Status: Progress Made
07/2010 Update: Franklin Township acquired the houses in 2007 with the intention of rehabilitating them. The houses have been ‘mothballed’ but are still in very bad shape. It is unclear whether or not the township has any imminent plans for their reuse.
These two eighteenth century stone houses, locally known as the “Trap Rock Houses”, are located at the intersection of Canal Road and Old Georgetown Turnpike. The turnpike, which was built in the early eighteenth century, was an important thoroughfare, and travel and commerce in the area were centered at what became this intersection. While the buildings are hard to date with precision, they show up on a 1762 map. It is possible that the northern building was a tavern. Once a story-and-a-half in height, full upper stories were added to each in the twentieth century. Today they are threatened with demolition.
The Trap Rock houses are located in an area that is important to both recreation and cultural tourism. They are adjacent to the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park. To remove these lovely stone houses that contribute so well to the historic character of the area would be a great loss. While the owner would like to destroy them, and there are no legal impediments to his doing so, we hope by heightening awareness of their significance to encourage their stabilization until a viable preservation plan can be developed.
D&R Canal Commission,
P.O. Box 539
Stockton, NJ 08559
Franklin Township Historic Preservation Commission