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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.
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.
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.
Theodosia and her children lived in two downstairs rooms of the house while Washington was in residence.
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.)
The Ford businesses also provided critical resources for Washington’s army. Washington used the Ford Mansion as his headquarters until June of 1780.
You must take a ranger-guided tour in order to see the inside of the house.
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.
I took the tour with a friend in the beginning of the season and it was actually pretty full.
Location: 30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ 07960
Designation: National Historical Park
Date designation declared: 3/2/1933
Date of my visit: April 2016