The first settlement which would become Trenton was established by Quakers in 1679, in the region then called the Falls of the Delaware, led by Mahlon Stacy from Handsworth, Sheffield in England. Quakers were being persecuted in England at this time and North America provided the perfect opportunity to exercise their religious freedom.

By 1719, the town adopted the name “Trent-towne”, after William Trent, one of its leading landholders who purchased much of the surrounding land from Stacy’s family. This name later was shortened to “Trenton”.

During the American Revolution, the city was the site of George Washington's first military victory. On December 26, 1776, Washington and his army, after crossing the icy Delaware River to Trenton, defeated the Hessian troops garrisoned there. The stunning sight of prisoners being paraded out of town not only gained the Americans highly elusive respect and rejuvenated morale but proved that Washington was the man who could successfully lead this revolt. After the war, Trenton was briefly the national capital of the United States in November and December of 1784. The city was considered as a permanent capital for the new country, but the southern states favored a location south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Trenton was a major manufacturing center in the late 1800s and early 1900s; one relic of that era is the slogan “Trenton Makes, the World Takes” displayed on the Lower Free Bridge just north of the Trenton-Morrisville Toll Bridge (the “Trenton Makes Bridge”). The city adopted the slogan in the 1920s to represent Trenton’s then-leading role as a major manufacturing center for steel, rubber, wire, rope, linoleum and ceramics.

Our walking tour will begin outside the second oldest state house in continuous use in the United States...

New Jersey State House
West State Street

The New Jersey State House began modestly in 1792, in a $400 capitol built by Jonathan Doane. The building was two and one-half stories high and consisted of seven bays radiating off a center hall. A bell-tower was situated in the center of the roof. The legislative chambers were located on the first floor - Senate (then the Legislative Council) in the west and the General Assembly in the east. The Governor’s and judicial offices occupied the second floor. For decades the State House remained unaltered until a major addition was constructed in 1845 under the direction of John Notman, a well-known Philadelphia architect. He created a one, two and three-story stepped office wing on the north side of the original building, facing what is now State Street. The new entrance had a two-story porch and six fluted Doric columns. A grand rotunda with a stairhall connected the old and new wings. This area was capped by a spherical dome and cupola. A two-story portico with pairs of Corinthian columns and a classical pediment was added to the river-side façade. Early in the morning of March 21, 1885, a fire broke out and raced through the empty building, totally destroying the State Street wing, Lewis Broome of Jersey City was selected to plan the reconstruction. He designed the building in a simplified Second Empire style with three stories and limestone facing. He also added a new rotunda and dome that were more proportional to the scale of the building. In 1903, under the direction of Merchantsville architect Arnold Moses, the Senate wing was reconstructed in American Renaissance style to mirror the Assembly quarters. The wing was enlarged using classical forms and rich materials, particularly in the decorative interior and exterior treatments. Sine that time building activity around the State House has focused on preservation and restoration rather than addition.


New Jersey World War II Memorial
West State Street

Dedicated on Veterans Day, 2008 the Memorial is designed to capture the courage and grace of the World War II generation. The centerpiece of the plaza, a dramatic 12-foot, one-ton bronze sculpture of Lady Victory stands atop a 5-foot pedestal wielding a sword in her left hand and holding high a wreath of peace in her right. As she strides forward, her left foot crushes the swastika flag of Nazi Germany while her right trods upon the rising sun flag of Imperial Japan. Behind Lady Victory stands another sculpture, the Lone Soldier, a bronze life-size figure designed to represent any soldier, Marine, sailor or airman. The helmeted figure moves forward to meet the enemy, his M-1 rifle at the ready. Also featured is the symbol of the fallen warrior: a sculpture of a bronze rifle planted by its bayonet in the dirt, a helmet resting atop the butt. The sculptures are the work of Jay Warren of Rogue River, Oregon, who had a studio in New Jersey for a decade. 


