Somerset County Touts Revolutionary Past

November 19, 2023

Lord Stirling Park in Basking Ridge is the location of two homesteads of prominent revolutionaries:

  • William Alexander, better known as “Lord Stirling,” who was one of the leading Five Generals under George Washington.
  • And Elias Boudinot, an intelligence officer under George Washington, who was elected to the Continental Congress, and became President of Congress at the end of the Revolution.

These homesteads will now benefit from two recently announced historic preservation projects as part of Somerset County’s celebration of America’s 250th birthday coming up in 2026. Somerset County Commissioner Melonie Marano made the announcement at a recent Middlebrook Symposium held at Raritan Valley Community College. Lord Stirling Park is one of five sites in Somerset County that will receive historic preservation funding from the county.

The basement and part of the foundation is all that is left of the original Lord Stirling manor.  Somerset County has retained Richard Hunter and Associates, as well as Richard Veit of Monmouth University, to undertake an archaeological investigation into the homesite to see what more can be learned about his life and times, and the extent of the manor complex. 

In addition, Somerset County this year is completing a substantial restoration of the Boudinot Mansion that sits on the Ross Farm section of the Park. The project includes repairs to the trim and siding, column reconstruction, masonry repairs, repairs and reconstruction of side porches, gutter replacement, and electrical repairs. The Ross Farm Barn and Stable Outbuilding are also being restored. This work on the Boudinot buildings is expected to be completed in just 4-6 weeks.

George Washington’s Time in New Jersey (Credit: Somerset Co., NJ)

A number of commissioners who attended the symposium emphasized that the projects are meant to highlight the central role Somerset County played in the Revolution—a role often overlooked in the history books. George Washington spent more time in New Jersey during the war than in any other state in the Union. Only Morris County in New Jersey hosted him for more days than Somerset County  (See infographic).