William Trent House
15 Market St.
Trenton, NJ 08611
(609) 989-3027

Places Nearby:
Old Barracks Museum
NJ State Museum
Kuser Farm Mansion
State House
Grounds for Sculpture
NJ State Police Museum
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Between 1716 and 1719, William Trent built his summer estate on the banks of the Delaware River. Trent was a wealthy Philadelphia merchant and ship owner. By 1682 this Scotsman had emigrated to and established his business in Philadelphia. Nine years later he was one of the city's most successful businessmen, exporting tobacco, flour, skins and furs, and importing wine, rum, molasses and dry goods, as well as African slaves. Along with his country estate, Trent laid out a settlement which he named "Trent's Town."

Visitors today can gain a unique insight into pre-Revolutionary Colonial lifestyle in this beautiful Georgian house restored and furnished as it was in 1728. A number of rooms can be seen on a one-hour Guided Tour. Among other furnishings the Drawing Room features three elegant pieces of japanned (coated with a black lacquer or enamel) furniture, including a tea table. The tea set, by the way, is imported from China. The cups have no handles. In China, one drank tea by pouring it into the cup and then into the saucer, which was the actual drinking vessel.

The Library was Trent's office. Furnished as it was when Trent was appointed the fifth Chief Justice of New Jersey, the room includes an Elizabethan Game Box, a very early piece. The top was for chess or checkers, the inside for backgammon, and the bottom for tric-trac, a tic-tac-toe sort of game.

One of the neatest features of the Dining Room is the chandelier with lift-off arms, enabling guests and household members to light their passage to the bedrooms. The chandelier was hand-made, with each bracket and arm set slightly different. Therefore they were numbered so that the arm could easily be replaced to its proper bracket.

Living in luxury as they were, the Trents owned a "bathing tubb." Most people took sponge baths or bathed in the river occasionally. Bathing in these days was not popular -- a tub too full was considered hazardous.

Other rooms include the Master Bedroom, the Sitting Room, East Bedroom, Hallway and Housekeeper's Room, and, of course, the modern indoor Kitchen. Kitchens were normally built in separate buildings to guard from fire hazard. The hearth fire was kept going every day, year-round. Matches had yet to be invented, and lighting a fire was no easy task. A wide variety of household chores were done in the kitchen, and servants slept here to mind the fire. All rooms are appropriately furnished to present the marvel of early American life.

Groups (up to 45 people) can enjoy this tour as well as individuals. In addition, a number of special events can be enjoyed throughout the year. Call for a calendar. School Groups of all ages have a wonderful opportunity in a tour of this great place.

Hours: Daily, 12:30 - 4:00pm. Groups can tour at other times by appointment. Closed major holidays. Call to confirm hours and admission.
Adults $5.00
Seniors $4.00
Students $4.00
Children under 12 $4.00
Groups: Same.
Group Reservations: About 6 weeks in advance.
Lunch: Local restaurants.
Handicapped Access: Accessible.Picnic area available.
Directions: I-95 North to Rt. 1 North. Bear right toward Trenton. Cross Delaware to the Rt. 29/Lambertville exit (1st after bridge). Go through stop sign and bear right before traffic signal onto Rt. 29 North to the Market St. exit. Take 1st right onto William Trent Pl. 30 - 60 minutes from Philadelphia.

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