SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Winds and fallen trees resulted in a downed electrical wire that caught fire on Raritan Road not far from the historic Frazee House in Scotch Plains on Tuesday afternoon.
Scotch Plains police and fire personnel were on hand, but the fire department was unable to douse the flames until PSE&G turned off the power on the wire.
There were no reported injuries at the scene.
The Frazee House is reported to have been constructed circa 1720-1740 by Gershom Frazee, husband of Elizabeth (Betty) Frazee. According to local legend Betty turned away British General Conwallis, who sought to plunder fresh baked bread from her oven. Gershom was a prolific and well-documented 18th century carpenter and joiner.
The Frazee House received official recognition on the National Register of Historic Places and the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. In 2000, it was placed on PreservationNJ.org's list of top ten endangered historic places in New Jersey.
In recent years, the Township of Scotch Plains, aided by the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary, has undertaken an effort to restore the historic home. In 2017, the Scotch Plains Township Council approved funding totaling $257,000 to help save the Frazee House. May 2018 brought the official start of the external restoration at the Frazee house. The scope of the renovation included the chimneys, external siding, windows, foundation and porches. The work was completed in Spring 2020.
Funding for the next phase of the restoration will be secured. This restoration phase will include the addition of public bathrooms (external to the house) and the renovation of the first floor. This will make the interior of the house accessible to the public.
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