Historic Houses Tours: February 2020
Historic house tours are not available Fri., Jan. 31Wed., Feb. 5; Thurs. Feb. 6; Fri., Feb. 21; or Fri., Feb. 28.
Please call (908) 725-1015 or email email@example.com to confirm tour availability before visiting.
Spring Events at Old dutch and Wallace House
Five Generals Bus Tour
Sunday, February 16, 2020
The Heritage Trail Association’s signature tour takes travelers through five historic houses used as generals’ headquarters during the 1778-79 Middlebrook Cantonment including Gen’l Washington’s headquarters at the Wallace House. Register with Heritage Trail.
Washington’s Birthday Annual Meeting & Lecture
Sunday, February 23, 2020
1:30pm: Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage Association Annual Meeting
Join the nonprofit Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage Association for their annual meeting, reviewing achievements of the association over the past year including many contributions to the historic sites. Learn about upcoming initiatives and how you can get involved.
2:30pm: Larry Kidder, Ten Crucial Days: Washington’s Vision for Victory Unfolds
Larry Kidder is an author and historian. He will discuss George Washington’s leadership through the “Ten Crucial Days” from Washington’s Crossing to his victorious march through Somerville following this storied campaign.
The Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage Association placed flags at the stone on Somerset County’s Courthouse Green that marks Gen. Washington’s victorious retreat following the Ten Crucial Days.
Photo Credit: Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage Association
This program is one in a series celebrating the Department of Environmental Protection’s 50th Birthday.
The Old Dutch Parsonage was constructed in 1751 with funds from three Dutch Reformed Church
congregations of the Raritan Valley. This two and one half story brick Georgian building was first occupied by the Reverend Mr. John Frelinghuysen and his family. While Frelinghuysen served
the three congregations, he also tutored several young men in his home, preparing them for the seminary.
John Frelinghuysen died in 1754 leaving behind his wife, Dinah, and two children, Frederick and Eva.
He was succeeded by the Reverend Mr. Jacob Hardenbergh, one of the young men whom he had once tutored.
Unlike his predecessor, Jacob Hardenbergh did not tutor students in his home. He was, however, interested in education. In 1766, Hardenbergh drafted, circulated, and submitted a petition to the Royal Government to establish a new "classical and divinity" school in the Colony of New Jersey. As a
result of his efforts, Queen's College was chartered in the same year.
In 1785, Jacob Hardenbergh became the first President of Queen's College, known today as Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
Jacob Hardenbergh also played an important role during the American Revolution. A supporter of the
American cause, he served in the Provincial Congress of New Jersey.
While the Continental Army was encamped in the Watchung Mountains during the winter of 1778-79,
Hardenbergh became friendly with General Washington. Jacob Hardenbergh helped ease tensions between the army and local residents who, although supportive of independence, were greatly inconvenienced by the troops' presence.
In 1781, Jacob Hardenbergh left Somerville to take a position in New York. The Dutch Parsonage remained a pastor's residence until 1810, when the church sold the building to Dr. Peter Stryker, a prominent local physician. In 1836, Stryker sold the house to the Doughty family.
The Doughtys owned the house until 1907, when they sold it to the Central Railroad of New Jersey.
The railroad purchased the property to make improvements to the railroad right-of-way and slated the house for demolition. Fortunately, the Parsonage was saved by interested persons who moved it to its
present location in 1913. The State of New Jersey acquired the property in 1947.