Public Meeting on Crane-Phillips House
For most Cranfordians, it is already considered a historic landmark. Located at the very heart of town, it is perhaps the most familiar building in Cranford. There is even a scale model of the house that is used as a float during every local parade. Children know it as “the watermelon house” because of its green and red coloring.
On November 18, from 7:30-9:00 PM, at the Cranford Community Center at 220 Walnut Avenue, there will be a public meeting to discuss the proposed designation of the Crane-Phillips House as a local historic landmark. And we, my friends, are the public.
The Crane-Phillips House was once known as “The Little House on the Rahway”, was first built about 1840 by Josiah Crane as a honeymoon cottage for his son, Josiah Jr. The Crane’s were the first settlers to come to the area in the early 18th century (1715), build mills on the river and establish a farm on the west side of the Rahway River. Josiah Crane Jr. sold the property in 1867 to Henry and Cecelia Phillips, who lived there until Henry’s death in 1911. It was Mr. and Mrs. Phillips who built most of the cottage in the Downing style.
The Cranford Historic Preservation Advisory Board is a Township
Committee Society that is dedicated to the perpetuation of Cranford’s history. Visit their website at preservecranford.com.
Today, the Crane-Phillips House Living History Museum is a well-known cornerstone of the community. It is a living history museum, in that people in period costume conduct tours through the building, which houses a collection of antiques, household artifacts, clothing and linens, and old tools and farm equipment.
How interesting would it be to see the process at work in officially designating a familiar building as a historic landmark? And then you could say, for years to come, that “you were there.” Come on out to join in the forum on “the little watermelon house on the Rahway!”
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