The Zenas and Mary (Harrison) Crane Homestead
The Crane family settled in the West Caldwell area before the Revolution. Samuel Crane built a farmhouse for his wife Mary Baldwin Crane and their ten children. After the Revolution, he purchased a sawmill that was to remain in the family for more than 150 years.
Grandson Zenas C. Crane married Mary Harrison in 1833 and settled in the family homestead near the mill. In 1848 the homestead burned to the ground. Zenas replaced the farmhouse, completing it in 1854. Zenas was a Victorian entrepreneur involved in farming, the tobacco industry, tanning and shoe manufacturing, the Crane sawmill and management of the Caldwell Hotel.
Son Caleb Crane managed the farm during the Civil War. In 1904 Caleb was elected first mayor of the Borough of West Caldwell.
Zenas G. Crane, grandson of Zenas and Mary, took over the farm in about 1907. He was elected third mayor of West Caldwell in 1915. From 1920 until his death in 1949, he served Essex County as Freeholder; and then as Treasurer.
The Homestead is located at 289 Westville Avenue, West Caldwell, NJ. Tours are by appointment only.