The James Marshall House (60 Bridge Street) is the home of the Lambertville Historical Society. The Marshall House was the boyhood home of James Wilson Marshall who discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill in California in 1848, starting the California gold rush. His family moved here from Marshall’s Corner in Hopewell Township in 1816 when James was six.  Although Marshall never gained wealth from his find, his fame and legacy live on.

Former First Baptist Church of Lambertville (57 Bridge St.). Look across Bridge Street to view this former church. Marshall’s father, Philip was one of its founders in 1825. The current Romanesque Revival building was constructed in 1868 and is now Lambertville Hall, a performance and rehearsal center for the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope.

Continue west on Bridge Street.

St.-Johns

St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church (44 Bridge St.) was built in 1892 in the Gothic Revival style. In the 1960’s, the church was using the Marshall House as a convent for nuns who taught in the nearby school. The church wanted to raze it along with several adjoining buildings but a parishioner, Alice Narducci, convinced the church to donate it to the State of NJ. She also convinced the State to accept and restore the building to its 1814 condition. This was far more difficult than the erroneous local legend that she stood in front of bulldozers to prevent its demolition.

 

Walk north along the side of the Catholic Church and continue straight to arrive at Church Street. Turn left to view the church. To see the church cemetery, walk toward the church and cross N. Union Street.

Pres.-church

First Presbyterian Church (31 N. Union St.) This Greek Revival church was built in the 1850s on the site of an earlier 1817 church. Along the left side of the church is the historic cemetery which contains the graves of many early inhabitants from the 1700's. The cemetery is open to the public.

 

From the church, walk back to George Street and continue walking north. Go one block to Coryell Street.

44 Coryell Street is one of the oldest homes in Lambertville. The central section (note date plaque beside the door) was built in 1797. The Victorian front and back portions were added later. This house was in poor condition in the 1970s. A local artist kept taking cookies to the fellows renting it so she could be the first to find out when it went up for sale. Her ploy worked and she turned it into Lambertville’s first bed and breakfast inn. It is now a private home.

 

Look left to the other side of George Street.

Pew-house

The Fenwick-Pew House (42 Coryell St.). This 1887 Queen Anne Victorian is so meticulously restored that it has been featured in both Old House Interiors and Victorian Homes magazines. In the 1920’s the front room was used as a funeral parlor.

 

Continue north on George Street one block to York Street.

York-St.-former-church

The Ely-Holcombe House (31 York Street). This 1891 Queen Anne Revival sits on the original site of the 1845 St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, which was gutted by fire on January 16, 1891. The congregation decided to build a new church one block west on York Street and sold the ruin to Gervas Ely, husband of Caroline Holcombe Ely, a great great grand-daughter of John Holcombe, the first European resident of Lambertville. The middle west window is original to the church, as is much of the exterior stonework by the entrance.

Sheridan-Park

Mary Sheridan Park. At the corner of George and York Streets, this park was named for a former City mayor. The two-story brownstone building was built around 1840 and served as the City Jail until the 1960s. The Lambertville Historical Society is currently having the building restored.

The Civil War monument holds the names of 55 local men who died in that war. So many residents of Lambertville volunteered that the city was exempt from the first rounds of conscription for the army. The figure on top of the monument was used on many monuments across the country. The cannon comes from the USS Richmond and was operational in 1863.

The pink frame building in the park is the Kalmia Club (39 York St.), the longest running women’s club in New Jersey. It was built in the 1850s as a Quaker meeting house with separate doors for men and women. The Quakers donated the building to the Kalmia Club in the early 1900s.

 

Walk east on York Street to N. Main Street.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (50 York Street). This lovely stone church, built in 1891 and 1892 after a fire gutted its original Lambertville site at 31 York Street, is an excellent example of English gothic style. The exterior stone is in an ashlar bond pattern and was quarried from the Prallsville Quarry in Stockton. The church is located on the site of George Coryell’s house, one of just four buildings in Coryell’s Ferry at the time of the American Revolution. Coryell served as a Captain in the War.

St. Andrew’s, founded in 1716 in Amwell, is one of the oldest Episcopal congregations in New Jersey. In 1845, the congregation came to Lambertville.

 

Cross York Street and go back toward the park.

York-St-house

42 York Street. One of Lambertville’s loveliest homes, this house was built in 1909 by George Massey for his wife. It was featured in a 1911 issue of House & Garden as one of the finest country homes in the United States. It also boasted the first central vacuum system in New Jersey.

York Street is one of the City’s most beautiful streets. East of Main Street, York Street was part of Old York Road which ran between New York City and Philadelphia. The Swift-Sure Stage traveled this route in the late 1700s.

Continue west to N. Union Street.

