The Inskeep Homestead consists of an 18th Century kitchen and two 19th Century additions with period furnishings. There are also collections of Native American artifacts, tools, textiles and children’s toys. A privy and butcher shop are also on site.
The John Inskeep house includes an 18th Century kitchen and two 19th Century additions with period furniture and textiles as well as collections of Native American artifacts, tools and children’s items.
In the Fall of 2019, the Evesham Historical Society was thrilled to learn that we had been awarded a grant by the New Jersey Cultural Trust to develop a Preservation Plan for the John Inskeep Homestead. During 2020, when our doors were closed to the general public, Margaret Westfield and her team from Westfield Architects and Preservation Consultants were donning masks and working individually or in pairs to study and the John Inskeep Property roof to basement and property line to property line as well as the organization and governance of the Evesham Historical Society. Their evaluation included the history and construction of the house, butcher shop and privy, the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, the grading and landscaping of the property and the areas that need further archeological exploration. They noted what is currently there, its functionality and historic appropriateness and looked at repairs and improvements that would not only preserve the buildings and property but would restore it to historical accuracy.
In early April 2021, we received the almost 400 page report of their findings along with cost estimates to do the physical work involved and suggestions for continued care and maintenance of the property and the health of our organization moving forward. Although the scope and cost of the work to be done is overwhelming when looked at in its entirety, individual tasks are prioritized and broken done in such detail that we will be able to see a path to move forward. We have already identified three key structural issues and are proceeding with a plan to address them, hopefully with some partial grant funding. Future endeavors will require organizational changes, major fund raising efforts on our part and lots of public support.
We are extremely grateful to the New Jersey Cultural Trust for providing a grant to complete this study and to Margaret Westfield and her team for not only all the work they have done in preparing the report but also for making themselves available to answer our numerous questions and offer advice as we continue our stewardship of this amazing part of Evesham’s history.
1. Amos Haines Property aka Savich Farm aka Cooper-Savich House
Old Marlton Pike
Through the existing deeds it is possible to trace the property known as Savich Farm back as far as 1737. In 1751 the property, which then consisted of 200 acres, was acquired by Amos Haines, who left the estate to his wife and two daughters. Over the years, the property was further divided among descendants and eventually Benjamin Cooper. Benjamin Cooper came from one of the most prominent families in South Jersey. He bred thoroughbred cattle and was one of the originators and largest stockholder of the Philadelphia-Marlton-Medford Railroad. Whether the Coopers built the mansion when they took possession of the property in 1841 or it existed previously is not known. The house sat in the woods that are currently between Savich Field and the Evans Cooper House. There have been a number of archaeological digs on the property, which was a former burial ground for the Leni-Lenape Indians. Native American artifacts dating to 1325AD were found here. It was also home to an unknown civilization dating to the year 2300BC.
2. Jacob & Mary Wills House, Built 1789
6 Brick Road
The house is an excellent example of 18th Century architecture. Research indicates that the clapboard middle section was the original house, a one-room 1-1/2 story house with a cooking fireplace and full cellar. In the east gable are the 1789 date and “W” for Wills, “J” for Jacob and “M” for Mary, his wife. Jacob was the great-great-grandson of the famous pioneer doctor, Daniel Wills. The house is located on the original 1888 acre tract of land that Jacob’s grandfather, James Wills acquired in 1737.
3. Thomas Hollinshead House, Built 1776
18 West Stow Road
The west peak is dated 1776. The top initial “H” is for Hollinshead, the “L” for Lydia, his wife. Hollinshead inherited the property (450 acres) from his grandfather, Thomas Eves II. On the historic days of the British encampment and retreat through Evesham Township in June of 1778, the family was warned that the British soldiers would use Greentree Road for their retreat to Philadelphia. Having two daughters ages 10 and 3 months and being devout Quakers, with no desire for combat, they evacuated the home. According to historians the family buried what valuables they could, cut the rope in the well and fled with what they could carry on foot or by wagon. No doubt British officers slept in Hollinshead’s new home. Thomas Hollinshead came from a family of craftsmen who made clocks. In fact, clocks inscribed with the name Hollinshead can still be found in nearby Moorestown. Observers have said that the same high quality craftsmanship that went into these clocks can be seen in the interior woodwork details especially at the staircase, corner cupboard, beaded plank walls and beaded ceiling beams on the second floor.
