Old Whitehouse-General Frelinghuysen-Colonel Thomas Lowrey Chapter, NSDAR

Our Chapter History

Historic marker in the DAR Cemetery

National Society organized 1890
New Jersey Society organized 1891

Old White House Chapter organized November 17, 1928
General Frelinghuysen Chapter organized January 11, 1896
Colonel Lowrey Chapter organized June 22, 1899

Old White House Chapter
The Old White House Chapter was organized in 1928. They were named for the “Old White House,” a local Revolutionary War era Inn which also gave the town its name. It is where General Washington and his guard stopped. Revolutionary War prisoners were kept in the huge barn where provisions were stored for his soldiers, who were encamped at Morristown and Pluckeman, New Jersey. This barn was later used as a meeting house for the newly organized Dutch Reformed Church of Rockaway.

The chapter was incorporated in 1931 to receive the land where this building had stood. Mrs. Harriet Van Horn Traphagen, the granddaughter of Washington’s Issuing Forge Master, Abraham Van Horne, the owner of this historic property, died suddenly; her family donated the Revolutionary War era cemetery and memorial park to the chapter in trust as a memorial to her, and to early settlers and patriots, in 1931.

General Frederick FrelinhghuysenGeneral Frelinghuysen Chapter
The General Frelinghuysen Chapter was formed in 1896, and merged with the Old White House Chapter in 1995, becoming the Old White House – General Frelinghuysen Chapter. This Somerville based group met in the Wallace House and then in 1932 they received ownership of the Old Dutch Parsonage, but could not afford the upkeep and gave it to the State of New Jersey in 1947. They helped preserve the Watson Cemetery in Hillsborough Township, where General Frederick Frelinghuysen (1753-1804) is interred. He fought in the American Revolution and served in the Continental Congress and later was a U.S. Senator.

In 1896 the chapter took in a “Real Daughter,” Miss Elizabeth McIlroy, age 101 years. She died just after being accepted (1795-1896). Miss McElroy is burred in the Old Somerville Cemetery on Bridge Street. She was the daughter of Revolutionary War soldier William McIlroy.

Colonel Lowrey Chapter

Colonel Thomas LowreyThe Colonel Lowrey Chapter was formed in Flemington in 1899, and merged with the Old White House – General Frelinghuysen Chapter in 2007. The chapter was named for Colonel Thomas Lowrey, who in 1775 was a member of the Hunterdon County Provincial Congress and in 1791 was a member of the Legislative Council.  In 1776, he was commissioned as a Lt. Colonel in Colonel David Chamber’s 3rd Regiment of Militia of State Troopers under Brigadier Major General Dickenson, and promoted to Colonel. He never saw active service, but was a U.S. Marshal for the New Jersey District from 1791 to 1805. He died in Milford, NJ, at age 72 years, 7 months, in 1806, and is buried in Kingwood Presbyterian Church Yard. Army supplies were stored in his buildings in Flemington while he served as Deputy Commissioner. Col. Lowrey held a large supply of muskets there. This led to the British Cornet Gearey’s raid in which he was killed and buried near Ringoes, NJ.

The chapter was given “The Fleming Castle” in 1927, by Mrs. (Susan) Charles Foster, and operated it as the chapter's headquarters until 2005, when they sold it to the Borough of Flemington.


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