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.
Large banked barn constructed; some sources indicate it was one of the largest barns in Morris County.
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.
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.
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.
Corn crib constructed
The corn crib was constructed (post-1936 but pre-1957).
Frank/Susan Knuth die
Frank and Susan Knuth died.
Denville Township purchased around 52 acres, including the historic core of the Ayres/Knuth Farm.