Rockingham Historic Site

Rockingham Historic Site Rockingham Historic Site Rockingham was the final wartime headquarters of General George Washington during the Revolutionary War.
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He was in residence there late August to early November 1783, while Congress met in nearby Princeton. Here, he wrote his Farewell Orders to the Armies of the United States, just before receiving word that the definitive version of the Treaty of Paris had been signed in September and the United States had indeed won their independence from Great Britain! The house is located on Laurel Avenue, between Rocky Hill and Kingston, New Jersey.

01/10/2024

In a document dated June 4, 1777, General George Washington wrote, “Nothing is more agreeable and ornamental than good music.” The Practitioners concert with...

12/21/2023
12/09/2023
09/26/2023

Join The Old Barracks for an evening of spooky seasonal fun at All Barracks Eve! On Friday, October 27th, enjoy cider and donuts around a bonfire while listening to chilling tales told by historically outfitted storytellers. Festivities begin at 5pm and will include living history demonstrations and kids' activities. Spooky stories will begin at 6pm. Admission is $5 per person, children 5 and under are free. Tickets will be available for purchase on-site the evening of the event. For more information please visit www.barracks.org

09/19/2023

Mark your calendars for Somerset County's Journey Through the Past on Saturday, October 7 and Sunday, October 8!

The time is finally nigh! The Rockingham renovation project has finally come to its fulfillment, and we are getting read...
08/19/2023

The time is finally nigh! The Rockingham renovation project has finally come to its fulfillment, and we are getting ready to reopen the house to the public for tours starting on Saturday, September 2! There are still a few minor exterior tweaks to be attended to that won’t affect the interior tours and the grounds around the house are a bit ragged (as we wait for the grass to regrow over disturbed soil and for the straw protective mesh to disintegrate before major mowing at the front, back and west side of the house), but otherwise we are ready to go!

For the past six-months-plus, the house and the grounds around it have been closed to visitors in order to accommodate the exterior renovation from top (roofing) to bottom (stone porch) that was done as the first-step of a multi-phase refurbishment of the whole site, including having the parking lot paved; improving the pathways from the parking lot to the various buildings, especially for ADA accommodation; renovating the exterior of the stone building/museum store; and updating signage throughout the site. This is all being done in order to get us ready for the multi-year 250th anniversary of the American Revolution, the birth of our country and the commemoration of our whole, multi-faceted history!

We are planning a more formal Grand Reopening ceremony in the fall, so stay tuned!

Entrance to the house is by guided tour only as it was before the renovation closure. Please, join us by going to Rockingham1783.Eventbrite.com to see the dates and times that the tour is offered and to "buy" your tickets! Tickets must be "purchased" at least 24 hours ahead of tour time. The tours are free, but donations are gratefully accepted at the time of the tours.

07/20/2023

Did you know that the tall case clocks featured in "Striking Beauty" come from all across New Jersey including Elizabeth, Newark, Burlington, Flemington, Salem, and more? This particular one was made by George Rea (1774–1838) right here in Princeton c. 1800, and was lent to us from a private collection.

Now on view through February 18, 2024, explore the five-gallery exhibition to see the most comprehensive look ever given to the ingenious work of New Jersey clockmakers.

https://www.morven.org/strikingbeauty
Image courtesy of Morven Museum & Garden
ID: George Rea's tall case clock in Morven's second floor galleries.

As we are finally getting to the finish line (although we still do not have a reopening date quite yet--we promise we'll...
07/01/2023

As we are finally getting to the finish line (although we still do not have a reopening date quite yet--we promise we'll let you know as soon as we do!), here are some fascinating photos showing the early framework, lath and mud fill of the house, exposed when some siding was removed earlier in the project.

Click on each picture for more info.

