History of IKT
The Indian King Tavern Museum, located at 233 Kings Hwy East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033 is where New Jersey became a state and the great seal of the state was adopted. Many important and influential people visited and toured this Tavern before and after it became a Museum. Why not stop by to visit this unique historic and very interesting site? It’s unique due to the fact that it was once a tavern hotel and used by travelers going to Philadelphia, Trenton, Swedesboro and Delaware. Since there were very few places to eat or stay overnight, it was an extremely important and very busy location. The people who lived in the area would frequent the tavern to gather news from the travelers. It was a very tumultuous time for our country.
During the war when Trenton was under siege, the New Jersey Legislature met in the “Great” room upstairs and declared New Jersey a state. This historic site is over 270 years old and the first historic building that New Jersey purchased for a museum. It’s an easy site to visit.
Fast Facts about the Tavern
- The historic building, parts of which are over 270 years old, is New Jersey’s first state-owned historic site (1903).
- Travelers passing through would play games to entertain themselves and share news. Their playing cards did not have numbers, only suits.
- There were few places to stay overnight in the colonial times and the tavern was once used by travelers going to Philadelphia, Trenton, Swedesboro and Delaware.
November 1776 – July 1777, war raged along New Jersey’s Raritan River. The new State government fled from Princeton to Burlington to Haddonfield. January – September 1777, the Assembly met for three sessions in the Indian King Tavern. Here legislators passed laws governing elections, courts, and Townships, and struggled to wage war against an occupying army.
After the British captured Philadelphia, September 1777, Haddonfield was the center of a war zone. The British occupied the town four times, the last time was June 18-20, 1778.
The Indian King Tavern continued in use as a tavern and boarding house until 1901. In 1903, the tavern became New Jersey’s first State-owned historic site. Now the Indian King Tavern Museum is one of New Jersey’s most historic buildings and is a premier example of 18th-century tavern architecture.