4. Cropwell Friends Meeting House, Built 1809
810 Cropwell Road
As with other Friends Meeting Houses, the land for Cropwell Meeting House was initially purchased as a burial ground. The Meeting House was built in 1809. Except for the installation of electricity, the Friends have retained the integrity of the original building. The brick building reflects the prosperity of the Friends at the time. They first worshiped in a nearby schoolhouse in 1794. The existing schoolhouse was built in 1866 and used until 1877. It presently serves as the caretaker’s residence.
5. William & Susan Evans House, Built 1822, aka Hillside Farm
2 Bill’s Lane
This early 1800 Farmhouse was built in three sections, thus there are two foot- thick walls within the house. The only known date is that the attic above the third floor was plastered in 1822. The property was operated as a dairy farm by the Evans family until 1969. Cherokee High, Marlton Elementary and Marlton Middle Schools all sit on the original farm. The house itself is now owned by the Lenape Regional High School District.
6. Evans-Cooper House, Circa 1773
251 N. Elmwood Road
“Elmview” the original Joseph Cooper house is subsumed in the north half of this ornate house. David Evans, the next owner, doubled the size of this house, c 1850. Evans’ daughter Lydia and her husband Benjamin Cooper added the Italianate features. Benjamin, a prosperous dairyman, made good use of the meadows on the farm. Evesham Township, the current owner, acquired the property with Green Acres assistance in 1975.
7. Thomas & Mary Evans House, Built 1785
123 S. Elmwood Road
In the brickwork of the dated east peak are the initials “E” for Evans, “T” for Thomas, and “M” for his wife, Mary (Eves). This house also sits on the original 1,000 acre Evans plantation. It is surrounded by prime farmland and a beautiful spring that provided clear water for the family and their animals. The last farmer on this site was Robert Jaggard for whom the Jaggard school was named. The 175-acre property was purchased by Evesham Township in 1975, with the aid of the Green Acres Program. The house is now home to the Center for the Arts.
8. John Inskeep Homestead, Built 1771
10 Madison Court
The original house, built in 1725, burned in 1770. The back section of the current house is believed to have been built on the same foundation in 1771. Two major additions were made during the 1800’s to create the beautiful home as it stands today. Also on the property are an original four-seat privy and a butcher shop that once stood on Main Street. In 1936 the Higginbothams acquired the property, ending over two centuries of occupancy by the descendants of John Inskeep. In 1963 the Higginbothams conveyed the property to a real estate development partnership, although they continued to live there until their deaths. The house, vacant for twenty years, was scheduled for demolition when local opposition led the developers to donate the portion of the historic farm with the house, privy, and chicken coop to the Evesham Historical Society, who now maintains it as a museum of local history.
9. Stokes-Evans House, Built 1842
52 East Main Street
Isaac Stokes residence, 1842. Isaac Stokes, storekeeper, built this lovely house for his retirement. He lived only three years afterwards to enjoy it. The well-known Ezra Evans, benefactor, surveyor, and active public servant, was the next owner. At Ezra Evans’ death, Sheriff Henry C. Lippincott purchased the house. Henry’s son, Mark, inherited the property next. Mark operated a coal yard, a weighing station and farmed part of the 30-acre property. Mark’s son, Mark Jr., was honored for the 50 years he served as a volunteer of the Marlton Fire Company. The public library was housed here for several years.
10. Amos Evans House, Built 1785
501 East Main Street
The Amos Evans house has only been owned by two families — the Evans/Evenses and the Bowkers. Amos Evans inherited the house and farm from his father Jacob in 1839. William Evans, husband of Amos and Rachel’s daughter Elizabeth purchased the farm in 1893, and upon his death in 1912 the property was purchased by George Bowker. There are two additional structures on the property, a nineteenth century frame shed and an approximately eighty year old windmill. The windmill, which originally pumped water from a well to a large cistern in the barn, is said to be the only surviving windmill in Evesham Township.
We have been cleaning out the attic of the Inskeep House and will have many treasures for sale including furniture, linens, dishes, glassware, tools, seasonal decorations and bric a brac. Lots of great items very reasonably priced.
Please wear your mask!