De Gray House
Built 1760

650 Ewing Avenue, Block 2309, Lot 2
Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417

The De Gray House is a stone structure with a Gambrel roof line with a sweeping overhang(both 20th century).

While the De Gray House has been altered through the years it still retains sufficient amounts of its original fabric that it should be recognized and retained. As such it is included in the Thematic Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places for the Early Stone Houses of Bergen County.

The structure remains in good condition, is privately owned and occupied.


The oldest part of the house was built about the time of the Revolution by either the De Gray or related Geroe families. The family Bible confirms the birth of Daniel De Gray in this house in 1789. He married Mary Watson and their daughter, Hannah born in 1811, married John Snyder. Their son, William J. Snyder, was born in 1834. After the death of his mother he was raised by his grandparents, living in this house until his death ion 1904. The 1876 Bergen County Atlas lists William J. Snyder as the property owner. There was a total of 123 acres which included the stone house and a large frame ”Dutch”  barn (associated with the Dutch cultural group and the only one surviving in Franklin Lakes) that dates to c. 1785. The barn is in good condition and is in use but additions have altered the roof line of the original barn.

In 1906 the house was sold to a Philadelphia architect, Charles Merric Gay, and in 1910 Mr. Gay started to enlarge and renovate the house without it losing its charm. He built a stone cottage in the back for Mr. Pennington, who was the gardener and general caretaker of the estate. To make the estate more sufficient, and to provide for his family as well as four maids and other hired help, Mr. Gay purchased four dairy cows and built a creamery. Mrs. Gamberton, granddaughter of William and Elizabeth Winters Snyder, recalls that the skim milk was fed to chickens.

The huge walnut tree planted near the house by an old lady was only a sapling when Elizabeth Snyder was a bride. Mr. Gay thought so much of the tree that he named the estate “Juglans Farm” (juglans is Latin for walnut) and he engaged tree experts from New York to properly cut and feed the walnut tree. 

After World War I, the Gay children were grown and the family no longer needed a country home.  Juglans Farm was sold to McCutcheon who figured prominently in county government. After a few years it reverted back to the Gay family who then sold it to Dr. and Mrs. Anthony Delario.

The following map references list the De Gray House:

  1. Hopkins-Corey (1861)
  2. D. De Gray, Walker’s Atlas (1876) Daniel De Gray
  3. Bromley (1912) C.M. Gay

National Registry #83001489