Welcome from the HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF HAMILTON TOWNSHIP

HamiltonHistoricalSince 1944 the Society’s Constitution has stated: “ The purpose of the Society shall be: the collection and preservation of material relating to the local history of Hamilton Township, Mercer County, New Jersey, and its vicinity. This shall be promoted by the reading of papers, by public lectures, by the report of special committees appointed to inquire into particular subjects of interest, by the erection and dedication of tablets or other markers to identify important and approved historic sites, by publications and other such means as the Society deems expedient.”

Along with regular monthly meetings with key note presentations we also operate the Historical John Abbott II House. Meetings are open to the public as is the Abbott House.

This past June, the Historical Society honored three of our long time members with a covered dish dinner and Life Membership status. Honored for her MANY years of service to the Historical Society and the John Abbott II House  – Lillian Tindall Smith. Honored for her years of services to the Historical Society and the John Abbott II House – Georgianna Smith. Honored for his  service to the Historical Society – Robert ( Bob) Boldt. Pictures can be found in our photo collection on page 5. Thank you all.

The Historical Society meets the first Monday of March, April, May, June, September, October and November in the lower level of  the Hamilton Township Library, 1 Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619. Meetings begin at 7 pm with a keynote speaker and are followed by a short business meeting. Meetings are open to the public. All are invited to attend.

We also recommend you check out Camp Olden Civil War Round Table’s web site for meetings, topics, events and Museum hours : www.campolden.org.

John abbott house

2012 AUGUST 25 LILLIAN ABBOTT HOUSE SIGNThe John Abbott II House 2200 Kuser Road, Hamilton, NJ 08691   was built in 1730 by John Abbott II and his father, John Abbott. The elder John Abbott was a merchant and dealt locally and in Philadelphia. John Ii was a farmer.  It is located at 2200 Kuser Rd. just inside the entrance to Hamilton’s Veterans Park. The house is owned by Hamilton Township and furnished and staffed by the Historical Society of Hamilton Township. In 1969 the house was to be razed to the ground but was saved by the Hamilton Township Historical Society. The house is on the National Register.

The house is noted as being a secret repository for funds hidden from British as they advanced on Trenton in 1776.

The following is from Helen Almy West’s History of Hamilton Township:

“It was in the latter part of the year 1776, and the British were advancing upon Trenton. Samuel Tucker, the State Treasurer, hearing of the British advance, wanted to save the State’s money and his own. On November 30, 1776 he took his personal effects and those of the estates of which he was executor, along with the unsigned public money, to the home of John Abbot. The British arrived in Trenton on December 3, 1776, and on that day Mr. Tucker took the signed public money amounting to more than fifteen hundred pounds, and a thousand pounds he held in trust, and secreted it with other moneys in the Abbott home.

The British were told of the hiding place by a Mrs. Mary Pointing, of Trenton, and she led a detachment of British troops, about five hundred strong, to the house of John Abbott. They raided the house and captured Tucker’s black trunk, containing deeds, etc. and the unsigned paper money.

When the British arrived at the house, the family pretended they were getting ready to move, and they had placed the money in the bottom of tubs, and over it placed dishes and broken household utensils of various kinds and carried them to the cellar. The soldiers ransacked the house from top to bottom, found the tubs, but were heard to mutter that they contained nothing but ‘old trumpery’ and did not search them. The soldiers took Tucker’s trunk with his papers and the unsigned ‘shin plasters’ but did not get the money.

Several days after this raid Samuel Tucker was returning to his family Trenton when, near White Horse, he was met by twenty mounted Tories. Their leader, John Leonard, pointed a pistol at Tucker’s breast and told him he had orders from the British to take him prisoner. Robert Pearson, twin brother of Isaac Pearson, appeared at the scene and gave his parole that Tucker should stay with him until he was wanted by the British.” ( For more information on Samuel Tucker please refer to this article written by Historic Society member Ray Williams – http://gardenstatelegacy.com/images/PDFs_3/NJ_Notes_With_a_Message_Williams_GSL3.pdf   )

John Abbott II never married and was 87 years old when he died in 1795. The 1730 portion of the house has a working, open hearth fireplace complete with a restored beehive oven. Added to the 1730 house is an 1840 addition with a parlor and 3 additional bedrooms. The house sits on its original foundation and is about 85% original.

1992 TOM GLOVER PHOTO JOHN ABBOTT II HOUSEThe John Abbott House is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 Noon to 5 pm ( last tour starts at 4:15 pm). March through December. Closed Easter Sunday and Thanksgiving weekend.

Outside the house is an old mill stone, herb garden, outhouse and The Doctor’s Office. This little building has resided at many sites including West State Street, Brunswick Ave. and next to the Mercerville Fire Company before being moved to its present location in 1979. At one time it was a Doctor’s office and later in the 1960’s, while near 5 Points in Mercerville, it was an antique shop.  It has been restored and furnished with vintage physician’s tools.