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2-century-old estate reopens after 2-year cleanup

4-12-14

RINGWOOD, N.J. (AP) — Two years after a furnace malfunction covered it in oily soot, a Revolutionary War-era estate has reopened in northern New Jersey.

Ringwood Manor underwent a $1.6 million restoration after the malfunction in January 2012. Less than a year before, someone stole two paintings worth $150,000 each along with other artifacts.

State environmental commissioner Bob Martin tells The Record (http://bit.ly/1lUGS0x) the state paid for the restoration using insurance payouts and corporation business tax revenue.

The estate once housed the American Iron Company, which provided material for American troops in the Revolutionary War. The ironworks’ operator, Robert Erskine, was a mapmaker for George Washington and was instrumental to the war effort.

The restoration uncovered some surprises — like a 1780 letter by a French artist that was found behind a painting.

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Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), http://www.northjersey.com