Morristown National Historical Park: The US’s First National Park
If you’re looking for a place to explore American history, Morristown National Historical Park is worth a visit. This park features plenty of historic sites and buildings that give visitors a glimpse into the past. Whether you’re interested in the Revolutionary War or other aspects of American history, there’s something for everyone at Morristown National Historical Park.
Morristown National Historical Park is one of the most important sites in United States history. This location served as a crucial part of General George Washington’s life and offers a variety of historical opportunities to connect with the past. Established in 1933, it was America’s first national park and is now home to various hiking paths and historical buildings.
If you’re interested in American history, Morris County is a must-visit destination. Read on to learn more about this remarkable historical site!
What to Expect When Visiting Morristown National Historical Park
Within the rolling hills and spacious valleys of Morris County, Morristown National Historical Park occupies over 5,000 acres of land. The park is home to many significant historical sites, including General George Washington’s headquarters during the winter of 1779-1780. In late November of 1779, Washington chose Morristown as his winter encampment due to its strategic location and access to supplies. George Washington, his wife Martha, five aides-de-camp, 15+ servants, visiting dignitaries, and stationed guards occupied the remainder of Ford Mansion. In this mansion, Washington planned his next steps in the war efforts, amassed more soldiers for their army, and eventually became the President we know today.
Plan a Visit to Jockey Hollow
The park is also home to the Jockey Hollow area, where more than 10,000 soldiers were stationed during the Revolutionary War. Over 1400-acres of forest were removed to accommodate housing for troops. A fascinating piece of history allegedly occurred at Jockey Hollow—supposedly, the Marquis de Lafayette delivered an important message in 1780 here. The French were sending a large fleet and army to reinforce America’s Continental Army; this would be one of their most crucial interventions during colonial times, ultimately leading to victory over Britain!
In addition, there are two stores worth visiting in the park. One is located at the Washington Headquarters Museum, and the other is at the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center. These locations offer various books related to George Washington, the American Revolution, and 18th-century life, as well as shirts, postcards, and related merchandise.
Even More to Explore at Morristown National Historical Park
Did you know? You can experience an even more immersive visit to Morristown National Historical Park by listening to their Winter Encampment Podcast Series. Several episodes can be streamed, which you can listen to while walking the former battlefield. Told from various perspectives and brimming with information, the podcast is a great companion for your visit that will help you better understand its history.
Morristown National Historical Park visitors are also encouraged to visit Ford Mansion, General Washington’s Headquarters Museum. This impressive building served as George Washington’s winter headquarters during the late 1700s, making it one of the most significant historical sites at the park. Visitors can view many original items from this period, including maps showing troop movements throughout New Jersey between 1777 and 1783. General Washington’s time in Morristown is vital to American history, and Ford Mansion is a great place to learn all about it.
In addition, Washington wanted to ensure that his supply base in Morristown was secure. On May 14th, 1777, he ordered the construction of a fort to be utilized in the event of retreat. This fort became Fort Nonsense, and it remains a popular attraction for visitors.
Fall in Love with Morris County, NJ
Outside Ford Mansion and Jockey Hollow, you’ll also find opportunities to bird-watch, hike, and reflect on the history surrounding you. It seems there are endless activities to pursue when visiting the nation’s first historical park—the area is evidence that learning about history can be a rewarding experience in the present.
Life in Morris County is full of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, connect with history, and enjoy the best the Garden State has to offer. Access the Morris County EDC’s free relocation guide to plan your vacation or move here, then contact us to learn how we can help you move, grow and thrive here!