Batsto Citizens Committee
The Batsto Citizens Committee, Inc., was founded in 1956 to aid the State of New Jersey in its development of Batsto Village as a historic site. The Committee consisted of 36 members appointed for 3-year terms by former Governor Robert B. Meyner and Joseph E. McClean, then Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Economic Development. Its purpose was to advise, assist and promote the restoration and interpretation of the historic and natural aspects of Batsto Village.
In 1997 the Committee reorganized, became incorporated as the Batsto Citizens Committee, Inc. (BCCI), and continues to follow the above objectives. The Committee lends whatever assistance it can to the administration of Wharton State Forest and representatives of the State Park Service. This may be in the form of time, money, expertise, or a variety of mutually agreed projects. The Friends of Batsto is one of the main sources of financial support for the Batsto Citizens Committee, Inc.
Batsto Village, is a New Jersey historic site located in the South Central Pinelands, which is administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Parks & Forestry. This site is nationally recognized for its historical significance and beauty. The roots of Batsto Village can be traced back to 1766. Two centuries of American history are available to visitors, with the Pinelands environment as a scenic backdrop.
Boxwood Hall has a very rich history that connects it with an early mayor of Elizabethtown, a President of the Continental Congress, the first President of the United States, the first Secretary of the Treasury, and three signers of the United States Constitution.
Boxwood Hall was built circa 1750 by Samuel Woodruff, who was then the Mayor of Elizabethtown. Elias Boudinot lived here from 1772 to 1795. Boudinot was a member of the Continental Congress, and served as the President of Congress in 1782-1783. It was during this time, on October 31, 1783, that word reached Congress that the Treaty of Paris had been signed, officially ending the Revolutionary War.
Boxwood Hall is a center hall Georgian design, was built with a wing on either side of the present building. The remaining frame, interior paneling and floors are largely original. Today, visitors can learn about Colonial life and American’s early aristocracy. Boxwood Hall is listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark property. Boxwood Hall is open to the public Monday-Friday 9am-noon & 1pm-5pm. Visitors should call ahead to confirm hours and availability of a guide. Admission is free.
Friends of the Hancock House
The Friends of the Hancock House is a non-profit organization which works with the State of New Jersey to promote and educate the community about the William Hancock House located in Lower Alloways Creek Township, Salem County New Jersey.
Friends of the Hermitage
The Friends of the Hermitage, Inc., was established in 1972 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation to preserve and aid in the restoration of The Hermitage, a National Historic Landmark, and to provide interpretive programming at the site. The Friends manage the property under a long-term agreement with the State of New Jersey. Over the past forty years, the Friends have grown from a fledgling group working to save the historic house into a professionally managed educational museum offering public tours, exhibitions, and educational programming for schoolchildren and families.
The Hancock House
The exterior of the Hancock House is an outstanding example of the early vitrified or ” glazed” brickwork used in the tidewater areas of the colonies, for it is patterned with the mellow blue-glazed and red bricksmost often idenified with the Tudor period in England. It was natural that the settlers in Fenwick’s colony should follow the building procedures to which they had been accustomed. The type of colonial architecture developed in Salem County was a part of the culture and was distinctive.
Built in 1734, the Hancock House is an important link to understanding the History of Salem County, and our nation’s struggle for independence. It was the home of a prominent Salem County family and is an excellent example of English Quaker patterned end wall brick houses associated with the lower Delaware Valley and Southwestern New Jersey. It was also the scene of a British led masacre during the revolutionary War. lture and was distinctive.
The Hermitage Museum, a National Historic Landmark and house museum, encompasses 250 years of history. Although in appearance it is a Victorian home, the site is rich in history. George Washington headquartered here for four days in July 1778 after the Battle of Monmouth, and Theodosia Prevost married Aaron Burr at The Hermitage in 1782. Its picturesque Gothic Revival design dates to the 1847–48 renovation by the architect William H. Ranlett.
Indian King Tavern
The Indian King Tavern Museum, located at 233 Kings Hwy East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033 is where New Jersey became a state and the great seal of the state was adopted. Many important and influential people visited and toured this Tavern before and after it became a Museum. Why not stop by to visit this unique historic and very interesting site? It’s unique due to the fact that it was once a tavern hotel and used by travelers going to Philadelphia, Trenton, Swedesboro and Delaware. Since there were very few places to eat or stay overnight, it was an extremely important and very busy location. The people who lived in the area would frequent the tavern to gather news from the travelers. It was a very tumultuous time for our country.
During the war when Trenton was under siege, the New Jersey Legislature met in the “Great” room upstairs and declared New Jersey a state. This historic site is over 270 years old and the first historic building that New Jersey purchased for a museum. It’s an easy site to visit.
