Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

Oxford Furnace and Shippen Manor

New Jersey Historic Preservation Bond Program
Matching Grants Award
Grant Award: $410,683 (1990); $315,000 (1997)
Grant Recipient: Warren County Cultural and Heritage Commission
County: Warren
Municipality: Oxford Township

From the mid-eighteenth century through the early-twentieth century the ironworks of Oxford fueled New Jersey's development as a major industrial center. The Oxford Furnace, established in 1741, produced an enormous variety of iron products, such as firebacks, nails, stoves, and iron pots, as well as pig iron made from the raw iron ore extracted from the nearby mines. Eventually this bustling enterprise gave rise to a complete company town. Today 385 buildings remain from the former factory town, which comprise the Oxford Industrial Historic District.

Oxford Furnace is the oldest standing hot blast furnace in New Jersey, and Shippen Manor, constructed in 1754, is a rare surviving example of a New Jersey ironmaster's residence constructed on a grand scale. Together they help tell the story of the industrial powerhouse that once was Oxford.

The 1997 Trust grant funded the preservation of deteriorated masonry and interior wood framing at the Oxford Furnace's engine house and the furnace stack, interior restoration and rehabilitation of Shippen Manor, and rebuilding of a stone retaining wall around the manor house. The grant also funded a Cultural Tourism Master Plan for Oxford, which presented recommendations for its development as a historic site and tourist attraction. A 1991 grant funded complete exterior restoration of Shippen Manor.

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