New Jersey Capitol Complex
West State Street

Filling out the plaza in the Capitol Complex are a number of state buildings, fanning out to the west of the State House. Directly next door is the Neoclassical State House Annex late, built in the 1920s to house the State Library, State Museum and State Judiciary. Today it contains legislative committee rooms and offices. A recent restoration included refurbishing period details and adding several commissioned artworks, including a skylight featuring special places, people and events in New Jersey history. Moving down West State Street are the State Library, State Museum and Planetarium and the Department of State Building.

New Jersey Farm Bureau
168 West State Street

This handsome Italianate building with exuberant window hoods and brackets is the home of the New Jersey Farm Bureau, known as the Farmhouse. 

Roebling Mansion
222 West State Street

This is the last remaining mansion built by the Roebling family, built around 1900 by Ferdinand W. Roebling Sr., one of three sons of John A. Roebling, inventor of the wire-rope cable used to construct the Brooklyn Bridge, which he designed. Ferdinand believed in living modestly and scorned his brothers’ more ostentatious homes.  Mr. Roebling was the financier of the trio, investing in some of the businesses that purchased materiel from J A Roebling Sons Company, such as Otis Elevator and Bell Telephone. The house was long neglected, vacant and threatened with demolition before it was restored as the new headquarters for the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.

Lutine House
224 West State Street

The Lutine House dates to the early 1840s, built as a well-proportioned late Federal-era brick building. The ornamental cornice is more reflective of the Italianate period that followed.

Kuser Mansion/Thomas Edison College
315 West State Street

Rudolph Kuser was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1818 and emigrated to America at the age of nineteen. A mechanical engineer, he settled in New York and then in Newark, where he became associated with Baxter, Kuser and Thompson who made the famous Baxter engine with boiler. He eventually made his home near Trenton where he purchased the Lord Farm. Kuser sired five sons and a daughter. One son, Colonel Anthony Kuser, founding member of the New Jersey Audubon Society and director of more than 50 corporations, and his wife Susie Dryden, daughter of Senator John Fairfield Dryden, founder of the Prudential Life Insurance Company, made the largest land donation in the history of New Jersey when they deeded 11,000 acres for High Point State Park in 1923. Another, Rudolph V. Kuser was president of the Peoples Brewing Company, vice-president of the Lenox Incorporated, vice-president and director of the First Mechanics-National Bank and director of the Standard Fire Insurance Company of Trenton. He built this ornate Beaux Arts mansion that is now part of Thomas Edison College.


Calhoun Street Canal House
Delaware & Raritan Canal, 25 Calhoun Street

The Delaware and Raritan Canal opened for business on June 25, 1834. Trenton, at 56 feet above sea level, was the summit with seven locks lifting boats between Bordentown and Trenton and seven more locks lowering them from Trenton to New Brunswick. Trenton was the hub of a transportation network that connected the city to major markets in Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore, and to raw materials (primarily coal) from Pennsylvania.  At the blast of a coal boat or the whistle of a yacht, bridge tenders swung Trenton’s bridges aside to make way for canal traffic. Each lock tender and bridge tender was provided with a home as a condition of his employment. In December 1932, the canal closed to commercial traffic. The D&R Canal, along with the houses, was entered on the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 1973 and the following year Gov. Brendan Byrne signed a bill creating the D&R Canal State Park. The three canal houses in Trenton have had tenants over the years, but both the Calhoun Street and Hanover Street houses are now vacant and in disrepair. 


Bellevue Avenue Colored School (Lincoln School)  
81 Bellevue Avenue

A bill was passed in 1881 to allow blacks, who made up 5% of Trenton’s 30,000 people, to attend the all-white Trenton High School but they were placed in special classes and allowed to use the swimming pool only during specific time periods. At the same time a new elementary school for blacks was proposed for Bellevue Avenue, although it was far from most of the black families in town. There was also another school on Bellevue Avenue so it came to be known as the “Colored School.” Black leaders objected to the designation and proposed that it be named after abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The school board rejected the proposal but agreed to “Lincoln School” as a compromise.

Higbee Street School (Nixon School)
20 Bellevue Avenue

The Higbee Street School is a brick Greek Revival building constructed in 1857, the first school built specifically for the free public education of African American children in the City of Trenton.   The building itself was a departure from previous schools.  It followed design concepts of 19th century education reformers and is probably one of the first African American schools to embody those innovations.  By 1872 the student population had already outgrown the Higbee Street building and the students were moved to a temporary building while a new one was constructed.  


Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Freight Station
260 North Willow Street (rear of tower)

The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad (P&R) was one of the first railroads constructed in the United States. It was more commonly known as the Reading Railroad and reached eventually to Atlantic City, landing the line in the game of Monopoly. This freight station was built for the railroad in 1888.


Trenton Battle Monument
intersection of North Broad Street, Warren Street and Brunswick, Pennington and Princeton Avenue

The Trenton Battle Monument commemorates the American victory at the first Battle of Trenton, NJ, which occurred on December 26, 1776. It was here that the American artillery was placed. From this vantage point, the artillery dominated the streets of Trenton, preventing the Hessian troops from organizing an effective counter attack. With 6,000 troops situated along the west bank of the Delaware River, General George Washington planned his march on Trenton where approximately 1,400 British forces were stationed. Three divisions of the Continental Army would cross the Delaware River on Christmas night, attacking the British from three directions. Colonel Cadwalader’s division would move north from Bordentown. General Ewing would attack at Trenton Ferry. Washington, with approximately 2,400 men, would lead the main attack from the north. But due to a cold, snowy night his planned three-pronged attack, however, failed to materialize. Cadwalder and Ewing were unable to cross the Delaware as directed due to heavy river ice and extreme weather conditions. Unknowingly, Washington was going to engage the enemy with only a third of his forces. Hessian colonel Johann Gottleib Rall was in command of the British forces in Trenton. Despite reports of an American attack, Rall, who considered the Continental Army to be little more than loosely organized group of farmers, ignored the warnings. He, along with his fellow officers, continued to celebrate the Christmas holiday, it was a fatal mistake. As dawn approached, the American troops surprised the British forces occupying Trenton. In less than an hour, Washington’s army met with victory. Thirty officers, 918 prisoners, 1,000 muskets and rifles, six cannons, six wagons, and 40 horses were captured. Colonel Rall lay mortally wounded, dying a day later. Not a single patriot was killed in the conflict. The victory at Trenton was a strategic, as well as a military success. It also served to boost the morale of a dwindling and dispirited Continental Army and to galvanize the resolve of those Americans who still believed in America’s war for independence. The significance of the patriots’ victory at Trenton was not forgotten in the ensuing years. Three years after the battle, colonial secretary of state for King George III, Lord Germain, told Parliament “… all our hopes were blasted by that unhappy affair at Trenton.” The Trenton Battle Monument was designed by John H. Duncan, architect of President Grant’s Tomb. It is a triumphal column of granite 148 feet high. Considered to be an early example of the Beaux Arts style, it is a Roman Doric column with a large base John H. Duncan decorated with acanthus leaves. The capital has a ring of stars crowned by an observation platform with a railing. Above the platform is a circle of 13 electric lights, representing the 13 original colonies. On October 19, 1893, elaborate dedication ceremonies were held. An estimated 20,000 people attended the commemorative exercises. Another 100,000 crowded the streets of Trenton. Cannons boomed and bands played patriotic music. Souvenir ribbons sold for 25 cents. One of the day’s highlights was the unveiling of three bronze plaques for the base of the monument. These plaques were funded by the states of Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut whose home troops had participated in the Battle. Although President Cleveland was unable to attend, Governors of eight of the 13 original states did. The monument opened to the public on December 26, 1896.


Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption  
151 N. Warren Street

The site of the Cathedral is the place where Col. Johann Gottlieb Rall, commander of the Hessian troops, had his headquarters in December 1776 during the Battle of Trenton. St. Mary’s was built between 1866 and 1871 to serve Catholics living north of Assunpink Creek. In 1878 a 256-foot spire was added but it was removed because of safety concerns in 1953.

