Crane House and Historic YMCA
Successful businessman Israel Crane built this historic home in 1796 in the Federal style. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is one of the few mansions designed in this style remaining in northern New Jersey and is today owned and operated by the Montclair Historical Society. Israel Crane became the wealthiest person in the county through various investments and enterprises. These included owning a large quarry, building a turnpike (a toll road) into rural areas to facilitate trade, owning several textiles minerals, and founding an insurance company. The house is also notable for being the home of Montclair's only YMCA for African American women and girls. It was unique in that it was not affiliated with a "white" YMCA, which typically had to come first before one was established for African Americans. For several decades, the YMCA was a social and support center for female African Americans. Its founder was Alice H. Foster, the first African American woman to graduate from Montclair High School.
Backstory and Context
"Crane House and Historic YMCA." Montclair Historical Society. Accessed June 26, 2018. https://www.montclairhistory.org/crane-house-and-historic-ywca-new.
- Israel Crane House: Wikimedia Commons
- Israel Crane: Montclair Historical Society