Joseph Dorset Taylor and Mary Holmes Taylor, for whom this house was built, were married in 1849. Both resided in New York where
Joseph was a very successful merchant in the China Trade working with his uncle, Mary’s father. Both were proud descendants of the Taylors of Marlpit Hall which had remained in Mary’s side of the family. After their marriage, Joseph and Mary decided to move back to Middletown and build a grand house on the family homestead.
This house, Orchard Home, which we now call the Taylor – Butler House, was built in about 1853 and reflected the wealth and status that the Taylors had achieved. Here they raised their family, a son named Edward who became a professional photographer and a daughter named for her mother who was the last family member to live here. The house was furnished with Taylor family heirlooms and with treasures from the Orient imported by Joseph’s company.
After the younger Mary Holmes Taylor’s death in 1930, the house stood empty for about ten years until architect Henry Ludwig Kramer purchased it for his home and office. He lovingly restored the house and added indoor plumbing, a feature that replaced the two-story out-house that extended over the kitchen wing. In the 1950s, George W. Butler purchased the property. He and his wife, Helen, were noted for their community involvement and hospitality.
The Taylor – Butler House was purchased by the MCHA from the Butler estate and is now available for rental or for community meetings.
For more information about Taylor-Butler House, call 732-462-1466 or visit the Monmouth County Historical Association Website.