Somerset County

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Historic Places

 

 

Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission

 

Bolmer Farm House
W. Circle Road and Middle Road
Martinville, NJ 08836

This remodeled farm house is the last of the farm houses built by members of the Bolmer family. Settling here before 1799, the Bolmers were the first early Dutch settlers in the fertile Washington Valley. Robert and Marie Bolmer had 12 children all baptized at the Dutch Reformed Church of Raritan. The Bolmers were staunch patriots and all the menfolk served their country in time of war and peace.

 

Derrick Van Veghten House
9 Van Veghten Dr
Bridgewater, NJ 08807

(Photo by Thomas R. D'Amico, cortesy of HMdb.org)

The house stands on its original site over looking the Raritan River. The land was once part of an 834 acre plantation that Derrick’s father, Michael, purchased in 1697. Derrick, who was born here in 1699, was a prosperous farmer, respected member of the community, and staunch patriot.

Derrick’s house served as headquarters for Quartermaster Nathanael Greene during the 1778 -1779 Middlebrook Encampment, and units of the Continental Army were encamped on his land. While in residence, General Greene wrote a letter to a friend describing "a pretty little frisk" held in the house, and during the course of the evening, General Washington danced with Mrs. Greene for "upwards of three hours without seting [sic] down".


 

Far Hills Station
Route 202
Far Hills, NJ 07931

Far Hills Station was built by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad in 1914 and was designed by a staff architect, L.R. Simpson. The station is nearly identical to the earlier Morris Plains Station, yet is constructed of reinforced concrete rather than brick.


Fireman's Museum
N Doughty Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876

Somerville relies upon volunteers to staff its Fire Department. The first volunteer fire company organized in 1835. Since then, three more companies have formed, all manned by volunteers.

This building was constructed in 1888 for the West End Hose Company to meet the needs of residents on the west side of town. The new brick building replaced a wooden shed which had housed the hand-drawn fire fighting apparatus of Union Fire Co. No. 1 (1852-1878). Some of the bricks used in the construction were acquired when Daniel Robert demolished the "castle" on the site now occupied by Borough Hall. in addition to hand drawn fire apparatus, the building was home to the borough's first horse-drawn truck (1888) and Macky, the horse purchased to pull the single harness rig. Later in 1916, the first motorized apparatus was purchased for West End Hose Company.

Freylinghuysen Tavern
East Main Street
Bound Brook, NJ 08805

Here Hendrick Harpending, a shoemaker from Holland, built his home circa 1720, which later became a tavern, owned by his son, Peter. 

Soon after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, the townspeople assembled on the street in front of this tavern to hear it read by their neighbor, Hendrick Fisher of South Bound Brook, President of the Provincial Congress of New Jersey, member of the Committee of Safety and an “enemy of the crown,” excluded from the General Amnesty offered the rebellious colonists earlier that year.

 

Hibernia Mine Railroad Bridge
Old York Road
Raritan, NJ 08869

The Hibernia Mine Railroad Bridge, constructed in 1879, is the oldest surviving metal truss bridge in Somerset County, the second oldest Phoenix column bridge in New Jersey and the only one built as a railroad bridge.


Jacob Vosseller House
Foothill Road
Bridgewater, NJ 08807

18th century home, built around 1753, and General Store of Jacob Vosseller. 19th century Stage Coach Inn and Tavern known as Allen Inn.

 

Jacobus Vanderveer House
Route 202/206
Bedminster, NJ 07921

Pre-Revolutionary Dutch Farmhouse Built c. 1760. Headquarters of General Henry Knox During The 1778-1779 Winter Encampment Of The Continental Army Near Pluckemin.

 

Kennedy-Martin-Stelle Farmstead 
Off King George Road
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

The farmstead is historically associated with the Rev. Samuel Kennedy, a renowned local minister and educator; Col. Ephraim Martin, a Revolutionary War soldier and New Jersey legislator; and Oliver Stelle, a prominent land owner. The farmstead is significant for its association with these early residents as well as containing a good example of early English-type barn and other architectural examples typifying 18th and 19th century domestic and agricultural building. The farmstead is an important vestige of Bernard Township's rural past.


Millstone School House
Millstone River Road
Hillsborough, NJ 08844

One room school house from 1860 to 1944. One teacher taught all eight grades.
Enrollment varied with attendance up to 35 students. Original structure included a belfry. The Board of Education transferred the building to the borough in 1949, at which time it became the Borough Hall.


