Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty finds himself moved by the story of The Taggart House in Oldwick, New Jersey.
Close proximity to a pretty village can be wonderful for a house. Sadly, close proximity to other villagers – nice as they may be – can sometimes be a drawback. In that event one answer is to move the house to somewhere less public. Which is what happened to The Taggart House in Oldwick, New Jersey, about 52 miles from Manhattan.
In 1938 the house was picked up, tethered to a windlass – powered by a horse – and, using logs as rollers, dragged a quarter of a mile up an incline to a better location. There it was rotated 180 degrees – the then owner wanted the back of the house at the front – and settled down in its new, more satisfactory site.
The $100,000 that this project cost then seems well worth it as the house now provides magnificent views to the front and rear that it didn’t have before – and is without the close neighbours that it did have before – an excellent trade-off.
As for the house with its delightful formal garden – it is a treasure. Built in 1817 towards the end of the Federal era it has all the style and grandeur of that period. Improvements and modernisation have been carried out gradually over the years and with great sympathy, letting the house evolve as all good houses should. Nothing here jars. Everything seems in effortless good taste. To visit today is to be reminded of the past but given the comfort and convenience of the present.
All the alterations made to the house over the years – including its move – have been very beneficial. Today this is a charming, impressive and stylish home. Now it needs charming, impressive and stylish incoming owners – like the outgoing ones.