05/15/2023

The wonderful people from Braithwaite Communications have poured their marketing acumen into helping the Lawnside Historical Society and the Peter Mott House thrive and grow. Last week, team members from around the country including founder and CEO Hugh Braithwaite toured the Mott House. Everyone of them is generous, smart, talented, supportive and enthusiastic about our mission. Special thanks to Lawnsider Allen Vickers for connecting us !

The back porches are coming along nicely. A wet spring has brought some unexpected water-filled holes to manage along wi...
05/05/2023

The back porches are coming along nicely. A wet spring has brought some unexpected water-filled holes to manage along with the excavation. The front portico stonework is repointed.
Much of the siding has been sanded and primed after replacement of rotted or damaged boards and work continues on the windows: replacement as needed and reglazing.
Window sashes that had been removed from the south (front) side for repair have finally returned, soon to be set back in their frames. Then it will be time to work on the north side sashes.
Shutters are also being refurbished and missing or damaged hardware restored.
The shingles have arrived and in the next few of weeks the roof will be replaced (that's when we may need the earplugs in the second floor office!). Let's hope the weather cooperates.

Next week: some of the original framing, lathwork and mudfill (insulation) is revealed!

It will be several weeks yet, but Rockingham will be getting a new roof. However, unlike at Mount Vernon, our roof had p...
04/03/2023

It will be several weeks yet, but Rockingham will be getting a new roof. However, unlike at Mount Vernon, our roof had plain cedar shingles, not painted. Either red or blue would have looked nice with the light gray siding, though!

Next is the siding and fascia (along edges of roof and framing, some badly damaged by woodpeckers going after carpenter ...
03/27/2023

Next is the siding and fascia (along edges of roof and framing, some badly damaged by woodpeckers going after carpenter larvae): finishing repairs and prep, some structural shoring up and then replacement where needed. Also, replacing rotted window jambs on the newer kitchen wing section and the sill of the east back door.

A small modern back porch has been removed along with the stairs of a larger 19th-century porch. A new porch will be bui...
03/22/2023

A small modern back porch has been removed along with the stairs of a larger 19th-century porch. A new porch will be built after repairs to the door frame and the stairs of the older porch will be replaced (a new footing has already been poured). The front kitchen portico and the (19th-century) two-story porch on the front of the house is being shored up. Much of the stone flooring is being re-set and will soon be re-pointed.

Patricia oversaw Rockingham Historic Site as well and we thank her for her time, care and dedication to our history pres...
03/18/2023

Patricia oversaw Rockingham Historic Site as well and we thank her for her time, care and dedication to our history preservation and programming!

It is with a heavy heart that the staff at D&R Canal State Park announces the impending departure of Superintendent Patricia Kallesser; her final day as supervisor will be March 31st. After a tenure of sixteen years with the park, she will be handing the reins over to the next Superintendent tasked to lead the team here. Lauren Rojewski, relatively new to NJ State Parks, and formerly of Spruce Run Reservoir Recreation Area, will step into the Superintendent position at D&R on April 1st. She has big shoes to fill!

Superintendent Kallesser has led the charge at D&R for the past sixteen years with enthusiasm, a keen sense of dedication, patience and flexibility. She has been an effective and successful multi-tasking project manager who worked every day in cooperation with our partner agencies, friend organizations and volunteers as well as the many municipal and county departments that interconnect/interact with the park.

Overseeing this 70+ mile linear park and the additional properties under the D&R Canal State Park’s management is no simple task. Managing a complicated park such as this can quickly become overwhelming with the many ongoing multi-agency projects, daily maintenance concerns and unexpected issues that often surface especially those repeated flood events. And yet, Superintendent Kallesser stepped-up to that challenge and always attempted to handle the load with professionalism, quick action when needed, attention to detail and thoughtful consideration.

Although the staff is sad to see Superintendent Kallesser move on, we certainly wish her well as she continues her career at NJ State Parks first at Round Valley Recreation Area this spring and summer and then at Spruce Run Recreation Area.

Good luck Patricia. We all thank you. Congratulations for a job well done! You will be missed but not forgotten and will forever be a part of the D&R Canal legacy!

