Over 300 years of sacrifices, challenges and pivotal moments have transpired right in our own backyard. Our goal is to offer area residents and visitors alike an opportunity to learn about the rich history of greater Somerset County while celebrating our unique place in our nation's history. The Heritage Trail Association helps to connect the past to the present day.
We do this by offering a series of programs such as narrated bus tours,lectures by world class authors and speakers, interactive guided tours, scout tours and more. In addition, the Van Horne house is available for rent to the public and businesses for special events such as weddings, parties and meetings. Click here for more information on renting the Van Horne House for your special occasion!
We started in 1993 with a two-hour bus tour called 60 Miles of Legend and Lore and over the years, developed many original bus and walking tours, such as Somerset Hills Landed Gentry, Nostalgia & Post World War II Housing, Famous Lovers & Murders, Visions and Inventions and more.
Fast forward to 2015. The Heritage Trail Association hosts world class historians and authors in our free speaker series and conducts historic bus tours in and occasionally out of Somerset County. Our partnership with the Middlebrook Theatrical Society (MTS), has brought the Van Horne House alive with exciting historic events that enlist the active participation of our guests! We believe that actively engaging our visitors creates strong memories that keep our rich history alive and well.
Somerset County's Weekend Journey through the Past, held on the second weekend in October each year has served as a vehicle for MTS and HTA to bring history alive with your participation. Interactive guided tours will transport you back to 1775-1783 with live music, dancing and other period activities designed for the visitor who wants more than a view behind velvet ropes.
The Heritage Trail Association is waiting for you , your family or group to experience the Van Horne House and all we have to offer here in Somerset County, New Jersey, where all you have to do is close your eyes and ‘see’ the events of the Rev War as they occurred right in our own backyards…and existing period houses!
In 2002, the Heritage Trail Association moved its headquarters location to the historic Van Horne House. Built in the 1750's, the Van Horne Home has seen the footpaths of the Native Americans, the development of early colonial settlements, the struggles of the American Revolution and the rise of commerce and industry, making it a true window though which to view Somerset County's history..
Van Horne House will not be opened for 2021 weekend Journey.
Weekend Journey is happening this year but work is underway at the Van Horne house so for safety reasons we have decided not to be open. The teams working on the house have discovered some exciting things and we look forward to showing them when we meet again.