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
140 N. Warren Street

Founded by 1703, St Michael’s began as a congregation open to all Protestant denominations a little north of Trenton in what was known as Maidenhead (now Lawrenceville). Some time between 1703 and 1748, according to a church summary of its history, the original St. Michael’s Church was built in Trenton at the present location at Warren and Perry Streets. The original building was significantly rebuilt and enlarged in 1819. The crenellated towers were designed to honor of the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose residence, Lambeth Palace in London, sports a very similar façade. Fantasy Gothic is the term usually applied to this style. St. Michael’s is the burial spot of David Brearley, a signer of the Constitution and the State of New Jersey’s first Chief Justice. It also is the final resting place of a niece of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Elks Lodge No. 105
120 N. Warren Street

This building opened on January 1, 1912 as the headquarters for the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. The ornamented lodge cost $100,000 to build and offered members bowling and billiards in the basement and a reception hall and grillroom on the first floor. The second floor had a library, a parlor, and an entertainment hall complete with a stage. The lodge room occupied the third floor and was two stories high. On the fourth floor were five bedrooms. The building was topped by a roof garden.

Mechanics National Bank (“The Corner Historic”)
1 West State Street

On the southwest corner of Warren and State Streets, originally King and Second, respectively, historic events of local, state, national and international significance took place. For many years it has been appropriately designated “The Corner Historic.” In the early days of Trenton this site at the southwest corner of King (now Warren) Street and Second (now State) Street, contained the handsome stone and stucco home of John Dagworthy, long classed as the largest and most handsome house in the community. It was erected in 1730, or thereabouts. It included an exceptionally large attic, which was in later years to be used for important public and semi-public meetings. During the American Revolution the French Arms Tavern operated here and the Continental Congress once deliberated. All told, four taverns have stood on this corner and their names have been emblazoned under the roof of the building. The first Mechanics National Bank opened here in 1837, a two-story structure of brick, with slate roof, built at a cost of $3,500. The current Neoclassical building dates to 1895. An N.C. Wyeth mural of Washington entering Trenton in triumph hangs in the bank.


Christian Science Reading Room
9 West State Street

The first Christian Science Reading Room was established in 1888 by Mary Baker Eddy to make her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures more widely available. Ms. Eddy is also the founder of the newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor. There are more than 1,500 Christian Science Reading Rooms in 80 countries, serving their communities by offering books, publications and other materials for the exploration of spirituality, prayer and health.

Trenton Trust Company
28 West State Street

As Trenton developed in a business way there came increasing demands for banking facilities and men of means began looking around for opportunities for investment in this connection. In 1888 the city’s first trust and safe deposit company was organized. It was established under the name of The Real Estate, Safe Deposit, Trust and Investment Company of New Jersey. This was later changed to the Trenton Trust and Safe Deposit Company and became popularly known as the “Trenton Trust.” The present 14-story, Neoclassical skyscraper was erected in 1924.


Trenton Savings Fund Society
123 East State Street

The Trenton Saving Fund Society was incorporated by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 7, 1844. The Society began business Tuesday, July 20, 1847, in one of the offices of the old City Hall. July 25, 1848, it moved to offices in the Chancery Building, later to be the site of the Trenton Trust Company (previous stop). It remained there until April 3, 1860, when it located in the Scott Building, now 6 South Broad Street, and on July 1, 1862, it took over the quarters of the defunct Merchants’ Bank, now 8 South Broad Street. On June 30, 1881, title was taken to the property of Benjamin Fish, 123 East State Street. This building, long the home of Mr. Fish, was renovated and occupied by the society until July 5, 1899, when the managers decided upon the erection of a new banking house. This structure was completed in April 1901, at a total cost of $104,433.61. The building was designed after the Italian Renaissance period of architecture, and the interior is of marble, bronze and mahogany, with all modern banking equipment and facilities. The beautiful stained glass ceiling, surmounted by a large dome, was removed in 1962. 

133 East State Street

The national concept of the “Young Men’s Christian Association,” otherwise known as the YMCA, or simply the “Y,” began its existence in 1851. This event was followed closely by the emergence of the Greater Trenton Area YMCA only five years later in 1856. The YMCA was located in various rented rooms throughout the city and offered a healthy assortment of lectures, debates and other educational programs. In the 1880s, the gymnasium was located in the second Masonic Hall. This Romanesque-styled building executed in thin ochre-colored Roman bricks, was erected in 1892. It featured an auditorium that could seat 1,000, a gym, a swimming pool, dormitories, bowling alleys, reading rooms and classrooms. Despite all that, larger quarters were required by 1919.

