What better way to celebrate a birthday than looking into the past?
That’s what the Washington Township Historical Society will be doing Oct. 5 for its annual house tour, named “Autumn in the Valley.”
Marking 275 years of settlement in German Valley, the tour will take place in the historic district of the same name from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a handful of locations for tourists to peruse.
From the Washington Township Historical Society, the following locations and their descriptions are:
Fogarty’s Barn on W. Maple Street was built by a local builder, Isaac Horton, in the 1880s and was owned at one time by a local teacher, Charles Hendershot. Converted into a home in the 1970s, the post and beam construction was exposed and the original stable windows are still in place.
Built in 1818, Dr. Samuel Willet’s home on Schooley’s Mountain Road is an eclectic mix of Gothic and Italianate styles. Visitors to the home still can use the original doorbell and enter walking across wide-planked floors of pumpkin pine.
The Dufford House was built in 1872 and was first owned by Henry P. Dufford. Mr. Dufford, who married Sarah Elizabeth Weise, devised a method of constructing an ‘aqueduct’ to bring water down Schooley’s Mountain to be used by several homes in the area.
One of the two homes never before on the tour was at one time the home of Irving Buchanan and his family. Mr. Buchanan was president of the local school board for many years. Recently renovated, the home retains the charm of its earlier years.
The other home never before on the tour was built as a parochial (private) school during the mid 1800’s. Rev. James Knox of the German Valley Presbyterian Church established the school through funding by the local school board and tuitions.
The Zion Lutheran Church on Schooley’s Mountain Road was consecrated on November 25, 1832 and its spire remains an iconic landmark in the valley. The optional luncheon for the tour will be held in the new hall where several local historic artifacts from the collection of the Washington Township Historical Society will be on display. Visitors will also be able to enjoy a tour of the church itself.
Tickets for the event are $20 and the event starts at 11 a.m., finishing up at 4 p.m. Checks can be made payable to the Washington Township Historical Society at WTHS, P.O. Box 189, Long Valley, NJ 07853. They can also be purchased at the Historical Museum at 6 Fairview Road on Sunday, Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.