The Jackson-Perkins Residence (310 High St.) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2009, The Gombach Group.
The Jackson-Perkins Residence is located in the small village of Newark, Wayne County, New York. Wayne County is in the north-central part of the state bordering Lake Ontario, and Newark is near the southern border of the county. The Jackson-Perkins Residence is two blocks south of the Erie Canal, which runs east-west and bisects the village. The Jackson-Perkins property is located in an area of former farmland that was subdivided and developed with residences in the second half of the nineteenth century. The rectangular, 2.66-acre parcel is sited on the south side of High Street at the intersection of Madison Street, which forms its eastern boundary. The Jackson-Perkins Residence is the intact portion of the original six-acre lot acquired by the Jackson and Perkins families in 1864. The two-acre parcel containing the residence was subdivided and sold off in 1935 and retains a high degree of integrity to the Jackson-Perkins period. The remaining four acres originally remained in the Perkins family; however, they have since been sold and developed and are not included in this National Register listed property.
The Jackson-Perkins property includes a residence, garage/carriage house, foundation of a greenhouse, and remnants of formal landscaping. The Jackson-Perkins Residence is located in the eastern half of the property. It is set back approximately seventy-five feet from the street and is approached via a narrow brick path. Two short posts mark the entrance to the walkway from the street and there is one taller post just west of the entrance walk. East of the house, a long drive enters the property from High Street and follows a path south to the carriage house before turning east and exiting on Madison Avenue between two tall posts. Landscaping includes three copper beach trees, two weeping hemlocks, an arborvitae hedge, and a pond with fountain. The pond is located east of the Jackson-Perkins Residence; it is formally sited at the end of a stone path and encircled with hedges and other plantings. The greenhouse foundation is west of the house. Beyond the greenhouse, the western most portion of the lot is wooded. The original six acres associated with the property during the Jackson-Perkins era extended south and west of the National Register listed property. Property to the south, which is at the rear of the house, was the location of experimental gardens and greenhouses. Although the evidence of additional greenhouses remains, the parcel to the south is otherwise completely empty and devoid of features illustrating the property's significance. Property to the west, beyond the woods, was donated to the village by the Perkins family for construction of the Charles H. Perkins School. Constructed in 1925, the school survives on that lot.
Local tradition holds that the Jackson-Perkins Residence was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century and altered substantially twice (c.1889 and c.1921-22) during the Jackson-Perkins family's tenure. Although, there is no visible evidence of an 1850s farmhouse on the exterior, a heavy timber post and beam frame suggests that at least a portion of the building pre-dates the Jackson-Perkins family's purchase of the lot in 1864. An historic photo of the property, apparently taken c.1890s, shows a two and one-half story wood-frame residence with an irregular plan, complex roof, and small porches with scroll-sawn decoration. Decorative features suggest that the building was constructed (or substantially remodeled) in the 1880s, and the mature landscaping indicates that the photo was taken some time after the Jackson-Perkins family began to develop gardens on the property. At some time after the photo was taken, the house was significantly remodeled. A new cross-gabled roof replaced the previous one; a one-bay-wide addition was appended to the east elevation; stucco was applied to the entire exterior; battens were applied over the stucco to suggest half-timbering, and the two small porches were replaced with a large porch. These changes appear to date to the early twentieth century and may have been precipitated by a later generation of the family moving into the building in c.1919. Despite all of these changes, the size, basic form and footprint, and almost all of the window openings remain the same as pictured in the late nineteenth century photo. The interior floor plan appears to represent the 1880s and is characterized by a mixture of finishes and features from both periods. There have been no major exterior changes since the Perkins family sold the house in 1935.
The residence is two and one-half stories tall and sits on a stone foundation and basement. The steep cross-gabled roof, of red terra-cotta tiles, features deep overhanging eaves with chamfered wooden cornices. In form, the building consists of a large main block and a slightly smaller rear wing that is set perpendicular to the rear elevation. The exterior of the building is clad in stucco and applied battens. There are exterior end chimneys on the east and west side elevation.
The six-bay facade is composed of a three bay-wide pavilion under a front gable roof and a recessed three-bay-wide cross-gabled wing. A large porch with a flat roof extends across the eastern half of the facade and one bay beyond the end of the building. All but the entrance bay of the porch is enclosed and features large window openings containing four narrow rectangular windows grouped with a single lintel and still. Each group of four is surmounted by a broad transom with an ogee-arched top.
