In 1829, James Langstaff began construction on his home, which he called "Langleland," a Welsh term meaning "a foot of high ground." The house was designed in an elegant Georgian fashion.
The mansion was "L" shaped, with a foyer separating the four main rooms, each having a fireplace made of Prussian blue marble. Two antique chandeliers, one brass and the other silver, each covered with more than 2000 crystal baubles and drops, hang in the two main rooms. A large kitchen was located in the back with a summer kitchen located behind it (now used as the Library Office).
The mansion was built with random-width North Carolina yellow pine floor boards, put together with handmade nails. (The Friends of the Library donated carpeting to prevent further wear to the boards.) Wide pine boards were used in the ornate baseboards and door frames throughout the house. The outside walls are made of brick, covered with a pale yellow stucco. Over the front entry are hand-painted glass panels.
The two and one-half acres of land that surround the mansion originally featured old English boxwood gardens, lovely trees, and large attractive flower beds.
When the property was purchased by the Mount Holly Library in 1957, some renovation was necessary to convert this private residence into a public building. In order to preserve the 19th century charm of the buildings and grounds, the library only made those alterations necessary to accommodate books and materials and to increase lighting facilities. With its duty to provide modern library service to the public, alterations will continue to be made. The goal remains to achieve a balance between modern day needs and elegant old world atmosphere.
Visit the Mount Holly Library in the Langstaff Mansion
307 High Street
Mount Holly, N.J.
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