Our Story

Chronology of construction

The chronology of construction of the site as a whole is based on the existing architectural fabric and historical research. Although not all changes are known, the following is a summary of significant changes providing an outline of the site’s evolution since construction.


Original farmhouse construction

Daniel Ayres received 105 acres of land in the village of Franklin, including the present-day Ayres/Knuth farm, from his father-in-law. He likely constructed a house on the property around this time, which may have been located immediately in front of the existing farmhouse.

Early-19th Century

Barn construction

Large banked barn constructed; some sources indicate it was one of the largest barns in Morris County.


Smokehouse construction

The smokehouse was constructed.


Carriage house/barn construction

The carriage house/barn was constructed.


Daniel Ayres dies

Daniel Ayres died and his son, William Ayres, took ownership of the farm property.


Tenant house construction

The tenant house was constructed.


Chicken coop and icehouse/office construction

The chicken coops were constructed.

The icehouse/office was constructed.


William Ayres moves

William Ayres retired and moved to a new house separate from his farm property.


Farm changes hands

The farm property changed hands approximately six times.


Knuths acquire farm

Martin and Anna Knuth acquired the farm property.

Early-20th Century

Additions and subtractions

By this time the north (original) section of the farmhouse was removed.

By this time, the northern bay was likely added to the Carriage House/Barn.


Garage/privy construction

The garage was constructed.

The privy was constructed using material fabric from an earlier privy.


Martin Knuth dies

Martin Knuth died.



A massive fire destroyed the main barn and damaged adjacent buildings.

The former icehouse/office was relocated and converted for use as a barn in place of the one that burned.


Frank/Sue Knuth take ownership

Anna Knuth died and two of her children, Frank and Sue, took ownership of the farm property.

Mid-20th Century

Corn crib constructed

The corn crib was constructed (post-1936 but pre-1957).

Mid-20th Century

Frank/Susan Knuth die

Frank and Susan Knuth died.



Denville Township purchased around 52 acres, including the historic core of the Ayres/Knuth Farm.