The main entrance, just off center, is located in the east bay of the projecting wing and is sheltered by the western most bay of the porch. Entrance is through a single multi-pane glass door flanked by narrow sidelights and surmounted by a transom. West of the entrance on the first floor, there is a group of three double-hung sash windows within a single enframement. Window are dispersed regularly across the second floor and there is a smaller group of three windows in the gable end.
Each of the side bays is different. The east side, which faces the garden, is the more elaborate of the two elevations and features multiple planes and numerous and varied window openings. An exterior chimney is located on a two-story one-bay projecting pavilion with a gable roof. On the first story, tall windows flank the chimney. South of this pavilion is a group of three large multi-pane window, and further south, the first floor of the rear wing features a small two-bay-wide enclosed portico similar to the enclosed front porch. Second floor windows are regular; however, the attic story is notable for the group of six small windows that fill the steep gable end. These are arranged in pairs and step up diagonally following the line of the gable. The west side elevation is plain in comparison. Although it also features a two-story oriel, it is otherwise defined by a series of regular window openings. The rear (north) elevation features irregular window openings on the first and second floors and a group of four small windows in a single enframement in the gable. There is a single ground level entrance door and a small square pavilion with a half-hipped red tile roof and no openings in the southwest corner. The only noticeable exterior change is the loss of a balustrade on the porch roof and a small porch on the west side.
On the interior, the first floor features a center hall flanked by a parlor on one side and a dining room and library on the other. A kitchen/living room is across the rear. The second floor features six chambers and two baths. Interior finishes and features reflect both the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century period. Notable features include hardwood floors, marble mantels, and glass multi-pane pocket doors. Second floor interior alterations include combining several of the smaller rooms to create a larger master bedroom and bath. On the first floor, several rooms on the south side of the house were also combined.
The carriage house/garage is a rectangular wood-frame building with cross-gabled roof. This building was apparently constructed or substantially remodeled in the early twentieth century as it has the same stucco, half-timbered and terra-cotta tiled exterior as the house. Framing incorporates some heavy timber pieces, perhaps reused from an earlier building.
Although the landscape is no where near as elaborate as it was during the Jackson-Perkins's family occupancy there are many surviving remnants of the designed landscape, including parts of the site plan, walkways and carriage drive, mature trees, shrubs, and a fountain.
The Jackson-Perkins Residence is significant for its association with the growth and development of the Jackson and Perkins Company, one of the largest and best-known horticultural firms in the United States. The company was established in 1873 by Albert E. Jackson and his son-in-law, Charles H. Perkins, fruit growers and amateur gardeners, who had purchased the property in 1864. Initially, Perkins, a lawyer and banker, began experimenting with cultivating grapes and other fruits on the property; however, his growing passion for roses led to a substantial increase in horticultural activity, and in 1884 the company hired E. Alvin Miller, a professional propagator and breeder. This marked a substantial enlargement in the size and professionalism of the company, which began to cultivate roses and other ornamentals on a large scale. Although the growth of the company led to the acquisition of additional farms, the family's High Street estate remained the center of operations, with experiments in propagation taking place on site and the residence's library serving as the company's main office. In 1910, Charles Perkins's son, George C. Perkins, took over as president. Unlike his father and grandfather, the younger Perkins devoted his career to the management of the company, which remained under family management until the 1960s. In the first decades of the twentieth century, Jackson and Perkins achieved worldwide fame, particularly for its roses. In 1908, the company received an award from the National Rose Society for Great Britain for the popular "Dorothy Perkins Rose." During the 1920s and 30s the company's research directors were prolific in developing hundreds of new varieties and the company sold millions of plants. In addition to roes, Jackson and Perkins also became major distributors of clematis, lilacs, boxwoods, azaleas, and rhododendrons. After specializing in the wholesale trade for more than half a century, Jackson and Perkins's popular exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair led to its entrance into the retail market as a mail order business. The company's public renown earned Newark the nickname "Rose Capital of America." Today Jackson and Perkins is a full service nursery that disseminates more than one million catalogues and ships more than three million roses and other plants to customers each year.
