Central Jersey’s historic sites will captivate you. Central Jersey has played a central role in American history, from early settlement in colonial times, to the Revolutionary War, and the agricultural and industrial revolutions.
Abraham Staats House
Abraham Staats House is one of five Eighteenth Century homes in the Bridgewater area that served as the headquarters of an important Continental Army general during the 1779 “Middlebrook Encampment” nearby. Located on the bank of the D&R Canal in South Bound Brook, visitors can see the property and home exterior any time. Interior tours by appointment or on special occasions such as the reenactment of the Battle of Bound Brook every April.
East Jersey Old Town Village & Low House
East Jersey Old Town Village features reconstructed and replica 18th and 19th century structures that represent architecture typical of farm and merchant communities once found in the Raritan Valley. The Village offers awarding winning exhibits, living history, and seasonal programs. Built in 1741 at Raritan Landing for a wealthy Dutch merchant, the Cornelius Low House is a Historic National Register home and one of the best examples of Georgian architecture in New Jersey. The Low House mounts rotating exhibits about New Jersey history. Both are free and open Wednesday to Sunday, weekly.
Griggstown Bridge Tender’s House
Griggstown Bridge Tender’s House is an 1830s stone residence on the bank of the D&R Canal that serves as the visitor center for the Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway in the historic Griggstown Village of Franklin Township. The kitchen has been restored to the way it would have been for the bridge tender’s family in the 1830s. The parlor offers a video history of the immediate area, maps, and brochures. Open weekend afternoons April through October. Stop in before or after a bike or stroll along the canal tow path.
Howell Living History Farm
Howell Living History Farm recreates farming life in the period of 1890 to 1910, although the agricultural landscape dates to the 1730s. Numerous programs designed for families and children. Step back into an agrarian past that was once typical in the Garden State. The history of Howell Farm is long and varied. Since farming began on this site in the 1730s, just about every type of farming situation has occurred here. Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM April through November.
Princeton Battlefield State Park
Princeton Battlefield State Park commemorates one of the great early victories of the American patriots in the Revolutionary War, on January 3, 1777. See where General Washington rallied his troops on horseback, at great personal risk, to assure victory and a chance for independence. Free and open to the public year-round from dawn to dusk.
Historical Society of Princeton
Historical Society of Princeton has its headquarters on a historic farm on the route that George Washington and his army took from Trenton to the Battle of Princeton. Updike Farmstead has a museum, heirloom garden, and a gorgeously restored barn set among cultivated fields that look much the same as they did two centuries ago.
Morven Museum & Garden
Morven Museum & Garden is a historic estate home originally built by Richard Stockton (1730–1781), a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The British ransacked Morven in 1776, capturing and briefly imprisoning him. Generations of Stocktons resided at Morven through the early 20th century before the property was leased to General Robert Wood Johnson, Chairman of Johnson & Johnson. He was followed by five New Jersey governors when Morven served as the state’s first Governor’s Mansion (1945–1981).
Old Barracks Museum
History that stretches back to 1758! It was built to house soldiers involved in the French and Indian War. It played several roles during the Revolutionary War, particularly during December 1776 when two victories in the first and second Battles of Trenton turned the tide in favor of the American Patriots. Today the the Old Barracks preserves the history of its iconic building, while educating the public through daily interpretation of the site, unique programming, special events, family-friendly tours and a gift shop.
A collection of beautiful, historic buildings with a spectacular view of the Delaware River and D&R Canal, adjacent to the quaint village of Stockton. Whether on foot, bicycle, or driving the Delaware River National Scenic Byway, you’ll love the beauty of this spot, and you’ll enjoy poking into private art galleries at the start or end of a bike or stroll on the canal tow path. The 10-building complex includes an 1877 grist mill, a 1790 linseed oil mill, an 1850 saw mill, a 1900 grain silo and the Prall House, a late 1700’s residence that is considered one of New Jersey’s most significant early dwellings.
Rockingham Historic Site
Located in the village of Kingston. It is one of the important headquarters of General George Washington. He stayed here in 1783 after victory at Yorktown, working with the Continental Congress then seated at Princeton’s Nassau Hall. He wrote his Farewell Orders to the Armies of the United States at Rockingham. Thousands of people from all fifty states and abroad visit every year and attend the varied programs offered here. Rockingham is listed on both the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. Open for guided tours, Rockingham is an important site for American history buffs.
Red Mill Museum Village
Red Mill Museum Village is a stunning collection of historic buildings including a Grist Mill, the Mulligan Quarry buildings, and several relocated historic structures. The museum displays permanent and changing exhibits showcasing a collection of agricultural, industrial and domestic artifacts. The museum hosts lectures, workshops, living history reenactments and other special events throughout the year. Weekend hours expand during spring/summer.
