Bridgewater, NJ, is a charming town with a rich historical tapestry that dates back to the Revolutionary War era. This community is home to numerous historic sites that offer a glimpse into the past and provide fantastic opportunities for families to explore and learn together. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these historic landmarks within a 30-minute drive of Bridgewater are perfect for a fun and educational outing. Let’s delve into some of the most fascinating historic sites in and around Bridgewater.

An old time cash register at a historical site in Bridgewater, NJ

The Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage

The Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage are two significant historic sites located in nearby Somerville. The Wallace House served as General George Washington’s winter headquarters during the Revolutionary War, while the Old Dutch Parsonage was home to Reverend Jacob Hardenbergh, a founder of Rutgers University. Visitors can tour these beautifully preserved buildings, which offer a glimpse into 18th-century life and the pivotal events that took place there. The knowledgeable guides and interactive exhibits make it a great educational experience for children and adults alike.

The Van Horne House

The Van Horne House, also known as the Van Veghten House, is another Revolutionary War-era landmark situated in Bridgewater. This historic home served as a headquarters for General Nathaniel Greene during the war and later became a private residence. Today, the house is managed by the Heritage Trail Association and offers tours and educational programs that highlight its historical significance. The Van Horne House provides an excellent opportunity for families to learn about the local impact of the Revolutionary War and the daily lives of its inhabitants.

Duke Farms

Duke Farms, located in nearby Hillsborough, is a sprawling estate that combines natural beauty with historical significance. Originally developed by tobacco magnate James Buchanan Duke, the property features a variety of historic buildings, gardens, and landscapes. Visitors can explore the beautiful grounds, which include the Duke family mansion, greenhouses, and a historic coach barn. Duke Farms also offers educational programs and guided tours that highlight the estate’s history and environmental conservation efforts. The vast open spaces and engaging activities make it a perfect destination for families.

The Old Millstone Forge

The Old Millstone Forge is a fascinating historic site located in the village of Millstone, just a short drive from Bridgewater. This blacksmith shop dates back to the early 1700s and is one of the oldest continually operating forges in the United States. Visitors can watch blacksmiths at work, creating traditional ironworks using historic techniques. The forge offers a unique glimpse into the craftsmanship of the past and the vital role blacksmiths played in the community. The hands-on demonstrations and historical exhibits make it a great place for children to learn about this important trade.

Rockingham Historic Site

Rockingham Historic Site, located in nearby Kingston, is another must-visit landmark with deep ties to the Revolutionary War. This historic house served as General George Washington’s final wartime headquarters in 1783, where he penned his farewell orders to the Continental Army. Today, the site is preserved as a museum, with period furnishings and exhibits that tell the story of Washington’s stay and the events that transpired there. The guided tours provide a rich educational experience, bringing history to life for visitors of all ages.

The Abraham Staats House

The Abraham Staats House in South Bound Brook is a well-preserved example of early Dutch colonial architecture and played a significant role during the Revolutionary War. The house served as quarters for General Friedrich von Steuben, a key figure in training the Continental Army. Visitors can tour the house and learn about its history through various exhibits and reenactments. The Abraham Staats House hosts several events throughout the year, including living history days and educational programs, making it a fantastic destination for families interested in American history.

The Jacobus Vanderveer House

The Jacobus Vanderveer House, located in Bedminster, is another important Revolutionary War site within a short drive of Bridgewater. This historic home served as headquarters for General Henry Knox, chief of artillery for the Continental Army. The house has been meticulously restored and now operates as a museum, offering tours and educational programs that highlight its historical significance. The Jacobus Vanderveer House provides a wonderful opportunity for families to explore colonial-era life and the military history of the Revolutionary War.

The Cornelius Low House

The Cornelius Low House, located in Piscataway, is a historic mansion that dates back to the mid-18th century. The house is now a museum that offers exhibits on local history, with a particular focus on the Revolutionary War period. Visitors can explore the beautifully restored rooms and learn about the Low family’s contributions to the area’s development. The museum also hosts various educational programs and events, making it a great place for families to delve into the rich history of the region.

The East Jersey Olde Towne Village

The East Jersey Olde Towne Village in Piscataway is a collection of historic buildings relocated and restored to create an immersive experience of early American life. The village includes structures such as a schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, and general store, each filled with period artifacts and exhibits. Visitors can take guided tours and participate in hands-on activities that bring history to life. The village hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year, providing endless opportunities for family fun and education.

Bridgewater, NJ, and its surrounding areas are brimming with historic sites that offer fascinating insights into the past. From Revolutionary War landmarks and colonial-era homes to beautiful estates and living history museums, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy. At Crème de la Crème daycare and early learning center, we believe in nurturing a love for history and learning in our young learners. We encourage you to visit these historic sites with your family and create lasting memories together. To learn more about our programs and schedule a tour, visit our website or contact us today. Let’s inspire the next generation of history enthusiasts and lifelong learners!

Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash