Gone—never to be seen again!
Anyone with an eye for history that travels Riverton Road with regularity will notice something missing in recent weeks: the white house that formerly graced the tract of land now being transformed into Green Briar Estates. I foolishly thought Ryan Homes would work around this historic house and preserve it for it future generations, but the developer apparently saw no value in keeping an old house. Once the homestead of Dr. Joseph Warrington, this house stood on land owned by the Warrington family since 1732, when progenitor Henry Warrington purchased a 400-acre plantation from Samuel Parr. The land passed down through the Warrington family through various estate proceedings until Dr. Joseph Warrington, great-grandson of the original Henry, received a portion of the family farm through inheritance. Born in September 1805, Dr. Warrington graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1828 and became a brilliant physician in Philadelphia. He soon specialized in obstetrics and founded an early birthing hospital in 1837 and often placed newspaper ads offering charitable care to women who could not afford to pay his fees. His professional acumen garnered him a great reputation and a large practice, but the work brought him to almost complete exhaustion. He retired to his farm along Riverton Road in 1854, but threw himself into agriculture and worked almost as hard as he did in medicine. The 1859 Burlington County map labels his home:
He finally retired from farming and moved to Moorestown in 1875, selling the farm to Judge William Parry, as depicted on the 1876 Burlington County atlas plate of Cinnaminson Township:
Since I never had the opportunity to examine the house in detail, it is unclear to me whether portions of the dwelling dated to eighteenth century, but photographs and my memory certainly suggests that was the case.
While Cinnaminson Township transitioned from a farming to a suburban community following the Second World War, there are still a selection of old farmsteads and houses that dot the local landscape if you know where to look, but today that list has grown shorter with Ryan Homes’ shortsighted decision to demolish this reminder of an old and gentler time in Cinnaminson Township.