History Beneath Your Feet
Archaeology of a Capital City
Dedicated in 1893, this monument commemorates the American victory in the Battle of Trenton on December 26, 1776. The battle served as a critical turning point in the Revolutionary War. The British defeated the Continental army in previous engagements and many of the Continental enlistments were scheduled to end at the beginning of the new year. General George Washington was desperate for a victory that would encourage new enlistments and keep the army alive. On Christmas night, Washington decided to attack a Hessian encampment across the Delaware River in Trenton, New Jersey. The American force surprised the experienced Hessian mercenaries providing a critical victory that allowed soldiers and political leaders alike to continue supporting the revolution.
The Old Eagle Tavern (historically known as the Eagle Tavern) is a historic building located at 431-433 South Broad Street at the corner of Ferry Street in Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey. The building was built in 1765 by Robert Waln. The building operated as a tavern and hotel from 1765 to 1896. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 3, 1972 for its architectural, commercial, and political significance. The building is also a contributing property of the Trenton Ferry Historic District, which was listed on June 26, 2013.
This house museum is the oldest standing structure in Trenton, New Jersey. Constructed for Trenton's founder in William Trent in 1719, the home contains exhibits that reflect the colonial period and the growth of the Trenton. The stately home passed though some of the most influential families before the property was donated in 1929 for the purpose of creating a museum.
The Old Barracks Museum is among the more important historic sites in New Jersey. It was one of five military barracks built in New Jersey in the late 1750s to house British troops (in the winter) during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). None of the other barracks exist. As such, the barracks is the only extant and restored military building in the state dating to the colonial period. It is perhaps most famous for being site of the surprise attack on the night of December 25/26, 1776. The Continental Army, under the command of George Washington, attacked and captured the 1,000-strong Hessian (German) garrison stationed here in the battle known as the Battle of Trenton. The Americans suffered few casualties in the victory, which boosted morale and increased enlistment into the army. Visitors to the museum can immerse themselves in the history of the barracks through a variety of activities such as summer day camps and camp-ins for high school-age students. The barracks is a National Historic Landmark and has been a museum since 1914.
The Petty's Run Archaeological site
The first official state museum in the United States, the New Jersey State Museum has been in operation since 1895. The museum has been located at the Capitol Cultural Complex since its creation in 1964, and its galleries include a variety of artifacts and exhibits drawn from the museum's vast collection which includes fossils and other items related to natural history, works of art, and items that reflect the diverse history of New Jersey from the prehistoric era to the present. Highlights of the museum include the planetarium, a Civil War Flag Gallery, and a permanent collection that takes users through a history of the state.