BELLMAWR, N.J. (CBS) — Dedicated in 1764 above the Little Timber Creek in Bellmawr, the now former Hugg Harrison Glover house had a coveted location.
But 253 years later that same location served as its demise.
In the way of the massive I-295 interchange realignment project, it was torn down to make room for a sound barrier.
“They need to be held accountable for their actions,” said Chris Perks, president of the Camden County Historical Society.
Now, preservationists who were blindsided by the demolition were hit again while on their way to pick up some artifacts salvaged from the rubble.
“Just before that transpired in the morning, we get a call from the Department of Transportation that one of our elected officials got a call and said well we’re not going to give the doors to you,” Perks said.
The Department of Transportation backed out due to “pending litigation”.
“To the best of our knowledge there is no lawsuit, our lawsuits were denied from the courts in Camden,” said Perks.
But the original question still remains, did the DOT have cause to level the home?
According to the Camden County Historical Society—no–as the home was once owned by Militia Captain William Harrison Jr. and played a significant role in the American Revolution.
But an extensive historical survey outlined by the DOT in 2006 found no evidence that the heroic militia captain owned the home prior to the early 1800s.
The society still hopes the artifacts can be turned over to them and is looking into building a replica of the historic home.
“Something has got to be done for the people of Bellmawr to memorialize their historic site that the DOT callously destroyed and someone has got to pay for that–and we’re nominating the DOT,” said Perks.
On top of a possible replica the historical society is also exploring ways to protect other historical South Jersey homes from meeting a sudden, and similar fate.