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March 7, 2018

The Home Of A Local Hero

Imagine a typical day summer day in Middletown, New Jersey. Maybe you have children with you, a daughter or son, a niece or nephew, a cousin, or a neighbor. Maybe you just wanted to get out and take a walk, and see one of our most known landmarks. Maybe you just love animals, and want to see what the farm life is like. Either way, if you are a resident of Middletown (or any other surrounding area) you likely are familiar with Longstreet Farm. Behind the farm we all know and love today, are rich revolutionary roots. It all began with a transaction; a father selling his family home to his son. William Holmes was the youngest son of Jonathan L Holmes a local farmer, who had just sold his property to his son. William was a young man, who was looking to get a kick start in farming. He improved the house from what his parents left of him, and began growing crops. William purchased the land from his father in 1752, and his cousin Garrett Hendrickson later bought the property in 1756. Hendrickson bought the house with the improvements made and began to grow more crops and house animals such as cows, pigs and sheep. Some of his most popular crops included flax to produce linen. Hendrickson owned this house during the time of the Revolutionary war, he left behind his life as a wealthy prominent citizen to serve. The house ended up named after both men due to the improvements and legacy each men left behind. Hendrickson served as a lieutenant in the 1st Regiment of the Monmouth County militia, a majority of his combat being against loyalist raids. His most prominent day in combat was May 27, 1778 when a large group or loyalists raided a location that was known as Middletown Point (today is it known as Matawan). Hendrickson was wounded in the war multiple times, first he was shot in the hand. Later on in June 1780, he suffered a gunshot to his ear and a sword wound to his arm, which were so severe he was forced to retire. In his retirement, Hendrickson tended to his farm and was politically advocated against loyalists. He was a true American Patriot, and fought in every way he could for his beliefs even in his retirement. On February 8, 1782 a group of loyalists captured Hendrickson at his house, along with about eight other local residents. It is unknown exactly what happened, but concluded by historians that Hendrickson either escaped the loyalists or was held prisoner for a brief amount of time. If he was held prisoner, he was released soon after the war ended. In 1787 he signed a petition saying that loyalists are “atrocious monsters of wickedness”. The Holmes-Hendrickson House thus became known for being the home of a local war hero and dedicated patriot.

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