City-Hall

Lambertville’s City Hall (18 York St.) lies on the corner of North Union and York Streets. Built in 1870 by A. H. Holcombe, the Holcombe family remained there until 1922. In 1950, the City purchased the structure for use as a City Hall. For years, the building housed the police department, the municipal court, and the public library in addition to administrative offices which now remain. The design is an excellent example of the French Second Empire style.

To see Lambertville's largest homes, built for its early upper class and "captains of industry," walk three blocks further north on Union Street and return to City Hall.

 

From City Hall, walk south on N. Union Street. As you pass by, look at the building opposite City Hall.

Welch-plaque

21 York Street. The funeral home building is the former home of Ashbel Welch. At only 23, Welch was the engineer for the Delaware and Raritan Canal. He later was the engineer for the Belvidere-Delaware Railroad that ran through Lambertville. Ashbel Welch, as the engineer of two major transportation projects, helped Lambertville become an industrial boomtown in the 19th century. The plaque shown is on the Union Street side of the building.

 

Continue south on N. Union Street one block and turn right on Coryell Street.

Strand-theatre

Former Strand Theatre (12 Coryell), This was Lambertville’s original movie house which is being renovated as an art space. Across the street is Finkle’s Hardware (7 Coryell St.) which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. It may have the most comprehensive inventory found anywhere.

 

Continue down Coryell Street and turn right at the Porkyard sign.

Porkyard-sign

The Pork Yard. Across the street from Finkle’s, a small lane leads to a former meat processing plant built in 1909 for the Kooker Sausage Factory. The building was renovated in 1979 and christened The Pork Yard. Across the lane is the Boat House, a popular pub. .Along the west side of the lane is the Record Building (6 Coryell) with its charming painted advertisement for King Midas Bread. It was built about 1900 for The Record Newspaper. In 1993, it reopened as retail space with two apartments above.

 

Return to Coryell Street and turn right toward the canal.

D-and-R-Canal

The Delaware and Raritan Canal was entirely dug by hand. The canal starts at Bulls Island, north of Stockton, and runs south to Trenton. It supplied water for the Bordentown-to-New Brunswick section of the canal but was also used to carry cargo. Opened in 1834, the canal sparked development in Lambertville but was eclipsed by completion of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad in 1851. The canal remained in operation until 1932.

 

Continue to Lambert Lane and turn left. Just past the apartment building, view Lewis' island just beyond the parking lot.

Lewis's-Island

Lewis’ Island is the last remaining Shad Fishery on the Delaware River. It has been in continuous operation and operated by the same family since 1888. Shad once jammed the Delaware each spring but pollution reduced the catch to zero in 1953 and 1955. While no longer profitable, the Meserve family continue to fish each year, usually on the weekend of Shad Fest, to monitor the number of shad in the Delaware River.

 

Continue walking to Bridge Street and cross to the other side.

Bridge-photo

Lambertville-New Hope Bridge. The current bridge was built in 1904, replacing an 1814 covered bridge which was swept away in the “Great Pumpkin Flood” of 1903. Old timers claim sections of the wooden bridge floated down the river with windows glowing from the lanterns still lit inside. Until 1919, the bridge was privately owned and supported by tolls. Trolley cars from Pennsylvania crossed over the bridge until 1934.

Continue west on Bridge Street.

LV-Station

Lambertville Station (11 Bridge St.) is now a restaurant but this imposing building once housed the offices for the Belvidere and Delaware (Bel-Del) Railroad which began passenger service to Trenton in 1851 and to Belvidere four years later. The building

was designed by the architect of the U.S. Capitol dome, Thomas Walter, and completed in 1867. To the south of the station was a rail yard where locomotives were built and repaired beginning in 1854. Many of the engines were named after Native Americans. The Pennsylvania Railroad, which had 17 locomotives build in Lambertville, took ownership of the Bel-Del Railroad in 1871.

 

At the canal, use the crosswalk to the north side of Bridge Street and turn right.

LV-House

Lambertville House (32 Bridge St.) was built as an inn and tavern in 1812 by John Lambert who became postmaster of the newly designated town of Lambert's Ville. In 1849 the name was simplified to Lambertville. The inn hosted General Grant, President Andrew Johnson, “General” Tom Thumb, Robert Todd Lincoln and, possibly, a young King Edward VII.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Lambertville’s most historic site is located at 260 N. Main Street, outside the boundaries of this tour.  Just north of the elementary school and fire station is the lovely 1700s stone Richard Holcombe House also known as Washington’s Headquarters. Written proof exists that Washington stayed here in July 1777 and in June 1778 en route to the Battle of Monmouth.  Visit the interpretative sign on the property at N. Main Street and Phillips Barber Road.