The Jackson-Perkins property includes a large late nineteenth century residence, carriage house, and remains of a landscaped estate setting. The estate was the home of the Jackson-Perkins family between 1864 and 1935 and company headquarters from its founding until 1935. While portions of the framing may date to the mid-nineteenth century, the Jackson-Perkins Residence primarily reflects two major construction periods and occupation by two generations of Jackson and Perkins Company executives. The large, two and one-half story wood-frame building was either built or substantially remodeled c.1880, a period of company prosperity under Charles H. Perkins, and remodeled once again in c.1921-22 after George C. Perkins moved into the building. It retains its late nineteenth century size, scale, basic form, massing, floor plan, and some interior finishes and features, such as marble mantels. Early twentieth century alterations include the addition of stucco and battens to suggest half-timbering, a new cross-gabled roof, an expansion of the porch, and interior features such as multi-pane pocket doors and parquet floors. Although the experimental gardens have been lost, the site retains the foundations of one greenhouse, mature trees and shrubs, a fountain and other late nineteenth century landscaping.
Wayne County is located on Lake Ontario in the north-central part of the state. The village of Newark is sited near the county's southern boarder, just north of the Ontario County line. The Erie Canal cuts across the southern part of the county, bisecting Newark as well as the villages of Lyons and Palmyra, which are located east and west of Newark, respectively. Newark, originally Miller's Basin, was founded in 1820 by Joseph Miller, a contractor who was responsible for building a portion of the canal through the village. Newark was incorporated in 1853. In addition to the canal, the village economy was bolstered by two important local businesses: a regional canning firm, later Edgett-Burnham, which relocated here from Oneida County in 1863 and remained a mainstay of the local economy until 2000, and the Jackson and Perkins Company, which was founded here in 1873 and remained in the village until 1966. A variety of other local industries produced furniture, ceramics, electronics, and metalwork, among other products. During World War II, a German prisoner of war camp was located in the village.
Jackson-Perkins Property at 310 High Street
Little is known about the property before it was acquired by the Jackson and Perkins families. The earliest record of the property is Kneeland Townsend's purchase of 14.21 acres from Lyman Sherwood in 1838. The purchase price, $3,000, suggests that the property was improved in some way — perhaps including a house, barn or other feature. Local tradition holds that the Townsend family built the house, described as wood and of "ample dimensions." However, if the residence was built prior to its acquisition by the Jackson-Perkins family, the building shows little evidence of it today. In 1842, Townsend sold a parcel of just over six acres to David H. Mandeville, a farmer and reportedly a one-time steamboat captain on the North River. The property changed hands again in 1849, when Thomas Barnes purchased six acres from the Mandeville estate. Barnes, also a farmer, served as the Arcadia town supervisor in 1841-43 and as a New York State assemblyman in 1856 before starting a dry goods business. At Barnes's death in 1864, the property passed to Albert E. Jackson and Charles H. Perkins.
Albert E. Jackson (1807-1895) was a native of Herkimer County. As a child, Jackson and his family moved to Boonville, Oneida County, where they established a farm and became pioneers in the dairy business, particularly the production of cheese. In 1832, Jackson married Caroline Lord and the union produced four children, all but one of whom died before reaching adulthood. The fourth, Eliza, married Charles H. Perkins (1840-1924), a banker and a native of Connecticut. The two families initially continued in the dairy business in Boonville, developing a large and successful cheese factory before moving to Newark in 1864 and purchasing the property. Both generations lived on the site and initially Jackson and Perkins farmed the property, raising grapes, raspberries, and vegetables. Produce was sold to the Clifton Springs Sanitarium, located a few miles south of Newark in Ontario County. In the 1865 census the two men were listed as gardeners, while the 1870 census identified them as fruit growers. While Jackson always remained an inactive partner in the business, Perkins, a member of the banking firm Pierson and Perkins, gardened as a hobby, initially cultivating and propagating grapevines. It was Perkins who first developed an interest in roses after reading The Rose, a book by H.B. Ellwanger, partner in Rochester's famed Ellwanger and Barry Nurseries. Subsequently, Perkins began to grow and propagate roses on the property, and in 1873 he and his father-in-law established the Jackson and Perkins Company. As Perkins's passion for roses grew he became a member of the Western New York Horticulture Society, and in 1884 the company hired E. Alvin Miller, who had trained in Germany and apprenticed at Ellwanger and Barry, as a propagator and breeder. This marked a substantial expansion of the company, which began to cultivate roses and other ornamentals on a large scale. Subsequently, the firm began to acquire additional land, adding parcels and nursery farms either by purchase or lease, as funds were available. Although not all of this land was adjacent to the Jackson-Perkins residence, the six-acre homestead remained the center of the business, with experiments in propagation taking place on site and business being conducted in the library with the aid of a neighbor who served as bookkeeper/secretary. Four greenhouses were constructed on the property, reportedly using windows from a local church that was being remodeled.