Neshanic Reformed Church
Amwell Road and River Road
Neshanic, NJ 08844

Organized 1752. The construction of this Edifice was begun in 1759 and completed in 1772.


Nevius Street Bridge
Canal Street
Raritan, NJ 08869

The Nevius Street Bridge is a 300-foot-long, two span, double-intersection, Pratt through-truss bridge. It is the oldest documented metal-truss bridge in the county, being constructed in 1886 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio.

 

Peapack Brook Rural Industrial Historic District
Main Street
Peapack, NJ 07977

The confluence of Peapack Brook and the North Branch of the Raritan River became a rural industrial center during the 18th century when a saw mill, grist mill, tannery and bark mill were located nearby. The Peapack Brook Rural Industrial Historic District includes five houses, several outbuildings and mill structures that reflect the industrial and agricultural development of the area, ca. 1750 - 1900.

 

Queen's Bridge
Main Street
South Bound Brook, NJ 08880

During the American revolution this bridge was used at various times by both American and British armies. At this spot on January 4, 1777, General George Washington made the final decision to abandon any intention of attacking New Brunswick. He instead moved his army northward to winter quarters at Morristown. Thus ended the victorious Trenton-Princeton campaign, saving the revolution. 

The first bridge across the Raritan River in this area was completed during the fall of 1761. In 1762, the general assembly paged an act “to empower the managers of the Bound Brook Bridge to raise by lottery a sum of money for rebuilding and completing said bridge”. The 1767 Somerset County road survey described it as a “wood frame bridge”.

In 1771 another act was passed to raise funds to maintain the bridge herein “known by the name of the Queen’s Bridge”. Sometime later, the Queen’s Bridge became a covered wooden bridge. It was next replaced by a classic steel pipe truss bridge in 1875. The stone piers under today’s span (built in 1984) date back to at least 1875.

 

Raritan Water Power Canal
Canal Street
Raritan, NJ 08869 

The potential of the Raritan River to provide waterpower for industry was recognized early. In 1840, the success of similar projects along the Passaic and Delaware Rivers prompted the Somerville Water Power Company to begin building a power canal along the north bank of the Raritan River. Unlike some other canals in New Jersey, the Raritan Water Power Canal did not transport goods and passengers, but instead provided waterpower to mills.
The Raritan Water Power Canal was completed in 1842.


Rockingham
Kingston Rocky Hill Road
Kingston, NJ 08528

One of the oldest houses in the Millstone River Valley, the original portion was built between 1702 and 1710.

In 1783, while the Continental Congress met in nearby Princeton, Gen. George Washington made his headquarters in this house. It was here that Washington received the news of the signing of the Treaty of Paris which ended the Revolutionary War. Washington wrote the "Farewell Orders to the Armies of the United States" in this house. It was one of his last official acts as Commander of the Army.

 

Somerville Borough Hall
West End Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876

Once the home of Daniel Robert, this castellated Gothic residence was constructed in 1888 and is a careful copy of a celebrated design by noted architect Alexander Jackson Davis.
The building is the second on this site, preceded by a residence in a similar style that was constructed in the early 1840s for Albert Camman. Upon his death in 1866, the home was purchased by Eugene Doughty. Later, his son Joshua, sold the property to Daniel Robert.
The original structure was replaced by the present one. After Mrs. Robert’s death in 1923, the estate was sold to the Somerville Lodge of Elks. The ballroom they added now houses the Borough Library. The property was acquired by the Borough of Somerville in 1958. 
Fires in 1967 and again in 1980 required extensive renovations. However, much of the elaborate original interior remains intact.

 

Abraham Staats House
Main Street and Von Steuban Lane
South Bound Brook, NJ 08880

Built about 1740. Original central portion of house served as Headquarters for Baron Von Steuben during the winter of 1778-79. The borough of South Bound Brook
Settled 1681.


Thirteen Star Flag
Middlebrook Road
Bound Brook, NJ 08805

By special Act of Congress, the Betsy Ross flag is flown here 24 hours each day. This is to commemorate Washington’s Army having encamped in this area June 14, 1777, the day Congress adopted the Flag Resolution. The period of encampment extended from June 14 to July 2, permitting sufficient time for an official flag to have been brought from Philadelphia to be flown at Middlebrook.


 

 

 

 


 


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