#212 - "Booth-House"
Summary: The site of this house together with that of the adjoining
property to the west was part of the land of Mathias and Emilius deRingh,
which the deRinghs sold to Peter Alrichs in 1670;
Alrichs to Reynier Vanderculen in 1683, and Vanderculen to Anthony Green Sr.
in 1688. When Anthony Green Jr. sold this double plot to Sylvester Garland in
1713, there was a dwelling house on the Third Street side of the property,
and the deed reads "all lands, houses, buildings" etc. and "houses" is
repeated in the final description. These may have been only smoke-house,
stable, and other out-buildings or there may have been on the Booth house
site, the original part of the present house. This part of the house was there
in 1719, and the daughter of Sylvester Garland, Soetje, was living in it with her
husband, Rev. James Anderson, minister of the Presbyterian Church. In that
year her father died and left to her the whole of the two properties. It is
possible that her father built the house for her.
Soon after the death of her father, Soetje and her husband, James Anderson,
sold to Nathaniel Caruthers the separate site of the Booth house.
In 1721, Nathaniel Caruthers and his wife sold to Joseph Richards, the
house and lot of ground, 84-1/2 feet on Delaware Street and 448 feet deep.
In 1724, Richards sold to Gawin Williamson innkeeper, the same property.
Williamson died soon afterward, evidently still owing 40 pounds, 54 shillings
to Richards. In 1726 the property was sold by the sheriff to pay this debt and was
bought for 120 pounds by Thomas Smith. Smith must have bought in the property for
Margaret Williamson, the widow, for he sold it to her within a year.
In 1730, Margaret Williamson conveyed to Thomas Smith a strip of land on
the eastern side of her lot upon which his addition to the original of the
Gilpin house extended; the breadth of this strip is not given.
In 1749, for debt against Margaret Williamson, the house and lot were sold
by the sheriff to Samuel Land, bricklayer, and by him to Samuel Land, yeoman. Two
other sheriff sales followed and in 1785 James Booth Sr. bought the property.
Booth sold to John Bird for 450 pounds in gold and silver coin, in 1794, when he
moved next door to the corner house which he bought that same year.
James Booth Jr. who was born In the Booth house, owned it and was married
in it in 1819.
The history of the house so far as it can be told from deeds, wills,
historical mention,reminiscences, and newspapers, was a
residence without commercial use of it, except that it may have
been an inn during the brief ownership of Gawin Williamson and
during part of the longer tenure of his widow; and the
northwest end of the building was a tavern, hotel and
restaurant in the 1870's kept by Joseph Darnall. During its
occupancy as a residence from Soetje and James Anderson to
recent times, this house, like the Garland-Finney-Booth Sr.
house on the corner has been an influential center of New Castle life.
The house as it stands now is in good condition; it has been stuccoed for
many years and the stucco work on the east gable still retains the scored marks
in imitation of stone ashlar joints. The available records do not prove by whom
or when the brick extension to the east was built, nor when the frame addition
to the west was added.