The Save the Hugg Harrison House Committee invites the public to attend a special program about Bellmawr’s Revolutionary War house on Thursday, October 6 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Anthony P. Infanti Bellmawr Branch Library Community Room, 35 E Browning Rd, Bellmawr, N.J.
Special Presentation from the Camden County Historical Society
Camden County Historical Society librarian Bonny Beth Elwell will give a presentation on the house’s historical significance and current efforts to save it from demolition. The free event is open to the public.
The Hugg-Harrison House, Bellmawr’s oldest building, was built around 1720, with an addition dated 1764. The house is located in the New Saint Mary’s Cemetery on Browning Road. It was the home of William Harrison Jr., an officer in the Gloucester County Militia, and overlooked a 1777 Revolutionary War skirmish involving the Marquis de Lafayette, Harrison, and the Gloucester militia against Hessian and British troops.
State authorities mistakenly characterized the house as unworthy of historic preservation when the NJ DOT developed plans for a redesigned interchange for routes 676, 42, and 295, including the current plan to demolish the house in November, 2016.
The Camden County Historical Society, Congressman Donald Norcross, the Camden County Freeholders, and many state and local officials, including Bellmawr and Gloucester City, have asked the N.J. Department of Transportation to move the house to another site to be used as the Revolutionary War History Center in Bellmawr.
Online sites for petition signatures and contributions to save the house include:
Congressman Donald Norcross has written a letter to the Federal Highway Administration in support of saving the Hugg-Harrison House.
While supporting and acknowledging the importance of the Direct Connection infrastructure project, Congressman Norcross asked in his September 28 letter that the Federal Highway Administration review and consider the recent findings of the Camden County Historical Society to relocate and preserve this piece of local history.
Congressman Norcross also requested a meeting with the Federal Highway Administration in order to review the proposal and also to determine how to work collaboratively in order “to save this venerable structure.”