Roxbury Historic Trust serves as curator of the 1826 King Canal Store
The Roxbury Historic Trust exists to preserve our local heritage and to educate the public about the history of the Township of Roxbury and its place in New Jersey and our nation. We have restored and preserved two National Register properties--the King Store Museum at 211 Main Street, Ledgewood, and the King Home Museum at 209 Main Street, Ledgewood. Both township-owned structures are currently leased to the Trust. The King Store was located just yards from the Morris Canal and prospered during the Canal's height of activity from 1831 to 1870 and continued to be the center of town activity for years after. This area was once known as Drakesville before the adoption of the name Ledgewood.
The King Canal Store and King Home Museum are now open for short tours on the second Sunday of each month from 1-4 pm. (closed January-March) Located on Main Street in the Ledgewood Historic Park, this is well worth a visit. Operated by Theodore F. King from 1874 through 1928, the Store was originally built circa 1826 and retains it's turn of the Century appearance. The Trust is also restoring the adjacent 1881 Victorian House built by the King family. A newly restored Parlor and two Exhibition rooms are open to the public. The adjacent historic Silas Riggs Saltbox House is owned and operated by the Roxbury Township Historical Society, and can be visited on the Second Sunday as well. These three buildings, situated together, provide us with a glimpse into the 18th,19th & 20th centuries.
|The King Canal Store is a unique, 2-1/2 story building constructed of stone circa 1825. At the ground floor its walls are 3 feet thick. Theodore King took over the building in 1873 from his father-in-law, Albert R. Riggs, and ran the General Store and Post Office very successfully. Mr. King died in 1928 and his daughter Louise closed the building, it's contents remaining just as they were, with a few occasional openings in the 1930's to help locals in the depths of the Depression.|
|In 1881 Theodore & Emma Louise King built a home next to the store, the house would have several additions with Italianate and Queen Ann influenced detailing. The Roxbury Rotary Club started renovation of the Home in 2000. Structural rehabilitation is now nearing completion and the Roxbury Historic Trust is concentrating on interior decoration and the presentation of educational exhibits.|
The Colonial Saltbox House, King Canal Store & King Homestead
Visitors to the King House Museum will be able to see a new exhibit in conjunction with New Jersey’s 350th anniversary. One of the themes for the anniversary celebration is innovation in New Jersey, and the new exhibit presents information about innovation and innovators in Roxbury Township. Featured is Roxbury’s No 1 ESS, the first reliable Electronic Switching System telephone exchange, which opened in June 1965, almost 50 years ago. A model of the central office and various artifacts from it are on display. Tours of the King House and King Store Museums will be available throughout the afternoon.
Come delve into three centuries of local history at the Museums at Drakesville in Ledgewood, NJ and see how the Morris Canal has shaped our landscape. Adjacent to the birthplace of the Morris Canal and Inclined Planes 2 and 3 East stand the impressive c.1826, two and a half story, stucco stone King Store and Post Office and neighboring c.1875 vernacular framed King House built by Theodore F. King, influential entrepreneur and landowner. These structures are focal buildings of the Drakesville Historic District together representing a microcosm of the development of New Jersey from the Lenape people through iron mining, farming, transportation, explosives and recreation onwards. The King Store features original stock items from the 1920’s. The King House has a lovely dining room mural painted by James William Marland in 1936.
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