THE HISTORY OF THE JEFFERSON MUSEUM - THE CHAMBERLAIN HOUSE 1870’S TO 1985
In the 1870s, Amos Chamberlain, a resident of Milton Village built a second house. His son, George, married Ruth Elizabeth Speaker in 1874 and moved into the new house on Dover-Milton Road. Two children, Raymond and Archie were raised in the house and attended school in the Milton Village. The family was in residence until the 1890’s. For many years afterwards, the house was home to various families who rented from the Chamberlain family.
In 1960 the Chamberlain house was purchased by the Friends of the Library. They began the task of refurbishing the building into a library. For the next nineteen years it functioned as the Violet Riker Library. When the new Jefferson Library was built, the township acquired the building and under the supervision of local resident, Emily Panek renovation began.
With a $15,000 grant and $27,000 raised from the township the renovation began in 1982. Much of the labor was donated. Walls were sandblasted and the chestnut floors were repaired. A large hole in the front door was repaired. The windows were all repaired by hand. The rear left liter broke and water came in through the back wall. After two years of work, the building became the Jefferson Township Museum and home to the Jefferson Township Historical Society. It remained as such with little interior or exterior change until 2005.
The George Chamberlain House, known as the Jefferson Township Museum is designed as an interpretation of life in the last quarter of the 1800s. Each room reflects how the Chamberlains, the original family might have lived during that period of time.
The George Chamberlain House, 315 Dover-Milton Road, was favorably received by the State Review Board for Historic Sites. It was entered into the New Jersey Register of Historic Places on September 3, 2009.
Additionally, the George Chamberlain House was favorably received and entered into the National Register of Historic Places on December 2, 2009. A dedication ceremony was held in May, 2009 during which a plaque was placed on the building noting these honors.
Hours of operation
The Museum is open to the public the first Sunday of each month from April to December 1pm - 4pm. Tours are conducted by certified costumed docents in authentic period attire. Additional information regarding the Museum please contact the Museum Director, email Tara.