Days of Yore
.
as recounted by

Bill Day

 


Jacob Clement residence
There are many beautiful homes to be seen on the streets of Haddonfield.  They are surrounded by spacious lawns and artistically place shrubs and flowers.  One of these residences is unsurpassed in its elegance, but to add to its allure is the history that surrounds it.

It dates back to before the Revolution and the grounds surrounding the house have the bushes still flourishing that were planted soon after the war for our independence.  This is the residence at 264 east Kings highway.  It is now occupied by Mr and Mrs David S. Lenhart.  Mrs Lenhart, Betty, is the fourth great-granddaughter of Jacob Clement.

The south wing of the house was built in 1743 and is still standing.  The front of the residence was moved to Potter street across from the old pottery building which is now 50 Potter street.  Judge John Clement, great-grandson of Jacob Clement, then built a larger addition, the north wing, in 1852.  Throughout the house are wide pine floorboards, 12 ceilings, spacious windows and doors.

The garden at the rear of the house is 380' by 85', and sitting there under the immense cherry tree that stands alongside the old barn, one can only dimly hear the traffic passing out on east Kings highway.  Everything is so muted right there in the heart of Haddonfield.

It is easy to be transported back two hundred years with no difficulty.  Look down the driveway to the giant sycamore tree that was mature when the British Army passed by on the Main street during the Revolution.  There is the 200-foot-long English box hedge standing that dates back a century and a half.

Betty's fourth grandfather, Jacob Clement, operated a tannery there in the yard in 1743 which was in continuous operation until 1812.  The old brick bats are still there but they are fully covered over by sod, but the beautiful green lawn shows the indentations where the centers of the vats are.

There are other fine old houses in Haddonfield, but none surpass the old Clement landmark which has remained in the possession of the descendents of the original owner for 235 years.


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