03/18/2023
Work had been progressing slowly on the house renovation, mostly due to weather and supply availability, but has ramped ...
03/17/2023

Work had been progressing slowly on the house renovation, mostly due to weather and supply availability, but has ramped up recently with many hands on deck (Hawley Brothers, Inc. as lead general contractor) as we tick off the 7th week. In earlier February, in order to better protect them from outside work dust, debris and vibrations, the furnishings and other collections pieces inside the house were either moved, packed up or wrapped in heavy plastic, leaving the spaces eerily empty. Several historic window sashes were then removed for more extensive repairs (like on the muntins—the cross pieces that hold the panes in place--that were chewed by a groundhog trapped inside overnight several years ago!) and the spaces boarded up.

Photos courtesy of Vicki Chirco!

02/28/2023
02/26/2023

Follow directions to the GPS coordinates: 40.185250, -74.746532 from 1PM to 3PM on Friday, March 24th 2023 to join in a local park clean-up!

02/26/2023

Taking Sides in Revolutionary New Jersey--Washington's Birthday Lecture
Sunday, February 26, 2023
2:30 PM

St. John's Episcopal Church Parish Hall
158 West High Street
Somerville, NJ 08876
Free program

Professor Maxine Lurie, Chair of the New Jersey Historical Commission, explores the experience of early Americans caught in the crossfire of the Revolutionary War in New Jersey in a new book Taking Sides in Revolutionary New Jersey.

Among the figures Prof. Lurie considers are John Wallace, a Philadelphia merchant who constructed the Wallace House at Hope Farm in New Jersey to escape the Revolutionary War, only to host George Washington's winter headquarters during the Middlebrook Cantonment of 1778-79, and the Hardenbergh and Frelinghuysen family, agitators for American independence in New Jersey, who resided at Old Dutch Parsonage.

Rockingham is getting a face lift! Finally, in February, work will begin to repair, renovate and/or replace Rockingham’s...
02/03/2023

Rockingham is getting a face lift! Finally, in February, work will begin to repair, renovate and/or replace Rockingham’s siding, windows, doors, porches and roof in order to get us ready for the multi-year 250th anniversary of the American Revolution, the birth of our country and the celebration of its multi-faceted history! You will start to see equipment, fencing, storage units and port-o-johns popping up on the grounds at the historic site in the next week. This major and much-needed project (see photos of some current conditions) will proceed over the next several months and will, for safety concerns, mean that the historic house and part of the grounds around it will be closed to the public. When the work has progressed enough to safely reopen the house for tours, we will let you know. We will post updates and photos as the project progresses. In the spring, we also hope to have the barn open and staffed periodically to provide information, to show the Telly Award-winning DVD, “The Road to Peace” about General Washington’s stay at Rockingham and to present other programming. Stay tuned here and on our website, rockingham.net!

America could have had it's own King George I in the person of George Washington, commander in chief of the armies of th...
01/29/2023

America could have had it's own King George I in the person of George Washington, commander in chief of the armies of the United States, and the man on our side with the most power at the end of the American Revolution. This would have held with what usually happened in such circumstances in history before the Revolution (AND after). But Washington stepped away from such power, returning it back to the civilian Congress which had given it to him at the onset of the war, setting us up for a different direction of government . . .

On this day in 1820, King George III died at Windsor Castle after a reign of almost 60 years. 👑

George III believed that he was the protector of his subjects’ liberty. Without a king, there would be no order or peace. Most British Americans in the 1760s agreed. Order and peace were basic to what British Americans in the 1760s called “liberty.” This was the right to enjoy your life and property in peace. British Liberty also meant the people had some ability, through elected representatives, to consent to laws that affected them. British Americans saw the King as a protector of this tradition. When George III ascended the throne in 1761, Americans celebrated their new King and their British Liberty with fireworks and parties, and many toasts of rum punch.

