New Jersey’s governor resides at Drumthwacket, his official mansion. Located in Princeton, NJ, close to Trenton, the state capital, is this palatial home at 354 Stockton Street. There are only three other governor’s mansions in the US (the others being in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Tennessee) that are not in the state capital.
Drumthwacket was constructed in 1835 and enlarged in 1893 and 1900 before being sold to the state along with the surrounding acreage in 1966. For its importance in various fields, including agriculture, architecture, business, landscape architecture, and politics, Drumthwacket was included on the National Register of Historic Places in June 1975. In 1982, it officially become the home of the governor.
The state agency responsible for protecting the environment in New Jersey is also tasked with handling the estate. The home serves as both an official residence and a museum dedicated to the home’s rich history.
Proprietary House, the Colonial-era house of the governors of New Jersey, was situated in Perth Amboy. The city of Philadelphia was established on land that belonged to William Penn, the Quaker proprietor of the Province of Pennsylvania. After its purchase by William Olden in 1696, the land near Stockton Street saw the construction of a modest white house known as Olden House.
The estate’s then-owners, the Spanels, sold it to the state of New Jersey in 1966 with the expectation that it would replace the previous governor’s mansion, Morven, as the governor’s official residence. The New Jersey Historical Society ultimately raised enough money to turn the estate into a state residence in 1981, after 15 years of waiting. The Drumthwacket Foundation got its start back in 1982.
Former New Jersey First Lady Deborah Kean was instrumental in converting the mansion into the state executive residence, and she also founded the non-profit Drumthwacket Foundation to care for the house and grounds.
The first family uses the 12 private rooms on the second level, while the main floor’s six public rooms host several state events. The property is known for its yearly Garden Club Christmas display.
On most Wednesdays, except in August and on the day before Thanksgiving, Drumthwacket is available for guided visits. The solarium, center hall, dining room, parlor, music room, library, and governor’s study are just some of the six public rooms featured on the tour. Volunteer docents lead tours through the exhibits. Take a stroll through the grounds and stop into the Olden House, a rebuilt farmhouse that is now home to a gift shop and the Drumthwacket Foundation.