The authoritative source on
  early churches of New Jersey

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Neshanic Dutch Reformed Church
Neshanic, Somerset County

Founded in 1759, construction began in that year, but was not completed until 1772. During those twelve years the building probably changed shape; the recollections of a nineteenth century resident described the church in Revolutionary War days as a square building with a hipped roof, above which was a weathervane. Its initial shape may have somewhat resembled the reconstructed Dutch Reformed church in Johnson Park in Piscataway.      Almost as wide as it is long, the church is unusual in several respects—its Gothic arch windows rest directly on the front doors, and the central window is Palladian-inspired. The central entrance is recessed slightly (in antis, is the architectural term for it) and bears Roman Doric columns, and there is a cupola atop the small tower instead of a steeple.
     The building was repaired in 1805 and 1832, although the nature and extent of the repairs is unknown. It is safe to conclude that this is not how the church would have appeared to a passerby in 1772, but is nevertheless a delightful surprise when coming upon it for the first time. National Register.

See Ursula C. Brecknell, Hillsborough: An Architectural History. Neshanic, New Jersey: Township of Hillsborough Historic Preservation Committee, 1996.




Copyright (c) 2001 Frank L. Greenagel