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

Parrish-James House "Red Gables"

Parrish-James House "Red Gables" Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 2, 2022
1. Parrish-James House "Red Gables" Marker
Two approaches to ending slavery
Just two families owned this house for 90 years, each acting differently to end slavery. The Quaker Parrish family had long worked tirelessly toward peaceful abolition. The next owner, William Levis James, served in the Civil War for the Union Army, achieving the rank of Brevet Brigadier General.

William and Elizabeth Parrish
William Dillwyn Parrish was born in Philadelphia on February 19, 1815 and was of the seventh generation of his family in America. He was one of 11 children of Dr. Joseph Parrish, an eminent physician, and Susanna Cox, who had grown up on a Burlington County farm. William married Elizabeth Wright Miller in 1836.

Elizabeth was born March 8, 1817, to Daniel Leeds Miller Sr. and Hannah Nicholson of Salem, New Jersey. Her father was a financier and the founder and long-time president of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.

They had seven children, of whom five lived to adulthood.

William Parrish had great energy and many successes from early adulthood. He manufactured boilers and steam engines, ran an iron
The Parrish-James House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 2, 2022
2. The Parrish-James House
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foundry, bought and sold real estate, and ran an engineering practice in the gas industry where he held at least one patent.

For many years he operated a bookbinding and paper business on Fifth Street just above Market.

Like his siblings and other founders of Riverton, William Parrish was active in the abolition effort as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. He published at least one book on the subject. He was a friend of Lucretia Mott, who mentioned him in her letters.

William and Elizabeth invested in the founding of Riverton in 1851, building this house to design by Samuel Sloan, which they used as a summer home. Five of the other nine founding households included siblings of either William or Elizabeth.

William Parrish died on Christmas Day, 1863, of typhus fever at the age of 48. Elizabeth sold this house in 1878 and died in 1891.

Anna James and General William L. James
Anna Thompson James (1839-1922) bought this house in 1878 and the James family lived here for at least 62 years.
,br> Anna had married retired Brevet Brigadier General Levis James (1833-1903), and they raised their family in this house. Gen. James had risen in rank rapidly during the Civil War and served as the Union Army's Chief Quartermaster for operations in Virginia.
,br> After the war, Gen. James made his
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career in Philadelphia managing the affairs of steamship company carrying passengers and freight to Savannah.

General and Anna James also operated this house as a genteel summer guest house. They named it "Red Gables," and painted it a glowing barn red.

Poignantly, the old soldier died here on the Fourth of July, 1903, at age 69. Surviving him by 19 years, his wife Anna died here in 1922 at the age of 83.

Their two daughters, one recently widowed with a small child and one unmarried, continued to run Red Gables through the 1920s. they evidently struggled financially, encumbering the property with more and more debt. One daughter still lived here at least until 1940.

Three apartments
At some point prior to World War II, the James family divided the house into three spacious apartments, as it remains today.
Erected 2019 by The Historical Society of Riverton and current owners, Mike and Mary Kate Kearney, who have named the house "Sundance".
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRChurches & ReligionIndustry & CommerceWar, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is February 19, 1815.
Location. 40° 0.84′ N, 75° 1.107′ W. Marker is in Riverton, New Jersey
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, in Burlington County. Marker is at the intersection of Bank Avenue and Penn Street, on the left when traveling west on Bank Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 311 Bank Ave, Riverton NJ 08077, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Riverton Steamboat Landing (a few steps from this marker); Robert and Anna Miller Biddle (a few steps from this marker); Wharton-Fitler House (within shouting distance of this marker); Riverton Yacht Club (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Caleb Clothier House (about 500 feet away); F. Crosta Home & Store (approx. 0.2 miles away); Riverton's First Drugstore (approx. Ό mile away); Riverton Free Library (approx. Ό mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Riverton.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 4, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 4, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 80 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 4, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Mar. 28, 2023