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 History and Heritage 
Somerset County 

Click Here to Learn About the History and Heritage Section

Routes to Roots Heritage Trail

St. Thomas A.M.E. Zion Church

The Rev. William Drew Robeson (1844-1918) was pastor of the St. Thomas A.M.E. Zion Church between 1910 and 1917.  His famous son, Paul sang in the church choir. -- Born a slave, William left North Carolina in 1860 at the age of 15, by escaping through the Underground Railroad to Philadelphia, PA.  In Pennsylvania, he served in the Union Army as a laborer and subsequently acquired a degree in theology from Lincoln University in 1876.
St. Thomas A.M.E. Zion Church
75 Davenport St
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 218-9669

(Former) Parsonage
A plaque erected on the Somerville Middle School Annex marks the site of the parsonage where the Rev. Robeson and his family lived during his pastorate.
Somerville Middle School Annex
51 W. Cliff Street
Somerville, NJ 


Somerville High School

Integrated high school attended by Paul Robeson. While a student at Somerville, Paul excelled academically and participated in singing, acting, and athletics. He later graduated with honors in 1915.
Somerville High School
222 Davenport Street
Somerville, NJ  08876


Lawrence E. Walker Foundation

The mission of the Lawrence E. Walker Foundation is to promote self-awareness, artistic and educational development via the exploration of Black History through the art of film and historic digital images to the community and educational sectors. For presentation information, please contact the foundation at:

Lawrence E. Walker Foundation
179 Kingsberry Drive
Somerset, NJ 08873
(732) 873-3241
(732) 878-1335
FAX: (732) 873-7427

Abraham Staats House

The Staats House is one of the finest surviving buildings from the Dutch Settlement of the Raritan Valley in the 18th century.  The house had an interesting history during the American Revolution when it served as the headquarters of General von Steuben during the second Middlebrook Encampment (1779).  Abraham Staats, who acquired the property in 1770, was an active patriot and very involved in the revolutionary efforts.  Tory Jack, one of five slaves of the Staats household during the Revolutionary War, also assisted the patriot cause by spying on the British. Today, the Friends of the Abraham Staats House, commemorate his service and contribution on the annual  "Tory Jack Day" during Black History Month.
Abraham Staats House
17 Von Steuben Lane
South Bound Brook, New Jersey 08880
(732) 469-5836

Final Resting Places

Lamington Cemetery
      Lamington Black Cemetery

  • Lamington Black Cemetery, Copperwaithe Road, Bedminster, NJ
    Cemetery owned by the Lamington Presbyterian Church, the burial place of both enslaved and free persons.
  • Cherry Hill Cemetery, Lamington Road, Readington, NJ
    Part of the Readington Reformed Church Cemetery, this section was used for burials of African Americans.
  • Burial places of Civil War Veterans of the United States Colored Troops:
    - Bound Brook - Bound Brook Presbyterian Cemetery
    - Bridgewater - Foot Hill Road Cemetery
    - East Millstone - Cedar Hill Cemetery
    - Hillsborough/Montgomery - Marion Hoagland and Batcheller Farms Cemeteries
    - Bedminster - Lamington Black Cemetery
    - Somerville - New Cemetery


County History and Resource Organizations

Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission
PO Box 3000
Somerville, NJ 08876
Work: 908-203-6020
Fax: 908-707-1748

Somerset County Historical Society
9 Van Veghten Drive
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 218-1281

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Site Mailing List 

New Jersey Black Cultural & Heritage Initiative Foundation, Inc.

Telephone: (856) 357-6559
Fax:  (609) 567-2354
Site developed by The Zybrant Group in partnership with the New Jersey Black Cultural & Heritage Initiative Foundation, Inc.