In case you don’t remember your elementary school social studies class, New Jersey was one of the original 13 colonies. That means there are plenty of historic spots near Rahway apartments for rent. Two of them can make for a fun Sunday out: The Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum, and Liberty Hall Museum. Both museums started out as homes built in the late 18th century, and took very different paths to become what they are today.
Liberty Hall sits on the campus of Kean University. It started out as a 14-room Georgian style home for William Livingston, New Jersey’s first governor and a signer of the Constitution. Over the years, members of both the Livingston and Kean families lived in the house. Now, it has grown into a massive, 50-room Victorian mansion. It currently is the home of countless pieces of antique furniture, ceramics, tools, and toys. You’ll be able to see where historical figures visited – names you’ll recognize, like George and Martha Washington and Alexander Hamilton. These same rooms have hosted presidents through the centuries — from Grant and Taft to Ford and Bush 41. You’ll see letters from Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.
Sound interesting to you history buffs? Pay it a visit! The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admissions range from $8-12, with children under age three admitted free. Now, if you want to visit the museum, you’ll need to plan it for before the end of the year or you’ll have to wait until spring. The museum closes from January through March.
If Liberty Hall isn’t your style, the Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum might be. This building’s history is a little more colorful. It started as a small house and general store. Towards the end of the 18th century, the owner turned the building into a tavern, which it remained for over a century, into the 1930s. When the building stopped operating as a tavern, the original innkeeper’s descendants leased it to the Girl Scouts. The girl scout troops of Rahway and surrounding areas called the building their home base well into the 1960s. If you’re familiar with the Rahway Historical Society, know that it was founded to save this building from demolition. It has been restored to its 1820s appearance, and currently stands on the National Register of Historic Places. It has also been recorded in the Historical American Buildings Survey (for the Library of Congress) as an example of Federal style architecture.
What makes the Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum so unique is that it gives visitors a view of what tavern life was like in the early 19th century. The main exhibition room is the tavern’s taproom. Visitors can also see the guest rooms that were available to travelers of the time. If you wanted to visit this very historic site near Rahway apartments for rent, it’s recommended that you call ahead to ensure someone is there to greet you. It’s open 10 a.m to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, as well as some weekends (first and third Saturdays of the month, second and fourth Sundays of the month).
History buffs who are looking for the unusual would be right at home in either of these museums, and are hidden gems in the Union County area. Take in an afternoon of history when you’re looking for something to do near your Rahway apartments for rent.