“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Morristown in Morris County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

L’Hommedieu House

Birthplace of the Telegraph


—Historic Speedwell —

L’Hommedieu House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 5, 2010
1. L’Hommedieu House Marker
Inscription. The L’Hommedieu House is an excellent example of late 18th/early 19th century domestic architecture. This stylish town house originally stood on Spring Street in Morristown on a lot first owned by Nathaniel L’Hommedieu and later sold to John Gwinnup in 1775.

Although the exact age of the present structure is not known, the center hallway and staircase clearly date to a remodeling done in the early 1800’s. The house has four rooms on each floor and a basement with a large fireplace for cooking. The roof has been gambreled to allow more second floor headroom. An interesting feature is the beautifully paneled front door with small paned sidelights and transom. Much of the clapboard siding is original. The house was recently renovated and is now Historic Speedwell’s Visitors Center with admissions, exhibits and gift shop on the first floor, and staff offices above. The basement has been restored for educational programs, and includes a working open hearth fireplace.

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In the 1960’s a Morristown redevelopment project called for the construction of a three building complex to be called Headquarters Plaza on the block between Speedwell Avenue and Spring Street. Water Street would be realigned, and a section of the oldest part of the town including a pond, mill site and many historic buildings were slated
Marker in Historic Speedwell image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 5, 2010
2. Marker in Historic Speedwell
for demolition (see map above). The L’Hommedieu House on Spring Street was among the houses to be destroyed. The area of Morristown called “The Hollow” was once an important crossroads. A short distance away, at the southeast corner of Spring Street and Water Street once stood Dickerson’s Tavern. The tavern was the site of Benedict Arnold’s court-martial for minor offenses in 1779, shortly before his treason at West Point. In 1969, the town donated both the L’Hommedieu House and the Estey House, which stood across the street, to Historic Speedwell.
Location. 40° 48.879′ N, 74° 28.816′ W. Marker is in Morristown, New Jersey, in Morris County. Marker can be reached from Speedwell Avenue (U.S. 202), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is located at Historic Speedwell. Marker is at or near this postal address: 333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown NJ 07960, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Granary (a few steps from this marker); 1849 Carriage House (a few steps from this marker); Moses Estey House (a few steps from this marker); Water Power at Speedwell (within shouting distance of this marker); The Homestead Farm
Historic Speedwell image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, July 5, 2010
3. Historic Speedwell
The L’Hommedieu House is seen here on the right, across from the Granary. Today it serves as the Visitors Center at Historic Speedwell.
(within shouting distance of this marker); Homestead Carriage House (within shouting distance of this marker); Wheel House (within shouting distance of this marker); Ford Cottage (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Morristown.
More about this marker. The bottom left of the marker contains the painting “View of Morristown From the Hill Behind the First Presbyterian Church, By Edward Kranich, c. 1855, courtesy of Morristown National Historical Park.” The L’Hommedieu House and Moses Estey House are identified in the picture. Next to this is a map of Historic Speedwell.
A modern photograph of the L’Hommedieu House appears at the top of the marker and has a caption of “When moved to Historic Speedwell, the L’Hommedieu House was placed on a new foundation on the site of the Homestead Farm’s barn and woodshed that had burned in the 1960’s. A front porch, dormer window and two layers of siding were removed to return the house to its early 19th century appearance.”
The sidebar on the marker’s right includes a map of downtown Morristown showing the original locations of the L’Hommedieu House and Moses Estey House. Two older photos of the L’Hommedieu House are under this map. One has a caption of “Although the L’Hommedieu House was in poor condition, in the 1960’s it still retained its dignity as one of the oldest houses in Morristown. Another shows the house on the back of a truck and has the caption “To save it from demolition, Federal funding was used to move the house one mile to Historic Speedwell.”
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Take a tour of the markers found at Historic Speedwell.
Also see . . .  Historic Speedwell - "Birthplace of the Telegraph". (Submitted on July 11, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. Notable Buildings
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 516 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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