First Presbyterian Church
East State Street

As the settlement at the Falls of the Delaware grew, there came demand for a chapel that the people on the river would not have to go all the way to Ewing for worship. A plot of ground was deeded in 1727 for church purposes, where the First Presbyterian Church now stands. Some years later an additional plot was added. It seems that the first building was erected, as a matter of fact, in 1726, or before title was given. The cornerstone for this church building was laid in 1841. Buried on one side of the graveyard in an unmarked site are the Hessians who died in the First Battle of Trenton; on the other side is buried Rev. John Rosbrugh, the first American Army Chaplain to die in service to his country.

Broad Street Bank
143 East State Street

Among the several financial institutions which have helped make history for Trenton is the Broad Street National Bank. It was organized May 19, 1887, and immediately sprang into popular favor. Business was started in a small store at 188 South Broad Street, where its first day’s deposits amounted to $22,090.02. A plot of ground was purchased down the street at 201-203 South Broad and the bank erected there what it was then believed would be a permanent home. It was not long, however, before the aggressive management began looking for a more prominent location, and a site for an immense banking and office building was purchased at State and Montgomery Streets. The new bank building was ready by 1900 as the city’s first “modern” skyscraper. It featured Trenton’s first revolving door and first elevator. It was decided at that time to continue as the “Broad Street;” although the thoroughfare of that name no longer provided the setting for the institution. Two large annexes were added, in 1913 and 1924. 

Municipal Building
309 East State Street

The cornerstone for this three-story Neoclassical container for the city services was laid in 1909. The plans were drawn up by Philadelphia architect Spencer Roberts and called for a colonnade of twelve Doric columns marching across the second-story front. When it opened in 1911 there was a mural by Everett Shinn depicting the pottery and iron industries of Trenton in the council chamber and a painting of the original cruiser Trenton over the doorway.


Ernie Kovacs Place

Ernest Edward Kovacs was born Jan. 23, 1919, the son of Hungarian immigrants who lived at 105 Union Street. Later the familymoved to 1104 Parkway Avenue in Ewing. While in high school, Ernie was influenced greatly by his drama teacher, Harold Van Kirk. Upon graduation he went to acting school and through a series of bizarre events ended up as a Disc Jockey on Trenton radio station WTTM. The affable and hysterically funny Ernie quickly became a huge hit with Trentonians and soon had his own newspaper column. This led to a stint starting in 1949-50 at WPTZ-TV, the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia. The medium was brand new, and Ernie was young and brimming with fresh and innovative ideas to bring to this new toy. His manic approach would influence comedians and broadcasters for years. Hailed as “Television’s Original Genius,” Kovacs did in 1962 after spinning his car out on a slick California highway.


Mill Hill Playhouse
205 East Front Street

Built in 1873, this former Lutheran house of worship withstood a tremendous fire in the 1970’s.  Restored by the City of Trenton it is now home to Passage Theater Company.

Alexander Douglass House
165 East Front Street at Montgomery Street

Alexander Douglass served as Quarter Master to the Continental Army. When Washington’s troops fought the British on January 2, 1777, Douglass’s small home served as the General’s headquarters. That night he faced a most difficult decision -- how best to survive the following day? Come the dawn, the Americans would find themselves trapped. They were outnumbered by British troops on the opposite bank of the Assunpink Creek and to their backs was the Delaware River and no boats.  His use of a deserted road to slip out of town in the dead of night earned him the nickname, The Sly Fox, by British General Lord Cornwallis. This is not the original location of the Douglass House, this Mill Hill park is its fourth location in town. 


