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The Howe Farmstead is a historic group of buildings and land nestled inside of Colonial Park. The original farmhouse (c. 1732) is believed to have been constructed and owned by a member of the Van Doren family that owned property in the area. A good example of the eighteenth century Dutch farmhouses found throughout Somerset County, the land surrounding the house also includes a carriage house, hay barn, corn crib, chicken house, hired man’s house, outhouse and well. The original dwelling now serves as the kitchen wing, with a larger two-story farmhouse addition added on c. 1790-1810.
The nearby athletic complex and nature trail also bear the names of their benefactors, the Howe family, who donated land and financial resources to the park and community. The Howe family, who were respected historic preservationists in the area, made a number of documented physical changes and repairs to their beloved home. In 1992, the Howes donated their property to Somerset County with the agreement that they be allowed to continue living in the farmhouse. It was their intent that their beloved farmstead be preserved by Somerset County for generations to come. Lois passed away in 1995 and Dr. Howe died in 2008.
This is the first time a historic property is being restored as an all-original venue for historical and other purposes in this unique fashion, while paying homage to an up-and-coming concept of “socio-history.”
"Socio-history," explains Rikki Lyn Hauss-McCarthy, a trustee of the SCHS, "doesn't disregard the architectural significance of the Howe Farm or other properties. Instead, it fosters a broader focus to include the people that built, preserved and resided on the property and their contributions, as well as the cultural norms of each era that the farm has survived through.”
The SCHS is currently seeking concerned citizens, nonprofit organizations and businesses to provide financial and labor support to renovate and preserve the Howe Farmstead. In taking on this project, the SCHS seeks to build collaborative partnerships dedicated to historic preservation that will ensure the farmstead remains an important fixture of the community for years to come. All email inquiries can be sent to the SCHS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can support historical interpretation and preservation throughout Somerset County, like those taking place at the Howe Farmstead, in several ways:
by becoming a member of the SCHS for $25 a year,
by making a one time or recurring gift through our PayPal account,
by shopping at our e-store and selecting some of the attractive items available.