Did you know that Morris County played an important part in the Revolutionary War? Or that Morris County was home to cider mills that date back to the Industrial Revolution? Or that a large number of millionaires called Morristown home before the Great Depression?
Morris County has a long, rich history which has been commemorated in many museums and historic landmarks throughout the county. These landmarks have a variety of things to see and activities for all ages. So before you plan your next day trip, check out this list of historic places to visit in Morris County.
Morris County Historical Sites
Jockey Hollow Encampment Area
- Why is it historic? The winter of 1779-1780 was brutal. It was extremely cold and snowy. But despite the harsh conditions, the Revolutionary Army needed to find a warm place to camp during the winter. Jockey Hollow became home to between 10,000 and 12,000 soldiers while General Washington camped nearby.
- What can you see there? Your tour of Morris County historical sites, like Jockey Hollow starts at the visitor center where you can plan your trip and view a replica of what a typical soldier’s campsite would have looked like. Next you can visit the Wick House and see where General Arthur St. Clair made his headquarters during that winter. You can also visit a soldier hut that would have housed 12 soldiers. There are also signs and monuments to commemorate other significant parts of that winter.
- Why should you bring your kids? Your kids might enjoy the replicas of what the campsites were like hundreds of years ago. There are also several trails that you can explore together through hiking or bike riding. You can also pick up a “Junior Ranger” map from the welcome center and work on becoming a Junior Ranger through your explorations.
- Jockey Hollow Encampment Area Park Hours:
- February 12, 2017 to March 11, 2017: 8 am to 6 pm
- March 12, 2017 to April 8, 2017: 8 am to 7 pm
- April 9, 2017 to September 9, 2017: 8 am to 8 pm
- September 10, 2017 to October 14, 2017: 8 am to 7 pm
- October 15, 2017 to November 4, 2017: 8 am to 6 pm
- November 5, 2017 to February 3, 2018: 8 am to 5 pm
- This Morris County Historical site, Jockey Hollow Encampment Area is located at 580 Tempe Wick Road, Morristown, NJ 07960. 973-543-4030. For more information you can check out their website.
- Why is it historic? Ford’s Mansion served as Washington’s headquarters during the winter of 1779-1780. While his troops camped in nearby Jockey Hollow, Washington spent his time in Ford’s mansion and was even joined by his wife, Martha.
- What can you see there? You can start your tour with a visit to the Washington Headquarters Museum and view Revolutionary War-era items and belongings of George Washington. You can also watch a video about Morristown’s role in the Revolutionary War. After you finish in the museum you can explore the mansion and see where George Washington once stayed.
- Why should you bring your kids? The exhibit is engaging and interesting even to people with limited historical knowledge. This means that even kids can understand what they are seeing and learn more about George Washington. It’s a perfect way to build on what they are learning in school.
- Ford’s Mansion Museum Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, Tours 10 & 11am and 1, 2, 3 & 4pm (Tours begin at Museum)
- Ford’s Mansion admission: $7.00 cash or check (Under 16 years old free)
- This Morris County historical site, Ford’s Mansion is located at 30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ 07960. 973-539-2016 ext.210. For more information you can check out their website.
- Why is it historic? Speedwell houses 7 historic structures that date back to the Industrial Revolution. It includes the home of Stephen Vail, the owner of Speedwell Iron works, and the spot where the telegraph was first demonstrated.
- What can you see there? You can visit the 7 historic structures and see the beginning of modern communication. There is a museum on the property that shows how communication advanced from the telegraph to today’s smart phone. There is also a section of the museum for old-fashioned games and toys as well as unusual artifacts.
- Why should you bring your kids? Kids know what smartphones are and are learning to use them before they can walk. A visit to Historic Speedwell will help show them how communication evolved and get a peek at things they have probably never seen before (like a telegraph).
- Historic Speedwell Hours
- Spring Hours: April 4 – June 27 Tues-Sat: 10am to 5pm
- Summer and Fall Hours: July 1 – October 31 Wed-Sat: 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday Noon to 5pm
- Winter Hours: Except for certain scheduled programs, Historic Speedwell is closed to the general public November – March.
- Historic Speedwell admission ~ Adults $5/ Seniors 65+ $4 /Children 4-16 $3/ Children under 4 admitted free.
- This Morris County Historical site, Historic Speedwell is located at 333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960. (973) 285-6550. For more information check out their website.
Whippany Railway Museum
- Why is it historic? The Whippany Railway Museum, another one of the Morris County historical sites, features some of the oldest steam locomotives in existence as well as a huge collection of train memorabilia.
- What can you see there? The museum has a large collection of trains. There are model trains indoors and outside. There are also several display cases filled with items from trains and train stations.
- Why should you bring the kids? The museum is fun and interactive. Kids can push buttons to help move things in the model train set. They also have train rides monthly and for holidays.
- Whippany Railway Museum hours ~ April to October: Sundays from 12 Noon to 4:00 p.m.
- Whippany Railway Museum admission ~ Adults: $1.00 Children under 12: 50 cents
- This Morris County Historical site, Whippany Railway Museum is located at 1 Railroad Plz Hanover, NJ 07981. 973-887-8177. For more information check out Jersey Family Fun’s full review of the Whippany Railway Museum.
Still looking for something to do in Morris County? Check out our Morris County Calendar of Events for more great ideas.