Union Forge Heritage Association
1760 Joseph Turner House
Solitude Heritage Museum
"Preserving and Protecting the Rich History and Natural Environment of Hunterdon County and New Jersey since 2002."
We are open!
Tours are the first and third Sundays of each month
May - November from 2-4 PM.
The second floor bedrooms of the
1760’s section of the home
have remarkably sustained little alterations over the
past 250 years. Most of the original wood window
moldings, baseboards and paneled doors appear to be
original and in remarkable condition. However, sections
of the plaster walls and ceilings were in various states of
deterioration requiring patching and re-plastering. The
rear bedroom features the staircase to the attic,
and the corresponding doorway to the space where the
stairway leading to the kitchen was once located. The
wide plank floors are in remarkable condition requiring
only minor repairs and light cleaning to retain its current
patina. Paint analysis revealed the original cream and
dark blue color scheme that was meticulously matched
and recreated in the room. This room has been
repurposed as the Colonial room, and will house and
display the UFHA’s vast colonial era furniture and
artifacts. Visitors will be greeted to furnishings, tools,
textiles and other items of local interest.
The current Dining Room at the 1760’s section of the Joseph Turner House
was originally the front Sitting Room
of the house in the 18th Century, and likely a wall and
doorway existed between the Sitting Room and the present
day Kitchen. The Dining Room restoration posed the
greatest challenge of any room of the house. The floor
beams, made of tree trunks, and floor decking were
completely rotted and the floor was literally falling into the
shallow crawl space. It was determined that at some point
the roof was leaking and water damage caused the
extensive floor rot. The entire floor needed to be removed
and re-framed to current building code standards. Antique
wide plank flooring will soon cover the plywood sub-floor.
Scrapings were done to determine the original paint scheme for the room, and was recreated as accurately as possible. Today the Dinning Room is ready for events.
We are fortunate that the grand Parlor in the 1830’s section of the Joseph Turner House
reatains the original features including the wide plank floor, door and window trim, and plaster walls. The “fireplace” in the
Parlor is one of the more peculiar features in the house.
Upon removing the plywood covering of the firebox, it was
revealed that there was no fire-box, and that the mantel
and surround were likely later decorative elements added
to conceal the simple brick chimney. We speculate that
originally there was a small wood burning stove
in the parlor that sat in front of the decorative mantel
piece. Paint scrapings revealed the original color of the
room, which was recreated during restorations. Period
style décor now grace the room, and the space presents
well as a Greek Revival recreation. The room is now
ready to greet guests and is a venue for our social events.