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Joseph Murray Farmhouse and Barn

Year Listed:



Middletown, Monmouth County


65 Kings Hwy, Middletown Township, NJ 07748, USA

Joseph Murray Farmhouse and Barn

The Murray farmhouse and barn at Poricy Park, Middletown are examples of 18th century homesteading. Built ca. 1770 by Joseph Murray, a stonemason from Ireland, the farmhouse and barn remain on original foundations. Joseph Murray was a Revolutionary War veteran known for commandeering supplies and materials and associated with spying on British Troops along Sandy Hook. One of Murray’s stunts was stealing horses for the militia’s use. The property stayed in the possession of the Murray family until 1861. The homestead was nearly torn down in the 1970s to make way for a sewage plant before concerned locals fought to preserve it. The site was purchased in 1973 by Middletown Township and the Poricy Park Citizens Committee was formed to save the land from any future development. The site was restored in 1986 to allow residents and visitors to walk in Murray’s footsteps and honor his service during the American Revolution. The Poricy Park Conservancy, for financial reasons, turned control of the Park and Farmhouse/Barn over to Middletown Township. Through a continued partnership the town and the conservancy have applied for grants and funding to make necessary repairs to the Murray house, but grants have continuously been denied. While some funding has been secured through capital budgeting, there is not enough set aside to see the restoration project through. Debates have ensued on the understanding of state requirements, questions regarding the need for repairs, and finding proper contractors to complete the project. With the onset of America’s 250th celebrations, Preservation New Jersey supports and strongly encourages municipalities, counties, and statewide bodies to engage in exploring and preserving New Jersey’s role in America’s history – this can be through the development of programs and community projects, creation of interpretive resources and exhibits, and the preservation of historic sites that contribute to the story of our nation.

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