Resources Real Estate Lists a True Gem: The 200 Year-Old Salter House, Once Home to Relatives of Abe Lincoln

The 200 year­-old Saltar house at 481 Sycamore Avenue in Shrewsbury was once owned by relatives of Abraham Lincoln. The second residence on the property, at the end of the driveway, is a converted barn, formerly the Shrewsbury Dairy.

Rumson, NJ, September 08, 2016 --( Abe Lincoln Had Roots in Shrewsbury. Honest?

Surprisingly, relatives of our 16th President once owned a home in the Borough of Shrewsbury. Forbearers of the revered Abraham Lincoln not only lived hereabouts, but his family history is deeply woven into the fabric of Monmouth County. If that’s not enough to get your attention, here’s something else. An astute observer might be able to own a Lincoln ancestral residence.

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the original Shrewsbury Township – which ranged from the Navesink River to Little Egg Harbor ­ was continually subdivided into many of the smaller towns and villages we live in today. The intersection of Broad Street and Sycamore Avenue came to be known as The Four Corners. Those cross streets ­ defined by the Allen House, Christ Church, the Quaker Meeting House, and the Wardell estate – were the very center of Shrewsbury Town. Homes sprouted up along these crucial thoroughfares connecting Freehold to Rumson,
Middletown to Eatontown.

The people who built and lived in those homes have instantly recognizable Monmouth County names like Lippincott, Allen, Sickles, Corlies, Holmes, and Parker. Other early settlers, like the Salters, are less commonly known, but nonetheless played a significant role in building our nascent communities.

Richard Salter was a prosperous lawyer who invested in bog­iron mills in East New Jersey before Monmouth County was even named. He brought two experienced iron workers down from Massachusetts, Mordecai and Abraham Lincon (sic) to work his businesses. The former married Richard’s daughter Hannah around 1714. The Lincons lived in Cream Ridge near Mordecai’s blacksmith shop for a few years. Three generations later, after the family was part of the western expansion of the country, the future president was Kentucky born in 1809.

Richard Salter’s grandchildren, William Saltar (an alternative family spelling), and later his sister Margaret owned 481 Sycamore Avenue in Shrewsbury in the 1850s. For a time, three of her sisters lived there with Margaret. It’s uncertain if any of these Saltars knew about their relationship to President Abraham Lincoln. It’s even less likely they ever met him. Admittedly, the connection of the Shrewsbury house to the most respected president in United States history is thin, but it’s real. The Saltar siblings and Honest Abe were second cousins, twice removed, and both branches of the family shared common Monmouth County heritage.

Built in the 1820’s, the house at 481 Sycamore Avenue is now on the market. If, in fact, Saltars built this house, they did it with a prescient look at how we live today. It retains much of its 19th century architectural charms, noticeably the original, wide plank floors throughout. Three of four fireplaces were installed in unusually spacious bedrooms with closets. Of course, succeeding owners modernized the home. The screened­in back porch offers privacy while overlooking a tree­lined gravel driveway. The detached two­ car garage with loft, added in recent years, replicates the look and feel of the original home. A 400 foot­deep lot affects an appealing country retreat close to modern shopping amenities on Broad Street and Shrewsbury Avenues.

There’s more rich history to the property besides its association with the Saltars and Lincoln. Alfred and Carrie Grover bought the premises, by then an eleven room house, in 1905. Grover’s were among the first families to migrate to Middletown from Long Island in the 1660s. Alfred was a tenth generation Grover living in Monmouth County. Alfred Grover owned and operated the Shrewsbury Dairy from a barn behind his Sycamore home for a number of years. His drivers would pick up milk in ten gallon cans in the early afternoons from Colts Neck and Tinton Falls famers. After processing the raw milk overnight, Grover and his men would deliver a thousand quarts a day to more than 300 customers in Shrewsbury and Red Bank. Grover sold the dairy business in 1920 and converted his former dairy barn to a six­room bungalow with modern improvements and hardwood floors.

A year later the Grovers moved out of the front house, rented it, and took up residence in the bungalow. When the Borough of Shrewsbury was formed in 1926, Alfred became the first Tax Assessor in Shrewsbury, a position he held for eight years. After Alfred Grover died in 1939, his widow lived in their home for another 20 years.

The historic houses at 481 Sycamore Avenue, currently owned by the Doelger family, are listed by JoAnn Kulat of Resources Real Estate (732­778­8150). In a nod to repeating Grover history, the late Richard Doelger switched homes with his daughter’s family when he moved into the back house. The three bedroom bungalow is now tenant occupied.

Only a few existing buildings in 350 year­old Shrewbury carry as much of the town’s legacy as does the Saltar house. New owners, stretching the truth just a bit and crossing their fingers, could always invite their overnight guests to sleep in the “Lincoln Bedroom.”
Resources Real Estate
Stacey Lonergan
732 212 0440