All Borough Hall offices will close at 3 pm on Friday, March 1 for mandatory staff training. The Vital Statistics office will be closed from February 29 until March 18.

National Register Properties

Only 2 square miles, Somerville has a significant number of National Register and Register-Eligible properties representing various eras.

Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage

The Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage are historic house museums dating from the 18th century. They are owned and administered by the NJ Division of Parks and Forestry/ DEP. The Friends of the Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage are a non-profit support group for these sites. Located on Washington Place in Somerville, both sites are open to the public. For visitors information, call (908) 725-1015.

General Washington

The Wallace House was built about 1776 and served as the headquarters of General Washington during the Middlebrook encampment of 1778-79 in Somerset County. The Wallace House is restored and interpreted as the home of an upper-middle class family returning to normal life after the departure of Washington and his entourage. Other sites associated with the encampment are located in the neighboring towns of Bridgewater, South Bound Brook and Bedminster. For information on these contact the Heritage Trail Association.

Parsonage

The Old Dutch Parsonage was the home of the minister of the first Dutch Reformed congregation in the Somerville-Raritan area. It is the ancestral home of the Frelinghuysens, a famous New Jersey family that has contributed ministers, patriots, and statesmen to state and national history. The Parsonage is also associated with the founding of Rutgers University and the New Brunswick Theological Seminary. Jacob Hardenburgh, second minister to occupy the parsonage, was one of the founders of Old Queens College (1766) and later served as its first president.

Events

Annual events co-sponsored by the Friends of the Wallace House and Old Dutch parsonage, and the Park Service, include George Washington's Birthday Celebration and an Eighteenth Century Holiday Celebration.

Museum

The Wallace House became a museum in 1897, and both the Wallace House and the Old Dutch Parsonage became state sites in 1947. In 1997, the sites celebrated a triple anniversary: the 100th anniversary of the preservation of the Wallace House and the fiftieth museum anniversary of both historic homes.

Somerville Borough Hall and Public Library

Constructed in 1888, the Daniel Robert House is a faithful copy of an award-winning design by Alexander Jackson Davis. The Gothic-revival “castle” served as the Lodge of the Somerville Elks from 1923 to 1959. Today it serves as Somerville's Borough Hall and Public Library.

The mansion was listed on the National Register in time for the 100th anniversary of the Borough’s incorporation.

James Harper Smith Estate

The James Harper Smith Estate is one of Somerville's most remarkable Victorians. The former home of “Super Smith,” the wealthy manager of the Raritan Woolen Mills, it is a one-of-a-kind Victorian chateaux and a private residence.

Firemen’s Museum

Located on Doughty Avenue, in a vintage Victorian-era firehouse, the Firemen's museum is owned by the Borough and operated by members of the Somerville Exempt Firemen’s Association (retired members of our volunteer fire department). The mission of the museum is to preserve the history of the local department, its records and accomplishments, and to archive memorabilia and to house the Borough’s antique fire-fighting equipment.

The museum also serves to educate children and the public about fire prevention. Full exterior restoration was recently completed with grants from the NJ State Historic Trust and from Somerset County Historic Trust.

Historic Courthouse and green

Somerset County’s Historic 1909 white marble, domed courthouse, designed by J. Gordon Riley, underwent major restoration in the 1990s. The main courtroom in the structure was the scene of the infamous Hall-Mills murder trial.

The green includes the historic First Dutch Reformed Church, now used as the Jury Assembly area, and The Lord Memorial Fountain. For information about these properties and their availability for tours, contact the Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission.

Courthouse and green infographic (PDF)

Historic churches

Two of Somerville’s beautiful stone churches, constructed in the late Victorian era, are on the national and state historic registers. First Church, which serves the County as the Jury Assembly Room, is part of the Historic Courthouse Green. St. John’s Episcopal on High Street, with its matching Parsonage and parish house, evokes mighty fortresses of old.

Other historic churches in Somerville include the Baptist Church, also on High Street, United Reform on Main Street, St. Thomas AME on Davenport Street, all dating from the late 1800s. United Methodist on High Street was rebuilt early in the 1900s. A remnant of the original Immaculate Conception Church, destroyed by fire, remains in the former brick rectory on High Street, now adapted for modern use. The new church on Mountain Ave., is of mid-20th century construction. The neighboring parish center on Mountain Ave is located in one of Somerville’s early brownstone mansions.

Historic Main Street and train station (register eligible)

Somerville’s downtown area, including Main, Division, High, and parts of Bridge and Doughty Streets, is part of a proposed Somerville Historic District. It includes many beautiful examples of late-Victorian and early 20th-century town architecture.

Somerville's Victorian train station, now office space, has been declared eligible by the NJ Historic Preservation Office for listing. It is privately owned and operated.

Guided walking tours through beautiful Victorian residential neighborhoods (Victorian Walking Tour) and Somerville's classic Main Street (Second Story Somerville) are available through the Heritage Trail Association. The tours focus on the unique architecture and history of these areas of the town.

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