Wallace House (Somerville, New Jersey)

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Wallace House
Wallace House, Somerville, NJ - looking north.jpg
Wallace House, 2018
Wallace House is located in Somerset County, New Jersey
Wallace House
Wallace House
Wallace House is located in New Jersey
Wallace House
Wallace House
Wallace House is located in the United States
Wallace House
Wallace House
Location 38 Washington Place
71 Somerset Street[2]
Somerville, New Jersey
Coordinates 40°34′8″N 74°37′19″W / 40.56889°N 74.62194°W / 40.56889; -74.62194Coordinates: 40°34′8″N 74°37′19″W / 40.56889°N 74.62194°W / 40.56889; -74.62194
Area 1.5 acres (0.61 ha)
Built 1776
NRHP reference # 70000395[1]
NJRHP # 2584[3]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP December 2, 1970
Designated NJRHP September 11, 1970

The Wallace House is a Georgian style historic house, which served as the headquarters of General George Washington during the second Middlebrook encampment (1778–79), located at 38 Washington Place, Somerville, Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 2, 1970.[4]


Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh, a Dutch Reformed minister who lived in the nearby Old Dutch Parsonage, sold a small farmhouse and 95 acres (38 ha) of land to John Wallace, who was a merchant and fabric importer in Philadelphia. In 1775 and 1776, Wallace bought 12 acres (4.9 ha) more land, and in 1776 built an eight-room Georgian mansion next to the farmhouse. Wallace named the estate "Hope Farm," and planned to retire there.[5][6]


The Continental Army camped in the Watchung Mountains at Middlebrook, 3 miles (4.8 km) from Hope Farm during the winter of 1778-79. The Wallace House became George Washington's headquarters, though he only stayed there for 11 days before leaving to attend the Continental Congress in Philadelphia for 6 weeks. Washington returned in February 1779 bringing his wife Martha. The Washingtons were given use of half the house. He then used the house to host foreign dignitaries and official dinners, and to plan military strategy. In particular, he planned the 1779 campaign against the Iroquois League known as the Sullivan Expedition. Guests at the parties included Benedict Arnold, Nathanael Greene, Alexander Hamilton, Henry Knox, and Baron Steuben.[7]

Washington left on June 3, 1779, and paid Wallace $1,000. The Wallace family and their slaves then returned to their normal lives in the house.

John Wallace, his wife, and his mother-in-law all died in 1783-84, and his youngest son William inherited Hope Farm. William lived there until he died at age 33 in 1796, leaving three orphan children. William's brother Joshua took care of the children and sold Hope Farm to Dickinson Miller in 1801.[6]

The Revolutionary Memorial Society bought the house in 1896, and gave it to the State of New Jersey in 1947.

See also

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


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "Historic Sites: Wallace House". Somerset County Tourism.
  3. ^ "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places – Somerset County" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection – Historic Preservation Office. February 12, 2018. p. 13.
  4. ^ Tomaszewski, Charlotte (December 2, 1970). "NRHP Nomination: Wallace House". National Park Service. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) "Accompanying 1 photo, from 1970". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ "Virtual Tours: Wallace House/ Old Dutch Parsonage". New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry.
  6. ^ a b "The Old Dutch Parsonage & Wallace House: Wallace House". New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry.
  7. ^ Historic American Buildings Survey - data p.2.

External links

  • The Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage Association – official website
  • Virtual Tour Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage, New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  • Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. NJ-20, "Wallace House, Washington Place, Somerville, Somerset County, NJ", 5 photos, 14 measured drawings, 4 data pages, supplemental material
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