Princeton Historical Society
158 Nassau St.
Princeton, NJ 08542
(609) 921-6748

Places Nearby:
Princeton Art Museum
Stony Brook Millstone Watershed
NJ State Police Museum
Black River & Western Railroad
Jane Vorhees Zimmerli Art Museum
More in:

Other States:

Princeton is one of our nation's most historic communities and has produced or been home to some of the world's most notable figures. Settled in the late 17th century, Princeton produced two signers of the Declaration of Independence. One of the most important battles of the Revolutionary War took place here. During 1783 Princeton served briefly as the nation's capital, when the Continental Congress met here.

Three United States presidents, James Madison, Woodrow Wilson, and Grover Cleveland lived in Princeton, as did Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer. Thomas Mann, T.S. Eliot, and F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in Princeton.

The area has traditionally been a prime example of the "melting pot" aspect of America, with Irish, Germans, Hungarians, Koreans, Southeast Asians, Haitians, East Indians, and Guatemalans having comprised the town's populations. And of course the town is recognized the world over for its outstanding educational institution.

The Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation of the area's history. It makes its home in the Bainbridge House, which is also a fine museum.

Bainbridge House

Built in 1766 by Job Stockton, Bainbridge House is one of the area's finest examples of mid-Georgian architecture. During 1783 it provided housing for members of the Continental Congress, and hero of the War of 1812, William Bainbridge, was born here. With the exception of a few 18th and 19th century alterations, the house retains its original 1766 structure. Modern lighting, climate controls, and security features have been added.

Two temporary exhibitions are mounted on the main floor each year, drawing on the Society's extensive collections of furniture, paintings, clothing, household objects, and other items that illustrate the areas 18th and 19th century lifestyles. The House itself makes for an interesting tour.

In addition, the Society provides an extensive research Library and conducts a 2-mile-long Walking Tour of historic Princeton on Sundays. Group Walking Tours can be arranged on other days. Minimum group size is 10 people.

Education opportunities for School Groups include Guided Tours of both the House and the area, as well as a Traveling Trunk Program which includes a variety of rental materials to be used as a primer to a trip to Princeton or they can stand alone as lessons in history. The Lenapes of the Delaware Valley, Princeton and the Revolutionary War, and Traveling Through Princeton 1834 are the topics offered.

Updike Farmstead

In 2004 the Historical Society acquired the historic Updike Farmstead in Princeton. Its 6 acres contain a farmhouse, barns, other outbuildings and a windmill. Plans for rehabilitation of the property and its use as an interpretive facility are currently being developed.

Hours: Bainbridge House: Wednesday - Sunday 12 - 4pm. Hours may vary. Call before visiting. Call for Updike Farmstead days and hours.
Admission: Bainbridge House or Updike Farmstead: $4.00/person.
Guided Walking Tours of historic Princeton:
Adults $7.00
Children 6-12 $4.00
Children under 6 FREE
Call to confirm pricing.
Groups: School Programs $4.00 - $8.00 per student.
Group Reservations: At least 2 weeks in advance.
Lunch: Local restaurants.
Handicapped Access: Accessible.
Directions: I-95 North to Princeton Pike North Exit. Go about 5 miles to end and turn right onto Nassau St. Bainbridge House is #158. 30 - 60 minutes from Philadelphia.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.