Charles Perkins initially engaged his brother, Herbert D. Perkins (of Grand Rapids, Michigan), in the affairs of the firm and in 1892, his son, George C. Perkins, joined his father and grandfather in the family business. The younger Perkins devoted his career to the nursery business, and, during this period, the company underwent a substantial expansion in terms of both size and diversity, adding both farms and buildings, and developing a successful importing business to supplement the production of the company's own nurseries. After Albert Jackson's death in 1895 and Charles Perkins's retirement in 1910, George Perkins assumed the presidency of the company. When Charles Perkins moved to California in 1919, George Perkins and his wife, Caroline Stuart, who had been living across the street, moved into the house. George Perkins led the company until his own retirement in 1928, at which point his cousin, C.H. Perkins, then vice president, became president. Three other cousins, Clarence G., Ralph E. and Carroll E., all later occupied top management positions.
The engagement of Alvin Miller as a rose hybridist marked an increase not only in the company's size but in its prestige. It was Miller who developed the "Dorothy Perkins," an award-winning climbing rose named in honor of George Perkins's daughter, in 1901. In 1908 the company achieved widespread fame when the National Rose Society for Great Britain awarded Jackson and Perkins the Nickerson Cup for "the raisers of the best pink climbing rose blooming in clusters." The Dorothy Perkins achieved worldwide fame; it was especially popular in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom but was also widely cultivated in places as diverse as Australia, New Zealand, China, Persia, and India.
The company's standing was further advanced by the employment of Dr. J.H. Nichols as research director in 1930. Nichols, a native of France, was internationally recognized as a scientist and as the author of the "Rose Manual," a standard English language reference book. Another notable Jackson and Perkins employee, Eugene S. Boerner, plant research director in 1937, developed the floribunda rose, a class of roses that became as popular as the older hybrid tea rose, while William Warriner developed 110 rose varieties, which included twenty All-America Rose Selections and resulted in sales of forty million plants. In addition to roses, the company also became one of the world's largest growers of large-flowering clematis. Other important species marketed in large quantities were lilacs and hydrangeas. In 1920, the company opened a branch nursery in Bridgeton, New Jersey. The site was carefully chosen for optimum growing conditions for boxwoods, azaleas, rhododendrons and other species that had previously been imported from Holland and the nursery was put under the charge of R. deWilde, a native of Holland and a successful propagator.
For almost seventy years, the company remained committed to the wholesale trade exclusively, honoring a policy of serving its customers rather than competing with them. However, Jackson & Perkins's exhibit at the New York World's Fair in 1939-40, "Parade of Modern Roses," drew an enormous amount of public interest and led to the development of a successful mail order retail business. As the company gained public recognition, Newark began to call itself the "Rose Capital of America." Today, Jackson and Perkins distributes more than a million catalogues to customers annually and ships more than three million plants to customers yearly.
In 1935, seven years after his retirement, George Perkins followed his father to California and the house was sold to a family named Newton which occupied the house until 1977. Jackson and Perkins remained under family management and retained its base of operations in Newark until the mid 1960s, when, having outgrown the local facility, various operations were relocated to other parts of the country. In 1966, the company was acquired by Harry and David, a well-known mail-order fruit firm, and the nurseries were moved to a location north of Bakersfield, California. Today, Jackson & Perkins cultivates more than five thousand acres of rose fields and harvests more than ten million plants. The company's headquarters are now located in Medford, Oregon, where it is part of the Bear Creek Corporation (as is Harry and David). Jackson and Perkins also maintains a research center near Somis, California, where a hybridizing staff grows 300,000 — 400,000 seedlings a year.
