Painting of Bruce Springsteen's family home presented to Irish town.
06/01/2024 18:58 in News

A painting of the former home of Bruce Springsteen at 87 Randolph St. in Freehold was formally unveiled Thursday, Jan 4, at the Rathangan Library in Ireland, the ancestral home of Springsteen's family on his father's side.

The Susan Winter painting was commissioned by Glenn Cashion, Springsteen's cousin and author of “Baseball Is In My DNA: A History of Baseball in Freehold, New Jersey 1857-1973.” In October, Cashion presented the work to the people of Rathangan.

Springsteen lived in the home until he was 6 with his parents, Doug and Adele Springsteen, as well as his younger sister Virginia and his paternal grandparents, Fred and Alice Springsteen. The house no longer stands, and the land is now part of the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church parking lot.

The painting was rendered through the recollections of Bruce, Virginia and Cashion, who relayed the descriptions to Winter. There are no known photographs or renderings of the house.

“I think we did a pretty good job, right down the color, the number of steps, where the tree was and the kind of windows,” Cashion said. “Even the color of the bicycle on the stoop, which is Bruce's bike.”

The family connection to the house goes back to 1856. According to family lore, Ann Garrity, Bruce’s great-great-grandmother, brought a copper breech sapling with her from Rathangan, planted it in front of the house, and it grew into a titan that Bruce would write about generations later in “Born to Run.”

“Our house was old and noticeably decrepit,” wrote Springsteen his memoir, “Born to Run.” “One kerosene stove in the living room was all we had to heat the whole place. Upstairs, where my family slept, you woke up on winter mornings with your breath visible. One of my earliest childhood memories is the smell of kerosene and my grandfather standing there filling the spot in the rear of the stove.”

Bruce fans from around the world visit the spot. It's one of three childhood homes Springsteen lived in Freehold. Catholic Masses were held in the home's living room before the incorporation of St. Rose in 1864, Cashion said.

Springsteen took in sights and connected with the locals of County Kildare when the E Street Band played three shows at the RDS Arena in Dublin in May 2023 during their European tour. The Boss and the E Street Band return to Ireland for four shows in May 2024.

Cashion also presented a letter to Rathangan officials from Freehold Mayor Kevin Kane about establishing a sister city relationship between Rathangan and Freehold.

Comment sent successfully!