Department of Environmental Protection

New Jersey State Park Service

NJ State Park Service LogoNJ State Park Service Logo

The Marshall House Overview

He was a skilled carpenter and wheelwright, but at age 18, James Marshall left home to travel west. In 1845, he made his way to California where his discovery of gold brought him both fame and misfortune.

The Marshall House was the boyhood home of James Wilson Marshall, discoverer of gold in California in 1848, and is now the headquarters of the Lambertville Historical Society. The Federal brick structure was built in 1816 by his father, Philip Marshall, cabinet, coach and wagon maker, a member of one of the oldest families in New Jersey.

Despite his discovery of gold in California, Marshall never achieved wealth, due in part to his failure to secure legal or practical recognition of his own claims in the gold fields. He lived a spartan lifestyle towards the end of his life, dying a poor man in 1885.

This historic site is administered by the Lambertville Historic Society. The Society offer programming and open houses throughout the year. Please visit their website at for more information.

Constructed of bricks made of clay dug and fired near town, it retains many outstanding, original architectural features; in particular, the decorative Adams-style frieze under the eaves, the pegged front door; also the chimney cupboards in the parlor, windows, interior doors, hardware and staircase.

The house originally sat on about 5 acres and included a brick kitchen, two-story back addition with first and second floor porches, a wheelwright and wagon shop, barn and smokehouse. The family sold the property at Philip’s death in 1834 and in 1882 Hugh Ely sold the property to St. John’s Roman Catholic Church for a convent. Along with two attached buildings to the east, it was the sisters’ home for 84 years. In 1968, the church deeded the property to the State of NJ.

Facilities for People with Disabilities
We encourage people with disabilities who require special considerations to contact the historic site / park at the phone number listed in the general information on the home page of the historic site / park. The staff will assist with arrangements. Text telephone (TT) users, please call the NJ Relay Services at (800) 852-7899.

For the Comfort and Enjoyment of All
This historic site / park is part of the NJ State Park system and your cooperation with the following will help ensure the survival of the museum collections, historic structures & features and surrounding property for the enjoyment and education of future generations!

  • Keep your historic site / park and surrounding property clean and green! Protect this site by taking your trash with you. Whatever you carry into the site, plan on carrying it out too. Bring a bag or two for trash, recycling and cleaning up after your pet. There are no trash receptacles at this site. Thank you!
  • No Smoking on NJ State Park Service Property. Pursuant to N.J.P.L.2005, c.383 (C.26:3D-56)
  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at state historic sites [ N.J.A.C. 7:2-2.6]
  • The collection or removal of any object from State Park property is prohibited without written permission from the Superintendent.
  • Use of metal detecting devices on or unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) on or over the property is not permitted without a special use permit (SUP) from the State historic site / park.
  • Commercial photography is not permitted on the property without a special use permit (SUP) from the historic site / park.
  • Interior photography, videotaping or audio taping are not permitted in the historic structure / visitor center / museum, except by prior written permission and for educational purposes only.
  • Non-commercial photography is permitted on the property (outside), but please help preserve the historic site / park and any surrounding property by not attaching anything to, climbing or sitting on historic structures and features or disturbing any plants, wild or cultivated. Photography may not interfere with other visitors to the historic site / park or impede site operations.
  • Food and beverages; pets/animals, except for service animals, are not permitted in the historic structure / visitor center / museum.
  • Please refrain from touching objects/furnishings in and building components of historic structures and museums, except where invited to do so by staff.

Please contact this historic site / park with specific inquiries about any of these restrictions, as there may be some variations at this specific historic site / park.

Related Links

Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park


Phone Number

60 Bridge Street
Lambertville, NJ 08530

Lambertville Historical Society

Historic Site Hours

Tour Hours Weekends starting the last weekend in April - October from 1 to 4; By appointment throughout the year.

Park Fees

Entrance Fee None

Other Related Fees
Map / Directions