As the new co-presidents of the Chatham Township Historical Society, one of the first duties of sisters Martha and Pat Wells was to pose for the new historical marker outside the Lewis Noe Homestead at 184 Southern Blvd.—which just happens to be the home they own together.
The home was once owned by Lewis Noe, an American of French Hugenot origin who served as a sergeant during the Revolutionary War, according to Caroline Knott of the Historical Society.
Noe was present at Valley Forge while at home, his wife Phoebe housed Hessian soldiers in the farmhouse. She was of German ancestry, according to Knott, and was able to speak to the soldiers in German. "The soldiers did not steal from her and left quietly. Thus she saved her family from starvation," Knott wrote in an email.
Knott and Committee Member Bailey Brower, Jr., a descendant of Noe, wrote the text for the historical marker together, though each gives most of the credit to the other.
The Wells sisters said they intend to open their house to tours of school children from , which is next door to the house. "It will be good for them to see what it was like to have eight to 10 people living in the original part of the house," Pat Wells said.
Township Mayor Nicole Hagner said the prominent place of the marker will help residents remember the roots of the town, "especially with the school right there," she said.
This is the fifth historical marker installed in Chatham Township, and the Historical Society plans to erect two more each year.
Donations to the Historical Society may be sent to 24 Southern Blvd., P.O. Box 262, Chatham, NJ 07928-0262.