Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Collins House Is Still Standing -- Barely

One of Bloomfield's oldest residences, the Collins House reflects the history of the time periods through which it has survived. Its oldest section dates from 1790. It is possible parts of the house are even older, as a cornerstone survives dated 1759.

The central portion of the house is the oldest section of the building. The basic architecture is one of the few surviving East Jersey cottages left in this area. The larger portion of the house was added to the older section between 1815 and1820, and a small addition was annexed on the other side of the oldest section of the house in the mid-19th century.

The Collins House is intertwined with the early history of Bloomfield and the growth of industry along the Third River. Its location between the main road leading through Bloomfield to “Stone House Plains,” as the northern end of town once was called, adjacent to the Third River, made it an integral part of the mill industry in the area even though the Collins family themselves did not operate a mill. From their website:

"The vision of Friends of the Collins House is to restore the pre-1900 section of the house, reusing a section of the house as an apartment for a resident caretaker and maintaining another section of the house for historic and educational tours, lectures and public events. The property surrounding the house, which already has a paved area for visitor parking, would be open to the public as part of a Morris Canal/Third River heritage tourist Greenway park with educational historical interpretive signage about the development of adjacent mill industries, the Morris Canal Inclined Plane and history of the house. We would like to involve local civic organizations that may wish to use space in the building and park area as sponsors to help with volunteer labor and financial assistance for renovation work."
If you would like to help save the Collins House by volunteering or making a contribution, Friends of Collins House can be contacted at:

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