The original carriage house was a wooden structure constructed in 1825. In 1831, a stage line to Red Bank began to run and the following year the Post Office was opened in the village. 1832 also saw the organization of Allaire’s Charleston Steamship Line, which complemented his existing Oceanport to New York packet line. With the increase in traffic to and from the village, as well as the ever increasing level of production at the Furnace, a new and enlarged Carriage House was needed. This new Carriage House was constructed of brick in 1833. Shortly afterwards a three story apartment, The Gardener’s Cottage, was added to the rear to provide accommodations for a full-time gardener. Today, it seems that the Carriage House is at the back of the village but the back road was originally the main entrance to Howell Iron Works.
The Carriage House was used to store the various carriages, carts, wagons, sledges, and sleighs used by the Works and the residents for transportation to and from the village and for hauling materials and finished products. An enclosed loft occupies the second floor. Draft animals, including oxen, mules, and draft horses were stabled in the series of barns near the Carriage House. The barn standing today is a recreation of a smaller barn from the period, built on the original foundation. The Carriage House also served as the stage depot and transport hub of the village. Stages, carriages with four horses, were operated along an established series of routes to and from the Howell Works and the Carriage House served as the point of origin and departure for visitors to the Howell Works. One of our carriages, The Brewster Roof Seat Break, turned 125 years old this year on May 29th! The Brewster was a touring carriage; you wanted to be seen going to picnics or the races in this carriage. In its original advertisements it came with a long pole for propelling it out of the mud on rough roads.