Main Street – 205

The Lydia Arrowsmith House

205-main-mapThe 1851 map shows the Daniel B. Strong (1810-1886) tailor shop at this house. He expanded to cloth manufacturing and selling sewing machines “on time”.  He would get fabric and distribute it to local tailors and then box it up and sell it in New York. In 1886, he was the first elected Postmaster in Matawan.

This house was later owned by Lydia Arrowsmith, who died in 1874.  In 1876, Simon Arrowsmith took possession and sold the property to Dr. Andrew J. Jackson (1842–1914). The house shows evidence of a variety of decorative wood trim; this was available from local mills such as Phoenix Mills.

Dr. George G. Reynolds started his career as a physician at the late Dr. Jackson’s residence. He later established a practice in Freehold.

205-main-reynolds205-main-weddingDr. Carl A. Gesswein and his wife, Bessie, moved to Matawan in 1916. His WWI draft card shows this address. Eventually in the 1930s they remodeled the doctor’s office located in the rear of their home. According to the census, his sister Laura and niece Lillian Kenny lived here; his niece worked in his office as an assistant. He was the school physician with the Matawan Township Board of Education. He died in March 1956.


Architectural Notes

Built c. 1850. Italianate architecture.  The arched windows and doors, scroll brackets, and trim are characteristic of both Italianate and Victorian Gothic.



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Barry Orr


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