|Location||1281 River Road, Piscataway, New Jersey|
|Area||0.7 acres (0.28 ha)|
|NRHP Reference #||73001115|
|Added to NRHP||March 7, 1973|
|Designated NJRHP||August 7, 1972|
The Metlar House, also known as the Knapp House, the Bodine House, or the Metlar–Bodine House, is an historic house, now museum, located along River Road in Piscataway, New Jersey. It is also believed to be haunted. In 2003 a fire badly damaged the house. The museum has undergone major renovations over the past decade and, as of Summer 2014, is once again open to the public.
The Metlar–Bodine House's "Red, White, and Boom" Madeira wine tasting event on July 6, 2014 kicked off its campaign to raise money to build a new educational wing to house the historically significant Ross Hall Wall.
In July 1778, George Washington headquarters were at Ross Hall and his 11,000 patriots camped along the Raritan River in Piscataway. It was there that General Washington wrote the first order for the United States Army to celebrate the 4th of July – a tradition that continues to this day. The troops were ordered to march across the river on Landing Lane Bridge, line the banks of the Raritan in New Brunswick, and shoot their rifles down and up the line in the first organized salute to the nation's independence. They were then given an extra ration of rum and that evening the General had a party for officers (including Alexander Hamilton, the Marquis de Lafayette and Baron Von Stuben) and their ladies at Ross Hall. The building was destroyed in the 1960s but because of its significance, a parlor wall was saved and was exhibited at the New Jersey Historical Society until it was given to the Township and the Metlar–Bodine House in 2000.
Currently, the parlor wall is dismantled and stored in a large warehouse owned by Piscataway Township. The wall must be restored and relocated to a facility that is climate controlled and protected. It is estimated that the wall’s restoration and an addition to the Metlar–Bodine House will cost close to $1 million.
In the early 1700s, Raritan Landing, New Jersey had 70 homes belonging to Dutch merchants. In 1728 Peter Bodine, who owned a storehouse, built a two story house near the Raritan River. In 1733 he sold his house to Hendrick Lane (?-1761). After Lane's death in 1761 this widow, Margaret lived in the house, but in 1780 she sold the property to William French, the son of a sea captain. Isaac Lawrence bought the house from French in 1814. In 1840, William Phillips was the owner and he added an addition to the house. In 1853 Samuel Knapp purchased the house and 220 acres (0.89 km2) of the property, and he may have added a second addition to the house around 1870.
In the 1890s, the house was owned by George Metlar, of New Brunswick, New Jersey . He used it to house his property manager, John Mason. Metlar's son John moved to the home with his wife in 1904 and shared it with the Mason. In 1914 John Metler inherited the property. John sold some of the land and in 1955 sold the house and the remaining 0.73 acres (3,000 m2) to John P. Newton.
In 1977 the state of New Jersey purchased the property. They planned to use the property for the New Jersey Route 18 bridge to cross the Raritan River from New Brunswick, New Jersey to Piscataway, New Jersey. It is now owned by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
On July 17, 2003, a fire damaged the house.
07/06/14: "Red, White and Boom" Madeira wine-tasting event complete with a George Washington impersonator, a colonial dance troupe and a wide variety of catered hors d'oeuvres (including Madeira-roasted clams, a pickelled vegetable bar and ham salad on grilled cornbread).
04/05/14: Spring annual auction dinner held at Rutgers University. Some of the items up for grabs were a Franklin mint coin set, the services of a professional sommelier and an exotic vacation getaway to Baja, Mexico!
Spring Annual Auction Dinner
Summer Annual Beer & Pretzel Potluck Picnic (members only)
Bi-annual Antiques River Road Show- Appraisal Fair & Book Sale
Fall Wine Tasting
- Cornelius Low House
- Road Up Raritan Historic District
- Ross Hall
- List of the oldest buildings in New Jersey
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Middlesex County" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Historic Preservation Office. May 28, 2014. p. 11. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 7, 2014.
- Newton, John P. (March 7, 1973). "NRHP Nomination: Metlar House" (PDF). National Park Service. "Accompanying 1 photo, from 1972." (PDF).
- "Metlar Home Burns. Electrical Problem Suspected. Wing Built In 1870 Damaged". Home News Tribune. July 19, 2003. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
Flames consumed two second-floor offices - holding operational records and the museum's computers - the first-floor parlor that visitors toured and a kitchen equipped in the 1960s that volunteers congregated in, volunteers said. ...