Image 5 of 8
The Allen House Shrewsbury NJ
The Allen House property was first built on between 1670 and 1688 by Quaker Judah Allen. This original structure, however, is no longer standing, and its location is unknown. In the early 1700s, the property passed into the hands of New York City merchant Richard Stillwell, who built the main part of the still standing structure ca. 1740 to be his second home.In 1754, Josiah Halstead, a carpenter, and his first wife Zilpha, purchased the Stillwell property and began operating a tavern, which Halstead dubbed "The Blue Ball.From this point on, the Blue Ball rapidly changed hands, but continued operation as a tavern by various owners and tenants until 1814, when it was purchased by Dr. Edmund Allen and his business partner Jacob Corlies. Dr. Allen ran both his medical practice and a pharmacy on the ground floor of the building until his death in 1867. Dr. Allen's son Joseph then opened a dry-goods store in the building, which operated until 1916. Since then, the house has served several purposes, ranging from a private residence, to tea rooms and antique shops.In 1968, the Monmouth County Historical Association assumed ownership of the Allen House property, a gift of the last owner, Mrs. Henry H. Holmes. After several years of restoration, lasting into the early 1970s, the Allen House was opened to the public, offering a glimpse of the public side of colonial life during the second half of the eighteenth century.