Moksh Gudala and Sukeerthi Bitra
The Abraham Staats House is located on the banks of the Raritan River on 17 von Steuben Lane, in South Bound Brook, New Jersey, which is about 5 miles up the river from Rutgers College Avenue campus. Abraham Staats, who was one of the original dutch settlers in a land then known as New Netherlands, his wife Margaret DuBois, and his six children lived in this house in the mid to late 18th century. During the Revolutionary war, Staats was a known patriot and rebel against the British. Staats was even considered an “arch traitor” by the British, as “local legend suggests that Staats was involved in a spy network” (Staats History).
General Baron von Steuben, who was the inspector general of the army, was eventually quartered at the Staats’ house during the war, and during his extended stay, many famous figures from the Revolutionary War, such as George Washington, visited the Staats’ house to meet with General von Steuben. General von Steuben even held a ceremony for the French Minister Girard during his stay, which included a reception where eight regiments of soldiers came to honor Washington and the army. We chose the Abraham Staats House in particular because it shows the importance of Dutch heritage and how it can still hold value in a place that is close to our home. This house is one of the finest standing buildings left from the Dutch settlement that holds a rich history. The Abraham Staats House is a reminder to Rutgers students of the historical value of the area around Rutgers both in the existence of Dutch settlements and the role the people of this area played in the Revolutionary War.
Home to a New World Dutch family for nearly 200 years, the Abraham Staats House has been enlarged many times and now includes a Federal/Greek Revival two-story addition. The central part of the house is the oldest and the west and east wing were added later on in the 18th and 19th century. Some notable features of the house include an old kitchen with a large fireplace and a Dutch-style staircase. Standing as one of the greatest remaining buildings from the Dutch settlement of the Raritan Valley, this house has been added onto the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.