BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Friends of Bridgewater History (“FOBH”) is a new non-profit corporation formed by interested residents of Bridgewater Township for the purpose of preserving and promoting the history and cultural heritage of the Township of Bridgewater.
Among the current projects of the FOBH is the preservation of the Lane-Brokaw House, a fine New Jersey Historic Register eligible example of a Dutch Plantation House owned by the Township of Bridgewater, on Milltown Road. This house was built sometime in the late 1700’s.
General George Washington is reputed to have stopped by the Lane-Brokaw House to pay his respects to the widow of a soldier who served under him, and who died in the Battle of Germantown. While Washington never “slept here”, there is good evidence that he visited and sat here during the Middlebrook Encampment.
FOBH would like to turn this old gem into a community resource for the display of historical artifacts and for the conducting of community meetings.
Another proposed project of the FOBH is to promote a better awareness of the role that Bridgewater played in providing a place for the Continental Army to rest and gather its strength while waiting for the French Army to follow it to Yorktown, where the combined forces of the Continental and French armies laid siege to and forced the surrender of the British Army, led by General Cornwallis. While the story of Valley Forge is better known, it was the Middlebrook Encampment, spread over the First and Second Watchung Mountains, in Martinsville (and surrounding areas), which provided a place of refuge and rest for the Continental Army, as it built its strength to make that final push for American independence.
These efforts, which are required to preserve Bridgewater’s heritage for our children and their children, are efforts which will require volunteers willing to give generously of their time and dedication. Accordingly, FOBH is pleased to extend a warm welcome and open invitation to Bridgewater residents, history buffs and serious scholars - or anyone else who is willing to join in these and other efforts.
We meet at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at the Martinsville Community Center, 1961 Washington Valley Rd, Martinsville, NJ 08836. Interested attendees may call Larry Powers at 908-392-0940 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.