Duke Gardens
Route 206, Somerville, Somerset County, NJ


Directions:

Located on Route 206, 1 3/4 miles south of the Somerville traffic circle.


A staff of about 20 conducts tours for individuals and small groups, but you must call to reserve your choice of day and time.


History:

late 19th and early 20th centuries  -- James B. Duke build a 2,700 acre estate in Somerville, NJ.

1912  --  born in Somerville, NJ.

1925  --  13 year old Doris Duke inherits $79 million dollars from her father who made his money as head of the American Tobacco Company.  She had a 6,000 acre estate known as Duke Farms in Somerville, Somerset County, NJ.

1930 --  Doris debuts into society in the Newport estate known as "Rough Point."

1959--  Doris Duke begins to develop the exotic display gardens in honor of her father, James Duke. The project was inspired by DuPont's Longwood Gardens.

late 1950ís and early 1960ís  -- Duke erects hedge and wire fence blocking access to the Cliff Walk in front of her estate and begins feud with city over "right of way".

1964  --  Doris Duke opens a public garden on an acre of land on her expansive Somerville estate.

1993  --  dies in Beverly Hills, CA. She leaves more than $1 billion dollars, including her charity, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.