The Bridget Smith House
From the late 1700‘s to the late 1800‘s, New Jersey was one of the major iron producers in America. The northwestern part of the state, known as the “highlands” was an important iron mining area. In the 1840‘s Irish settlers came to America for work. On August 10 1854, an Irish settler named Thomas Malona (later spelled Maloney) purchased a 30x150 lot in the “Irishtown" section of Mine Hill and built a house on it.
In 1879 the house was sold for $300 to Bridget Smith (1835-1907) a young widow with two children. Smith and her late husband John, who was killed in the mines, lived in Mine Hill since 1860. Bridget Smith lived in the house until her death in 1907.
In 1912, the house was rented to a young couple, Jessie and Ida McConnell. Ida McConnell lived in the house for the next 78 years. She died in the late 1990's at the age of 103.
Little changes have been made to the structure since the mid 1800‘s. Electricity was added in the 1940‘s and running water was added in the 1980‘s.
In 1993 the great grand-children gave the house to Mine Hill for $1 to be preserved as the “Bridget Smith Homestead". Restoration began soon afterward and work continues to this day.
The house is listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. It is also part of the New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail. The museum is operated by the Ferromonte Historical Society.