Greenfield Hall - Historical Society of Haddonfield
Built in 1841 by the Gill family, Greenfield Hall is a rare example of a Classical Revival home that is open to the public in South Jersey. Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh, the founder of Haddonfield, gave the property to her cousin John Gill in 1726, and the Gill family lived here for more than 200 years. The property saw action during the Revolutionary War when more than 1,200 Hessian troops camped on the surrounding fields on October 21, 1777 during their failed effort to take Fort Mercer at Red Bank. The house now serves as the headquarters of the Historical Society of Haddonfield and displays furniture, pottery, tools, and other museum objects from the Society’s collection.
Backstory and Context
Located on one of the main streets in one of South Jersey’s oldest communities, Greenfield Hall is an impressively unaltered example of nineteenth-century architecture. Built to mimic an earlier Georgian home in nearby Moorestown, NJ, Greenfield Hall is a rare example of a Classical Revival home that is open to the public in South Jersey. It is also part of the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area for an encampment that happened on the property.
The property was owned by the Gill family for more than 200 years. The woman celebrated as the founder of Haddonfield -- Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh (1680-1762) -- gave 87 acres of land fronting the north side of Kings Highway to her first cousin John Gill (1686-1749) in 1726. Gill had arrived from England by 1708 to assist Elizabeth in her business dealings here, and worked closely with Elizabeth and her husband John Estaugh for decades to come. The first Gill home on the property was a small cabin located toward the rear of the property. John Gill II (1721-1796) built the next house on the property in 1747. No descriptions or images of the 1747 house are known, though two rooms from this earlier structure remain as an extension on the current building.
The property also saw action during the Revolutionary War. On October 21, 1777, more than 1,200 Hessian troops camped on the fields of the Gill house and surrounding property during their failed effort to take Fort Mercer at Red Bank.
The current Greenfield Hall dates to John Gill IV (1795-1884), who replaced much of the family home in 1841 with a large brick mansion as a wedding present for his bride, Elizabeth French of nearby Moorestown. For unknown reasons, he left two rooms of the previous, circa-1747 home as an extension on the east side. Because Gill aimed to mimic his bride’s family home in Moorestown, the exterior of this 1841 structure is reminiscent of earlier Georgian design with Greek Revival and Italianate influences.
Thanks to a succession of sensitive and caring owners, Greenfield Hall is very much unchanged from its original 1841 appearance. It now serves as the headquarters of the Historical Society of Haddonfield. Hundreds of items from the Historical Society’s collections are on display, including furniture, samplers, pottery, tools, and more. The Historical Society also has a rich archival collection available in a building next door. The archives center is open for research Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9:30-11:30 am or by appointment.
Monshaw, Harriet Gotchel. Elizabeth French Gill 1794-1854: First Mistress of Greenfield Hall. Haddonfield, NJ. Historical Society of Haddonfield, 1998.
Rauschenberger, Douglas B.. Tassini, Katherine Mansfield. Lost Haddonfield. Haddonfield, NJ. Historical Society of Haddonfield, 1989.
Historical Society of Haddonfield
Historical Society of Haddonfield