Sunday, December 9, the Chatham Historical Society awarded Karen and Paul Franklin of 27 North Hillside Avenue the Historical Home Plaque. This distinguished award is presented by the Chatham Historical Society to home owners who research their homes which are at least 100 years old.

With the Society’s guidance, Mr. and Mrs. Franklin used Adopt-A-House material to research the history of the land, the builder and the previous owners of their home.

In 1909, the Mayor of Chatham approved the petition for North Hillside Avenue to become a public road. At this time, there was considerable growth in the Borough while it was changing from a farming community to a suburban town.

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George Carley, a local builder who lived on Hedges Avenue, bought several lots on Hillside Avenue. He constructed the Franklin’s home in 1912.

With broad horizontal lines, asymmetrical design, overhanging eaves and wrap around porch, the home is a fine example of the American Four Square design. Inside the charm of a bygone era is reflected in a simple floor plan with rooms featuring high ceilings, gorgeous moldings and hardwood floors.

 Although short lived, this popular style of architecture afforded a roomy home on a small lot. Perfectly suited for Chatham’s growing middle class.

In 2002, the Franklin’s added an architecturally sensitive addition and renovated the existing home. They painstakingly restored windows and moldings preserving the original architecture while bringing the home into the 21st century.

In 2010, the Chatham Historical Society launched the Dani McCulloch Historical Plaque program to commemorate homes over a hundred years old and promote the Adopt-a-House program hoping to encourage research of local homes. Through these initiatives, the Society aims to share with the community the rich history of Chatham Borough.

The Chatham Historical Society continues to recognize Chatham’s significant architectural history and invites anyone who would like to research the history of a home to join the Adopt-a-House Program. To participate, we offer interested residents an Adopt-a-House packet to be completed with the required research.

All who have participated have found the experience rewarding and fun!  Visit www.chathamnjhistoricalsociety.orgor contact Helen Ann Rosenfeld at for more information.