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Samuel Richards Mansion - Atsion (Shamong Twp.), NJ
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 44.508 W 074° 43.530
18S E 523519 N 4399136
Quick Description: Built in 1826 by Samuel Richards, then owner of the Atsion Village iron works, is a fine example of rural Greek Revival architecture. The mansion sits in the historic village of Atsion, off Route 206 in Shamong Township (Atsion).
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 12/21/2008 1:55:23 PM
Waymark Code: WM5D6V
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 4

Long Description:

"ATSION, 124.2 (50 alt., 150 pop.), named for Atsionk Indians, has a few worn buildings along the banks of the Mullica River. A dam at the highway forms Atsion Lake (R), the millpond of an early bog-iron works. Below its spillway are the ruins of the Atsion Furnace, built in 1776, and a large stone and stucco mill building that in turn manufactured iron, paper, and cotton. A large, deserted house of square design (L), with wide porticos and iron pillars embossed at the base with the furnace brand "A," is the Samuel Richards Mansion, home of an eighteenth-century iron master. The general store (L) close to the highway. A plain stuccoed building without an identifying signboard it resembles a small chapel with its small belfry and austere architectural lines, although a haymow door on the second floor does not conform to church design." --- New Jersey, a Guide to Its Present and Past, 1939; page 471-472

In 1766, Charles Read dammed the Atsion River to create the water and power source needed to run a succesfull bog iron producing company. The iron works here played a vital part in the American Revolution. By 1824, it was bankrupt and foreclosure proceedings shut it down. Samuel Richards bought the company and land, and reopened the furnace. The plant saw its highest production levels under Richards management.

In 1826, the mansion was built. As there wasn't any central heating, the Richards used this mansion as a summer house, and retired to their residence in Philadelphia when it got cold.

The entrance was centrally located, opening to a hallway. A large dining room flocked one side, and two parlors on the other side. The parlors could be opened to create one large room for dances. A small kitchen and serving room were ont he first floor as well, but the main kitchen was in the basement. An eight foot open hearth fireplace and a cool room for dairy and meat storage also were in the basement. Four bedrooms for the family were on the second floor, and four smaller bedrooms on the third floor for the house staff.

It is said that the Richards held lavish galas at the mansion.


Book: New Jersey

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 471-472

Year Originally Published: 1939

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