Hamilton's History

Hamilton's Historic Destinations

Enjoy the historic...

Kuser Farm Mansion

In 1954, Helen Almy West documented the earliest days of our municipality when she authored "A History of Hamilton Township." Copies of this 120 page hard bound book are scarce. The Hamilton Library is the best place to find one. Two decades later, a group of locals organized the Hamilton Historical Association and a special committee from that organization accepted the task of publishing a 36 page brochure updating Ms. West's book. They called it "Old Nottingham."

We invite you to visit the Hamilton Library so that you might enjoy a comprehensive tour through our colorful past. The following summary of these two historical offerings are furnished as an incentive to anyone interested in our unique beginnings. You may find that an understanding of our roots will provide a more vivid understanding of our current conditions and those we can look forward to in the new millennium.

John Abbott II House


John Abbott II House

Situated in the shadow of Veterans Park, this elegant historic site still houses a secret involving patriot funds hidden from the British as they were advancing on Trenton in November of 1776. Abbott, a bachelor 87 years old when he died in 1795 lived in the house built in 1730 by his father and located then on the North side of Crosswicks Creek. The John Abbott House is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 Noon to 5 pm.

Civil War and Native American Museum

Located directly behind the Abbott House in Veterans Park, the museum has been in operation for three years. The museum is showcasing exhibits dealing with the American Civil War as well as Delaware Indian artifacts. More information is available Here.

Isaac Watson House

Still beautiful with graceful architectural lines and thick walls and fireplaces, the Watson House is one of the oldest homes in this area. Park Avenue near South Broad Street Park was a wilderness when the house was built in 1708 on 800 acres of land.

Isaac Pearson House

Elected several times to the State Assembly, Isaac Pearson was reported to have done much entertaining in this house until the rebellion broke out against England. While riding on horseback to New Brunswick, he was killed either by robbers or Continentals who were angry with his siding with the British. Hamilton Township recently took possession of the home and is now in the process of restoring the site and converting it for use as a tourist attraction.

The John Abbott House is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 Noon to 5 pm. (last tour starts at 4:15 pm)

Miscellany

Hamilton is blessed with many historic structures and a wealth of artifacts left by the Lenape Indians, the first residents of our land.

Highlights of the text and the pamphlet described above include:

  • A description of historic homes and buildings.
  • Notes from the Town Book of Nottingham.
  • A description of General Washington's march across our township.
  • A fascinating local ghost tale.
  • A story of forbidden love.
  • The murder of Isaac Pearson.
  • Early government leaders.
  • The Villages of Hamilton.

Presently, a new effort is underway to update the history of our municipality. The list of contributors to this latest endeavor is quite lengthy. Your interest is invited and appreciated. When the project is completed, the Hamilton Library will be the best source for information and distribution.

Note: "A Narrative History of Hamilton Township" published by the Hamilton Township Historical Society is on sale at Mercer Ace Hardware, Mercerville Shopping Center, Rt. 33, Mercerville. $15.00 soft cover. Hardcovers may be purchased at the John Abbott II House for $25.

Did you know?

  • Our township was ruled by kings and queens before we won our freedom.
  • In 1620, the first settlement in New Jersey was in Bergen.
  • In 1626, our State was divided into East and West New Jersey.
  • In 1677, Quakers purchased parts of West New Jersey from the Leni-Lenape Indians.
  • In 1678, the good ship Shield arrived from Hull, England at Burlington. Passengers walked ashore on ice.
  • Our forebearers were mostly farmers but also tradesmen, wheelwrights, tailors, ship builders and carpenters.
  • In 1686, the Township of Nottingham was organized.
  • In 1842, the name was changed to Hamilton Township.
  • In 1874, the assessed valuation of the entire township was $1,723.40.
  • The pamphlet called "Old Nottingham" offers many other little known facts about our town's past.