Ravine Drive – 14

The Old Hospital

14-ravine-soldierThis home was used as a hospital during the Revolutionary War.  It was the site of a bloody skirmish on May 23, 1779 between the Patriots and the Tories.  This was nearly a year following the attack on the Burrowes Mansion.

At that time, this was the home of Colonel Samuel Forman and his wife Helena Denise. The Formans and the Burrowes were business partners. The entire family were well-known supporters of the cause for independence. Samuel’s cousin was General David Forman; he was known as “Black David” by Loyalists.  Samuel and Helena’s three sons— Jonathan, Denise, and Samuel, Jr — were all officers in the Continental Army.

His daughter Eleanor married Philp Freneau, the “Poet of the Revolution.”  His other daughter Margaret married Major John Burrowes, Jr.

The wounded soldiers from this clash were carried to the Forman home.  As a result, the house became known as “The Old Hospital.”

14-ravine-freneauNot all events that occurred here were tragic. On a happier note, Samuel Forman’s daughter, Eleanor, married Philip Freneau in this house in 1790. Forman’s other daughter Margaret married John Burrowes. Jr.

Architectural Notes

Built c. 1750. This home demonstrates the typical center hall colonial style home. The front porch was added in the early 1900s. The hand-hewn beams are still present and show carved Roman numerals that were used to identify placement in the structure.


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Barry Orr


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