Mercer Street Friends Meetinghouse
151 Mercer Street

When Mahlon Stacy and other Quakers arrived in the area in 1679, Trenton was known as “The Falls.” Stacy was instrumental in establishing the Chesterfield Monthly Meeting in 1684, which included Friends from Crosswicks and Trenton. In 1686, Quakers in what became Trenton organized the first local charity, which assisted Friends who had met with misfortune. After William Trent purchased land from the Stacy family in 1714, the town was called Trent’s-town, sometimes Trent-town, and finally Trenton. In 1827, the Society of Friends in the United States divided into two major branches, one known as Orthodox or conservative, the other known as liberal or Hicksite, after Elias Hicks. The meeting house at Hanover and Montgomery Streets in Trenton, finished in 1739, was retained by the Hicksites. The Orthodox Friends, who had been meeting in homes, started building the brick meeting house at here in 1857 and completed it in 1858.


Mill Hill Historic District

Mill Hill presently survives as a middle-class mid-nineteenth century residential district but its historical significance reaches back to the late seventeenth century. Indeed, its name refers to its importance as the area’s first industrial site, a grist mill, erected in 1679. During the American Revolution, the ground adjacent to the mill was, on January 2, 1777, the site of the Second Battle of Trenton. The northern perimeter of Mill Hill was thus the site of one of the three major encounters of the ten-day Trenton-Princeton Revolutionary War Campaign. A significant portion of this battlefield has been developed as Mill Hill park. The name Mill Hill was applied to the area at least as early as 1821, although as yet relatively little beyond the original mill appears to have been built. In the late 1830s and 1840s, the opening of the Delaware and Raritan and the Camden and Amboy and Philadelphia Railroads evidently served as the impetus for industrial development on the periphery of the district. Residential construction commenced in the 1840s and 1850s. The Mill Hill District is a tight-knit group of homogenous residential structures. Largely built between 1850 and 1895 they are representative of a vernacular interpretation of the popular styles of the second half of the nineteenth century. The prevailing form is the two or three-story, three-bay wide brick row house. To these are applied, depending on the time construction, simplified late Greek Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, or Eastlake decoration.


Old Eagle Tavern
431 South Broad Street

Built in 1765 as a private home, during the 19th century this tavern served travelers, soldiers, and Trentonians as a social and political center.


The Church of the Sacred Heart
343 South Broad Street

New Jersey’s first Catholic Church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist on June 12, 1814, it was built at Market and Lamberton Streets in Trenton. A small simple brick building 30 feet wide by 50 feet deep, St John’s drew a congregation of 30 families from both sides of the Delaware River, who continued to depend on traveling Philadelphia priests until 1837 when Rev. Daniel Magorien was appointed the first resident pastor. When Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine began to swell the ranks of the congregation a new, much larger St. John’s Church was built at Broad and Centre (State) Streets in 1848. The new church was classical in design, built of stucco brick with a three-story bell tower. On Sunday night, September 30, 1883, fire destroyed St. John’s Church, leaving only the exterior walls, belfry with its bell and cupola standing. A new Romanesque Revival Sacred Heart Church was designed by Patrick Charles Keely (1816-1896), himself an Irish immigrant. He was 19th century America’s most prominent and prolific Catholic architect - the designer of many cathedrals in Boston, Hartford, Buffalo, Albany and Chicago, as well as some 150 churches, including ones in New Brunswick, Jersey City, Mount Holly and Newark. Sacred Heart was dedicated on June 30th, 1889; on the north side of the church a rectory was built and on the south side a Catholic club house was built, both matching in design of the new Church of the Sacred Heart. 

Mercer County Courthouse
209 South Broad Street

Soon after the formation of Mercer County in 1838, a Greek Revival structure was erected on the top of Mill Hill. In 1852 Daniel Webster, one of America’s greatest orators and lawyers won a patent infringement case for Charles Goodyear in that courthouse that paved the way for America’s greatest rubber company. In 1903 the current Beaux Arts sandstone building, with its pediments, columns and arches grand, classical structure was built. 


