This brief account is about a house in Stone Harbor that has endured the test of time. The name of the house is “The Rosery” and it was built either in 1912 or shortly before and is located at 147 94th Street. Apparently the house was so named because the original owner had planted numerous rosebushes completely around the outer perimeter of the property. We are fortunate to be able to feature two post card images, one of which is more than 100 years old along with a fairly recent photograph of this particular property. The introductory vintage post card is shown above (see both the picture side and the message/address reverse side) and depicts “The Rosery” shortly after the time of its construction. The Stone Harbor postmark on the reverse side of this post card as you can readily see is dated AUG 25, 1920.
Take a moment to examine this first image and notice some of the following features. There is a gentleman standing along side the front steps who may very well be the owner of this house. Cape May County property records indicate that on June 3, 1912 the property was sold by a Frederic J. Smith to a Jacob U. Becker. This large 3-story house has a full basement in addition to a charming wrap-around front and side porch. For that matter, a sign appears over the front porch that simply states the word “ROSERY” in capital letters. Also, please take note of the small tree growing on the tree lawn area in front of the house. The reason I point this out to readers now is that this very same tree will be prominent in both the next two images associated with this article. Purportedly, the tree is a certain type that has been known to endure even hundreds of years and it is called a London plane tree which is akin to a hybrid American sycamore tree.
This next circa 1943 post card bears the caption “Bird’s-Eye View, Stone Harbor, N. J.” and portrays a portion of the 94th Street neighborhood with the beach in the distant background. What is important to note here is the building in the center of this image is in fact “The Rosery”. Here are some things to look for. First, looking in a northeasterly direction, the boardwalk is evident in the distance extending along the beach. Secondly, the London plane tree in front of the house has grown somewhat over the period of some 20+ years. Thirdly, there are numerous areas of undeveloped land that are in a natural state and overgrown with shrubbery. Fourth, and very typical of the times, the back yard of “The Rosery” has 4 poles in the ground for the purpose of hanging out laundry to dry on clothes lines. Fifth, there are somewhat newer automobiles shown along 94th Street that are vintage late 1930s and early 1940s. While you might not even be able to see it, magnification of this very image has revealed that there is an automobile backed in and parked by the open side-door of the featured house. And lastly, the porch at the rear of this house has been screened in as well sometime during the intervening years between 1912 and about 1940.
This final image is a photograph that has fairly recently appeared on the Stone Harbor Museum website. In it we can observe some more things worth noting regarding “The Rosery”. First and foremost, that particular London plane tree has grown quite a bit since the two earlier post card views shown previously starting when the tree was just a mere sapling. Also, in 2011 the property changed hands again and was purchased by the Lansingers. Mention is made that while the house originally had a working fireplace in the living room, the disastrous hurricane of 1944 blew down the outside chimney. Perhaps sparing expense, the flue was blocked off, the chimney was never rebuilt and the fireplace was merely ornamental and no longer functional. Numerous interior renovations and modernizations have occurred over recent years. The original cedar shake siding was at one point replaced with vinyl siding. We also understand the the wrap-around front and side porch was rebuilt and has since been enclosed.
We hope you have enjoyed stepping back in time and learning more about this classic Stone Harbor house as we know there is a keen interest by many in learning about the former and present houses and other structures built in Stone Harbor.
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