Littel Lord Farmstead

History of Littel-Lord Farmstead

The Littel-Lord Farmstead, located in Berkeley Heights, Union County, New Jersey, United States, is a pastoral site reminiscent of Union County's agricultural past. It was built around 1760 and added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 7, 1979. It currently serves as the home and public museum of the Berkeley Heights Historical Society.

The farmhouse was built around 1760 by farmer and weaver Andrew Littel, who lived there with his wife and seven children. It was passed down through the Littel family until it was sold to the Lord family in 1867. Elizabeth Wemett of the Lord family sold the property to Berkeley Heights in 1975.

The farmstead property, all of which is owned by the township of Berkeley Heights, includes the main farmhouse, an adjacent Victorian annex in the Carpenter Gothic style (which served as a schoolhouse in the 1870s), a stone spring house, a summer kitchen, and 18 acres of farm and forest land.

The first floor features an Empire-Victorian parlor and a 19th-century kitchen. A staircase leads to an enlarged second floor, once a small loft. Upstairs is a child’s room containing antique toys and a Victorian bedroom with cottage furniture. The central portion of what is now the Farmhouse Museum was built in 1760. It is believed that the original house consisted of three rooms on the first floor and an open loft above. Andrew, his wife Mary and their seven children resided in this house.

Listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places

Operated by the Historical Society of Berkeley Heights

Littell-Lord-Farmhouse-Museum

From Union County's guidebook 

to historic sites:  


"A pastoral site comprising a 19th-century Gothic cottage, stone springhouse, summer kitchen, Osage orange trees and a pond, provides the setting for the Littell-Lord House. This charming rural complex is a rare reminder of Union County’s agricultural past. The property was built circa 1760 by Andrew Littell, a farmer and weaver. Although Andrew died in 1790, the property remained in the Littell family’s ownership until 1817, when it went through a succession of owners until the Lord family purchased the farm in 1867. These later owners, including the Lord family, constructed several additions to the house."

Featuring:

-Hands-on replicas of 19th-century toys

-Last remaining stone springhouse in Union County

-Pump house & Corncrib


Restoration Efforts 

As of May 2021, we are in the archeology phase of the restoration project. The archeology project is part of Phase 2 of a long-term, six-phase plan to restore the Littel-Lord Farmstead to its glory. The Littel-Lord house, circa 1760 and full of artifacts from the 18th and 19th century, is a glimpse into the past of life as it was in Union County. 

Securing a stable and watertight building is critically needed at the site as interior work is not possible until this vital first step is complete. This grant would make possible the first part of Phase 2, which would include the restoration of a stable foundation and enable necessary archaeological work to be completed in accordance with the procedures and standards of the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office (NJHPO).

The first part of Phase 2 will commence with the archaeologist who will provide a “Phase I” Archaeological Survey in support of planning to stabilize and preserve the Littel-Lord farmhouse. The work will begin with excavation of 4-6 test pits around the foundation of the addition to the house and within its basement. All work will be completed in accordance with the procedures and standards of the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office. (NJHPO) We have a commitment from the NJHPO that they will work closely with us on this project.

Any artifacts will be processed and cataloged in accordance with the requirements of the NJ State Museum, and will be turned over to the Littel-Lord upon completion. Additionally, a technical report will be prepared in accordance with the requirements of the NJHPO following completion of the research, fieldwork and analysis. A Phase I survey may show the need for a Phase III Survey. 

This more in-depth survey requires 12 to 14 days of field work and 12 3-foot square excavations in areas where the Phase 1 survey suggested archaeological potential and includes processing and cataloging of artifacts in the same manner as Phase 1 with the addition of research and photography of artifacts. The Phase III report will detail the archaeological investigations, identified features and artifacts and offer a significant interpretation of the archaeology of the site in terms of its history and that of the larger region. The report will include historic maps, a site plan showing test locations, site and artifact photographs, artifact tables, and a summary of subsurface testing data and a catalog of artifacts.

Once the archaeological survey is complete, the house will be lifted to properly address the decaying foundation. Lifting steel will be installed to support the dwelling. Supporting crib piles will be placed at the existing crawl space and/or grade level while a new foundation is constructed. The footings will be removed and replaced to create a high crawl space under the entire building and reinforced slab throughout.

Donate to Littel-Lord!

Click on the link below to visit the GoFundMe page to raise at least $5,000 by July 31, 2021. Every little bit helps; but we need EVERYONE's help if we want to preserve one of the last original pieces of Ber!keley Heights history that remains. 

GoFundMe