Woodbridge Township Historic Preservation Commission
Woodbridge Township, New Jersey
Chartered 1669

Jonathan Dunham House

650 Rahway Avenue
Built: c.1700

Dating to at least the late seventeenth century, this building was once the home of Jonathan Dunham, one of the early settlers and freeholders of Woodbridge, who operated the first gristmill in New Jersey. The mill, a tidal mill, was located just south of the home, at the intersection of the Port Reading Road, along the Woodbridge River, then known as Papiack Creek. During the American Revolution, the building was used as a garrison by American soldiers. Originally a two-story, four room home, the building was later acquired by the family of Samuel Barron, prominent early Woodbridge settlers. In 1870, local donor George C. Hance purchased the historic Dunham House from the Barron family. He commissioned the additions made to both stories, more than doubling the size of the original home. Hance assured that renovations would complement the design of the neighboring Trinity Episcopal Church, to which he granted the home’s deed in 1873. Both Colonial and Victorian designs are present in the original and added portions of the house. Among the home’s most distinctive features are its Flemish bond brickwork, a type of checkerboard pattern visible on the first and second floors of the façade, as well as its Gothic Revival replacement windows set in the same place of the building. Perhaps the most significant artifact which still exists on the current property is an ancient, circular millstone dating to the Colonial period. It is one of the original stones used by Dunham in his grist mill operations. The Jonathan Dunham House has been continually used as the Trinity Episcopal Church Rectory since 1873. It is the oldest building in Woodbridge Township and one of the oldest buildings in Middlesex County.

Additional references:
The First Walking Tour of Woodbridge. A walking tour of historic sites in Woodbridge
Map of Historic Area #1