Loggy Hole Farm Shrewsbury NJ
Sep 18, 2018

Loggy Hole Farm

By Lori Draz

Loggy Hole Farm Shrewsbury NJ

This month, the Journal shares the story of 11-year-old Isabella Chagares, who competed against 490 fifth graders to win the Monmouth County Historical Commission’s 2018 Fifth Grade Essay Contest. Isabella did this by following advice well-known to most writers: “Write what you know.” Her first-place essay was about her own home, Loggy Hole Farm in Shrewsbury.

The Chagares family, Dr. Stephen Chagares, wife Marianne Maggs, and their award-winning daughter Isabella, warmly welcomed the Journal into their home to share this living piece of history and the restoration work they put into the home to reclaim it.

The family has lived in multiple homes over 5,000 square feet, but they felt destined to become the caretaker of this historic residence, and they also believe this cozier home has made them grow even closer as a family.

The Loggy Hole Farm Home was built sometime around 1770. The property was given to George Hance by the King of England. The farm house and its adjacent barn is situated on what was once a sprawling farm that ran all the way to the Shrewsbury River. Monmouth County was evolving, and the tract of land was once a part of New Monmouth, New Shrewsbury and finally Shrewsbury.

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The property’s early history has many missing pieces, because the size and scope of the farm’s parameters changed as it expanded. Its residency is also a little cloudy, as the home passed between numerous members of the Hance family.

The more traceable part of the farm begins in the late 1800s. Records indicate that the home was purchased in 1883 by E.C. Hazard. Long before Heinz in Pittsburgh, Shrewsbury was the ketchup capital of the world. Hazard took his ketchup-making seriously, and soon the company became the standard-bearer for ketchup and other condiments.

Author Sharon Hazard writes, “When Hazard expanded and moved his headquarters to Shrewsbury, it was a boon for the area as well as his business. Much of the produce was grown by local farmers. Jersey tomatoes were the key ingredient that made the sweet and tangy “Shrewsbury Ketchup,” Hazard’s best-selling product, and bottles were sold world-wide and won first place awards at the World’s Fairs and Expositions.”

In 1888, a fire claimed the ketchup factory, which he rebuilt. In 1889, E.C. Hazard acquired the Loggy Hole Farm from George Hance Patterson to grow even more tomatoes, allowing the company to flourish once again.

Hazard died in 1905 and is buried at Christ Church in Shrewsbury under a massive monument. His son-in-law, Harry Lord Powers, took over the operations of Hazard’s ketchup factory. The credit panic of 1907 temporarily paralyzed the economy and the company went bankrupt, ending Shrewsbury’s reign as the “Ketchup Capital of the World.”

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The Loggy Hole Farm home passed again through several owners, including Randall Simmons and family who occupied the house from the 1940s through the 1960s. The Simmons family kindly submitted the vintage family photos.

Loggy Hole Farm was purchased in 2004 by the Chagares family. For Marianne, it was love at first sight, even though it needed tremendous repairs. Neither one of the couple had set out to find a historic home, but Marianne said, “The home spoke to me.”

Their renovations took nearly 10 years to complete, and the home has become part of the family. Throughout the renovation, they discovered exceptional architectural treats. The extra-wide floor boards are original old growth wood.

The focal point of the living room is a huge fireplace that has an original swing arm, used for cooking. Next to the fireplace is a hatch door in the floor. Many years ago, this hatch opened to a deep food storage area and cold storage cellar.

Across the living room, stairs lead up to the second floor. Under the stairs, the family has revealed another beautiful surprise: the original floor/ceiling and hand-hewn beams. A step down is the family room with incredible brick and wood walls. Separating the two rooms overhead is a beam nearly a foot wide, which has become petrified over time. Dr. Chagares reports that many drill bits were broken trying to drill into it.

Loggy Hole Farm Shrewsbury NJ Floor

When faced with replacing the severely damaged kitchen floor, Marianne once again demonstrated her commitment to preservation. She hired an Amish craftsman who traveled to Chicago to salvage historic bricks, which he then custom cut to create the unique cobblestone flooring.

Loggy Hole Farm is located at the end of a long gravel driveway, at 200 Sycamore Ave.