Millville Historical Society Celebrates its Own 90 Years of HistoryLast Edited:
The Baracha Dunn House celebrates its 220th birthday next year. Photo courtesy of Millville Historical Society.
For 90 years, the Millville Historical Society has been a vital community resource preserving the history of the City of Millville in southern New Jersey. Since its first meeting in the parlor of Katherine L. Miller, the Society has been entrusted with the care of four of Millville’s most historic structures: the ca. 1781 Union House, the 1798 Baracha Dunn House, the 1814 Wood Mansion House, and the 1857 Millville Bank. Incorporated in 1927, the Society’s collection has grown and created opportunities for individuals to explore and reflect on their own place in history.
Recent milestones have included restoring and furnishing the twenty-room Mansion House in order to create a museum emphasizing Millville’s industrial past. The Society was gifted the 1814 Mansion by Wawa, Incorporated and the Wood family. The Mansion was built for David Cooper Wood (1781-1859), the first in a dynasty of Wood family members whose industrial pursuits shaped the 19th century economy of Millville. The Wood family established an iron furnace and foundry, cotton mill, window “lite” factory, grist and sawmills, bleach and dye works, and a gasworks. The Society was instrumental in having the Mansion placed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.
The 1814 Wood Mansion House was recently restored and furnished. Photo courtesy of Millville Historical Society.
Preparations are underway for next year’s celebration of the 220th birthday of the Baracha Dunn House, the oldest standing house in downtown Millville. Baracha Dunn (1775-1858) came to the village of Millville at age 22. He purchased land from his former militia commander, Joseph Buck. Dunn had served under Millville’s founder in the Cumberland County Militia in 1793. Dunn later moved to Ohio where he founded the town of Lockland. In addition to being a residence, the Dunn House was once used as a seafood restaurant (oyster house), a candy store (confectionery), a grocery store, and finally a barber shop. Originally scheduled for demolition, the City of Millville sold the building to the Millville Historical Society in 1992. Restoration of the Dunn House was completed by volunteers. The Dunn House is now listed on the Register of Historic Structures and Sites in Cumberland County.
The Millville Historical Society’s Headquarters and Archives Repository is located at 200 East Main St. and is open from 1 until 4 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. The Union House, Dunn House, and Mansion House are open on special occasions. Tours are available by appointment. Contact the Millville Historical Society at 856-293-1078.
The Millville Historical Society is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization. It is run entirely by a small group of volunteers who are managed by a board. If you have an interest in becoming a volunteer, please telephone 856-293-1078 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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