Old Barracks Museum

The Old Barracks Museum, also known just as the Old Barracks, is a historic building located at 101 Barracks Street in Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey. Built in 1758 to house soldiers of the British Army, it is the only remaining colonial barracks in the state and is one of the only tangible surviving elements of the 1776 Battle of Trenton. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 25, 1971 and listed as a National Historic Landmark on November 28, 1972, for its significance in military history.[4] It is now a state-run historic site and museum.

Old Barracks
Old Barracks, South Willow Street, Trenton (Mercer County, New Jersey).jpg
Old Barracks, photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey
Old Barracks Museum is located in Mercer County, New Jersey
Old Barracks Museum
Old Barracks Museum is located in New Jersey
Old Barracks Museum
Old Barracks Museum is located in the United States
Old Barracks Museum
Location101 Barrack Street,
Trenton, New Jersey
Coordinates40°13′11″N 74°46′7″W / 40.21972°N 74.76861°W / 40.21972; -74.76861
Area1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built1758 (1758)
Architectural styleGeorgian
Part ofState House Historic District (ID76001161)
NRHP reference No.71000506[1]
NJRHP No.1784[2]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJanuary 25, 1971
Designated NHLNovember 28, 1972[3]
Designated NJRHPSeptember 11, 1970


The Old Barracks were built in 1758 to house British soldiers during the French and Indian War, after colonists complained about the forced quartering of soldiers engaged in the conflict. It was built as a U-shaped stone structure, capable of housing about 300 soldiers at a time.[5] It was reoccupied as a winter quarters by Hessian troops in the fall of 1776, during the American Revolutionary War. George Washington crossed the Delaware River to catch the Hessian garrison by surprise during the Battle of Trenton on the morning of December 26, 1776. Most of this battlefield is now occupied by downtown Trenton. For the remainder of that conflict it was occupied by whichever force controlled Trenton, including at various times British and American Continental Army troops. In the later stages of the war it was used as a military hospital by the Continental Army.[4]

Following the Revolution, the building was sold off, and it was converted into a series of private residences. One arm of the barracks was demolished in 1813 to make way for Front Street. From 1855 to 1899 it was used as a home for elderly women.[4] In 1902, members of the Daughters of the Revolution, under the leadership of Beulah A. Oliphant, bought part of the building to preserve it.[6] The state bought the other part and formed a museum in 1914 which continues to be open and supported by the State of New Jersey.[5][7]

The museum is open to visitors year round, Monday–Saturday, and is known for the annual Battle of Trenton Reenactments.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "National Register Information System – (#71000506)". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. November 2, 2013.
  2. ^ "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Mercer County" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Historic Preservation Office. December 28, 2020. p. 15.
  3. ^ "Old Barracks". National Historic Landmark Quicklinks. National Park Service. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Snell, Charles W. (May 11, 1972). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Old Barracks". National Park Service. With accompanying 4 photos
  5. ^ a b Official Site history
  6. ^ "Beulah Oliphant Award Reception". Old Barracks Museum.
  7. ^ NHL Details

External linksEdit

  Media related to Old Barracks (Trenton, New Jersey) at Wikimedia Commons