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“Step back in time”

Ford Mansion and Museum
Ranked #6 of 29 things to do in Morristown
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The grounds comprise a museum as well as the modest mansion where Washington established military headquarters for the winter of 1779-80.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

The Ford Mansion allows visitors to learn how both ordinary citizens and military leaders lived and worked during the 7-year revolutionary war. I certainly had forgotten that it took the colonists that long to finally reach peace with England. The house is not beautifully decorated, but it does contain many interesting period artifacts. The guided tour was enjoyable and informative. There is also a museum with letters and articles that would certainly interest a revolutionary history buff. Certainly worth a visit.

Thank alvalady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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71 - 75 of 90 reviews

Reviewed October 5, 2012

In December of 1779, George Washington and twenty-five staff persons settled into the Jacob Ford Mansion in Morristown, New Jersey in advance of a long, bitterly cold winter. This would be Washington's headquarters. The mansion had been built in the years 1772-1774 by Mr. Ford. With Washington’s move-in, the widow Theodosia Ford and her four children and servants were consolidated in just one or two rooms while Washington (joined shortly thereafter by Martha as well) occupied the greater portion of the house. That living arrangement with so many persons crowded into one house could not have been exactly cozy by modern standards. The narrative of this contracted rental "take over" is the focus of the tour at the Ford Mansion.

Displays of furniture, everyday items, and clothing of the period are showcased in an approximate one hour tour of the mansion. On the day of my visit, the docent-led tour of the Ford Mansion was artfully interrupted by a staff member portraying Washington’s Personal Secretary who shed light on events surrounding Washington’s visit and those of other country’s emissaries who gathered to discuss ways to deal with the British during this tumultuous time. The explanation of Spain's emissary who had a rather "short-lived" visit elicited numerous chuckles in the telling.

The “Secretary” attired in period costume with breeches and gleaming brass buttons held the attention of my tour group for about a half hour. The delivery was intermixed with humorous asides in a deliberately gossipy style. There were some liberties taken with historical accuracy (all in fun of course) such as referencing “the state of Alaska” ; but the presentation was well received. At the conclusion of his delivery, Washington’s Secretary excused himself having explained earlier that he was originally on his way “to the necessary outside” before our group arrived.

The docent continued the tour and provided a great deal of information and allowed us modern colonials to understand that this live-in arrangement must have been challenging. After the tour, we were free to return to the adjacent Washington’s Headquarters Museum to enjoy more of the exhibits and shop in the Museum store.

A visit to the Ford Mansion and Washington’s Headquarters is really well worth the time for those in the Morristown area. The grounds and the Mansion do not require strenuous walking or exertion. A Williamsburg the Ford Mansion is perhaps not. Still, the visual offering is satisfactory. A few of the furnishings were original to the house; others were period pieces. The house interior was portrayed in subdued tones on the painter’s pallete; and it was difficult to know whether this was restoration work in progress, i.e. primer paint or actually an accurate representation of the wall décor for that period of time.

Paint and décor notwithstanding, walking through a home where Washington actually slept was a valuable step back into history.

1  Thank Hoosiergadabout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

Morristown National Historical Park consists of the Jockey Hollow Encampment and Washington's headquarters at the Ford Mansion a few miles distant. The Jockey Hollow location has a very small visitors center which offers a film but little more. The Ford Mansion has a some what larger museum with the same film. They do offer escorted tours of the Ford Mansion. Both sites well worth the visit if you are in the area.

1  Thank GilB867
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2012

Excellent tourist attraction and worth a visit whilst at morristown. Well organised. Guided tour informative.

1  Thank YvonneRobinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2012

The film at the museum was excellent. Also enjoyed the tour to the Ford Mansion. Learned a lot and interesting. If you like history, you will love this. It really hits home how we are now a very blessed and spoiled people.

1  Thank 83Dana77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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