Morristown NHP: Ford Mansion

Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!

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
Designation: National Historical Park
Date designated/established: March 2, 1933
Date of my visit: April 2016


9 thoughts on “Morristown NHP: Ford Mansion

    1. The reason I ask is because I don’t see Henry Ford (Ford Motor Co) in the lineage of Jacob and Theodosia. The ancestry is confusing because the family recycled first names — like Jacob and Henry — but not always as Sr. or Jr.

      There was another Jacob Ford Jr., married to Abigail (Curtis) Ford, who bore ten children including Isaac (b. 1749) — from whom the auto maker descended. Isaac would have been Henry’s great-great-great grandfather.

      As a history buff, I was trying to make a connection between the Ford Motor Co and the Ford Mansion.

      1. That clears up my confusion. I shouldn’t have made that assumption.

        On another note, my YouTube friend visited Bent’s Old Fort near Denver. Built in 1833, it’s on the National Historic Register. The fort sits along the Santa Fe Trail. The existing fort is actually a rebuild of the original adobe which fell into disrepair. Did you ever visit?

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