About Us

We are a 501c3 nonprofit actively restoring the trails, history and flora of HerrontownWoods. Our goal is to honor the extraordinary legacy of Oswald and Elizabeth Veblen, who left this first Princeton nature preserve, their house, cottage and farmstead in the public trust.

HISTORY: The Friends of Herrontown Woods (FOHW) began in the summer of 2013 as an informal group that came together to clear trails long blocked by fallen trees and invasive growth in Herrontown Woods. One year later, trails on more than 200 acres were once again accessible to the public. Kurt Tazelaar and Sally Curtis were given a Sustainability Leadership Award for their work to reopen the trails.

In 2013, FOHW received official 501(c)(3) status from the IRS, and is restoring habitat, partnering with neighboring institutions, and in 2017 successfully prevented demolition of the Veblen House and Cottage, leading to transfer of ownership from Mercer County to Princeton municipality. In 2020, FOHW signed a lease with Princeton municipality to lease and begin restoring Veblen House, Cottage and farmstead.

Online donations can now be made at FOHW's official website, HerrontownWoods.org. Or send a check made out to "FOHW" or "Friends of Herrontown Woods" to P.O. Box 1325, Princeton, NJ 08542. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated, and will support our historical restoration and ecological stewardship initiatives.

From our Bylaws: 


Section 1. The name of this Association shall be "Friends of Herrontown Wood" for official corporate purposes and "FOHW" for all ordinary business and promotional purposes. In this document it is hereinafter referred to as “the Association."
Section 2. The Association is and shall remain a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of New Jersey. Its "articles of organization" comprise the articles of incorporation and these bylaws as from time to time amended.
Section 3. The Association is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code. The objectives of the Association shall be:
  • To protect, rehabilitate and maintain the Veblen House and associated historic structures and grounds,
  • To utilize the buildings and associated grounds for educational and community purposes, including community meeting space, nature center, museum, library, caretakers residence, and storage
  • To promote public education through events drawing from and building upon the multifaceted legacies of previous owners: the Veblens and Whiton-Stuarts.
  • To promote research related to these legacies
  • To promote native plant landscaping through demonstration and community outreach 
  • To document the natural and cultural heritage, and promote and facilitate ongoing stewardship, of Herrontown Wood and adjoining lands comprising the Princeton Ridge-East 
  • To partner with other local, state, and national agencies and organizations to achieve these and other charitable, educational, and scientific goals.


  1. I found this really fun reading. My grandfather was Augustus Sherrill Whiton Sr., my father, A Sherrill Whiton Jr. Grandpa is buried in the Brooklyn Cemetery along with my grandmother and uncles, etc. My father and mother are not. The Veblen HOuse sounds right in pace with my Dad's tenets. Reading about Jesse Whiton-Stuart is fascinating.
    Anyway, I don't know if I can be helpful in further research, but please if you want, connect with me. I will continue to read your blog.
    Lindy Whiton, Ed.D.
    Greenfield, Ma.

  2. Great to hear from you. It's been a real discovery for me, how much fun it can be to research history. Whiton-Stuart and Veblen are like windows into a past era. Their adventures become ours. Have been wanting to learn more about your father, and will communicate more when I get back to a computer.

    1. Feel free to connect whenever.. I was trying to tell my older brother about Veblen. I would love to know more.
      Looking forward to hearing from you, Lindy

    2. Lindy, please send me an email at my stevehiltner gmail address. I'm not very adept at communicating via social media as yet. It would be great to talk/correspond.

  3. Dear FOHW,

    It is wonderful to learn about the great work that you are undertaking to preserve the legacy of good people and their intention to create a space for the benefit of the wider community.

    The Veblens are, as my surname would suggest, relatives via by great grandparents OWR and Lillian, who was Elizabeth’s sister.

    We are very proud of our association with our relatives in America and particularly the role that Princeton played in their success and science / mathematics at the time.

    I would be very keen to learn more about the vision you have for the Veblen House, the work being undertaken to achieve it and any help that we might be able to provide.

    All the best with you endeavours,

    1. James, great to hear from you. If you click on the "About Me" in the right column of the blog, you should find my gmail address. Please send me an email so that we can communicate.