Richardson History House

This Second Empire-style triple cottage was built in 1873 so three families could maximize the use of their lot size. The museum occupies the lower one-third originally owned by J. Smith and Lydia Richardson.

Mr. Richardson, Rev. Craig, and Dr. Cosad joined resources to make the most of three adjacent lots on Trinity Park. When the treble cottage was completed Dr. Cosad occupied the upper residence, and the center unit was purchased by Rev. Craig, Presiding Elder of the Jersey City District of the Methodist Church. The right-most residence was owned by J. Smith Richardson. All three families are visible on their porches in this 1884 photo.
The cottage was described in the Mt. Tabor Daily Record in 1877: “Architecturally this treble cottage is one of the prettiest buildings upon the grounds, and its very appearance denotes taste and refinement. It is ornamented by a French roof, bay windows, and plate glass doors, and is in every essential a beautiful place of residence.” Pictured on the porch are daughter Lizzie Richardson Jones, her husband James Jones, and owners Lydia and J. Smith Richardson.
Note the large plate glass windows across the front of the building– an unusually striking feature for its time. The house has second story balconies on the front and had decorative vergeboards under the eaves. A distinctive Second Empire mansard roof features patterns worked in multi-colored slate.

The middle and upper cottages were converted to a single residence in the 1950s. No. 32 Trinity Park remained in the same family until 2007 when Evelyn Clark, a descendant of J. Smith Richardson, bequeathed it to the Mount Tabor Historical Society to be used as a house museum. 

The Richardson House has been carefully restored with period furnishings and artifacts to illustrate the early Mount Tabor campground life, to educate the community on the proud history of Mount Tabor and the Richardson Cottage, and to celebrate the life of Evelyn Clark and her family who entrusted the Society with this mission. 

Today, the Richardson History House serves as a community resource. It is open to the public for tours . It contains a small gift shop stocked with books and Mount Tabor mementos and gifts. The Richardson History House is a valuable asset to the community and an important reminder of Mount Tabor’s rich history.