William Trent House
15 Market Street

William Trent built his country estate north of Philadelphia, in New Jersey, at the Falls of the Delaware River about 1719. It was a large, imposing brick structure, built in the newest fashion. An “allee” of English cherry trees led from the entrance down to the ferry landing. Nearby, there were numerous outbuildings as well as grist, saw and fulling mills along the Assunpink Creek. In 1720 Trent laid out a settlement, which he incorporated and named “Trenton.” After Trent died, his son James sold “300 acres plus the brick dwelling house” to William Morris of Barbados who was the half-brother of his father’s second wife, Mary Coddington Trent. In 1742 the house was leased to the first Governor of New Jersey, Lewis Morris. Governor Morris used the house, then called “Bloomsbury Court,” as his official residence until 1746, despite the fact that it was then owned by the Governor of Pennsylvania, George Thomas.During the American Revolution, the Trent House was occupied by Hessian forces and played a prominent role in several battles fought at Trenton during December of 1776. Later, Dr. William Bryant, the owner of the property, was expelled for his Tory sympathies. Colonel John Cox, a wealthy Philadelphia patriot and Deputy Quartermaster General of the Continental Army, acquired the house and turned the grounds into a supply depot for Washington’s army. The house returned to prominence in 1835 when Philemon Dickerson, a prominent Jacksonian Democrat, purchased it. The following year he was elected Governor and used the Trent House as his Official Residence. Again in 1854 it served as the Official Residence of the Governor when the property was purchased by Governor Rodman McCamley Price. Price, a Democrat, made his fortune in the San Francisco Gold Rush of 1849, returning to New Jersey to enter politics. The last private owner of the Trent House, Edward A. Stokes, donated the building to the City of Trenton in 1929 with the condition that it be returned to its appearance during the William Trent era and be used as a library, art gallery or museum.


War Memorial
1 Memorial Drive

Opened in 1932, The War Memorial was built as “a great community center” dedicated to the memory of the soldiers and sailors from Mercer County who died fighting World War I. The building is a National and State Historic Site. The aim of the founding War Memorial Committee was to combine “beauty, dignity, and civic utility.” The building houses an 1,807-seat, fully-equipped theater for performances and assemblies, and also a number of stately rooms for other purposes such as meeting and conferences. The War Memorial is owned by The State of New Jersey and operated by The Department of State. The Court of Honor, the grand portico from which one enters the building was funded by schoolchildren. During the War Memorial’s recent restoration, schoolchildren once again funded the Court of Honor.


Old Masonic Temple/Trenton Visitors Center
2 Barrack Street

Built in 1793, this was the first home of the Masons in Trenton, an influential organization to which many of America’s early leaders, including George Washington, belonged. This building was originally located further up the street and rolled on logs downhill to its present location. 

Masonic Temple
100 Barrack Street

Soon after the formation of Mercer County in 1838, a Greek Revival structure was erected on the top of Mill Hill. In 1852 Daniel Webster, one of America’s greatest orators and lawyers won a patent infringement case for Charles Goodyear in that courthouse that paved the way for America’s greatest rubber company. In 1903 the current Beaux Arts sandstone building, with its pediments, columns and arches grand, classical structure was built. 

Old Barracks Museum
101 Barrack Street

The two-story stone barracks are the only surviving Colonial barracks in the United States. Constructed in 1758 for the French and Indian War because New Jersey citizens refused to put British soldiers up in their houses, it was occupied by British, Hessian and American troops during the American Revolution. It was these barracks that Washington targeted in the Battle of Trenton. The Old Barracks, with the exception of a part of the main section, stands today practically the same as when it was originally erected in 1758.


Kelsey Building
101 West State Street

Originally the School of Industrial Arts and styled after the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy, the Kelsey Building was funded for the City of Trenton from Henry Cooper Kelsey, Secretary of State of New Jersey in 1910. It is a love token to his late wife, Prudence. The clock above the entrance has small notches that note the time of her death: 11:49.

Ornamental ironwork
107 West State Street

Ironworking was a critical early industry in Trenton and was on the curriculum in the School of Industrial Arts. You can see someof the city’s finest ornamental iron outside the buildings of the Thomas Edison State College.

Princeton House
160 West State Street

Many of the buildings on West State Street across from the State House date to the late 1800s and are built in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, characterized by bold arches and heavy, rough-faced rock bases.