Take a Step Back in Time
At the time The National Hotel in Frenchtown, NJ was built in 1850, there was a canal building boom occurring in the US. There were no cars, and trains were just coming into the horizon.The Delaware & Raritan Canal afforded many Frenchtown and area residents numerous reasons to enjoy the outdoors. Tourists came from far-away places for pleasure boating and recreational activities, making it a vital part of the community, but did you know that it was also an important supply route during the Civil War and the industrial boom of the 1870s. Even George Washington’s army is reported to have utilized this supply route during the American Revolution.
The National Hotel has quite a colorful past. It was originally built in 1833 and served as a stage coach stop and a brothel. The original building on the site was a smaller inn, called “The Sign of the Buck,” originally built by Samuel Powers. It was later rebuilt in 1850, renamed “The National Hotel” or “Upper Hotel” by its owner, Robert L. Williams, when the railroad came to town. The Postal Annex building was a blacksmith shop, hotel stable, 15-car garage, saloon and billiard parlor, horse shed, and restaurant. Additions to the building were made in the 1890s. The National Hotel has remained a charming hotel, restaurant and bar since the 1850s.