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The Sue Adler Team Blog

History Behind 306 Lincoln Ave

by: Sue Adler
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306 Lincoln Ave, is both one of the oldest and newest homes in Cranford, NJ. Let’s step back in time and showcase where the Vreeland House got its colonial beginnings.

Cranford, New Jersey was founded during the pre-Revolutionary War era and became a staple location for colonial troops. With the winding ways of the Rahway River, it became a great place for settlement through the center of town. From ice skating in the winter months to canoeing in the summertime, colonial times people had an active social life which relates to the Cranford population today Cranford, NJ today. The Cranford downtown life is filled with different kinds of dining options and activities.

Map from 1800 showing the course of the Rahway River through early Cranford. The red dot marks the location of 306 Lincoln Ave.

With New York only being 17 miles away from town, it was an easy way to obtain a community income and transport locally manufactured goods for the townspeople. Fast forward to 2017 with the NJ transit train station right downtown it makes commuting a breeze.

Cranford is one of the historic towns of NJ with one of the oldest continuously operating commercial buildings in the state. “The Mill” at the corner of High Street and Lincoln Ave is listed on both the State and National Register of Historic Places. The Mill is said to have ground grain for George Washington’s army on their way to Morristown. Legend has it that grain and blankets for the colonial soldiers were stored in the basement of 306 Lincoln Ave. This house is set up 100 yards from the mill and the river – contributing as a key part in the strategic location of the mill’s caregivers home.

Through the years starting in 1770 where the home was just 1 simple room with a fireplace for warmth and cooking the house started to see some changes and updates. After adding a second floor to the original home, the home was doubled again in 1840 by a 2-story gabled addition of a living room and a second bedroom upstairs. This home has gone through an amazing transformation, to really admire the beauty and to see what pieces of the original home are still in tack you have to see the Vreeland House for yourself.

Jump to 2011 when Cranford, NJ saw the worst storm in its history – Hurricane Irene, where more than 6,000 homes were left without electricity and 15% of Cranford homes suffered structural damage. 306 Lincoln Ave was the only house down the river that remained dry and kept the power on. There was not a drop of water in the basement, the place that once held food and warmth for all those soldiers traveling.

The current owner of the Vreeland House, Janet Adams Strong wrote a book which was published in 2015 to present the history of 306 Lincoln Ave and showcased its transformation. For more information on this home and where you can get a copy of Janet’s book, please reach out to our team at 973.936.9129 or email us at [email protected].

It is your turn to own a piece of New Jersey history and we can help you get it.






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