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Stratton House, Swedesboro
1794


Located in Swedesboro, New Jersey, Stratton House (also known as Stratton Hall) was built in 1794 by its original owner Dr. James Stratton, M.D. Stratton was born August 20, 1755 in Fairfield, New Jersey to parents Benjamin and Sarah. After studying medicine with Dr. Benjamin Harris of Pittsgrove, New Jersey, he began his own practice in Clarksboro, New Jersey. Soon after the start of his practice, he left Clarksboro and served in the Revolutionary War. Upon returning from the war, Stratton settled in Swedesboro where he became the most prominent physician in the area and built Stratton Hall, where he resided until his death on March 29, 1812. According to his will, Stratton Hall was left to his wife Mary and after her death in 1847, the house descended to their children. The Stratton children sold the land and the house to their brother, Charles C. Stratton, for $3,500.(1)

Charles C. Stratton, a graduate of Rutgers College, a member of the State General Assembly, a Congressman from 1837-1839 and 1841-1843, and New Jersey Governor from 1845-1848, called Stratton Hall home until his death on March 30, 1859.(2) Subsequent deed holders were descendents of the Stratton’s until March 8, 1869, when the owners conveyed the house and land to James D. Gibbs.(3) Currently, Stratton Hall is owned by descendents of James D. Gibbs. The house can be found off the main road where Old King’s Highway once ran in Swedesboro, New Jersey.(4) (SP)

(1,3) The Library of Congress Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record website (see memory link below)

(2) Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website (see bioguide link below)

(4) GET NJ website: http://www.getnj.com/historicroadsides/gloucester.shtml




Stratton House, 1794, near Swedesboro (Gloucester County). Photograph courtesy Historic American Buildings Survey (see “memory” link, below).

Front door of the Stratton House, 1794, near Swedesboro (Gloucester County). Photograph courtesy Historic American Buildings Survey (see “memory” link, below).

Architectural drawings of Stratton House details. Photograph courtesy Historic American Buildings Survey (see second link below).

Stratton House is a brick Georgian center-hall plan house that exhibits characteristics of the Federal style of architecture which was commonly used in the United States between 1776 and c. 1830. This style incorporates many elements from other architectural styles including Palladianism, the work of Robert Adam, Freemasonic symbolism, Directoire style, Empire style, Neoclassicism, and especially Georgian architecture.(1)

Federal style is a more delicate and refined version of Georgian architecture; this is evident in this house’s thin doorway decoration “consisting of a round-arched window above the door set within an elegant wood frame.”(2) Stratton House not only has Federal doorway decoration, but also has Federal dormer windows. These windows are slender, arched, and decorated with molded wood trim. The interiors of Federal style buildings are light and delicate in keeping with the motifs found on the outside of the buildings and the Stratton House is no exception. “The lightness of Federal detailing is evident on stairways, plaster ceiling moldings, and fire place mantels. Builders decorated these interior features with slender columns and pilasters, carved ovals, and delicate garlands of leaves and flowers.”(3) See the Historic American Buildings Survey website for interior floor plans and drawings.(4) (SP)

(1) James Stevens Curl, A Dictionary of Architecture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999).

(2-3) Suzanne C. Hand, New Jersey Architecture (Trenton: New Jersey Historical Commission, Department of State, 1995).

(4) The Library of Congress Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record website (see memory link below).

Links:
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/hhhtml/hhhome.html
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/displayPhoto.pl?path=/pnp/habshaer/nj/nj0500/nj0531/sheet&topImages=00005a.gif&topLinks=00005r.tif,00005a.tif&title=&displayProfile=0
http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=S000993
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