Van Duyn-Van Wickle House
1289 Easton Avenue, Somerset
(at the bottom of DeMott Lane, next to Rutgers Prep)
The Van Duyn-Van Wickle house was built by the Van Duyn family sometime between 1710 and 1720, on land that was purchased in 1703. The front of the house faces the river, which was the main mode of transportation for goods during early settlement of the area. The Raritan-Delaware Canal arrived in its front yard in 1833-1835. The original farmstead is now approximately 6 acres, and wetlands have evolved on the property. The site is wonderful for birdwatching, as there are many types of environments for different types of birds. There is an elevated boardwalk that goes across the wetlands to the bank of the canal, with an observation deck at the halfway point. The end of DeMott Lane is also an access point for the Raritan-Delaware Canal State Park, which runs the length of the canal on the towpath. There are also trails through the woods on the site, and around the property you will find information about the flora and fauna that is native to the area (part of an Eagle Scout project).
This site is stewarded by The Meadows Foundation, a non-profit established in 1977 for the purpose of obtaining, restoring, and maintaining historically significant homes and providing programming for the education, recreation and interest of the public and future generations.
Please consider becoming a member.
Docent-led tours will start every hour, and self-led tour brochures will be available. The house itself is currently closed to the public as it is about to undergo extensive restoration work, but you will be able to look in through the Dutch doors while your docent tells you about the house’s history and construction. The tour continues around the property as you learn what it was like to settle and homestead in colonial New Jersey.
There are some paved areas, but there is also soft, uneven ground.