The Ewing Township Historic Preservation Society

"I never would have thought that a

jelly cupboard would lead to all this . . ."

GAIL KUSER

Our Early Years of Many Helpers

Junior League of Central Delaware Valley

Friends of the Benjamin Temple House

Ewing Township Historic Preservation Society

 

          Gail Kuser was a Ewing resident in 1970 when she went to buy an antique jelly cupboard at an 18th century farmhouse just over the border of Ewing in Hopewell Township.  The house's architectural integrity attracted her attention as a historian, and she began to research its history.  Her interest and tenacity were sparked by the knowledge that the NJ Department of Transportation was planning a cloverleaf to lead motorists from Route 31 to I-95 at the site of the house that Benjamin Temple built.  She spent years saving the house and, thanks to her efforts, New Jersey designated it a state historic site in April of 1971.  The house joined the National Register of Historic Places that September.

           In May of 1973 the NJ DOT moved the house from Bull Run and Pennington Roads to the old Drake Farm on Federal City Road in Ewing.  The new site purchased by the township in 1967 with state Green Acre funds is part of a historically interesting tract of land suggested two centuries ago by James Monroe as a possible location of the United States Capital.  The State of New Jersey's Highway Department had purchased this parcel of land from Eugene and Lillian Drake in 1963 with the intent of building the proposed Route 129 Freeway, which fortunately was never built. 

        In its new location, the Benjamin Temple House's ownership was taken over by Ewing Township but is currently leased to the Ewing Township Historic Preservation Society.  Gail Kuser established the Friends of the Benjamin Temple House non-profit organization in 1972 to prevent the demolition of the house and to help manage the house.  The Junior League of Greater Trenton was invited to help with the renovation and restoration of the house and provided funds by renting several rooms in the house.  In time a split in the interests of members of the Friends created the need for a new group to form in 1980 to focus on the preservation of the Benjamin Temple House, the Ewing Township Historic Preservation Society.

           Over the decades, each of these three groups contributed to the development of a vibrant, historical resource for Ewing Township.  The Benjamin Temple House is well maintained and has had most of its rooms renovated and restored.  The Ewing Township Historic Preservation Society is now the sole organization that directs its energy to fulfilling two goals: interpreting the Benjamin Temple House as a historic house museum, and collecting artifacts and items related to the history of Ewing Township.

      Located at the Benjamin Temple House, Drake Farm Park

                           Future Home of the Ewing Museum

    27 Federal City Road, Ewing NJ 08638  ~ 609-883-2455

                   Hours of the Benjamin Temple House Museum and Library 

                                           The House is now closed on Wednesdays.

                  Other times by appointment with the Site Manager, Ellie Calcagno.

                                   Free House Tours the first Sunday of Every Month

                                                 are cancelled until  further notice.