Lambertville – Then and Now

  • Address: 80 Lambert Lane
  • Historic Names:
    • The Lambertville Iron-Works / Laver & Cowin Foundry (1849-1886)
    • NJ Rubber Company (1890 – c. 1909)
    • Original Trenton Cracker Factory (OTC) (c. 1970s – 1980s)
    • River Horse Brewery / Center Club Buildings (late 1990s – early 2000s)
  • Today: Lambert Square on the Delaware River
NJ Rubber Co. c. 1900
NJ Rubber Co. c. 1900
Photo: Lambertville Historical Society
Lambert Square, December 2020
Lambert Square, December 2020
Photo: Richard Freedman

Continue up Lambert Lane to see the site of the former NJ Rubber Co. Building.

The Lambertville Iron-Works were first established by Laver & Cowin in the spring of 1849. It was later run by Ashbel Welch III, (son of famed civil engineer Ashbel Welch 1809 – 1882). The principal business at that time was the making of patent axles, patent Eclipse safety-boilers, and steam-engines. The making of axles was a new branch of business and was steadily increasing. Lambertville Iron Works disbanded in 1886.

New Jersey Rubber Company opened in 1890 where the Lambertville Iron-Works had been earlier. In 1896 they suffered a devastating fire that destroyed the working part of the mill but not the stock. In less than a month, contractor George Arnett had almost completed a new three-story brick building.

In 1897 the New Jersey Rubber Company installed a 105 ft smokestack. Because of its location in the center of town (and probably the smokestack!) it had the nickname “the stink pot.”

In 1909, The New Jersey Rubber Company and the Lambertville Rubber Company at the south end of town both faced a drastic fall in rubber prices because of the large rubber plantations of Henry Firestone and ceased operations.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the formerly Philadelphia-based Original Trenton Cracker (OTC) factory operated from a building at this site. Riverhorse Brewery and Center Club Fitness Center were at the OTC site in the early 21st century. Today the complex is called Lambert Square on the Delaware River.