This small 19th century building, which was not in existence during the historic crossing, has its own interesting tale to tell. It is the surviving kitchen and ice house of the Alexander Nelson Hotel, which was destroyed by a train derailment in 1904.
There is no evidence of a structure on this site at the time of the Crossing. The colonial ferry house was and is the white frame farmhouse on the hill, just north of here and facing Route 29 (River Road) at an angle.
The ferry operated here until 1834, when both the first covered bridge and the canal were completed that same year. It was most likely Bernard Taylor who built the first tavern and ice house in the late 1820s or 1830s. Serving the ferry passengers for just a few years, the small stone tavern then catered to bridge and canal traffic. This structure then became incorporated into the 22 room hotel built by Alexander Nelson after 1846. It was known as the “Old Bar Room.” The main section of Nelson’s hotel was demolished by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1936 , leaving this small back portion. It was renovated in 1980 by the first iteration of the Washington Crossing Association to serve as a hospitality house for displays and historical interpretation.