Victorian Whimsy in New Jersey

Today’s Jawdropper is much more than your typical gingerbread house. For sale by Jackie Scura of RE/MAX and built in 1871, this roomy cottage in Mount Tabor, New Jersey, is oozing with fanciful cutouts, decorative ironwork, intricately carved woodwork, colorful stained glass, and offbeat ornamentation. Its striking whimsy might make you think it came right off the pages of a child’s Hansel and Gretel storybook, but its backstory is just as delightful as a fairytale.

Mount Tabor, New Jersey was founded in 1869 as a Methodist camp meeting ground. These camp meetings, or schedules of rigorous religious activities, were held for ten days each August. Before long the attendees (many of whom were wealthy lawyers, ministers, and doctors) wished to stay in the town longer, and it became a summer resort community. They built elaborate Victorian homes, but each one had to fit on a 25′ x 16′ lot. By the turn of the century, over 200 cottages had been erected. Now a year-round residential town, Mount Tabor is still home to a great deal of these decorative houses, and is seeking status on the National Register of Historic Places.


But what makes 12 Banghart Place stand out? For one, its colorful pallet is hard to miss, as is the collection of cherub-like figures on the ground floor façade and atop the chimney. The paper doll balustrades and polka dot-like trim along the roof line are also eye-catching. Upon entering the home, carved floral moldings and panels add a dreamlike quality throughout the house. Stained glass windows cast a prism of ethereal light over the original hard wood floors and gingerbread-style doorways. The backyard adds another dimension of poetic appeal with kelly green ivy dripping over an iron gazebo. If this story book enchantment appeals to you, we suggest heading over to Mount Tabor right now, but don’t forget to leave a trail of bread crumbs behind!

A few of our favorite pics are below, but you can check out the full listing by clicking here. This beauty can be yours for just $299,900.






Dana Schulz is a writer and lover of urban exploration, culinary history, and, most of all, old houses. Her dream home would have a wrap-around porch to host dinner parties featuring the tasty treats prepared in her vintage kitchen, complete with a farmhouse sink, retro refrigerator, and collection of milk glass containers.


  • Rivvy

    This might be a long shot, but I am a photographer, and am looking to do a photo shoot with one of my clients at a Victorian house on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Somewhere in New England is preferable, but I’m willing to go to NJ as well. Does anybody know of someone who owns a house like this who would be willing to talk to me about hosting me for a day? I’d be happy to provide them with an image of their home :)


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