The Discoverer Blog recently published its list of the coolest museum in each state in the country, and in it the Old Barracks Museum was named the Coolest Museum in New Jersey, named alongside the Getty Museum in California, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania. The entire list can be seen here.
Built in 1758 to house British soldiers sent to protect the colonial borders in the French and Indian War, the Trenton barracks was once the largest building in Trenton. During the American Revolution, the building stood witness to the Battle of Trenton, where Gen. George Washington defeated Colonel Rall and his Hessian troops. After this battle, Washington ordered the building be used as a military hospital specializing in smallpox inoculations — said to be the first of its kind in North America.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the portion of the barracks that has been restored to interpret this 18th century history, or view galleries on New Jersey’s involvement in the French and Indian War, the Battle of Trenton, and the Trenton women who saved the Barracks from being forgotten in the early 20th century.
Special events occur throughout the year. Highlights are the Battle of Trenton reenactments held every December during Patriots Week, Colonial Summer Day Camp, Tavern Night Fundraiser in September, the Beulah Oliphant Award in March, “America, We Served!”: Three Centuries of African American Soldiers in February, and frequent lectures and author discussions.
General visitation is $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors. Active duty military personnel are admitted free of charge, and the Old Barracks Museum is a Blue Star Museum. Special events have various prices. Visit for more information.