On its 200th birthday, in 1964, this charming old stone house in Basking Ridge was rescued after having been neglected for many years. Over the next 55 years, the young couple who purchased the house restored, renovated, and expanded the home. To the regular passerby, the fact that the home’s back faces the street is not obvious.
Built in 1764, the house was owned and offered for sale in 1781 by a ship captain commissioned by George Washington, Captain Patrick Dennis, to command the armed cutter Vigilant. The Vigilant was one of 10 vessels patrolling the United States coastline against British invasion, and those cutters laid the foundation for what is presently the Coast Guard.
Situated on two carefully maintained acres, the home faces south looking out over an expansive, verdant lawn that features a brick patio and walkways, a gazebo, lushly planted garden beds, a shed, and a barn/garage complete with loft.
Throughout its lifetime, the declared Bernards Township Historic Site has had three additions. The first, in 1858, was the addition of a kitchen to the stone portion that was meant to replace the home’s original basement kitchen. In 1920, the second addition, converted the porch off the new kitchen into a more modern kitchen. The final addition, in 1976, included a family room, powder room, and butler’s pantry on the first level and a second staircase that accesses a library and the master suite on the upper level.
The latest addition was carefully designed to maintain the home’s integrity by furnishing the new space with old flooring, doors, and hardware. Their efforts were recognized by Somerset County’s Cultural & Heritage Commission through their award for preservation and restoration in 2000 as a testament to their dedication to period authenticity.
Totaling 3,236 square feet, this four-bedroom and three-bathroom home offers generous space. The main level contains formal living and dining rooms, a large foyer, butler’s pantry, powder room, kitchen, and keeping room. The updated modern kitchen features cherry cabinetry, granite countertops, a wet bar, and a bay window with cushioned window seat. The master suite can be found on the second story alongside a library, laundry room, three additional bedrooms, and a bathroom.
Much attention was paid to the alluring interior of the home. Dutch doors provide entrance to the front-to-back foyer and the kitchen, and details featured throughout the home include wide plank hardwood floors at random widths, carefully finished beaded-edge and rustic ceiling beams, batten doors and authentic period hardware, and deep-set original windows. Additionally, the home includes five wood-burning fireplaces.
Located at the corner of Valley and Stonehouse Road, this quintessential 1764 home gave Stonehouse Road its name as 1850 maps mark the area as “Stone House.” Deemed worthy of preservation, the dwelling was documented in the Library of Congress Historic American Buildings Survey in 1936.
This charming home, incredibly rich with history and updated to offer modern conveniences, provides a unique opportunity in the heart of Bernards Township.
The home, located at 3115 Valley Road, is asking $675,000.
Listing: 3115 Valley Road [Zillow]