William Ennes House, Old Mine Road, Hainesville New Jersey
William Ennes (b. 1711) was one of the first school teachers in Sussex Couty when he came to the Minisink area in 1738.
This house is built on land formerly owned by Richard Gardner, one of the proprieters. The land was bought from Gardner by William Ennes in 1753. Ennes was the son of a Scotchman who settled in Ulser County, New York. He came to the Delaware Valley in 1738 and was prominent as the school teacher of the Minisink region. It is assumed that he built the house. On a stone between the two windows on the east side appears the date 7-3-1751 which is accepted as the date of erection; however, the farm was not in the possession of William Ennes at the time; but since Richard Gardner never occupied the farm, it is assumed that a tenant may have erected the house and the tenant may have been William Ennes who might have leased the farm before purchase or puchased it under contract not receiving the deed until 1753.
William Ennes lived and died in the Minisink region. He raised a family of eleven. One of his daughters married Simon Cortright, who is the next known owner. Simon was prominent in the region serving three terms in the Legistature and fifteen years as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. He was a large land owner; in addition to his inheritance he purchased over 1000 acres in the vicinity. After Simon's death the propery passed to Jacob Kyte, and then from Jacob Kyte to his son John who was the owner in 1881; however, a photograph taken in 1890 calls the house the Alexander Ennes House; it is not known just why. The next owner after John Kyte is Mark Siegler, who sold to Hiram Snoolz, who sold it in 1935 to H. Smetana.
There is interesting local tradition in connection with this house. It is assumed that the foundation and the stone section about window sill high was built originally as a kind of fort for defense against the indians and that it was turned into a house later. The date 1751 is supposed to represent that change. A owner called it the old Normanock Fort.
The most interesting feature of the house is the fireplace which stands a couple inches from the main wall of the house. This in itself seem to lend credence to the tradition that it was a fort; further, the small window in the west elevation is called the fort window. It is a small deep set window.
The old stone house contained one room on the main floor, with a loft upstairs. The first addition on the southwest end contains a bathroom and a kitchen. The second addition provides another living room.