Morristown National Historical Park: Ford Mansion

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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The Ford Mansion in Morristown National Historical Park was built by Jacob Ford, Jr. in 1774. The home is considered a mansion because of its grand hall, formal parlor and palladian windows. These were meant to showcase the Fords’  wealth which was earned in the family’s iron forge business.

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Ford served in the militia, but died of pneumonia in 1777. His wife, Theodosia, took ownership of the house and kept the family businesses running…unusual for a woman in those days. She rented the house to Continental Army soldiers and weathered a smallpox outbreak as a result.

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George Washington arrived  in 1779 and paid to rent the Ford Mansion. He, his wife, aides and servants moved in while his army camped nearby in Jockey Hollow.

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Theodosia and her children lived in two downstairs rooms of the house while Washington was in residence.

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The location was ideal for Washington and his troops as it was midway between Manhattan (capital for the British Army) and Philadelphia (the American capital.)

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The Ford businesses also provided critical resources for Washington’s army. Washington used the Ford Mansion as his headquarters until June of 1780.

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You must take a ranger-guided tour in order to see the inside of the house.

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Tickets for the tour are first come, first served and can be purchased at the Washington’s Headquarters museum, Wednesdays through Sundays in the Spring and Summer.

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I took the tour with a friend in the beginning of the season and it was actually pretty full.

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Location: 30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ 07960

Designation: National Historical Park

Date designation declared: 3/2/1933

Date of my visit: April 2016

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14 thoughts on “Morristown National Historical Park: Ford Mansion

  1. Steve

    Oh dear! Someone please tell the park service to replace that screw in the door lock! there were no Phillip’s head screws back then! This has driven me batty restoring my 1918 home! Wonderful pictures as always!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Steve

        Well. I spent a week trying to figure out which way to point the bolt on the steering bracket on a 23 Model T Ford (my life revolves around lead paint and rust). And the door plates in the house…I replaced them all with period correct plates…and had a time finding slotted panhead screws. It really is all about the details…until it isn’t…ask the park service.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m pretty sure there was a non-historic deadbolt up above it…gotta keep the vandals out. And electricity. I don’t think GW had that 😂 Still, its pretty nicely preserved for being in a densely populated area and the ranger gave a good talk. AND they let me take pictures. A lot of places around here don’t allow photography inside. I’ll forgive them the screw😉

        Liked by 1 person

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