Kuser Farm Mansion, Hamilton
Hamilton Township

The Kuser Farm Mansion in Hamilton Township was built in 1892 by German craftsmen. The Kuser family was very influential at this time. Rudolf Kuser had immigrated to America from Switzerland in the early 1800s. His son Anthony later helped to consolidate all of the New Jersey gas and electric companies, becoming president of South Jersey Oil and Electric. Anthony also served on the staff of three governors.

A loan of two-hundred thousand dollars was given by the Kuser family to help start the Fox Film Company; this venture later merged with 20th Century to become 20th Century Fox, one of the largest film companies around. With their participation in the film and oil industries, the Kuser family played an important role in New Jersey history. Their legacy also includes High Point State Park and the New Jersey Audubon Society.

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Kuser Farm Mansion, 1892, Newkirk Avenue, Hamilton.

The Kuser Farm Mansion has seventeen rooms and sits on a 22-acre farm; the estate was once considerably larger, encompassing 70 acres. Generically considered a Victorian style structure, the mansion contains many of the elements of the Queen Anne style, including a steeply pitched roof and curved porches. The mansion is now furnished with period furniture, including some pieces that are original to the house. According to one source, “The period rooms in the mansion include the ‘Theatre in the Dining Room,’ with its once state-of-the-art 18-foot curved Cinema-Scope screen.”(1)

The estate includes several other buildings including a laundry house, coach house, barn, and multiple garages. The mansion is also surrounded by a beautiful garden, which includes gazeboes. The garden is perhaps best known for having one of the best clay tennis courts in the state; in its heyday the court used by visiting celebrities.

Owned and operated by Hamilton Township, Kuser Farm Mansion is open to the public for guided tours; the gardens are also open to the public.

(Nicole Perrini)

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