Wallace House & Old Dutch Parsonage
Wallace House & Old Dutch Parsonage are preserved Eighteenth Century homes that played critical roles during the Revolutionary War when the Wallace House served as General George Washington’s home while the Continental Army was encamped three miles away at Middlebrook for the winter of 1778-1779. The Wallace House is authentically preserved in much the way it would have looked when Washington lived here. Usually open Weds-Sun., but call ahead to confirm exact hours.
Washington Crossing State Park
The State Park celebrates the place where George Washington and the Continental Army crossed the Delaware River and landed in New Jersey on December 25, 1776, en route to crucial victories at Trenton and Princeton. Originally preserved for its historical significance, the park is also well known for its trails and wildlife habitat. A wide variety of migrating birds use the stream and ravine as a resting place and for nesting.
William Trent House
William Trent House was built about 1719 by the man for whom Trenton was named. It became the house of the first governor of New Jersey, Lewis Morris. Hessian Troops occupied the house during the Revolutionary War. The museum boasts outstanding restored woodwork and a remarkable basement kitchen. The grounds are stunning gardens, including heirloom vegetable gardens in the summertime.
Black River & Western Railroad
BR&W is the “little railroad that could,” serving the community for over 50 years. The volunteer staff is dedicated to preserving railroad history and offering the opportunity to experience old-fashioned steam railroading in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Making round trips from historic Flemington, they offer trains and events for every occasion, from holiday-themed events to date night and rail-fan specials; there’s something for everyone!
Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum
Located at the National Historic Register-listed Mt. Zion AME Church in Skillman, NJ, SSAAM is the only museum in central New Jersey telling the African American story from the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the present day. Presently open only by appointment, the museum is rapidly gaining attention and plans regular open hours soon. Visit the website to learn about upcoming special events.
Sponsors and Places to Visit
Farms & Orchards
- 12 Farms Restaurant(Hightstown)
- Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse (Milford)
- Cherry Grove Farm (Lawrenceville)
- English Farm (Liberty Corner)
- Gorgeous Goat Creamery (Stockton)
- Griggstown Farm market (Griggstown/Franklin)
- Hidden Spring Lavender & Alpaca Farm (Skillman)
- Norz-Hill Farm (Hillsborough)
- Snyder Farm (Franklin)
- Stangl Farmer’s Market (Flemington)
- Terhune Orchards (Lawrenceville)
- Abraham Staats House (South Bound Brook)
- Black River & Western Railroad (Ringoes)
- East Jersey Old Town Village (Piscataway)
- Griggstown Bridge Tender’s House (Princeton)
- Howell Living History Farm (Hopewell Township)
- Princeton Battlefield State Park (Princeton)
- Historical Society of Princeton (Princeton)
- Morven Museum & Garden (Princeton)
- Old Barracks Museum (Trenton)
- Prallsville Mills (Stockton)
- Rockingham Historic Site (Kingston)
- Red Mill Museum Village (Clinton)
- Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum (Skillman)
- Wallace House & Old Dutch Parsonage (Somerville)
- Washington Crossing State Park (Titusville)
- William Trent House (Trenton)
Hiking, Biking, Kayaking
- The D&R Canal Tow Path
- D&R Greenway Land Trust (Princeton)
- Duke Farms (Hillsborough Township)
- Fairview Farm/Raritan Headwaters (Bedminster)
- Leonard J. Buck Gardens (Far Hills)
- Mercer Meadows (Lawrence Township)
- Natirar Park (Gladstone)
- Six-Mile Run Mountain Biking Trails (Somerset)
- Sourland Mountain Preserve (Hillsborough Township)
- The Watershed Institute (Pennington)
- Ashton Brewing (Middlesex)
- Bellemara Distillery (Hillsborough)
- Cyclone Brewing (Somerset)
- Descendants Brewing (Milford)
- Flounder Brewing (Somerset)
- Lone Eagle Brewing (Flemington)
- Harvest Moon Brewery (New Brunswick)
- Hopewell Valley Vineyards (Pennington)
- Old Hights Brewing (Hightstown)
- Old York Cellars (Ringoes)
- Skunktown Distillery (Flemington)
- Sourland Spirits (Hopewell)
- Sunken Silo Brewery (Lebanon)
- Triumph Brewing Company (Princeton)
- Terhune Orchards & Winery (Lawrenceville)
- Unionville Winery (East Amwell)