A Dutch - American Farmhouse
The site of the Bodine - Carkhuff House forms part of property acquired by Isaac Bodine in the early 1700s. Church records establish that Bodine, who was of French Huguenot descent, resided in the neighborhood by 1723, and he may have been the first to settle the farm. A 1766 map provides the earliest evidence of a house on the site. Upon Isaac's death in 1752, title passed to his eldest son Frederick, who died in 1770, bequeathing the property to his wife Annetie and three sons, Isaac, John and Gilbert.
In 1803, Gilberet Bodine sold his share of his grandfather's plantation to Gabriel Carkhuff, whose father Urbannes had emigrated from Germany in 1740. Gabriel's son Philip evidently occupied the farm, as Philip's name appears on an 1808 township tax role, (assessed for 189 acres of land, 2 horses, 4 cattle and a dog), and Gabriel died in 1820, willing Philip "the farm whereon he now dwells." Philip died twelve years later, and his estate inventory, totaling $2,074.94, indicates that he was a substantial, if not wealthy, farmer. The farm descended to Philip's son and grandson, finally passing from the family in 1891.
The property changed hands several more times during the 20th century. In 1974, it was purchased by PSE&G as part of expansion plans for the Branchburg Switching Station.
The Bodine-Carkhuff House exemplified the modest dwellings common throughout the Raritan Valley during the 18th and 19th centuries, a distinctive domestic architecture that blended Dutch and English building traditions. The frame, 1 and 1/2 story, gable-roofed dwelling consisted of a side-hall-plan main block and a smaller kitchen wing with a summer-kitchen appendage and featured a partial cellar, gable-end chimneys and lofty attics. While physical evidence indicates that the house was built circa 1800, it incorporated much recycled material, including timbers which tree growth-ring analysis indicates were harvested as early as 1737 and others exhibiting fire damage. The house must have replaced an earlier dwelling on the site.