Monmouth Battlefield State Park
One of the largest battles of the American Revolution took place in the fields and forests that now make up Monmouth Battlefield State Park. A reenactment of the June 1778 battle is held every year with authentically dressed troops camped out in the park and situated in the fields for fighting.
The Princeton Battlefield Society
The Princeton Battlefield Society is a non-profit 501(C)3 volunteer organization dedicated to the enhancement, preservation, and development of Princeton Battlefield State Park and surrounding lands. We are the guardians of this national treasure. The Battlefield and Clarke House Museum are National Historic Landmarks and the Society members assist in the interpretation, public education, research, grounds maintenance, and fund raising connected with the historical events and natural features of the Park.
We are a membership organization. If you have a passion for the American Revolution, or for the 18th century, or love history in any aspect, then we invite you to join with us. This remarkable battlefield and the men who fought here deserve to be remembered.
Princeton Battlefield State Park & the Clarke House
On January 3, 1777, the peaceful winter fields and woods of Princeton Battlefield were transformed into the site of what is considered to be the fiercest fight of its size during the American Revolution. During this desperate battle, American troops under General George Washington surprised and defeated a force of British Regulars. Coming at the end of “The Ten Crucial Days” which saw the well-known night crossing of the Delaware River and two battles in Trenton, the Battle of Princeton gave Washington his first victory against the British Regulars on the field. The battle extended over a mile away to the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University).
The famous Mercer Oak, once stood in the middle of the battlefield, not far from the spot where General Hugh Mercer fell during the Battle of Princeton. The Clarke House, built by Thomas Clarke in 1772, witnessed the fierce fighting and served as sanctuary for General Mercer, who died there nine days later. The house contains period furniture and Revolutionary War exhibits.
Rockingham Historic Site
Rockingham is believed to be the second oldest house in the Millstone River Valley, its original rooms built about 1710. The house was originally a two-story, two-room frame house with a one and one-half story lean-to at its back, situated high on a rocky hillside above the river. The house and about 100 acres were purchased by 1735 by John Berrien, who later served as Somerset County Judge, Trustee for the College of New Jersey (present day Princeton University), New Jersey Supreme Court Justice and Colony Assemblyman. He greatly enlarged the house for his growing family in the 1760s and added land gradually to total over 360 acres, making it a substantial farm appropriate for a prosperous, well-established man.
In June of 1783, a small number of Pennsylvania troops of the Continental Army, not having received their back pay for almost a year, went into revolt and marched upon Philadelphia. Congress removed themselves to Princeton, New Jersey, after being assured of New Jersey’s protection. Elias Boudinot, President of the Continental Congress, called upon General George Washington to send a loyal detachment of troops to Philadelphia which Washington did. In late July, Congress requested the General’s presence in Princeton. Washington was in Newburgh, New York, near West Point with the remains of the standing army. Until he received the message and was able to reply, it was August. When accommodations were sought for Washington and his retinue at that time, there was little still available for a short-term stay. The only suitable home sat four miles away and belonged to the widow of John Berrien. Mrs. Margaret Berrien (who was living in a townhome in Princeton and had Rockingham up for sale) agreed to rent Rockingham and furnishings to the General and his entourage on a monthly basis. On August 23rd of 1783, General Washington, accompanied by his wife, three aides-de-camp, a small guard of two to three dozen soldiers including dragoons (the equivalent of military police today), and “domestics” (servants and slaves), took up residence.
The General would ultimately stay there over two and one-half months from late August to early November. It must have been a pleasant stay with Rockingham’s varied orchards and spacious grounds, although Mrs. Washington was ill at times and, due to winter approaching, returned to Mount Vernon in early October. Washington entertained frequently including Congressmen such as James Madison and Elias Boudinot, military personnel such as General Benjamin Lincoln, Revolutionaries Robert Morris (“Financier of the Revolution”) and Thomas Paine, and local acquaintances such as Annis Stockton (widow of Declaration of Independence signer, Richard Stockton) and the Van Hornes. He hosted at least one party with nearly two-hundred guests in early September. He, as well as Martha, also sat for two portraits at Rockingham.
Sometime in mid to late October 1783, Washington wrote his Farewell Orders to the Armies of the United States, giving thanks and praise to his troops and announcing his retirement from military service. He then sent this document out on October 30 to be read to the army at West Point on November 2 and published in Philadelphia newspapers thereafter. On October 31st, Washington and Congress received word that the Treaty of Paris had been signed, effectively ending the Revolutionary War. On November 10th, Washington left the farmstead and returned to New York to oversee the disbandment of the army and to eventually re-enter New York City after the evacuation of British troops in early December. After that, his final journey home to Mount Vernon included the formal resignation of his commission to Congress in Annapolis (where they had gone for the winter in early November) and concluded with what he believed would be his final retirement to private life.
