Abandoned White Hill Mansion

Abandoned White Hill Mansion

Photography Workshops in an Abandoned Piece of New Jersey History

Abandoned places are always fascinating. For history buffs, learning their unique story is exciting. For photographers, creating art from abandonment is a challenge. As someone who is both a photographer and history buff, it is a way to complete the puzzle of American history on a more intimate scale while recording a building’s heritage through artistic photography.

White Hill Mansion in Fieldsboro, NJ was built along the Delaware River in the 1720’s by Robert Field. The home got caught up in the American Revolutionary War when the British suspected it as a den of spies. During the war, it was also occupied by Hessian mercenaries fighting for the British until the American army drove them out of the area.

In the 19th century, the mansion became home to several prominent families including a potter who built a kiln in the basement and a US Senator. Most of them made their mark on the White Hill Mansion by expanding and updating it. In the late 19th the home fell into obscurity until the 1920’s when it was revived and started a new, more twisted chapter in its history.

The 1920’s were the era of Prohibition in the US. During this time an upscale restaurant opened at the mansion. Well, it was a restaurant on the first floor. The basement featured a speakeasy bar and the second floor hosted private dining rooms with access to the third floor brothel. Over the years, the restaurant changed hands several times and became just a restaurant in the quiet town of Fieldsboro, New Jersey on the Delaware River.

In the 1990’s, the building was slated to start another chapter by becoming the home office of a local corporation. When the planned renovation became a demolition plan, the town of Fieldsboro stepped in and purchased it. Currently dedicated volunteers are working hard to keep it preserved.

 

White Hill Mansion Main Stairway by Richard Lewis 2017

 

White Hill Mansion 2nd Floor by Richard Lewis 2017

 

White Hill Mansion Parlor by Richard Lewis 2017

 

White Hill Mansion Living Room by Richard Lewis 2017

 

White Hill Mansion Bedroom 1 by Richard Lewis 2017

 

White Hill Mansion Bedroom 2 by Richard Lewis 2017

 

Chair By Windows by Richard Lewis 2017

 

White Hill Mansion Hallway by Richard Lewis 2017

 

White Hill Mansion Attic Room by Richard Lewis 2017

 

White Hill Mansion Attic by Richard Lewis 2017

 

White Hill Mansion Exterior Window And Door by Richard Lewis 2017

 

White Hill Mansion can never be a pristinely restored historic site as its years of history and modifications would make that difficult. Instead, it is being stabilized and its abandonment is being capitalized on with ghost and similar types of tours.

For the longest time I’ve been asked to offer photography workshops in abandoned places. Now it is happening–thanks to a partnership with the Friends of White Hill Mansion. These exclusively photographic workshops will open the entire mansion for photographers to explore the history in its cracked walls and peeling paint. It will also be a learning experience for photographers who want to improve their skills using this amazing building as a backdrop to do so. Half of the proceeds of these workshops will help preserve this unique piece of New Jersey history.

Learn more about these workshops

Enjoy!

 

2017-10-18T10:10:59+00:00October 18th, 2017|12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Bruce Drazen October 18, 2017 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Really enjoyed your historical rendition of this mansion; story & photos. Thanks Rich!

    • Rich Lewis October 18, 2017 at 8:56 pm - Reply

      Thanks Bruce. I’m glad you enjoyed this post. It is a very fascinating place.

  2. Laura (PA Pict) October 18, 2017 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    That’s fantastic, Rich. What a great place for you to use as a setting for workshops. I know your students will learn a great deal from you.

    • Rich Lewis October 18, 2017 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      Thank you Laura. I have been asked about doing something like this for along time so it’s nice to find a place that will work.

  3. Dante Fratto October 18, 2017 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Nice job Rich. You find some really good locations.

    • Rich Lewis October 19, 2017 at 8:54 am - Reply

      Thanks Dante I appreciate it. This location is particularly special to me because holding workshops here not only will introduce photographers to the place, but also help raise needed funds to keep the mansion standing.

  4. Green Global Trek October 19, 2017 at 6:45 am - Reply

    The last photo is my favorite! I really like the chairs as well.

    Too bad it cannot be lovingly restored to it’s former glory. Your photos definitely impart the feeling of the beauty that was once there. Beautiful.

    Peta

    • Rich Lewis October 19, 2017 at 8:57 am - Reply

      Thanks Peta. I kind of like the exterior textures of this photograph too. It is sad that the building will not be restored but hopefully the funds we raise through workshops along with the work of a group of dedicated volunteers, this will change.

  5. Ralph Berglund October 19, 2017 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Nice piece of work, Rich, and a benefit to the ideas of remembering the past. There’s so much history in Burlington County; it’s a good thing to have it preserved. Do you know of the West Jersey Proprietors building on West Broad just down from the Riverline Station? Until a few years ago the original Concessions and Agreements signed by Penn was kept there. Those documents are now with the state archives office.

    • Rich Lewis October 19, 2017 at 1:46 pm - Reply

      Thanks Ralph. I appreciate the compliment. Preserving our history is very important. This is such a historic area too. I know the West Jersey Proprietors and the building and the treasures that were inside it. An old friend from Rotary was involved with this group before he passed away.

  6. denisebushphoto October 23, 2017 at 11:28 am - Reply

    What a wonderful history and place! I’m so glad it has been stabilized and preserved. Your photos are wonderful as always. Good luck with your workshops. If I still lived in NJ I’d sign up in a minute.

    • Rich Lewis October 24, 2017 at 9:05 am - Reply

      Thanks Denise. It would be great if you were able to turn your skills at finding the beauty and depth in places like this on White Hill Mansion.

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