The Revolution would challenge assumptions about the King, hierarchy, and equality.

Learn more about King George III on your next visit: bit.ly/34CiSxy

🎨 Portrait of George III in his coronation robes, by Allan Ramsay, ca. 1761-1762, Royal Collection Trust

"First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his country."- from original funeral address before Congress, ...
12/14/2022

"First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his country."
- from original funeral address before Congress, Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee (he later amended it to "hearts of his countrymen.")

in 1799 at Mount Vernon, George Washington passed away of a throat infection. Tobias Lear recorded Washington's final moments in his journal that night: "I am just going," he said. After uttering some instructions, he whispered finally, "Tis well."

Read Tobias Lear's account: https://bit.ly/31AYde8

(Image Credits)
Life of George Washington: The Christian, lithograph by Claude Regnier, after Junius Brutus Stearns, circa 1853. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Gibby, 1984 [WB-55/A1], the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, Mount Vernon, VA.

12/07/2022

Can you imagine rowing through ice floes and then trudging through a blizzard in the middle of the night, with miles to go before your destination is reached — especially when that destination is a battle to decide the fate of your country?

12/03/2022

This lovely gown dates to about 1840 and may have been made in Monmouth County. The subtle and delicate tucks, gathers, and pleats are hallmarks of this time period. Donor Elizabeth La Motte Gittens (1875 - 1960) was born in New York but settled in Matawan where she worked as a teacher and drama instructor in the Matawan school system for fifty years. Elizabeth La Motte married Herbert Gittens, the Matawan secretary of the Board of Education, on Christmas Day in 1911. Elizabeth appeared frequently in local papers, giving dramatic recitations for various charities. The gown appears to have been altered, including a wide panel of plain silk along the hem in order to lengthen the gown. Elizabeth may have worn the dress while performing. Want to see closeups of the gown's intricate gathers? Be sure to visit our E-Museum website for more details of this extraordinary survivor!

05/21/2022

Join us Thursday, June 16th at 7 PM for our next Historically Speaking virtual presentation!
Dr. Linda Epps presents​ 𝑴𝒆𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒊𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒛𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑨𝒇𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝑨𝒎𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝑯𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒚: 𝑪𝒆𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒔, 𝑴𝒐𝒏𝒖𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒔, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝑴𝒂𝒓𝒌𝒆𝒓𝒔. We are in a time like no other when it comes to changing the public narrative of the United States and the recognition of non Anglo cultures that helped define what we know as the US of America. Does history impact the way we see and think of ourselves and others? We owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our hopes to our history. How do our public markers influence our interpretation of our culture?

Register today for free at monmouthhistory.org/historically-speaking, and feel free to share with your most brilliant friends!

05/19/2022

Step into 18th century soldier life at the Old Barracks in Trenton! Tour the galleries to learn about New Jersey in the French and Indian War and the Revolution, see the bunks where soldiers slept, tour the Officers' House and more. Book your visit today! http://ow.ly/saN950JavnJ

WE REGRET that due to several unfortunate reasons, including the extreme temperature and t-storms forecast for the day o...
05/18/2022

WE REGRET that due to several unfortunate reasons, including the extreme temperature and t-storms forecast for the day of our event, Rockingham's Children's Day, scheduled to take place on May 22, 2022 is hereby cancelled. We apologize and hope to see you at one of our future events under better circumstances!

05/16/2022

The Museum is pleased to honor award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist and Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. as the 2022 recipient of the Lenfest Spirit of the American Revolution Award. The award recognizes distinguished and significant achievement in advancing public awareness and understanding of history and of its relevance in the ongoing American experiment. Additionally, Governor Edward G. Rendell will receive the inaugural Chairman's Award.

Both will be awarded on Thursday, June 9 for the Lenfest Spirit of the American Revolution Award Gala.

More details: https://bit.ly/3l55xVX

Address

84 Laurel Avenue
South Brunswick Township, NJ
08528

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