The Bordentown Friends Meetinghouse and Historical Society Museum is nestled in the heart of a National Register listed Historic District. Surrounded by over 800 historic buildings, the Bordentown 1740 Friends Meetinghouse has an incredible history in its own right.
The history of the Bordentown Friends Meeting House spans three centuries. The building at 302 Farnsworth Ave., originally built in 1740 as a place of worship for the local Quaker population, has changed with the times—in both purpose and appearance. The meeting house itself was built before Farnsworth Avenue on land deeded by Joseph Borden. Borden purchased substantial tracts and gave the community its original name, Borden’s Towne. The Meetinghouse was originally built as a tall one-story, one-room Flemish bond brick structure with a gabled roof, and though it currently faces Farnsworth Avenue, its original entrance was what people today would consider the back, most likely on Crosswicks Street facing the Delaware River and the area that would have been settled at the time.
The Meetinghouse operated continuously as a Quaker Meetinghouse until 1878. In the process it served another distinctive purpose as a stop on the three Underground Railroad routes that passed through Bordentown for slaves on route to freedom. The Bordentown Friends Meetinghouse is one of several Quaker Meetinghouses erected centuries ago in New Jersey. While no longer used as a house of worship, the structure is the oldest original Quaker Meetinghouse in the State still located on its original foundation.