Princeton exhibits its unique role in the founding of the United States through many historical sites and buildings centuries old.
Princeton was settled in the late 17th century on a major traveling route between the Raritan and Delaware Rivers, approximately halfway between Philadelphia and New York. In 1777, it was the site of one of the more important battles of the American Revolution, and it briefly served as the capital of the nation in 1783 when the Continental Congress met in Nassau Hall.
As the home of the College of New Jersey—later renamed Princeton University—Princeton has been a center of learning and culture since the colonial period. Many scholars, scientists, writers, and statesmen have lived in Princeton, including United States presidents George Washington, James Madison, Woodrow Wilson and Grover Cleveland.
Today, many sites on and off campus offer interesting glimpses into the area's history:
Bainbridge House, 1766
Home of the Historical Society of Princeton, this Georgian building at 158 Nassau Street is one of the only remaining 18th-century houses in Princeton.
Nassau Hall, 1756
At the heart of the campus, this was the largest academic building in the American colonies when it was built, housing the College of New Jersey for 50 years.
Morven, c. 1750-1800
The home of Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Morven is located at 55 Stockton Street.
Alexander Hall, 1817
First built for the Princeton Theological Seminary, it was officially renamed Alexander Hall in 1893.
At 354 Stockton Street, this is the official residence of the governor of New Jersey.
Einstein House, c. 1840
The world-famous theoretical physicist Albert Einstein made his home at 112 Mercer Street from 1936 to 1955.
Battle Monument, 1922
The limestone monument, in Princeton Battlefield Park on Mercer Street a little more than a mile from the center of town, commemorates the Battle of Princeton in 1777.