The Jackson and Perkins families owned and occupied the property between 1864 and 1935, and the surviving house and grounds largely reflect their period of occupation: however, the exact date that the house was constructed or the condition of the property before the two families acquired it is not yet know. Local tradition holds that the wood-frame house was constructed as a farmhouse in the mid-nineteenth century and purchased by Jackson and Perkins in 1864. Although the house's hand-hewn heavy timber frame supports a possible mid-nineteenth century construction period, no other physical evidence reflects this early period. Instead, a combination of documentary and physical evidence suggests that the residence was built or substantially remodeled in the last third of the nineteenth century and then largely remodeled once again in the first third of the twentieth century.
Local histories record that the house was rebuilt in 1889 by Stephen N. Keener, an important local architect. Although these same records note that the house was "stuccoed" at this time, this seems inconsistent with other evidence, such as an historic photograph of the Jackson-Perkins Residence that shows the property in the late 1890s. The large wood-frame building is identified as the "C.H. Perkins Home" (Jackson died in 1895) and is shown in a mature landscaped setting. The irregular form, complex roof, and scroll-sawn porch posts and balustrade are typical features of Victorian era domestic architecture, while the size of the building and the lushly landscaped setting indicates the family's prominence and prosperity. At some time after the photo was taken, the Jackson-Perkins Residence was substantially remodeled in a style consistent with early twentieth century architectural fashions. Local records identify this remodeling as occurring in 1921-22 and credit the work to E.A.P. Krabbenschmidt, a native of Germany and another prominent local architect. The $40,000 cost of the remodeling implies a substantial project and changes from this period probably include the addition of an extra bay on the east side and the replacement of the original complex roof with a new cross-gabled roof. The application of stucco and the addition of battens to suggest half-timbering most likely also date to this period. Finally, the small porches with scroll-sawn posts and balusters were altered and enclosed, and some of the windows were replaced with larger windows or multi-paned sash. Despite these changes, the original size, scale, form and massing of the building remains intact, as does the general size and location of windows. On the interior, the floor plan and features such as marble mantels survive from the Victorian era building, while multi-pane pocket doors, parquet floors and other finishes reflect the early twentieth century remodeling.
Jackson and Perkins maintained display and test gardens on the south side of the property till mid 1930s. The gardens were so popular that the company designed a seventeen-acre rose garden on Route 88; at its peak, the rose garden displayed more than 36,000 rose bushes and attracted 500,000 people a year. Unfortunately, neither the test gardens nor the rose gardens survive. Today the property associated with the Jackson-Perkins Residence is smaller than it was during the period of significance; however, the 2.66-acre National Register listed property retains many elements of its designed landscape. These include the entrance drive, access path, formal fountain in a garden setting, greenhouse foundation, and many mature trees and shrubs.
"Arcadia." History of the Town of Arcadia. www.rootsweb.com/~nywayne/everts/arcadia.html 16 December 2005.
Hoeltzel, Robert L., Town of Arcadia Historian, to Gerard and Beth Palmer, 3 March 1994.
"How It All Began, Rose Garden (1958)" www.cgazette.com/towns/Newark/history/rosegarden.htm (13 December 2005).
Jackson, Cecilia. Historic Homes In and Around Arcadia. n.p., 1982.
Jackson & Perkins Company. The Growth of Half A Century 1874-1924: Fifty Years Development of an American Nursery. Newark, NY, Jackson & Perkins Company, 1924.
Jackson & Perkins Wholesale, Inc. "Our History." www.jproses.com/code_aboutus/history.cfm 13 December 2005.
"Jackson and Perkins Company Commemorates Fiftieth Anniversary" from the Newark Union-Gazette. January 18, 1924. www.cgazette.com/towns/Newrk/historyanniversary.htm 16 December 2005.
"Newark Resident 30 Years — Albert E. Jackson of J&P Co. Dec. 18, 1807-Aug. 4, 1894." Arcadian Weekly 7 August 1894. [Transcribed by Barbara Meeks-vol. 14 issue 3].
† LaFrank, Kathleen, N. Y. State Historic Preservation Office, Jackson-Perkins Residence, 2006, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.