Every day commuters pass through Broad Street on their way to work, but many ignore a treasure.  The Plume House, which is located on 407 Broad Street in Newark, New Jersey, is a National Historic Landmark.  This  Dutch colonial house was built before 1725 and still stands.  Today The Plume House serves as a rectory for The House of Prayer.  Inside The Plume House, there is a mystery.  There is a mask that has the facial features of President Washington.  Under the mask, there is a note that states that this may in fact be the death mask of George Washington.  Since no forensic tests were ever done on this mask, whether the mask is in fact the death mask of President Washington still remains a mystery.

The Plumes, who were a wealthy family in Newark, New Jersey, created The Plume House.  During the American Revolution, General George Washington stayed at The Plume House as a guest.  In fact, Washington was a very close friend of the Plumes.  Like many American patriotic families, the Plumes wanted America to be an independent nation from Britain.  They agreed with General Washington that America should become a free country separate from monarch rule.


Thanks to General Washington and brave French and American soldiers, America won the war against Britain and declared its independence.  After the American Revolution, Washington wanted to leave the world of politics behind.  He was a simple man who dedicated himself to his family.  He loved to take care of the farmland at his estate of Mt. Vernon.

Even though Washington did not have the ambition to become president, destiny had other plans.  During the Constitutional Convention in 1787, he had such a strong impact on everyone that they all agreed that he should run for president.

After some hesitation, Washington decided to run for president.  Washington won the election over John Adams on January 7, 1789.  He was inaugurated on April 30, 1789 in New York City.  During that time, America was still a young nation that was just beginning to develop.  Washington DC., which is the nation’s capital today, was not yet built.


On December 14, 1799, George Washington passed away leaving us the legacy of America.  Washington will always be immortalized in America, for many places bear the name of this notable and brave leader.  Washington DC. is one of the many places that is named after President Washington.

During the time of Washington’s death, it was customary for death masks to be created.  They were given to people who were close to the deceased as mementos.  Since the Plume family befriended Washington, the mask on the table of The Plume house could very likely be the death mask of President Washington.

Besides the mask, that bears the likeness of President Washington, there are probably many other mysteries at The Plume House.  Sadly, we may never know what these mysteries are since The Plume House is New Jersey’s most endangered historic site.  Just four feet away, there is an overpass for I-280 that makes this house vibrate.  Already The Plume House has suffered significant damage as a result of the overpass.  The heavy trucks that go through the overpass have also contributed to the damage of this historic structure.  If The Plume House is not moved to a more suitable location, it will perish.  As for all of the other mysteries in The Plume House, they will never be discovered if this landmark is not salvaged.