Hamilton's Historic Destinations
Hamilton is blessed with many historic structures and a wealth of artifacts left by the Lenape Indians, the first residents of our land.
"A Narrative History of Hamilton Township" published by the Hamilton Township Historical Society is on sale at Mercer Ace Hardware, Mercerville Shopping Center, Route 33, Mercerville. $15 soft cover. Hardcovers may be purchased at the John Abbott II House for $25.
Kuser Farm Mansion
In 1954, Helen Almy West documented the earliest days of our municipality when she authored "A History of Hamilton Township." Copies of this 120-page hard-bound book are scarce. The Hamilton Library is the best place to find one. Two decades later, a group of locals organized the Hamilton Historical Association, and a special committee from that organization accepted the task of publishing a 36-page brochure updating Ms. West's book. They called it "Old Nottingham."
Highlights of the brochure include:
- A description of historic homes and buildings
- Notes from the Town Book of Nottingham
- A description of General Washington's march across our township
- A fascinating local ghost tale
- A story of forbidden love
- The murder of Isaac Pearson
- Early government leaders
- The Villages of Hamilton
Presently, a new effort is underway to update the history of our municipality. The list of contributors to this latest endeavor is quite lengthy. Your interest is invited and appreciated. When the project is completed, the Hamilton Library will be the best source for information and distribution.
We invite you to visit the Hamilton Library so that you might enjoy a comprehensive tour of our colorful past. You may find that an understanding of our roots will provide a more vivid understanding of our current conditions and those we can look forward to in the new millennium.
The Grafton House, once home to the first Sheriff of Mercer County, can accommodate a variety of functions and special gatherings. This historic jewel quietly hides behind the Hamilton Marketplace in rural, southeast Hamilton Township, just minutes from the New Jersey Turnpike, Interstate 195, and State Highway 130.
The Grafton House acquired its name from a historic plantation located near where the home sits today. Years ago, the then 166-acre "Grafton" estate abutted the road that connected the Yardville section of Hamilton Township with Newtown, better known today as Robbinsville. At one time, the farm property was owned by Matthew West, a great-grandson of one of the first settlers of Shrewsbury.
Sayen House & Gardens
Frederick Sayen was an avid gardener and world traveler. In 1912 he purchased a 30-acre parcel of land not far from the family rubber mill in Hamilton Square, NJ. He built a bungalow-style home and surrounded it with plants and flowers acquired while he traveled the world. His collection includes species from China, Japan, and England, many of which are still flourishing today. According to Harry Robinson, Sayen Garden's horticulturist, there are more than 1,000 azaleas and nearly 500 rhododendrons thriving under the vigilant care of the dedicated Sayen Gardens groundskeepers. Spring unveils a magnificent display of color and beauty with more than 250,000 flowering bulbs, as well as dogwoods, heirloom azaleas, and rhododendrons. Mother's Day marks the garden's annual Azalea Festival. Throughout the year annual and perennial displays fill the gardens with splendor, highlighting the many walking trails, fish ponds, and gazebos that permeate the grounds.
Along with this breathtaking scenery as nature's perfect background, Sayen Gardens is available for a variety of functions and gatherings, including wedding receptions, bar and bat mitzvahs, private parties, holiday parties, showers, and business meetings and luncheons. Outside ceremonies may be arranged with special permission. The house can accommodate up to 98 guests. We have 3 catering companies available to accommodate the most discriminating palate.
Civil War & Native American Museum
Located directly behind the Abbott House in Veterans Park, the museum has been in operation for three years. The museum is showcasing exhibits dealing with the American Civil War as well as Delaware Indian artifacts.
Isaac Pearson House
Elected several times to the State Assembly, Isaac Pearson was reported to have done much entertaining in this house until the rebellion broke out against England. While riding on horseback to New Brunswick, he was killed either by robbers or Continentals who were angry with his siding with the British. Hamilton Township recently took possession of the home and is now in the process of restoring the site and converting it for use as a tourist attraction.
Isaac Watson House
Still beautiful with graceful architectural lines and thick walls and fireplaces, the Watson House is one of the oldest homes in this area. Park Avenue near South Broad Street Park was a wilderness when the house was built in 1708 on 800 acres of land.
John Abbott II House
Situated in the shadow of Veterans Park, this elegant historic site still houses a secret involving patriot funds hidden from the British as they were advancing on Trenton in November of 1776. Abbott, a bachelor 87 years old when he died in 1795 lived in the house built in 1730 by his father.
The John Abbott House is open on Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 5 pm (last tour starts at 4:15 pm)