The Denison-Mackenzie-Dey House
Standing at 412 Village Road East in the historic community of Dutch Neck is a 2.5-story house with full-length front porch, double-story bay window, triple-dormered pyramid-hip roof, and single-story back extension. This building - hereafter called the "Denison-Mackenzie-Dey" house - is a contributing structure to the historic Dutch Neck community and a member of West Windsor's "100 Club."
We do not know the house's exact date of construction, but it was very likely built some time between 1900 and 1914. This is corroborated by the structure's American Foursquare style, popular in the early 1900s.
In the very early 1900s, this property, like the Robbins-Wyckoff property at 408 Village Road West, was part of a much-larger farm owned by Jacob and Nannie S. Wyckoff. This was the same couple that sold a parcel to West Windsor Township in 1916 that now houses the Dutch Neck School. In 1914, the Jacob and Nannie sold a much-smaller tract - the Denison-Mackenzie-Dey property - to Annie Elizabeth Denison. Either she or the Wykcoffs before her built the house.
Annie was the widow of George W. Denison, who had owned the old Grover farm - now preserved farmland at 348 Village Road West before his death in 1913. The couple had three children: Ada, Hattie, and William.
Annie Denison owned this property for the next 29 years, presumably living there the entire time until her death in 1943. The 1920 census shows her housing Stella Kostenbader, the first known Principal of the nearby Dutch Neck School. Annie, like her husband, was buried in the Dutch Neck Presbyterian Church's cemetery.
Following Annie's death the property briefly passed to her daughters Ada and Hattie and Hattie's husband, Charles L. Dey. The following year, James and Marie Mackenzie purchased the property. Per the 1950 census, the Mackenzies had at least four children - James, Marie, Sylvia, and Dorothy - who they presumably raised in this house. James, an insurance manager in New York City, was also a charter member of the West Windsor Lions Club and volunteer for the nearby West Windsor Volunteer Fire Company. Marie, meanwhile, was President and founding member of the fire company's "Ladies' Auxiliary" and the first known woman to ever run for West Windsor Township Committee, in 1960.
Following the Mackenzies in ownership were Robert and Marilyn Dey, owners from 1966 to 1997. Since then, the property has changed hands several more times. Another notable owner, from 2007-2010, was Jeanine Heil, who was also Principal of the Dutch Neck School from 2007-2010.
The Denison-Mackenzie-Dey House remains a historically contributing element of the Dutch Neck community.
- “West Windsor Tax Assessor Address List, 2019.” West Windsor, 2019. List of all residences in West Windsor with dates of construction, according to tax assessor. Sent to the Historical Society by Lorraine Jones and Dawn Moretti.
- “Daughters Give Mother Surprise.” Trenton Evening Times, December 16, 1914.
- Board of Education of the Township of West Windsor, Wyckoff, Jacob R., Wyckoff, Nannie. “Deed.” West Windsor, 1916. Located in the Historical Society of West Windsor's archives at the West Windsor History Museum.
- Denison, George W., Hooper, Amy, Hooper, Anna M., Hooper, Enoch W., Hooper, George E., Hooper Jonathan W., Hooper, Sarah E., Smith, Elias W., Updike, Adaline, Updike, Ann B., Updike, Charles H., Updike, Levi, West, Clark H., West, Henrietta. “Indenture.” West Windsor, 1898. Located in the Mercer County Clerk's Office, Mercer County Deed Book 221 Page 333.
- “G. W. Denison Dead.” Newark Evening Star, August 11, 1913.
- United States Census, 1900 - West Windsor Township.” West Windsor Township, 1900.
- “Death of Mrs. Annie Denison.” Allentown Messenger, August 12, 1943.
- United States Census, 1920 - West Windsor Township.” West Windsor Township, 1920.
- Dutch Neck Presbyterian Church. (n.d.). Dutch Neck Presbyterian Church graveyard. West Windsor. Dutch Neck Presbyterian Church graveyard gravestones, which often list birth dates, death dates, and ages of those buried there.
- United States Census, 1950 - West Windsor Township.” West Windsor Township, 1950.
- "Obituaries: James Mackenzie." Town Topics, May 25, 1977.
- "Candidates in West Windsor." Princeton Herald, October 5, 1960.
- “Jeanine M. H. - Pittsfield, Massachusetts, United States - Linkedin.” Linkedin. Linkedin. Accessed January 24, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeanine-m-heil. Jeanine M. Heil's own resume.