The Mural Paintings at the King Homestead
and their creator, James Marland


Does the name James W. Marland mean anything to you? Do you know of anyone who has a 1909 to 1972 mural or other painting by this artist in their home or in any public building?

The Roxbury Historic Trust, Inc, Curator King Store and King Homestead Museums, is seeking more information about James W. Marland, who painted the four wall, oil on canvas dining room mural depicting a pastoral North England scene in the King Homestead. The Store and Homestead, both on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, offer and important picture of life in Roxbury Township in the 19th and 20th centuries and of Theodore King, a businessman, entrepreneur, and statesman.

After years of speculating about him we have finally gotten a good start with the help of staff from the Morris County libraries and research by Thea Dunkle, Mt Olive Township historian. We know that he was born on November 18, 1888, to Caleb and Elizabeth Marland in Preston, England. We have obtained a 1919 ship's passenger manifest in which he is listed as arriving in the US with Morristown as his destination. We learned from the second page of the original manifest that he was previously in the US for seven years prior to April, 1916. His occupation was listed as artist. He lived in Morristown through 1933 and was listed in the town directory as a painter. He also owned a home and property in Budd Lake, Mt Olive. We know that he both decorated and painted houses. His physical appearance in 1919 was described as 5 feet, 8 inches tall, gray eyes, fresh complexion, and a scar on his neck. He registed for the US draft in 1942 from Morris County; and we have requested and are awaiting registration data from the National Archives in St. Louis. We do not know his religious affiliation. He left a will on April 27th, 1972, with John Rhinesmith of 5 High Street, Kenvil, NJ named as executor. He returned to Preston, England, where he died on December 22, 1972. 

We are hoping to learn more about him; and especially to know if more of his work exists in our area.

If you have any knowledge of him, would like to see the mural or have more information, call 973-927-7603 (or 973-584-2676); email us at; or plan a visit to the King Homestead Museum, 209 Main Street, Ledgewood (second Sunday of every month:1-4PM or by appointment).

Join the search!

To contact the Proprietor of this site, send your postal to:   Editor @