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The 17th Century Bonnell House is on the National Registry of Historic Houses and has recently been restored by the Historical Society, Elizabeth, NJ Inc. which has its offices within.
The Bonnell House is the oldest house in Elizabeth, NJ and one of the oldest residences in the state. It was on this site in 1682 and was likely built years before then. The house represents the carpentry skills of Nathaniel Bonnell, a Hugenot originally from New Haven ,CT. He came to Elizabeth about 1664 and was one of the original settlers and a member of the incorporating organization, the Elizabeth Associates. Between 1670 and 1685 Bonnell and his wife Elizabeth (nee Whitehead) raised seven children here. The family worked several farms in the environs, one of which in Connecticut Farms (now Union, NJ) was left to his son and namesake, Nathaniel.
Francis Barber, headmaster of the Elizabethtown Academy, joined the New Jersey militia with his student Alexander Hamilton in 1775. He married the daughter of Aaron Ogden, owned Bonnell House, and died during the war in 1882 [sic].
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Edward J. Grassmann (1887-1973), an entrepreneur, businessman, philanthropist, was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey of German immigrant parents. Grassmann reinvested his profits from his ownership (1927) of Amercian Industrial Clay Company into many charitable enterprises including the preservation of the historical houses, the Belcher Ogden-Mansion and Bonnell House. The Historical Society of Elizabeth carried on his passion for tulips in the its colonial garden at Bonnell House.
Paid for with Urban Enterprise Zone Funds.