house-hold cavalry

Crane House and Museum

The Crane House is a federal-style home located at 110 Orange Road in Montclair, New Jersey. The house has had a rich history and is currently renowned as a symbol of Northern New Jersey’s distinctive heritage. It is listed on several State and the Federal historic registries.

History and ownership of the Crane House (1796-date)

The Crane House was built by Israel Crane in 1796 on Old Road in Cranetown, which is currently the Township of Montclair, New Jersey. The house stayed in the Crane family until 1920, when it was purchased by the YWCA . The YWCA used the house for offices, dormitories and as a social center for African American women and girls for 45 years. In 1965, the house faced the prospect of demolition. Local residents, committed to its preservation, organized and the house was moved from Old Road to 110 Orange Road, its current address. The Crane House is one of the few remaining federal mansions in Northern New Jersey. It currently operates as the Crane House and Museum, which is open to the public. The Crane House and Museum is surrounded by four other buildings with historic significance including the Clark House, the Terhune library, the Crafts Building and the Historic Country Store .

Israel Crane and his commitment to commerce

Israel Crane (b. 1774) was a direct descendent of the Crane family, which founded Cranetown in 1694 []. Israel Crane was an enterprising businessman and was successful in several industries including cider, cotton and woolen production . Israel Crane is known for his vision regarding commerce and industry. In 1801, he and a partner leased a site in Paterson, New Jersey for one for one of the first mills to use the power of the Passaic River. [note] In 1806, Israel Crane organized a group to build a direct route from Newark, New Jersey, a port city, to the outlying areas, including his hometown, Cranetown. Later, he became the sole owner of this industrial toll road known as the Newark-Pompton Turnpike. Today, Bloomfield Avenue, which runs West from Newark through the Township of Montclair into Verona, New Jersey, is part of the original Newark-Pompton Turnpike .

Historical listings

  • Historic American Buildings Survey (1935)
  • New Jersey Historic Sites Evaluation (1961)
  • New Jersey Register of Historic Places (1972)
  • National Register of Historic Places (1973)

Visiting the Crane House and Museum

The Crane House and Museum is open to the public for guided tours most Sundays from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Other groups, including schools, can visit the Crane House and Museum weekdays and make use of the exhibition center and meeting space.

Exhibits at the Crane House and Museum

The Crane is house has ten rooms and each contain 18th and 19th century furniture, paintings and decorative arts, including rugs, quilts, ceramics, glassware, silverware, toys, dolls and house hold items. The special items on display include a painted bedroom set own by Paul Revere IV (1816), a harp made by Sebastian Erard (1827), and a William and Mary highboy (1740). The Crane House Museum also provides live demonstrations of 18th and 19th century crafts, including blacksmithing and quilting.


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