Where General Greene supplied and fed the Grand Army winter 1777-78.
The Van Veghten House, both a NJ State and National Historic Site, is a survivor. And a perfect example of how dedicated individuals can preserve and protect incredible national assets. It is one of five colonial era homes where Washington and his generals stayed during the second Middlebrook Encampment during the winter of 1778-1779. These homes are known as the Five Generals Houses.
Now a stately two story brick house, a dwelling has stood here on the north bank of the Raritan River for more than 300 years, since first owner, Michael Van Veghten, bought acreage that had been part of the East Jersey Proprietorship and built a home. Date of first construction is unclear, but a baptismal record for Michael’s son Derrick (born 1699) indicates the child was “born on the Raritan.” The dates on the historical marker reflect the first published record, a map from 1725, which shows a building on the site labelled Van Veghten. The lower section on the left in the photo contains an original colonial open hearth fireplace and for a long time we believed this to be the oldest portion of the house. However, the brick work and interpretation of historic architects tells us that two walls on the opposite end of the house are the oldest part of the structure. And there are odd double walls and curious lengths on the supporting beams in the basement. So the evolution of the building structure is partially a mystery.
The house currently serves as the headquarters of the Somerset County Historical Society.