3055 River Road    Bedminster, New Jersey   (908) 396-6053



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History of the Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum/Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment




For over two centuries, the Jacobus Vanderveer House has been at the center of Bedminster Township's rich and colorful history.  Located on the Southbound side of Route 202/206 in Bedminster Township, Somerset County, New Jersey, the Jacobus Vanderveer House is situated on part of the 218 acres that make up River Road Park.

The Jacobus Vanderveer house and property were purchased by Bedminster Township in 1989 with the help of Green Acres funding. The house was listed in 1995 on the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places. The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House was formed in order to restore and develop the historic site as an important cultural resource.

The oldest part of the Jacobus Vanderveer House was built in the early 1770s.  It is typical of the Dutch frame houses that dotted the countryside before the American Revolution. Much of the original fabric of the house remains intact. Important is a wall in the west parlor that features raised wood paneling above the fireplace with a barrel-back cabinet to the side. Original flooring is of wide pine boards.

The house gained a Federal style addition in the early 1800s.

Later 19th and 20th century alterations imposed "bungaloid" features such as exterior stucco, a north porch and roof dormers. These modern elements were removed when the restoration returned the exterior of the house to its circa 1813 appearance. The interior of the house will interpret both the west Georgian section when Knox may have been in residence and the more spacious east Federal addition with its higher ceilings.


The Jacobus Vanderveer House is the last surviving building in Bedminster associated with the Vanderveer's, a family prominent in Bedminster Township history from its earliest settlement through the mid 19th century.

The Vanderveer house served as headquarters for General Henry Knox during the winter of 1778-79, when the Continental Army artillery was located in the village of Pluckemin during the Revolutionary War's Second Middlebrook Encampment. The house is the only known building still standing that was associated with the Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment. The artillery park and military academy is considered to be the first installation in America to train officers in engineering and artillery and predates the United States Military Academy at West Point (est.1802) by twenty four years.

The Vanderveer family house was later enlarged with two additions in the nineteenth century, remodeled in the twentieth century, and subsequently abandoned. The Township of Bedminster purchased the home and the surrounding area as part of River Road Park in 1989. The home has been restored by The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House, a non-profit group of inspired volunteers dedicated to use the home as a museum and educational center.