The Bishop House is the home of the Scarlet Listeners and if that is not scary enough (I mean it”s peer counseling after all), this architectural masterpiece contains one of the tiniest little one-man bathrooms on campus. The RR Team recently went through this building, which dates back to 1852, from the basement to the gables, seeking more than just peer support, and we found that this building is just plain odd. Named after James Bishop (1816-1895), the Bishop house holds the record for narrow, winding staircases (on which one of the RR Team almost completely wiped out) and bizarre little basement nooks. You can actually see where coal was shoveled and loaded back in the day & there are still all the fixtures for gaslights along the walls.
This place is virtually structurally unaltered since the days of the Martin sisters circa 1900. The Martin sisters were three reclusive spinsters who owned the Bishop House as of 1899, when the prior owner, their brother Malcolm Martin, died and left it to them. Now according to a 1949 Targum article sent to us by a friend, these spinsters dreaded co-existing with all the college boys who lived in the nearby frat houses on what was then known as “Neilson Campus”. The three women actually never left their home after their brother”s death and purportedly had all food delivered to the house through a back window, so that no one, not even a delivery boy, had access. Two of the sisters ultimately died in the home and the remaining sister finally sold the Bishop House and land to RU in 1929. The place is mostly deserted at night but all the doors are open, possibly to allow for emergency counseling services, and strange elements, like squeaky Dutch doors abound. we’re absolutely sure that someone, somewhere on campus has a tale to share about this structural oddity smack dab on the College Ave Campus and we personally would love to get the view from the tower up top. If you’ve got a tale about the Bishop House and could use some support or a referral from your RR friends, drop us a line- we’re here to listen.
Special thanks to Mr. Steven Greene, Rutgers Class of “79 for his invaluable aid in digging up yet another odd tale at RU.