Princeton Junction, New Jersey: Water Tower Mistaken for a Martian

A water tower shot at by terrified locals during Orson Welles' 1938 "War of the Worlds" radio drama.

Grovers Mill Co.

Cranbury Rd, Princeton Junction, NJ
Grovers Mill Co. North side of Cranbury Rd just west of its intersection with Clarksville Rd. Barely visible, standing behind the house to the right of the barnlike Grovers Mill Co. building, obscured by a fence and overgrowth.
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Visitor Tips and News About Water Tower Mistaken for a Martian

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Water Tower Mistaken for a Martian

A researcher has found that the story of the water tower being shot up is probably false, an exaggeration of what happened that night. He traced the original 1938 news story that included a photo of local William Dock posing with his shotgun, which says: "William Dock, 76-year-old neighboring farmer, said he grabbed his shotgun when he heard the first 'news' flash and went out looking for invaders. But he didn't see anybody he thought needed shooting."

[Roger Smith, 10/16/2017]
Water Tower Mistaken for a Martian

I am happy to report that the tower is still there. However, it is very difficult to view with all the overgrowth. The other poster's tip about going down Bolfmar [the dead end street] was spot on. I would suggest you go there first, park you car, and look over the wood fence at different areas, so you can orient yourself to its location. It is within the fences in the backyard of a homeowner, so don't even think of climbing over!

The adjacent Grover's Mill barn is no longer a hardware store. It has recently been remodeled for office space.

[Joe The Roadside Fanatic, 08/17/2013]

The water tower was shot up in 1938 by nervous locals who were listening to Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" on the radio.

Water Tower Mistaken for a Martian

The water tower is still standing, but almost impossible to see. It's hidden by thick tree overgrowth behind the back left corner of the house to the right of Grover's Mill. Could not see it from the road, or from the side street next to the house. Parked behind Grover's Mill, which has recently been sold and remodeled. A man drove up while we were there and told us (nicely) that we were on private property -- but then he showed us over the fence where the water tower was. I'd suggest visiting when leaves are not on the trees. You might also look at the photo/mural of the water tower at Grover's Mill Coffee House first, so you know where it is in relation to the house.

[Don Stevens, 08/20/2012]

Martian water tower.

1938 Martian Landing Site

This was the fictional site of the 1938 first contact of Martian invaders, as described in the infamous broadcast of War of the Worlds.

The water tower is standing as of 3/7/12; it is over the fence to the left facing the red Grover's Mill barn. I also heartily recommend the Grover's Mill Coffee Roasters a few miles away, as their shop is loaded with WotW memorabilia and has good coffee and souvenir stuff.

[Rick, 03/15/2012]
Water Tower Mistaken for a Martian

You can get a good look at the [1939 War of the Worlds] water tower from Bolfmar Avenue, a dead end street off Cranbury that runs adjacent to the right of the white house (the red Grovers Mill mentioned in a previous post is located to the left of the house).

[Ann Carden, 12/01/2008]

Nearby Offbeat Places

1938 Martian Landing Site Monument1938 Martian Landing Site Monument, Princeton Junction, NJ - < 1 mi.
Tombstone of Elsie the CowTombstone of Elsie the Cow, Plainsboro, NJ - 1 mi.
Elsie the Cow ExhibitElsie the Cow Exhibit, Plainsboro, NJ - 2 mi.
In the region:
Bolt of Lightning: Bad Art, Philadelphia, PA - 38 mi.

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