Colonial Dames of New Jersey Announce Historic Barn Raising at Peachfield

Contact: Caroline Halfinger,

Historic barns are being taken down more often than being preserved in New Jersey. The NSCDA-NJ is pleased to announce the Burr-Deacon Barn Raising, taking place on Saturday, September 30, 2023 from 11:00-2:00pm at Peachfield, 180 Burrs Road, Westampton, NJ 08060. The rain date will be October 7, 2023 at the same time of day.

The NSCDA-NJ invites the public to be a part of this special event, which will feature a barn raising ceremony dating back to ancient days, with the hanging of a whetting bush on the highest peak of the barn frame for good luck. Guests are invited to bring their own  lawn chairs and picnic blankets for light fare on the Peachfield lawn, provided by the NSCDA-NJ. On-site parking is available but limited. 

The Burr-Deacon Barn was originally built in 1875 on the Deacon Farm, across Burr’s Road from Peachfield, headquarters of the NSCDA-NJ. The Burr-Deacon Barn was given to the NSCDA-NJ in 2014 at the bequest of Miss Mildred Deacon. After years of planning and preparation, reframing and refurbishment of the original beams, the NSCDA-NJ broke ground in September 2022, completing the foundation for the Burr-Deacon Barn. 

The Burr-Deacon Barn Raising will launch this next phase of the reconstruction project, which will complete the frame, siding, and roof of the main section of the Burr-Deacon Barn. Original carpenter’s marks from 1875 are still clearly visible on the original beams. The NSCDA-NJ will use the Burr-Deacon Barn as a space to expand its historical and educational programming for the local community.

Carpenter Jack Witherington of Methods and Materials in Gilbertsville, PA, led the timber framing and reconditioning work of the original historic beams. The construction team is led by its principal Brad Smith of Cullen Construction in Wayne, PA. The architecture team was led by Michele Thackrah of Archer & Buchanan of Philadelphia, PA. The Burr-Deacon Barn Project Committee of the NSCDA-NJ is chaired by Daryl Albury. Marilyn Prado is the President of the NSCDA-NJ.

The NSCDA-NJ is a women’s lineage society devoted to furthering an appreciation of our national heritage through historic preservation, patriotic service, and educational projects. The NSCDA was founded in 1891 and exists today as an unincorporated association of 45 corporate state societies with more than 15,000 members worldwide. The NSCDA-NJ was founded in 1892. Peachfield, a Quaker farmstead house museum, is registered on the National and New Jersey Register of Historic Places. 

For more information on the Burr-Deacon Barn Project, visit their website at

NJ student, Catherine Paris, wins Congressional Seminar Essay Contest

May 2, 2022, WASHINGTON – The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA) is pleased to congratulate Catherine Paris, a student of Kent Place School in Summit, New Jersey, for winning the nationally held Congressional Seminar Essay Contest for an all-expense paid trip to study at the Washington Workshops Seminar in Washington, D.C.

For the past 44 years the NSCDA has generously underwritten a national essay contest with the mission of encouraging students from across the United States to gain a greater understanding of our shared American origins and the importance of civic duty.

Catherine Paris

This year students were asked to “Choose one of the five freedoms in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and discuss why it should or should not be changed in today’s high-tech global society.” The NSCDA received hundreds of submissions and the winning essays were picked by a committee of NSCDA representatives from among 44 Corporate Societies.

Click here for more information on the annual Congressional Essay Contest.

1782 Bed Rug from Peachfield collection featured in exhibition in New Lyme, CT

The 1782 Bed Rug from the collections at Peachfield, usually situated in our master bedroom, as been featured these last few months at the “New London County Quilts and Bed Covers 1750-1825” Exhibition at the Florence Griswold Museum in New Lyme Connecticut.

NSCDA-NJ President, Mary Prendergast, took a trip to the New Lyme to see the rug on display.

The 1782 Bed Rug has been donated to Peachfield’s collections by the family of Phoebe E. (Harris) Dinsmore, who noted that it had come from New England.

The unique bed rug features various tints of blue wool on an undyed woven wool background, and measures 78″w by 81″l. Too few bed rugs have survived to allow any constructive or definite conclusion to be drawn about sources of patterns. For sure, the maker created a work that is colorful, wonderful and seemingly unique in the history of needlework. The upper head end has a semi-geometric design of squares, triangles and concentric cyma lines forming an arch above the initials “S S” and date “1782”. Bed rugs seldom go on the market, but when they do, museums compete against collectors. The 1782 Bed Rug in the Peachfield collections is in excellent overall condition and integrity meriting its conservation and restoration.