Our Historic Office Building: The Birch-Bloomfield House
Named after James Birch and Joseph Bloomfield, the Birch-Bloomfield house located at 415 High Street in historic Burlington City, New Jersey is now the home of Smith, Magram, Michaud, Colonna, P.C. The famous house was built in approximately 1750 and is believed to be one of the oldest standing structures in Burlington City.
About Joseph Bloomfield
Joseph Bloomfield was a captain in the American Revolution, Governor of New Jersey from 1800 to 1812, Chief Justice of the New Jersey Vice-Admiralty Court, and Mayor of Burlington. Bloomfield was commissioned as a Brigadier General during the War of 1812.
About James Birch
James Birch was an internationally known carriage builder who opened a carriage and rickshaw repair and production factory in approximately 1862 behind the Birch-Bloomfield house where he lived with his family.
With the assistance of hundreds of employees, he produced more than 200 models of carriages exported around the globe as far as Japan, China and South Africa.
Henry Ford visited the Birch factory and asked Birch to consider manufacturing bodies for his new automobiles there. Birch refused with the belief that there would always be a market for carriages and that automobiles would not be the future. Birch’s error in judgment caused his business to decline which ultimately led to the factory being shut down forever in 1918.
Birch later built the 1200 seat Birch Opera House next to the Birch-Bloomfield house which became a popular destination for the patrons of the arts. The Opera House closed its doors in 1927 and was torn down in the 1960s. The Burlington Post Office now occupies the site, however, in front of the post office still stands a statue of the Greek god Mercury which Birch erected.
Louis A. Smith, Esquire, managing partner of Smith, Magram, Michaud, Colonna, P.C. purchased the building and land in 1971 with original partner Victor Friedman, Esquire. Smith continues to practice law and manage his personal injury practice out of the Birch-Bloomfield house while Friedman went on to become a Burlington County Superior Court judge before retiring from the practice of law.
The firm name has changed many times over the years but Smith has remained. The firm recently changed names again at the end of 2013 when it became known as Smith, Magram, Michaud, Colonna, P.C.