This two-story, gable-roofed house was built in three stages between the mid-eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries. The earliest, west portion of the house consists of a three-bay, side-hall plan. A four-bay section to the east extends the lines of the earlier part. An Italianate veranda was added around 1850. It is thought to be the oldest wood-frame building in Medford. The land it was associated with was farmed until the 1960s. The house has been decaying since its last occupant died in 1980.
In 1988, a plan for an office complex threatened the house, but the township historical society saved the building. Soon thereafter, the Pinelands Commission, under whose purview the property falls, designated the house a historic resource. After the office-building project died, Medford Township bought the seven-acre property. The Pinelands Commission gave the township permission to build a Public Safety Building on the property, on the condition that the township agreed to preserve the historic house. In 1992, the township spent $20,000 on stabilization, but it failed to find the funds for a larger rehabilitation project, estimated at $500,000.
The result is that the Haines-Cochley-Singer House is one of far too many buildings in New Jersey undergoing demolition by neglect. Often the buildings are owned by public bodies that lack the vision to see their properties as community assets. Because there is no public will to find the wherewithal to maintain them, the buildings sit and decay. Their dilapidated conditions are reminders that the past has an uncertain future.