Somerville NJ Real Estate & Somerville NJ Homes
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Somerville was settled in colonial times primarily by the Dutch who purchased land from the English proprietors of the colony. Somerville is full of history and Victorian homes and has experienced tremendous redevelopment efforts over the past 5 years that still continues today.
The early village was established around a church, courthouse and a tavern shortly after the American Revolution. No one knows who gave Somerville its name, but it has been known by its name since about 1800. Somerville was originally a sparsely populated farming community, but rapidly grew after the completion of the railroad in the 1840s and development of water power along the Raritan River in the 1850s. Early industry included brick making from the plentiful red clay and shale on which Somerville is built.
Somerville homes reflect the unmistakable Victorian era as well as other periods. There are numerous sites that are include in the National Register, including the white marble 1909 Somerville Court House and the wooden and stone colonial Wallace House (today a museum) where George Washington spent a winter during the American Revolutionary War. Near the Wallace House is the Old Dutch Parsonage, where Reverend Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh, a founder and first president of Rutgers University, then called Queens College, lived. Register listed Victorian structures include the James Harper Smith Estate (privately owned), St. John’s Episcopal Church and rectory, and the Fire Museum (a vintage fire house).
Main Street Somerville showcases many historical buildings that now house a variety of boutique specialty and retail shops. Somerville has quite a diverse and large selection of restaurants that draw people from the surrounding area. In many ways, Somerville remains Somerset County’s downtown, and is the heart of its designated Regional Center. During the summer, every Friday night in Somerville features an antique car show and entertainment that attracts local residents as well as visitors from throughout the central New Jersey area. Movies are shown throughout the summer outdoors on a section of Division Street that is open for pedestrian traffic only. You’ll also find a Farmer’s Market every week and comedy shows and other events and activities on a consistent basis.
There is always something going on and something for everyone. Somerville is a great place to live.
The renovated Somerville train station offers service on New Jersey Transit’s Raritan Valley Line, with frequent service to Newark Penn Station, with connecting service and limited direct service to Penn Station New York in Midtown Manhattan.
The redevelopment of Somerville continues today with a commercial, residential and retail complex planned adjacent to the Somerville train station.