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Henry LANDIS House built in 1750

Ringoes, Amwell Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey

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My sixth great-grandfather Heinrich Hirt LANDIS built a stone house around 1750 near Ringoes, East Amwell Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Still standing as a residence it has a historic sign in front. It is at 1064 Old York Road, Ringo's Tavern is at 1084, now State Route 179. The town of Ringoes is on John Ringo Road the town and tavern founder, now County Road 579, about 15 miles northwest of Trenton, New Jersey and 12 miles west of Princeton University.

Most of these images of the Landis House were supplied in 2005 by Kat a Find-A-Grave Contributor of Monmouth, New Jersey. Nadine Holder has black and white photos on her web site. Google Street Level View shows their photo of the house and surrounding neighborhood.

Landis House sign

A new historic marker replaces the older 2005 which formerly stated:

"LANDIS HOUSE Built about 1750 by Henry Landis, local saddler. Lafayette, stayed here while being treated by Dr. Gershom Craven."
Lafayette was at the famous winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. A 1910 postcard says this was Lafayette's headquarters.

The 1950 Report of the Thirty-First Reunion of the Landis Family stated that Henry's land "lay across the King's Highway, now called "York Road" (or U.S. Route 202) in the present village of Ringoes. Landis added to the original holding from time to time until he became possessed of at least three hundred acres. Besides farming he established the business of saddle making, employing several hands, and such was his reputation that customers came to him from as far away as Long Island, N.Y., Lancaster, Penn., and Wilmington, Delaware. In 1750 Henry Landis built on his farm a story and half, stone house with gambrel roof, which stands today on the east side of the road. It is not recognizable now, however, as the recent owner "modernized" it by removing the wing that extended from the north end, altering the windows and covering the outer wall with stucco. It is said that the Sunday meetings of the Brethren were held this house." Photos of the Ringoes Tavern sign and a similar Landis House sign are on Revolutionary War Sites in Ringoes, New Jersey.

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Landis House
Side of Landis House

Quoting from The Brethren Encyclopedia (1984), page 722:

"Heinrich Hirt Landes, 1716-1809, member of the Brethren in colonial America. Heinrich Landes was the son of Johann Heinrich and Elizabeth Hirt Landes, among the first Brethren baptized in (1723) America. After learning the saddler's trade in Germantown, Pa, in 1737 he married Elizabeth Naas (1717-53), daughter of Johannes and Margaret Naas. They settled in Ringoes, NJ, where his well-known saddlery attracted customers from as far away as New York. In 1750 he built a house, still standing (1981), which was used for church services; it was noted in the annals of the Revolutionary War. Heinrich and Elizabeth Landes had ten children; following Elizabeth's death, Heinrich married Catherine Graff (b. 1734), to whom fourteen children were born. Landes was known as a 'just and good man and much loved by his neighbors.'" Donald F. Durnbaugh "Colonial America" (1967) 55, 210; J. P. Snell, "History of Hunterdon and Somerset Cos." (1881) 352, 355; G. S. Mott, "The First Century of Hunterdon Co," New Jersey Historical Society Proceedings, 2nd series 5 (1877-79) 73-74; J. W. Lequear, "Traditions of Hunterdon" (1957) 15; C. W. Larison, "Old Landis House," Flemington News )17 Aug 1905); H. G. Schmidt, "Rural Hunterdon" (1946) 229, 239.

Quoting from The Brethren Encyclopedia (1984), page 723:

"The story-and-a-half stone house with a gambrel roof built by Heinrich Landes at Ringoes, NJ, about 1750 has become a registered national historic landmark. It is said to have been used by George Washington as a temporary headquarters following the battle of Monmouth (1778). The French military figure Marquis de Lafayette was also a visitor. He once fell ill and spent several days in the house recuperating, attended by a physician named Gershom Graves. The house was also used as a prison for English soldiers. The original hasps and locks are still to be seen in the basement stonework. According to a local historian, Landes was much respected by his neighbors. 'Though religiously opposed to wars and fightings, and consequently taking no part in the Revolution, he was a favorite of (George) Washington, who, when in the neighborhood, would stop at this house; and when but taking observations, would walk up to him and pat him familiarly on the back, and call him a good fellow, or something of that sort.'" DFD J. W. Lequear, Traditions of Hunterdon, (1957), page 15.
Contrary to the first sentence above, I don't find the Landis House on the National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmarks Program so if you know what list it is on, please Email me. The physician as shown on the historic sign, and an email from a 5th great-grandnephew, was Gershom Craven, not Graves.

Landis House openings above window

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This photo shows what looks like 2 rows of openings above the windows. Perhaps for either wooden porch rafters or rifle port holes to repel both Indians and British Soldiers?

Shown below is the 1910 postcard of the Landis House from both Katherine Schaefer, a descendant of Henry Landis, and former resident Michael Burdge.

  • Also seen on page 13 of the East Amwell Township, New Jersey municipal assessment web page.
  • Formerly listed on page 4 of the Rolling Hills Girl Scout "Walking In George Washington's Foot Steps" Tour below Ringo's Tavern, which was also mentioned in George Washington's papers. They state: "The tavern of John Ringo was a busy place in colonial times. It was a natural stopping place on the road between Philadelphia and New York and about 4 miles from Coryell’s Ferry. As early as 1766, the tavern was a meeting place for the Son's Of Liberty, a secret faction who wanted to rid the colonies of the British. The house is a private residence now and has a historical marker in the front."

Henry LANDIS' arrival in 1737 to Ringoes the most important village in the whole Amwell Valley for several years where Henry built his 1750 stone house on Old York Road the main road between Philadelphia and New York is discussed on page 17 below in the 1878 book "The First Century of Hunterdon County State of New Jersey" by George S. Mott on Archive.org.

 

1900-1910 postcard

Al Calderone, not related of Italian descent, a former resident of the Landis House in an email stated:

"It has gorgeous old growth pumkin pine flooring, hand hewn beams and yes, the shakle holder holes for the prisoners in the walls of the basement were still visible when I lived there for a brief time during 1985-86. It was a wonderful experience and I will never forget the wonderful memories of living there." and " I did have the honor of living in that grand house for about a year in 1985-86. It was a lovely experience. The house was charming with its original pumpkin pine flooring and hand hewn exposed bearm timbers. we used the hearth quite regularly which just added to the charm. The basement looked like a dungeon and although the shakles and chains had been long removed you could see where the holes were. The grounds were open and some old trees stll remained although none from the original period."

The Lawshe's were also members of the Amwell Brethren Church. A descendant ended up in Somerset, Wabash County, Indiana with my Albaugh, Eikenberry, Follis, Kingery, and Landis families.

Other Follis Families with connections to well know American icons are on my Six Degrees of Separation page.

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