Van Veghten House

Van Veghten House
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Van Veghten House
Van Veghten House, looking east, 2018
Van Veghten House
Van Veghten House
Van Veghten House
Location 9 Van Veghten Drive
Bridgewater, New Jersey
Coordinates 40°33′25″N 74°35′18″W / 40.55694°N 74.58833°W / 40.55694; -74.58833 (Van Veghten House)
Area 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built c. 1725
Architectural style Greek Revival
NRHP reference # 79003253[1]
NJRHP # 2487[2]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 10, 1979
Designated NJRHP July 21, 1979

The Van Veghten House is a historic building in the Finderne section of Bridgewater Township, Somerset County, New Jersey. The house was built c. 1725 and served as the headquarters of Quartermaster General Nathanael Greene during the second Middlebrook encampment (winter of 1778–79) in the American Revolutionary War.[3][4] The Somerset County Historical Society has the house as its headquarters, including a museum and library.[5] The early-18th-century Old York Road, connecting Philadephia to New York City, passed by here.[6] The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 10, 1979, and noted as representing "one of the few remaining Raritan River mansions".[3]


In 1697, Michael Van Veghten (also spelled Van Vechten, 1663–1737) purchased 834 acres along the Raritan River near Finderne. After his first wife died, he then married Jannetje Dumont on April 2, 1691.[7] Their son Derrick (also spelled Dirck, 1699–1781) inherited the property when Michael died in 1737.[3][8][9]

During the second Middlebrook encampment (winter of 1778–79), Derrick Van Veghten, a patriot of the American Revolution, gave Quartermaster General Nathanael Greene and his wife, Catharine Littlefield Greene, the use of the house for his headquarters and the farm for an encampment of his troops, without asking for any compensation.[3][7]

On March 19, 1779, General Greene described an event attended by General George Washington that was held at the Van Veghten House in a letter to Colonel Jeremiah Wadsworth:[10]

a little dance at my quarters a few Evenings past. His Excellency and Mrs [Catharine] Greene danced upwards of three hours without once sitting down. Upon the whole we had a pretty little frisk.

— General Nathanael Greene

On August 30, 1781, the First Brigade of the French Army, the Expédition Particulière, under command of the French general Comte de Rochambeau, marched past this house, along the route to Yorktown, Virginia. The day's march was thirteen miles (21 km) from the campground at Bullion's Tavern in Liberty Corner to the campground at Somerset Courthouse, now Millstone, New Jersey. The Second Brigade followed on August 31. The American Continental Army marched nearby along different roads as part of this joint effort.[11]

After Derrick died in 1781, the estate passed to his son Michael Van Veghten (1764–1831).[7][9]


The house is two and a half stories plus a cellar. Brownstone is used for the foundation, and the first story features Flemish bond brickwork on the south and west walls; otherwise common bond brickwork is used.[4] Iron beam anchors, which are both functional and decorative, are visible on the south wall by the arches of brick voussoirs above the window heads. The house was renovated c. 1837 in the style of Greek Revival and features four mantelpieces of that style.[3]


See also

Other houses used as headquarters during the second Middlebrook encampment (winter of 1778–79):


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places – Somerset County" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection – Historic Preservation Office. February 12, 2018. p. 5. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Herfurth, Robert P. (October 10, 1979). "NRHP Nomination: Van Veghten House" (PDF). National Park Service.  "Accompanying 3 photos, from 1979" (PDF). 
  4. ^ a b Williams, Seymour (1937). The Van Veghten House (PDF). HABS NJ-661. Historic American Buildings Survey. pp. 1–12. 
  5. ^ "Van Veghten House: Our Headquarters". Somerset County Historical Society, New Jersey. 
  6. ^ Cawley, James; Cawley, Margaret (1965). Along the Old York Road. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. pp. 5, 97. ISBN 978-0-813-50487-2. OCLC 692143813. 
  7. ^ a b c Bailey, Rosalie Fellows (1936). "House of Derrick Van Vechten; Greene's Headquarters". Pre-Revolutionary Dutch Houses and Families in Northern New Jersey and Southern New York. New York: William Morrow & Company. pp. 464–466. 
  8. ^ Dumont, John B. (1912). "Wallerand Dumont and His Somerset County Descendants". In Honeyman, A. Van Doren. Somerset County Historical Quarterly. 1. p. 110. 
  9. ^ a b Chambers, Theodore Frelinghuysen (1895). "Van Vechten". The Early Germans of New Jersey: Their History, Churches, and Genealogies. pp. 548–9. 
  10. ^ Washington, George (February 6, 1779). "General Orders, 6 February 1779". Founders Online, National Archives. 
  11. ^

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