Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

Elizabeth and Gershom Frazee House

Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund
Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund
Historic Site Management
Capital Level II
Grant Award: $22,824 (2006); $29,126 (2010); $50,000 (2012); $257,000 (2017); $337,161 (2020); $33,263 (2022)
Grant Recipient: Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Frazee House, Inc.
County: Union
Municipality: Scotch Plains

The Frazee house is significant as a vernacular pre-Revolutionary wood frame structure for which the history of the site can be documented back to 1761. At that time the site was purchased by Gershom Frazee, a carpenter and joiner, whose work is demonstrated in the house’s structure and decoration. The site has additional significance for Betty Frazee’s defiance of the British General who requested her fresh-baked bread. 

Occupied as a farm until 1949, the six-acre property was a privately-owned zoo until 1997, when acquired by the Township of Scotch Plains for passive recreational use. When the property was threatened to be sold and subdivided in 2003, the local rotary began negotiations for a 50-year lease and made plans to restore the structure. The house was stabilized in 2008 with the installation of an internal structural support system. 

The 2022 Trust grant will help fund the preparation of construction drawings and plans for the final phase of the restoration of the house.

The 2020 Trust grant will help fund the installation of new utilities at the site, including electric, heat, and water; the construction of a new ADA restroom cottage adjacent to the historic house; the construction of a new ADA ramp/walkway adjoining the restroom and the house (and also providing ADA access to the house); and restoration of the first-floor interior of the house. 

The 2017 grant helped fund the first phase of construction, which included structural improvements and exterior restoration of siding, doors, and windows. The 2012 Trust grant will help fund planning and construction documents for Phase I restoration of the house and landscape improvements that will allow public to access the site. The 2010 grant helped fund a master plan for use, study and interpretation of the resource as a community landmark and public park. A 2006 Trust grant helped fund archaeological testing, design development drawings and specifications, and the preparation of a National Register nomination. 

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