, the year Hunterdon County was formed. The house he built and the story of the Vought family was a big part of Hunterdon County’s 300th Anniversary celebration. Throughout 2014, the Vought House non-profit offered a variety of public activities and learning opportunities.
We began the first phase of the emergency stabilization and restoration project to bring this building back to what it looked like in 1776 with partial demolition of the north wing to below the roof line. Rafters were repaired and the leaky slate roof replaced with a new cedar shake roof. The east wall was stabilized and one fine morning, the two-story enclosed front porch, which had obscured the original façade, came down, exposing more of the stonework.
Walter Choroszewski’s Hunterdon 300th commemorative book of photographs, Hunterdon in My Heart, showcased the serpent ceiling design and stone walls. Both Congressman Leonard Lance’s introduction and the forward by County Historian Stephanie Stevens referenced Hunterdon County’s historic Revolutionary era Vought House.
February 2014: Hunterdon County 300th celebration of “Christopher Vought Month” entailed three sold-out presentations, the first at the middle school with over 125 people in attendance:
□ Feb. 8: Michael Margulies, the Architecture and Interpretation of the 1759 Vought House.
□ Feb. 15: Don Sherblom, The Loyalist John Vought, a Man of Honor
□ Feb 22: Chip Riddle, Hunterdon Conflicts – Loyalist v. Patriots
June 2014: The Vought House architecture received an unusual two-page spread in David Veasey’s newest book, New Jersey’s Colonial Architecture Told in 100 Buildings.
July 2014: A two-week public archaeology program brought dozens of participants, local residents and a few from farther away, to uncover a foundation in the front yard. The discovery and verification by careful analysis that this was a springhouse steps from the kitchen door brings 18th Century daily life at this house into focus.
On July 13 and 20, in conjunction with Hunterdon 300th celebrations, the Vought House held a public open house showing the completed Phase One restoration work, and the ongoing archaeological dig, interpreted for the public by archaeology graduate student Jamie Ancheta.
October 5: A year-end recap of the history, architecture, and archaeology of the Vought House, held at the Clinton Township Middle School, included guided tours and explanation of the plaster ceilings and moldings by architect Michael Margulies, and
the recent archeological exploration and exposed springhouse well as interpreted by Montclair State University Archeologist, Chris Matthews.
October 24: The 1759 Vought House held a fundraiser with punch, appetizers and wine tastings—“Temptations for the Discriminating Host and Guest.” This festive benefit for the 1759 Vought House, A Revolutionary War Loyalist Homestead, held on a beautiful evening at Valley Crest Farm and Preserve, was a huge success capping a wonderful year with a celebration bolstering our spirits and our bottom line.