Taylor Steelworkers Historic Greenway
Solitude House started life as a classic Germanic style stone home in 1712 and was part of a 10,000 acre parcel of land that came to be part of the Union Iron Works. The adjacent stone annex structure, slaves' quarters and vegetable cave were all part of the original Solitude structures that remain to this day. The homes earliest existence predates the arrival of the Union Iron Works and the establishment of High Bridge.
The home's first recorded resident was Col. John Hackett who became the superintendent of the adjacent Iron (Works) established here in 1742 by William Allen and Joseph Turner. Solitude House became the primary residence of the manager of the Iron Works.
The first of five generations of Taylors came to reside at Solitude with the arrival of Robert Taylor from Ireland in 1755, who was first a book keeper at the Iron Works and soon became manager with the death of Hackett and took residence at Solitude. The Taylor Family who managed and operated the adjacent ironworks resided at Solitude from Robert Taylor in 1742 through Knox Taylor in 1914.
Solitude House was substantially remodeled and expanded over the years as the iron works became more wealthy and prosperous. The home doubled in size in 1775, and again expanded and substantially remodeled in the 1850's which gave the home an early Victorian appearance. Solitude became to be known as the centerpiece of the Taylor Iron and Steel Company for over 200 years. Some of Solitude's most famous visitors and occupants include George and Martha Washington, as well as General Lafayette, Col. Charles Stewart, Aaron Burr, and the last royal governor John Penn and his Chief Justice Benjamin Chew who were imprisoned here for 7 months during the Revolutionary War. Civil War Brigadier General George W. Taylor was born at Solitude House and was an ironworker at the company.
Solitude was nearly lost to demolition before the Borough of High Bridge took possession of Solitude in early 2000. The Union Forge Heritage Association opened Solitude House Museum in 2002 with the mission to preserve and protect High Bridge's history and culture. Solitude House and associated structures are state and nationally recognized historic structures. Solitude House stands as a testament to our collective history as a new nation, as well as a testament to all those who persevered in the face of overwhelming odds to succeed.
Erected by The Union Forge Heritage Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Industry & Commerce • War, US Revolutionary. A significant historical year for this entry is 1712.
Location. 40° 40.263′ N, 74° 53.178′ W. Marker is in High Bridge, New Jersey, in Hunterdon County. Marker can be reached from River Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: High Bridge NJ 08829, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Solitude (a few steps from this marker); Lake Solitude and Taylor Falls (a few steps from this marker); Union Forge (within shouting distance of this marker); Union Forge Bridge (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); The TISCO Complex (approx. 0.2 miles away); Solitude Falls (approx. 0.3 miles away); Taylor Steelworkers Historic Greenway (approx. 0.3 miles away); Old Iron Mines (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in High Bridge.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 27, 2018. It was originally submitted on October 18, 2010, by Alan Edelson of Union Twsp., New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,162 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on October 18, 2010, by Alan Edelson of Union Twsp., New Jersey. 2. submitted on October 17, 2010, by William Honachefsky Jr of High Bridge/Clinton Twp, New Jersey. 3. submitted on October 18, 2010, by Alan Edelson of Union Twsp., New Jersey. 4. submitted on October 17, 2010, by William Honachefsky Jr of High Bridge/Clinton Twp, New Jersey. 5. submitted on October 18, 2010, by Alan Edelson of Union Twsp., New Jersey. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. submitted on October 17, 2010, by William Honachefsky Jr of High Bridge/Clinton Twp, New Jersey. 18. submitted on October 18, 2010, by Alan Edelson of Union Twsp., New Jersey. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.