last updated 26 November 2022

What's New:
Steve Yacik created a WCGA Facebook page

It has a post about a $25,000 Historic Preservation Grant from Somerset County in the Fall of 2022. This grant will be used to replace the deteriorating signage at the Camp Ground and begin a long-term restoration to make this site an iconic historic landmark.

Bob Mayers new book:
"Middlebrook - The Revolutionary War Campground that Saved America" Bob Mayers, 2021

Contents: About | Annual Meeting - Program and Cherry Pie - Washington's Birthday - Feb. 22 | Fourth of July Patriotic Exercises | Membership | Map | Books |
About Camp Middlebrook
Washington Campground Plaque A 20-acre park at 1761 Middlebrook Rd., east of Vosseller Ave. is operated by the Washington Campground Association. It commemorates the encampment of the fledging American Army in the area from May 28 to July 2, 1777 and again from December 1778 to June 1779.
Most think it was the first place where the first official American flag (a 13-star flag designed by Francis Hopkinson ) was flown in 1777.
There was a special act of Congress which allowed the flag to be flown here 24 hours a day without lighting.

The park was established in 1894. Legend has it that the land was donated to the Washington Camp Ground Assn. on the condition that the Declaration of Independence is read every 4th of July, or the land would revert to the heirs of the LaMonte family who donated it. As of 2022 this has occurred for 128 consecutive years.
In 1907 more than 2,000 marched in a parade from Bound Brook to the campground to celebrate Independence Day. What made that parade so memorable was that it was the first reported parade in the United States that included a procession of automobiles.

Washington Campground Association Flag Raising Washington Campground Association Flag Plaque

The ceremony starts with retiring the flag which has flown over the park for the last year and raising a new one.

Early flags of the United States:
Hopkinson Flag   so-called Betsy Ross flag   50 star flag
The Hopkinson flag is generally believed to be the first. Francis Hopkinson was a delegate to the Continental Congress from New Jersey and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The so-called Betsy Ross flag was more likely a flag used for celebrations of anniversaries of the nation's birthday. Her descendants claimed it was the first flag, but there is no evidence of that. The first documented usage of this flag was in 1792. See: Flags of the United States

Fourth of July Patriotic Exercises
Location: 1761 Middlebrook Rd., Bound Brook, NJ (See map below)

128th Annual Independence Day Celebration Sunday July 4th, 2021

The annual ceremony includes (times are approximate):
10 AM Bring lawn chairs and listen to patriotic music
10:30 Flag raising
11:00 Reading of the Declaration of Independence
      Master of Ceremonies: Mayor Bob Fazen, President, Washington Campground Assn.
      Welcome Address: Bridgewater Mayor Matt Moench
      Reading of the Declaration of Independence: Bound Brook Councilman Jake Hardin

Washington Campground Association Declaration of Independence

Washington Campground Flag Many prominent political figures, including Millicent Fenwick, U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey's 5th district, 1983-1987, have attended the ceremony.
Many local residents have supported the association over the years. The Haelig family have been members for at least four generations, John Sr., and John Jr. have served as officers for many years. two members who have passed on, Herbert Patullo, a local businessman, and Kels Swan, a historian, also had a long time active associations with the group.
There is also an annual meeting on Washington's Birthday, February 22 with a business meeting, buffet, talk and Cherry pie and cobbler.

Annual Meeting - Program and Buffet Dinner
Washington's Birthday Feb 22
Open to the public

2023 to be announced

6:00 PM - Seating - Music
6:30 PM - Welcome, Business Meeting (election of officers, ...)
7:00 PM - Entertainment by "Liberty Tree" = Songs of the Revolutionary Era
7:30 PM - Dinner Buffet & Desert
8:00 PM - Historical Talk: Bob Mayers "Middlebrook - The Revolutionary War Campground that Saved America"

Dinner: $20 members, $25 non-members

   Payable to: WCGA Dinner
      Mail to: ?
 President:          Bob Fazen
 1st Vice President: ?
 2nd Vice President: Jamie Schleck
 Secretary:           open
 Treasurer:           ?
 Historian:           Kels Swan (In Memoriam)
 Trustees 2016-2018
   John Haelig, JR.  Jamie Schleck  Herb Patullo (In memoriam)

 Trustees 2017-2019
     Borbart Frazen  John Haelig, Sr.  Robert Papp
 Trustees 2018-2018
   Jessie Havens  John Kuhn  Richard Hall  
Campground Assn Membership 501(c)3 Deductible Contribution
$10 - individual, $15 - family
Address of new Treasurer pending.


"Revolutionary New Jersey: Forgotten Towns and Crossroads of the American Revolution " Bob Mayers 2018
"Middlebrook - The Revolutionary War Campground that Saved America" Bob Mayers, 2021

Somerset's Revolutionary Roots to be Celebrated at Camp Middlebrook - Bridgewater, NJ Patch July 2, 2013
and Independence Celebrated at Site of Washingtons Encampment - Bridgewater Patch July 5, 2013
Washington Campground Association | Facebook

Return to: Middlebrook Encampment