The Vermeule Mansion (Van Derventer Brunson House)
The Vermeule Mansion (Van Derventer Brunson House) is located on property formerly owned and occupied by members of one of the locality’s pioneer families, the Vermeules. According to local historians, the Vermeules, a family of Dutch extraction, were “among the earliest and most influential settlers” along the Green Brook in what is now North Plainfield. The Vermeules’ local landholdings (which encompassed well over 1,000 acres) included a house in the current location of the Van Derventer Brunson House as a homestead built in 1736. Come see why the Vermeule family called their homestead “The Blue Hills Plantation.” Learn about how the plantation figured into the involvement in several important battles during the Revolutionary War and how the homestead supported thousands of American soldiers with sustenance and medical care.
While living at the Dutch Parsonage, the Reverend Mr. Jacob Hardenbergh sold 95 acres of land and a small farmhouse to John Wallace, a Philadelphia fabric importer and merchant. Between 1775 and 1776, Wallace purchased an additional 12 acres of land and built an eight-room Georgian style mansion adjoining part of the existing farmhouse. It was the largest house built in New Jersey during the Revolutionary War. Naming his estate “Hope Farm,” Wallace intended the property to be his country seat and place of retirement.
In the winter of 1778, General George Washington’s Continental Army encamped at Middlebrook in the Watchung Mountains, just 3 miles from Hope Farm. Washington chose the area because it was a defensible one, with a good network of roads, plenty of timber for the soldiers’ huts, and a sympathetic populace.
The area had few houses, however, suitable for officers’ quarters. Because John Wallace owned one of the largest homes in the area, he was asked to share his home with Washington and his staff. He agreed and the Wallace house became Washington’s headquarters for that winter. After spending 11 days at his new headquarters, Washington left for Philadelphia to attend Congress for 6 weeks.
When he returned to the Wallace House in February 1779, his wife, Martha, aides and servants accompanied him. The General and his staff kept busy by hosting foreign dignitaries, preparing dinner parties, and planning strategies for the upcoming spring military campaign. It was at the Wallace House that Washington and his staff planned the successful 1779 campaign against the Iroquois League, fierce allies of the British.
Camp broke on June 3, 1779, and Washington, upon his departure, paid John Wallace $1,000 for the use of his house and furniture. Life returned to normal for the Wallace family. John Wallace occupied the house with his wife, Mary, his mother-in-law, Mary Maddox, his youngest son, William, and their slaves. Two older children, Joshua and Anne, lived nearby with their families.
In 1783, John Wallace and Mary Maddox died. Mary Wallace died the following year. William Wallace, at the age of 21, became the heir to Hope Farm. He lived there until his death in 1796 at age 33. His wife, Sarah had died before him and their three orphaned children went to live with their uncle, Joshua Wallace in Burlington, New Jersey. Joshua sold Hope Farm to Dickinson Miller in 1801, after the house sat vacant for 5 years.
In 1896, after several families had occupied the house, the Revolutionary Memorial Society purchased the home and used it as their headquarters
In 1947, they gave the house to the State of New Jersey. The Old Dutch Parsonage and the Wallace House are both listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.
Washington Crossing State Park
On December 25, 1776, the icy waters of the Delaware River provided the setting for one of the pivotal events of the American Revolution. The Continental Army had little to celebrate that Christmas and seemed beat by hunger and cold. After crossing the rough winter river at night, General George Washington and the Continental Army landed at Johnson’s Ferry, at the site now known as Washington Crossing State Park. At 4 am, they began their march to Trenton where they defeated the Hessian troops in an unexpected attack. This battle was quickly followed by the Second Battle of Trenton on January 2, 1777, and the Battle of Princeton on January 3, 1777.
One of historical sites in the park that visitors can tour is the Johnson Ferry House. This early 18th-century gambrel roof farmhouse and tavern near the Delaware River was owned by Garret Johnson, who operated a 490-acre colonial plantation and a ferry service across the river in the 1700s. The house was likely used briefly by General Washington and other officers at the time of the Christmas night crossing of the Delaware. The keeping room, bedchamber and textile room are furnished with local period pieces, probably similar to the furniture used by the Johnson family from 1740 to 1770. The site also includes an 18th-century kitchen garden. Living history demonstrations are frequently held on weekends. Please call the Ferry House for further information on their current programs at (609) 737-2515.