It’s certainly no secret that the Cranford-Westfield area is chock full of history, and is home to many a historical building and home. But did you know that Westfield is home to the second oldest house in all of New Jersey? It’s true! Second in age only to a log cabin in Gibbstown, Gloucestor County, the house known as Sip Manor still continues to serve as a home!
The Dutch colonial house was originally built in 1666. Think about that; think about what a different world it was in 1666!! But it was not built here. It was originally erected in what was then called Bergen, New Netherland . . . . an area today known as Jersey City. For most of its existence, it sat on the corner of Academy Street and Bergen Avenue in Jersey City. It wasn’t moved to Westfield until 1926, when it was in danger of demolition in the rapidly expanding urban zone of Hudson County.
At that time, building developer Arthur Rule was basically creating and expanding the section of Westfield known today as the Wychwood area, on the northeastern side of Westfield. When Rule heard about the imminent demolition of the historical home, he made it his mission to save and relocate the building to Wychwood. He felt it would be a most welcome treasure in the community.
Sip Manor now anchors the Wychwood neighborhood of Westfield, NJ
Ah, but therein lay the problem . . . . how to move the ancient house from Point A to Point B, particularly through the exceedingly narrow streets of Jersey City. Rule ultimately found workers to painstakingly take the house apart, section by section, piece by piece, and then reassemble it in its new location.
Today, thanks to Arthur Rule, Sip Manor gracefully welcomes visitors to the picturesque neighborhood of Wychwood in Westfield. It is currently serving as a home to a Westfield family, who, like most of their neighbors, value it for its architectural and historical beauty. And, if all goes well, it will only be in three short years that the community can help celebrate Sip Manor’s 350th birthday! Let’s just hope they have the good sense to do it WITHOUT 350 candles on a cake INSIDE the house.