Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

Jacobus Vanderveer House

Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund
Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund
Capital Level II
Historic Site Management
Grant Award: $322,840 (2000); $16,590 (2002); $48,750 (2010); $50,000 (2018)
Grant Recipient: Friends of the Vanderveer-Knox House
County: Somerset
Municipality: Bedminster Township

The ca. 1760 Dutch-American core of the Jacobus Vanderveer House is the only known extant building associated with the Pluckemin encampment of 1778-79, which is considered to be the first installation in America to train officers in engineering and artillery. According to tradition, the modest dwelling served as the headquarters of General Henry Knox during the encampment, when the Americans trained in the use of military supplies captured from the enemy at Fort Ticonderoga and then used to drive the British from Boston. The house was enlarged by two additions in the 19th century, remodeled in the 20th century, and subsequently abandoned. 

The Voorhees Barn is a four bent, new world Dutch barn and is considered to be an excellent example of Dutch agricultural architecture with its H-shaped bents, steeply pitched gable roof, low side walls, gable-end wagon doors, and large crossbeams. Dendrochronology suggests that the barn was likely constructed in 1832 in Branchburg Township on a parcel that was owned by P.I. Voorhees in 1873. In 2016, the applicant received funds to acquire and carefully dismantle the Voorhees Barn. It is currently housed, in its dismantled state, in a trailer on the site of the Jacobus Vanderveer House.   

The 2019 Trust grant helped fund the preparation of design development and construction documents for the reconstruction of the barn. The project also funded a Phase II level archaeological survey.  The 2010 Trust grant helped fund a comprehensive tourism assessment and interpretive plan to promote greater public visitation of the Jacobus Vanderveer House. 

The 2002 grant helped fund an archeological investigation in advance of reconstructing the missing 18th century kitchen addition to the Vanderveer House. The investigation helped determine the footprint of the addition and attempted to locate openings and chimneys. The addition, which features an accessible ramp and restrooms, exhibit and office space, was completed in 2007. 

The 2000 Trust grant helped fund the restoration of the house to its 19th-century appearance. The house interprets the Pluckemin encampment. The project is part of a larger plan to link the house to the encampment site by a pedestrian/bicycle trail. 

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