Friends of the Indian King Tavern Museum

Friends of the Indian King Tavern Museum

Living History in Haddonfield, NJ

About Us

The Friends of the Indian King are volunteers dedicated to the preservation, restoration and interpretation of the Tavern Museum. We plan and support 8-9 annual open house programs each year, provide reenactors, period musicians and speakers, purchase artifacts and furnishings for the Tavern plus support research.

The Friends Group attained a non-profit status from the IRS. All donations are Tax deductible.

Friends Officers:
President: Joe Murphy
Vice President : Margie Diemer
Treasurer/Secretary : Tom Diemer
Directors: Betty Runge and Karen Mazak
Honorable Member: Garry Stone

Dear Friend of the Indian King Tavern Museum:

We all know what a treasured place the Indian King Tavern Museum is. This 260 year-old historic building is New Jersey’s first state-owned historic site (1903). It’s where New Jersey completed the transition from colony to State—passing laws revising election procedures, creating township governments, and setting up state courts. At the Indian King, the assembly passed measures imposing martial law, strengthening the militia, regulating a war economy, and providing emergency support to the Continental Army after its defeat at Brandywine. We know that more might be done with this marvelous space, if we had the resources available.

The Tavern Museum has serious limitations. It is not wheel-chair accessible, it has no public restrooms, it has no air-conditioning, and it has only one stair to the second floor. The cellars (including a vaulted cool room) are closed to the public. Do you remember the story of Haddonfield’s own “Lost Ark”, the small 1760s structure next to the Tavern that was lost years ago, but still graces the pictures of the Tavern from prior years? Would it be possible to reconstruct that space? Could the Ark provide space for restrooms, an elevator, and a second flight of stairs to the ballroom and cellars? Imagine a lantern tour of the cellars refurnished with faux foodstuffs—bottled wines, casked cider, hanging hams, and tubs of carrots and cabbages.

How could we move from our imaginations to real steps forward? What action is required first? Before we can move forward, before we can even start to dream, we need to take the practical step of finding out what can be done with the building. What loads will the floors support? Is the east wall unstable? What can be done to make any new uses safe and permissible?

To understand the full potential of this site we need to obtain a comprehensive architectural and engineering study. To take this threshold step will take money. While your organization, the Friends of the Indian King Tavern, has contributed steadfastly to the Tavern, both in terms of volunteers’ time and money, the type of study that is needed would take serious money. Could we raise this on our own? Maybe, but the sacrifice would be great, taking away from the events we hold at the Tavern, and the effort could stretch out for seemingly endless years. But now we have a tremendous opportunity to take this important leap forward within a short time with grant money available from the New Jersey Historic Trust.

This May, the Friends applied to the New Jersey Historic Trust for $50,000 to fund a $66,850 preservation plan for the tavern. Helping the Friends prepare the application was the architectural and engineering staff of Watson and Henry Associates, perhaps the state’s premier historic restoration consultants. They outlined a comprehensive plan that would completely investigate the tavern’s structure and utilities, propose improvements, and provide cost estimates for restoring and upgrading the existing building and reconstructing the Ark. However, to qualify for these funds, we need to raise $1 to match every $3 from the New Jersey Historic Trust. Moreover, if we can obtain conditional pledges of matching funds – pledges that would not be due unless the grant is awarded – we can substantially increase the probability of our being awarded the $50,000 grant.

By applying for this grant, we have reminded the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry of the deficiencies of the Tavern and that the Tavern has an active constituency. If we get this grant, we will provide Parks and Forestry with the professional recommendations and cost estimates needed to join the queue for construction funding. Each 2010 planning dollar could result in $30 of restoration and reconstruction!

This is an important opening and chance to leverage dramatically our own funds. Every dollar that you pledge may result in three additional dollars coming to the Indian King. Please join me in taking a serious look at this opportunity, and donating now. Your commitment today could mean a priceless gift to the Tavern and our community that will endure for generations to come.

Thanking you in advance for your anticipated generosity,

Thomas J Diemer – Secretary/Treasurer

And The Friends of the Indian King Tavern Museum Board

Current Hours:

The Museum's current hours are:

10am-noon and 1-4pm

1pm - 4pm

The Innkeeper is an experienced tour guide plus an extremely knowledgeable historian.