Weekend Getaway: Historic Morristown

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By Pam Teel

Morristown is rich in history. Centered on its historic green; a park in the middle of the town which was once an 18th century courthouse square, it is still a gathering place for people to come and meet up. Morristown offers a wide range of amenities to residents and visitors. A state-designated “regional center,” Morristown is the County Seat of Morris County and the home of both Morristown Memorial Hospital and a wide range of cultural facilities.
Yes, George Washington really did sleep here for Morristown served as his headquarters for two different winter encampments during the Revolutionary War. Morristown’s historic dis- trict features many Victorian- era homes, including that of famed political cartoonist Thomas Nast.
In and around Morristown are a wide number of historic attractions and museums like Washington’s Headquarters. The Headquarters museum is located at the Ford Mansion Pre- serves. The 18th century home was taken over by Washington and his aides in the winter of 1779-1780. Jockey Hollow features an 18th century farmhouse and soldiers huts. Make sure you visit the Morristown National Historical Park and Revolutionary War sites like Fort Non- sense and the N. J. Brigade. You can easily spend more than a day taking in the historical sites and shopping in their trendy downtown area. Morristown Green has both Revolutionary War and Civil War monuments. Another place worth visiting is the 18th century Presbyterian Church; the old Methodist and Episcopalian churches are also worth viewing.
East of the center is Acorn Hall, an 1853 Victorian Italianate Mansion with original fur- nishings, an octagonal tower and formal gardens. The Morris Museum features 19th century mechanical musical instruments, a native American gallery, and a large collection of rocks and minerals. The Frelinghuysen Arboretum features a late 1800 mansion surrounded by meadows and theme gardens. There is the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, the Wick House at Morristown National Museum, and the Fosterfields living Historical Farm, which is great for nature lovers. It’s a 200 acre farm where you can feed the chickens, collect eggs, use washboards and husk corn, all using turn of the century methods. There are farm animals, picnic tables and the Willows, an 1854 Gothic Revival house built by Paul Revere’s grandson, General Joseph Revere. Visit the Shuyler Hamilton House, Willow Hall, and Speedwell Park. There is so much more to see and do while in Morristown. If you’re planning a visit, check out The Morris County Historic Tourism Bureau and Visitor’s Center which can provide you with more details.
In addition to its historical sites, Morristown is rich in the arts. Arts and culture lovers should check out the Mayo Performing Arts Center, which pulls global talent to its stage. And there’s the Morris Museum, home to the world-renowned Murdoch D. Guinness Collection of finely crafted, animated mechanical musical instruments and automata. The museum also hous- es the Bickford Theatre and presents award-winning performances for all ages. The Famers market is open from Monday to Saturday. Enjoy free concerts on the green daily as you shop the many eclectic downtown boutiques. Some stores include antiques, jewelry, consignment shops, specialty stores, clothes stores, a tea room, bakeries, and more. Don’t forget to check out the overhead sidewalk for more shops.
Dine at some of the finest dining establishments in town. With many eateries to choose from, check out some of the finer dining at Rods Steak and Sea- food Grill, Hibiscus Restaurant, South and Pine American Eatery, The Committed Pig, Roots Steakhouse, GKS Red Dog Tower, Chef Freddy’s Table, The Famished Frog, and the Office Tavern and Grill.
Places to stay for the night in Morristown include, The Madison Hotel and the Hyatt Regency, with many more in the area. For more info visit- https:// downtown Morristown.city. See the city via drone at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SkofcRWqYM