88 Tuscan Road, Maplewood
The Jonas Ball House was constructed in 1750 as a cooper shop, made of massive fieldstone and hand-hewn timber. It was the place where barrels and other containers were made on the plantation of Jonas Ball, one of seven surviving sons of Thomas Ball. Thomas was a son of Edward Ball, who had moved from Connecticut to Newark in 1666 and was a signer of the Fundamental Agreement among the Puritans. About 1718, Thomas acquired a 400-acre tract of land between what are now the Wyoming section of Millburn and the Hilton section of Maplewood.
Jonas Ball acquired the property when his father’s plantation was divided among his sons at his death in 1744. Around that time, Jonas married Hannah Bruen, probably a relative of his brother Timothy’s wife, a
nd built a homestead (now gone) on the north side of Tuscan Road, the only road leading from Newark to Springfield. He built the cooper shop on the south side of the road. Joseph Bruen, a member of Hannah’s family, inherited the farm, and Elizabeth Bruen sold it to Abel Atwood in 1828.
William Courter bought the plantation from Atwood in about 1840, using the cooper shop as a springhouse to cool his dairy products. In the late 19th century, his son David Courter, who by then owned the farm, renovated and expanded the building into a residence, adding an airy, high-ceilinged dining room and bedrooms above. Two other Tuscan Road homes were part of David Courter’s farm: #90, in which David’s adopted son Theodore Daly lived, and #97, known for many years as The David Courter House. The Courter farm was among the last of Maplewood’s 18th century plantations to disappear when the Newark Realty Company purchased it in 1910 and developed it into small residential lots called Mountain View Terrace.
This information was adapted from material researched by Beatrice Peppard Herman in 1984 for A Skeletal History of the David Courter Farm.