Morristown National Historical Park in NJ was established to honor the sites where General Washington and the Continental Army encamped for winter between December 1779 and June 1780 and survived the coldest winter on record. Headquartered in Morristown, this United States National Historical Park consists of comprised of four significant American Revolutionary War sites, namely the Fort Nonsense Unit, The Ford Mansion or Washington's Headquarters Unit, the Jockey Hollow Unit, and the New Jersey Brigade Encampment area. The park also features a museum and extensive library collection with works relating to the encampments, George Washington, and pre- and post-Revolutionary America.



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History

Following a report published in 1932 by the National Park Service recommending that the site of the winter encampments become a Federal Historical Reserve, leaders from the Morris County area drafted a bill supporting the proposal, which was passed in March 1933 in the final days of President Herbert Hoover’s term.

Sites

Morristown National Historical Park consists of four important sites where the army camped through the harsh winter months, namely the Jockey Hollow Unit, the Fort Nonsense Unit, The Ford Mansion or Washington's Headquarters Unit, and the New Jersey Brigade Encampment area.

Situated just a few miles south of Morristown in Harding Twp., Jockey Hollow was the encampment site of the Continental Army and the site where the entire Pennsylvania contingent mutinied, as well as some 200 New Jersey soldiers in later years. The historic Wick House is found on this site, along with 27 miles of walking trails to explore.

Set on a high hilltop was then called Kinney's Hill, overlooking Morristown, Fort Nonsense is believed to have been the site of an earthwork fortification built by Washington's troops in 1977 with the purpose of protecting the military storehouses and the main roads leading in and out of Morristown. The site features seven wayside exhibits, a small monument and beautiful views over Morristown from several picnic tables.

The Ford Mansion, which is situated in the heart of what is now Morristown, was the site of the quarters of George Washington and his Continental Army. Located on 16 acres of land, there are two two original structures on this site, namely the historic Ford Mansion and the Washington's Headquarters Museum.

The New Jersey Brigade Encampment is situated south of Jockey Hollow in Bernardsville, Somerset County and was used by more than 1,300 soldiers during the winter of 1779–80.

Washington's Headquarters Museum

Washington's Headquarters Museum is located next to The Ford Mansion site and features three exhibit rooms and a sales area. Visitors can enjoy a short video production titled ‘Morristown: Where America Survived’ before beginning their tour of The Ford Mansion, which can only be viewed on guided tours, which start at the Museum.

The Ford Mansion

The Ford Mansion is an original 18th-century structure that was used as General Washington's military headquarters for six months during the harsh winter of 1779-80. Built in 1772-74 and furnished in the style of the period, the historic house can be explored on daily guided tours.

Jockey Hollow Visitor Center

Established in 1975, the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center serves as the central area for visitor contact in the Jockey Hollow Unit and features several exhibits and interactive activities relating to the historical sites, the history of the area, and the surrounding environment and. The Center also has a staffed visitor reception desk, a gift shop and an introductory film to the park for visitors to watch. The historic Wick House is nearby and has a beautiful kitchen garden.

Nature

Morristown National Historical Park also acts as a reserve for the landscapes associated with the 18th-century winter encampments of General George Washington and the Continental Army. The park is made up of four geographically separate units which lie at the junction between the Highland and Piedmont provinces providing both excellent hilly and hiking terrain and spectacular scenic views.

The park has more than 27 of hiking trails that wind through dense forests which Washington’s Army used to construct a ‘city of log cabins’ during their encampment. The patchwork mosaic of forests and fields in the park are home to a diverse variety of fauna and flora.

Education

Morristown National Historical Park offers a variety of curricula-based school programs, as well as junior and web ranger programs and scout badges awards.

Visitor Information

Morristown National Historical Park is located at 30 Washington Place in Morristown and is open to the public from 8:00 am until sunset (seasonal).

30 Washington Pl, Morristown, NJ 07960, website, Phone: 973-543-1949

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