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The Henry Wick House is part of the Jockey Hollow unit of Morristown National Historical Park. Jockey Hollow was the winter encampment site for George Washington’s army during the brutal winter of 1779-1780.
The Wick House is just behind the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center. I asked at the desk if there were tours and the ranger had a volunteer, dressed in Colonial costume, take me up to the house to show me around.
The volunteer was-well versed in the history of the park. She told me Henry Wick was a wealthy farmer who moved his family to Morristown from Hampton, Long Island. He built the farm house on 1400 acres which made him the town’s largest landowner, so Washington sought him out when planning his encampment.
The farm was prosperous with wheat and cornfields and orchards for producing apple cider. The cider was Wick’s main source of income.
In 1779, The Wicks only had one daughter, Temperance, still living at home. (Fun fact: the park road, Tempe Wick Road, is named for Temperance) The family of three moved into two rooms of their house in order to allow Major General St. Clair and his two aides to set up his headquarters there for the harsh winter.
Henry Wick allowed the army to clear over 600 acres of trees to build huts for the soldiers. This turned out to be a winning proposition for Wick…he got land for fields cleared for free. Three years later, when the last of the troops left the cabins, he got all the lumber back, too.
- Ford Mansion
- Wick Farm
- Jockey Hollow
Location: 586 Tempe Wick Rd, Morristown, NJ 07960
Designation: National Historical Park
Date designated or established: 3/2/1933
Date of my visit: 2/23/2019