Abel and Mary Nicholson House

Jct. of Hancocks Br. and Ft. Elfsborg Rd., Elfinsboro Township, Salem, New Jersey


Nicholson (Abel) House

1. Historic American Buildings Survey Nathaniel R. Ewan, Photographer September 21, 1936 EXTERIOR - SOUTH ELEVATION

Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress



This house is a remarkably intact example of Delaware Valley patterned brick architecture, an early Mid-Atlantic building tradition. The essential characteristic of this style is exterior decoration in vitrified brick. Laid as headers, the brick was used to create geometric patterns and sometimes the date of construction and/or the owner's initials on a gable wall of the house. The Nicholson House features a gable wall with a diamond pattern and the construction date (1722) in patterned brickwork, as well as checkered string courses on the other three walls. As the finest surviving example from the early years of this building tradition, the Nicholson House is as important as the Fairbanks House in Massachusetts, Bacon's Castle in Virginia, and Drayton Hall in South Carolina. These four properties are nationally significant because they illustrate early, regional styles of American architecture. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, February 16, 2000

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 16, 1997
Reference number
NR name
Nicholson, Abel and Mary, House
Architectural style
Areas of significance
Architecture; Exploration/Settlement
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
B - Person; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Periods of significance
1700-1749; 1750-1799
Significant year