Take the Challenge: Find Van Veghten House, A National Hist
Directions to the Best Kept Secret in Somerset County
Why it's a challenge: The Van Veghten house is located near Manville, on the banks of the Raritan River, at the back of an Industrial Park on a dead end! It is far enough off the main road, Findern Ave., that is is not visible at the traffic light near the entrance to the former Johns' Manville Headquarters.
The street address is 9 Van Veghten Drive, but the street sign at the traffic light says Bridgewater Commerce Drive. Findern Avenue is also known as County Rt 633. (Findern Avenue runs perpendicular to Rt 22 and becomes Main Street in Manville. It runs parallel to RT 206.)
If you are traveling south on Rt 633 from Rt 22 or Rt 287, turn right on Bridgewater Commerce Drive just past the Van Veghten Drive sign, follow it around the curve and turn Right on Van Veghten Drive. There are two rather small, white signs with black lettering indicating Somerset County Historical Society at each of the turns. If you miss the turn, go to the next traffic light (before going over the long cement bridge) turn right and follow the road about 1/4 mile.
If you are traveling North on Rt 206, take the right turn at Brook Blvd or Dukes Parkway East to Main St in Manville and turn left. After the big cement bridge turn left at the light and follow the directions above.
Traveling South on Rt 206 take the jug handle at Duke's Parkway East. There is no turn at Brook Blvd.to Main St. in Manville and turn left. After the big cement bridge, turn left at the light and follow the directions above.
If you will be traveling north on Rt 633 through Manville proper, at the end of the long cement bridge over the Raritan River turn Left at the traffic light. The sign at the traffic light says Bridgewater Commerce but the street is actually Van Veghten Drive. Approximately ¼ mile in you will see the brick house on the left.. Turn left and go to the small parking lot just past the house. The lot is on county park land.
The Van Veghten House is an almost 300 year old historic home. The site is NOT ADA compliant, yet. Parking lot is gravel. There are no sidewalks from the lot to the house. Doorways are not wheel chair width.
However, there is a paved path from the driveway to the main door, which is at ground level with a simple wooden threshold. Two of the 5 public rooms are on the same level. We have a brief video of the other rooms for those who cannot manage the stairs.
The yard is mostly level and there are stepping stone paths around the house to view the brickwork, riverscape, and plantings.
AT THE PRESENT TIME HOWE FARMSTEAD IS NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC