New Brunswick: A Walk through the Past

New Brunswick times, events and histories

New Brunswick: A Walk through the Past

New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, United States

Created By: PH Project

Tour Information

This tour is a walk around one of the most important locations in New Brunswick. New Brunswick is a unique city home to Rutgers University and a population of 55,000 , there is no doubt that the city has played a huge role in the history of New Jersey. The tour will take you to locations that still stand today such as the New Brunswick Train Station and to places that no longer exists like the Bayard Street School. Along the way we have included important events and people that have occured or lived near the location to give the walking tourist as many perspectives as possible. Along the way we have included questions to help you reflect on the information presented to you and to help you better understand the story behind each location.

The significance of this walking tour is not only to inform New Brunswick tourist but also natives who may not know the important role that the city has played in New Jersey history. Knowing the history of a city enriches it's community and gives life to everyday places or everyday people who's contribution have been forgotten.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument

The Soldier's and Sailors' Monument was created in 1893 to commemorate soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War after P.P. Runyon suggested to use the funds from the centennial anniversary committee.This monument reflects the importanc... Read more
President Roosevelt's visit to New Brunswick

President Theodore Roosevelt addressed an audience at Monument Square in June of 1912. Notice the people’s attire, what does this tell you about the fashion of the early 1900s?
State Theatre

The State Theatre originally known as Reade’s State Theatre opened its doors on December 26th, 1921. It was known then as “one of the biggest, most lavish, and modern theaters in the region”. Eventually silent films and vaudeville act... Read more
New Brunswick Free Public Library

The present day location of the New Brunswick Free Public Library first opened in 1903 on 60 Livingston Avenue. However, the library can trace its roots back to 1796 where it started as the Union Library Company. Books had to be borrowed at... Read more
Bayard Street School

Formal education in the city of New Brunswick was through private schools and tutors. One of the earliest private schools was called the “Lancasterian.” Founded by William Hall the Lancasterian was to be a school for children who couldn... Read more
First Dutch Reformed Church

Organized in 1717, the First Dutch Reformed Church was instrumental to the formation of Rutgers University. Religious leaders of the church wanted to educate Dutch Reformed ministerial candidates and thus founded Queen’s College. King Geo... Read more
People's National bank

Planning for the People’s National Bank began in March 1887, and on May 16th 1887 the Bank opened for business on the corner of Neilson and Church Streets. From the very beginning the bank’s growth was rapid. In just under twenty years ... Read more
Women's Suffrage March

New brunswick witnessed the historic movement for women’s suffrage. In 1919 there was a peaceful demonstration at the corner of George and Albany Streets near the People’s National Bank. Reading Between the Landscapes What other histori... Read more
Court Tavern

The bar was first owned by Bobby Albert but its original location was taken down in 1970 to build Ferren Parking Deck. Later relocated to 124 Church Street where it played a significant role in the 1980’s New Brunswick underground music s... Read more
New Brunswick Station

In the mid-1800s New Brunswick had a big shipping industry, it was so successful in fact that it there was a need to transport goods quicker and cheaper. In 1835 the New Jersey Railroad between New Brunswick and Jersey City began. The line ... Read more
Lincoln's visit to New Brunswick

On February 21, 1861 Abraham Lincoln stopped in New Brunswick on the way to his inauguration and addressed a group of people from his train.
Masonic Hall

Built in 1871 at the corner of Albany and George Streets, the Masonic hall was designed by Augustas Hatfield and modeled after Philadelphia's City Hall. The hall was home to a number of organizations and businesses, as well as a large theat... Read more
Johnson & Jonhson

Founded in 1886 by brothers James Wood Johnson, Robert Wood Johnson, and Edward Mead Johnson,  Johnson & Johnson first got its start making surgical dressings. Today, Johnson & Johnson is a Fortune 500 company that makes a variety ... Read more
Queen's College

Rutgers University was first founded as Queen’s College in 1766. Inspired by other religious readers who had sponsored colleges, the Dutch Reformed Church also wanted to establish a college that would educate the church's future leaders. ... Read more
Sojourner Truth

One of Queen’s College’s founding trustees Colonel Johannes Hardenbergh owned the parents of Sojourner Truth. Truth who was born shortly before the death of Hardenbergh was later owned by his son Charles. In her autobiography Truth desc... Read more
New Brunswick Theological Seminary

The New Brunswick Theological Seminary can trace its roots back to the First Dutch Reformed Church and Queen’s College. When it was first founded, Queen’s College did not have the money required for a theological school. The early focus... Read more
Raritan River

Located between New York and Philadelphia, New Brunswick was the ideal location for factories to establish themselves away from the traffic and hustle and bustle of large cities. In 1834 the Delaware and Raritan canal was completed making t... Read more


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