Jersey History: Hunterdon County Solitude House

a The home in the heart of Hunterdon County has a pre-Revolutionary War history.Now in modern times it has gained a place in us jersey history series. Despite its historical importance, the Solitude His House in Highbridge, New Jersey quietly remains a New Jersey landmark.

The history of Solitude House dates back to the early 18th century. The Germanic stone houses were built on over 10,000 acres of land. In fact, its entire estate encompassed what we know today as Bethlehem, Clinton, Highbridge, and the Lebanese towns. At the time, the land was also shared with Union Iron Works. A forge responsible for casting cannonballs for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.

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In the late 18th century, Irish immigrant and former schoolteacher Robert Taylor became the foreman of the ironworks. So you live in Solitude House. Later, during the Revolutionary War, George Washington’s War Commission asked Taylor to take several prisoners. Two supporters of Pennsylvania Governor John Penn and his Attorney General Benjamin Chu. Solitude House acted as a form of house arrest, keeping men in barracks for seven months. Oddly enough, however, men were allowed to roam up to six miles of grounds at will.It was around this time that Solitude House was immortalized.


Five generations of the Taylor family have lived in this home for nearly two centuries. After that, however, the steel mill gradually declined. As a result, the property and Solitude House changed hands several times over the decades that followed. For example, New Jersey’s Central Railroad took ownership in his mid-nineteenth century. Temporarily revitalize local businesses. However, the site he officially ceased operations completely in 1970. Demolition of Solitude House was planned shortly thereafter, but Highbridge took over the property in his 2000. Two years later, the Union Forge Heritage Association opened the Solitude House Museum, which it held for the next decade.

Solitude House Today

Solitude House is currently undergoing renovations, but is open to the public on an irregular basis. Throughout the year, the house hosts psychic tours, murder mysteries, and even open mics. These events and tours help cover the costs of restoring this historic home. Some events, including regular open houses, are free and open to all ages. Upcoming events are available on the High Bridge History Facebook page.

Solitude Lake Dam
Solitude Lake Dam

Solitude House is located next to Solitude Lake, off US 639. Built in 1858, the artificial lake served as a power source for a nearby foundry. Baby Dam was originally built at the southernmost point. However, 50 years later they replaced this with a buttress dam. This is significant as it is the last remaining buttress dam in New Jersey. In fact, it is nationally recognized as a historic building. Lake Solitude is a great place to visit, relax in the sun and see waterfalls. Please remember to respect the property and wildlife.

Rich in historical significance and serene surroundings, Solitude House jersey history.

Click here to see more of Jersey through history.

All photos: © Patrick Lombardi / Best of NJ

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