The Nathaniel Drake House was built in 1746 by Isaac Drake as a home for his son, Nathaniel. Today, it is a city-owned public museum operated by the Historical Society of Plainfield.
Nestled beneath the towers and slate roof is the original farmhouse once used as George Washington’s headquarters during the Battle of the Short Hills, in June 1777. The Drake sons, Abraham, Cornelius, and Isaac, served in the Essex and Somerset Counties’ militia. Caesar, the family’s freed slave, was a wagoneer with the Continental forces.
In 1864, John S. Harberger, president of the Manhattan Co. (now Chase Bank), enlarged and embellished the house in the Victorian style, making it his summer home during Plainfield’s development as a commuter suburb. Period rooms here portray both the farm life of the Drakes and the suburban life of the Harbergers. Significant American paintings, folk art, period furniture and decorative pieces make this site a museum of both history and art.
Listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places
Operated by the Historical Society of Plainfield
• 7′ x 9′ Civil War painting by Julian Scott
• The opulent Harberger Library
• Exhibit Gallery
• Period rooms – Colonial and Victorian eras
For Hours: (908) 755-5831; drakehouseplainfieldnj.org or firstname.lastname@example.org