Revell House – The Oldest Building in Burlington County
The one-room Revell House was built near the waterfront in 1685 by George Hutchinson, a Quaker distiller. Hutchinson sold the house to Thomas Revell, who had arrived in December of 1678 aboard the ship Shield. Revell was active in West Jersey politics, serving as Surveyor General, Registrar of the Proprietors of West Jersey and Clerk of the Provincial Assembly. From 1696 to 1699, the house served as Revell’s office.
In the late 1700’s, a second floor was added consisting of a small hall and two rooms. Later, the house was home to the now-defunct Stockton chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1950, Henry “Doc” Bisbee, a much-loved local historian, joined with several other residents to form the Colonial Burlington Foundation and purchase the house. When the City wanted to widen Pearl Boulevard in 1966, Bisbee and his wife donated a site at 213 Wood Street, and the house was moved to its current location.
Bisbee and the Foundation organized the annual Wood Street Fair to raise funds for restoration and preservation of the house, and Bisbee, also an author, promoted the fair in his local historical newsletter, The Burlington Story. Tradition holds that this was the home where an elderly woman gave Benjamin Franklin gingerbread as he traveled to Philadelphia in 1723, and the nickname “gingerbread house” has been applied to the house for many years. Current maintenance of the house is funded by the sale of home-baked gingerbread at each year’s Wood Street Fair, held each year the weekend after Labor Day.
Currently we have the following projects for the Revell House:
- Upper Floor window rebuild: Newly construct upper floor windows from historically accurate materials (wood sashes, antique glass and glazing).
- Garden Augmentation/Reconstruction: Rearrange and replant rear garden with historically indigenous plants, make house and garden more approachable.
- Roof/Chimney Repairs: Rebuild wooden roof and chimney flashing to stop water infiltration.
WOOD STREET FAIR • Saturday, Sept. 9th, 2023 • 9am – 4pm