The carpentry shop was constructed to replace a smaller wooden structure in 1835. The Carpentry shop was one of the most important structures in the village because it made the patterns used in the casting house to make iron products such as steam engine parts and hollowware (cast iron cookware).
There appears to have been only three people employed at the Carpentry Shop at any given time, although without complete employ records from the 1830s, we cannot be sure. The carpenter was among the most skilled of Mr. Allaire’s employees and therefore was almost certainly among the highest paid. Records indicate that the prevailing wage for skilled workers was about $2 a day. To put that into perspective, a common denomination of currency at the time was 6 ½ cents. Of the three employed, one was a wheelwright. The Wheelwright Shop, which is now housed in the last room of the Carpentry Shop, was responsible for making new wheels and repairing old ones. The railroad did not yet run through this part of New Jersey, so everything had to be shipped to and from the Howell Works by wagon. Today, the Carpentry Shop also houses our Tinsmith Shop.