Discover A Part Of Brick History At Havens Homestead Museum

The Havens Homestead Museum is located at 521 Herbertsville Road and dates back to the mid-1800s. (Photo by Alyssa Riccardi)

  BRICK – If you’ve ever traveled on Herbertsville Road, then you’ve probably driven by a piece of Brick Township history without even knowing!

  Located in the northern section of the town near the border of Wall Township is a small white house filled with items that tell a story of the town’s past.

  The Havens Homestead Museum dates back to 1827 and is operated by the Brick Township Historical Society. The Museum showcases what life was like in Brick Township in the mid-1800s and is filled with hundreds of historical items from the area that were mainly donated by locals.

  The Museum first opened in 1998 and took about five years to restore it to its original build, said Gene Donatiello, who is a Township historian and curator of the Museum. 

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This iron stove is in the heart of the home and was donated by locals to the Museum. (Photo by Alyssa Riccardi)

  “The property was originally a 53-acre farm. Josiah Curtis Havens purchased the cabin from Samuel Allen in 1827. It was originally one room with a vault upstairs before the addition was built by Curtis in 1847,” Donatiello said.

  The following year, Curtis received a license to operate an inn and tavern at his home. The property remained in the Havens family for four generations until it was donated to the Brick Township Historical Society by Elmer and May Havens in 1993.

  The original “1827 Room” was a single room that held the kitchen stove and was the main living space. The stove displayed today is an iron stove that was passed down through numerous people in the area.

  “The original stove in the building was probably a small box stove because in the summer time they took them outside since it was too hot to use inside,” Donatiello said.

  Inside this room, visitors can see several tools that were used during that era for cooking and churning butter as well as washing and ironing clothes.

  The addition, built in 1847, consisted of the Family Parlor, the Inn Room and three rooms upstairs: the Parents’ Bed Room, the Children’s Room and the last room displayed as a Sewing Room.

“Lizzie” Herbert’s home is also located on the property, where Lizzie lived in for 96 years. (Photo by Alyssa Riccardi)

  The Inn Room held the tavern where you can see the old bar. On display at the bar, you’ll find a menu of what they would’ve sold back then, such as rabbit stew.

  One of the items on display in the Inn Room is a stereoscope, which was a popular form of entertainment in the 1800s. Beside it on the desk were several stereographs that were used by families.

  Upstairs you’ll find two bed rooms filled with old toys and clothes. Also on display is a sewing room with multiple different tools used to make clothes.

  “Most clothing was homemade. This room illustrates the various tools used to produce clothing. The large spinning wheel to the rear of the room is called a ‘walking spinning wheel’ and was used to spin wool into yarn,” Donatiello said.

A stereoscope pictured with several stereographs was a popular form of entertainment in the 1800s. (Photo by Alyssa Riccardi)

  Hanging on the wall are two women’s bathing suits that were made in the early 1800s. Donatiello explained how during that time there were “bathing suit police” making sure the women’s suits were not too short.

  In addition to the Haven’s home, adjacent to it is the Emma Elizabeth “Lizzie” Herbert House. The home was originally down the road near the Howell Township border. It was later moved to the Havens property by the Historical Society.

  Lizzie lived in this house her entire life, 96 years, with no running water, said Jane Fabach, who is the former President of the Brick Township Historical Society and is now the Press Secretary.

  Visitors to the property can also check out the Barn, Cranberry Shed, Corn Crib and the Hunt and Hook Shack which is all located behind the home. All areas feature tools and methods used to farm certain products because during this time occupations were mainly farmers, but also carpenters, fishermen, hunting and fishing guides, shoemakers and merchants.

Artifacts from the time are on display inside the home. (Photo by Alyssa Riccardi)

  The Brick Township Historical Society recently announced that Havens Homestead Museum has officially opened for free tours. Want to learn more about the home and explore the treasures inside that originated from Brick Township? Tours will be held every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. through October. Can’t make a Saturday? The Historical Society is also open to making appointments.

  For more information, visit bricktownshiphistoricalsociety.com or call the Historical Society at 732-785-2500.