Hetfield House

Deacon Andrew Hetfield House!

The Deacon Andrew Hetfield House is yet another old house in Union County, built around 1760 (by— SHOCKER— Deacon Andrew Hetfield, who— SHOCKER— was a Presbyterian deacon in Westfield, NJ).

They’ve moved it twice: once to shift it 50 feet back from Route 22, when they were widening the road, and a second relocation in 1985 to save it from bulldozing.

They took pictures the second time.

Moving the Hetfield House, 1985

Moving the Hetfield House down Route 22, 1985

Moving the Hetfield House around the pedestrian bridge, 1985

They had to shut down (part of) Route 22! And you can see in that last picture— because the house couldn’t fit underneath the pedestrian bridge, they had to carefully circumnavigate it through the mud. ADVENTURE TIME!

Reportedly, the house suffered minimal structural damage from the move… specifically, one windowpane was lost. Whoops.

ANYWAYS. The Hetfield House (also known as the “Dutch Oven House,” a name acquired during its stint as an antique store during the 1930s-1980s) has been expanded over the years; by 1830, the simple colonial farmhouse had been transformed “into a center-hall Georgian residence,” which I assume means the owners tried to impose some sort of design on the house after the fact. (I’ve been told that a lot of these old farmhouses were built without any blueprints, and consequently, those farmhouse layouts are often illogical for living.)

It’s been on the National Register of Historic Places and the New Jersey Register of Historic Places since 1989!

Deacon Hetfield House has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior, circa 1763

That’s all I got.



McNamara, C. (2010). A History of Mountainside, 1945-2007: It Was Only Yesterday. The History Press: Charleston, SC. ISBN 1596298014.

New Jersey Historical Commission. (2011). Four Centuries in a Weekend. “10. Mountainside: Deacon Andrew Hetfield House, Constitution Plaza.” [pamphlet.] http://ucnj.org/parkeventssite/files/2011%20Four%20Centuries%20Online%20version.pdf.


2 Comments to “Hetfield House”

  1. What a nice looking old house and a strange tale too! Oddly I live less than 3 miles from an old church that also has been moved twice, once 100 years back 225 miles from Essex to Yorkshire and again 3 years back, just a few yards. Paul at Leeds in Yorkshire daily photography

    • It’s weird. This house-moving thing is way more common than I would’ve suspected; it seems like every third historical site I research has some history of being schlepped from Point A to Point B a few times. It’s gotten to be old hat, y’know? Another house moved from its foundations, ho-hum.

      Of course, it’s still a little mind-boggling if you stop to think about it. Glad you have your own “moved” church to enjoy. 🙂

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