During the brutal winter of 1779-1780, Continental Army soldiers made camp near Morristown, New Jersey. The soldiers endured no fewer than 28 snow storms, with one storm in January dropping over four feet of snow. Lacking cold weather attire, and at times even lacking blankets and enough food, the cold months came to be known as “the hard winter” (via American Battlefields Trust). However, with British forces in control of New York, and American forces in control of Philadelphia, Morristown, New Jersey made an ideal halfway point for General George Washington to set up camp and guide his army. He set up his offices in a mansion owned by the wealthy Ford family, and remained there until the winter’s end (via Wikipedia).
Washington traveled extensively while both a General and later a President, and he did stay in many inns and houses throughout New Jersey. It has long since been a running joke that a sign outside a house or inn proclaiming “George Washington Slept Here!” is more about raising real estate or rental values than it is about historical truth. Less than an hour from my home, however, is a place where Washington did not just sleep, but directed American war efforts that led to the founding of our nation. With an unexpected day off from work, I decided to take a drive up to explore yet another site that was critical to the establishment of our nation.
First, however, I do have a few automotive and travel updates to share:
And now… to the headquarters of George Washington:
Ford Mansion and Washington’s Headquarters, overseen by the National Park Service, are located on 30 Washington Place in Morristown. Hours vary slightly depending upon the season, but during the winter and spring, the Visitor Center and Mansion are open from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm (the Park Service recommends calling ahead for tour times before you visit). The museum is free to visit, although a small gift shop in the Visitor Center has all kinds of Revolutionary War memorabilia. If you enjoy learning more about the history of this nation, I would highly recommend a visit!
Thanks for coming along on another journey down the open road ahead!