Posted Monday, June 20th, 2016
Book Early to Reserve Your Space
Fans of Broadway’s “Hamilton, an American Musical” can get a closer look into the real Hamilton – sans singing and dancing — via the Morris County Tourism Bureau‘s Summer 2016 Historical Walking Tours series on five consecutive Saturdays, from July 16 through Aug. 13.
The series will include “Alexander Hamilton: The Little Lion Walking Tour” on July 30 and will feature “The Love Story of Betsy Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton” on Aug. 13.
“With all of the interest in Alexander Hamilton generated by the terrific Broadway play, we decided to offer two interesting historical walking tours that will feature a look at Hamilton’s history right here in Morristown, first his encounters with Gen. George Washington and then a somewhat lighter look at his romance here with Betsy Schuyler,” said Leslie Bensley, Executive Director of the Tourism Bureau. “I think Hamilton enthusiasts will find both tours very interesting.”
The five-Saturday series also includes the Seeing Eye Walking Tour, which takes a closeup look at the guide dog training program in Morristown, plus new presentations on the Freemasons in Morristown and a curator’s look at the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and it’s first national park, Morristown National Historical Park.
“We congratulate the Tourism Bureau for its continuing excellent programs and presentations that call attention to the great history of Morris County, and which provide our county residents and visitors with a rich experience,” said Morris County Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo.
Summer programs, led by a knowledgeable guide, are offered on five Saturdays during July and August. Tour start times vary. Tickets are $15 – $20 depending upon the program. Please pre-register and pre-pay online at morristourism.org. For additional information or to pre-register call 973-631-5151.
The Seeing Eye Walking Tour: July 16
North America’s first guide dog training school, The Seeing Eye of Morris Township, was founded in 1929 by Morris Frank. You may have noticed the statue of Morris and his dog Buddy located just off the Morristown Green, or may have toured The Seeing Eye’s campus. Now, during this tour, you’ll learn the history of The Seeing Eye, walk the streets where the dogs train, and learn how Seeing Eye dogs respond to their owners. The tour begins at their in-town training center, passes sites important to the history of the organization, and concludes at the statue of Morris and Buddy for a photo opportunity.
Husband and wife, Jim and Ginger Kutsch, lead this unique tour. Jim serves as the president and CEO of the Seeing Eye; Ginger is a volunteer with the organization. Both are graduates of The Seeing Eye. This tour sells out fast, so book early.
Saturday, July 16 at 9:30 a.m. Tour begins at 14 Maple Avenue, between Market and DeHart Streets, Morristown. Tour size is limited to 30. Cost: $15. Parking is available in the DeHart Street garage and there is metered parking on adjoining side streets.
On December 27, 1779, General George Washington attended a meeting of his fellow Freemasons and officers, which was held at Jacob Arnold’s Tavern in Morristown. The American Union Lodge was meeting locally to determine the future of Freemasonry apart from the Grand Lodge of England. The discussion focused on whether to duplicate the structure of English Freemasonry with a central leader, or Grand Master. Washington was a choice for that position.
After American Independence had been won, local lodges began to form throughout the United States. In 1803 a warrant was issued for Cincinnati Lodge in Morristown. Members have included prominent residents throughout the town’s history. This tour offers an opportunity to tour their building on Maple Avenue (circa 1931), view the displays and artifacts in their onsite museum and library, and learn more about Freemasonry.
Saturday, July 23 at 1:00 p.m. The tour will be held at 39 Maple Avenue, Morristown. Tour size is limited to 30. Cost: $15. Metered parking is available on adjoining side streets.
This unique walking tour will cover a mile through Morristown to visit sites associated with Alexander Hamilton’s stay in 1777 and 1779-80. Serving as General George Washington’s aide-de-camp, Hamilton thrived as a trusted advisor to the General. He went on to lead three New York light infantry battalions to victory at the Battle of Yorktown.
Your guide will be Patricia Sanftner. Ms. Sanftner is a member of the local D.A.R., who are the conservators of the Schuyler-Hamilton House (c. 1760). You’ll learn about the life and loves of Hamilton and how he met his wife in Morristown. This tour focuses on Hamilton’s younger years.
Saturday, July 30 at 10:00 a.m. The tour begins at the Alliance Statue in the center of the Morristown Green, Park Place. Cost: $15. Park at nearby garages, metered parking spaces around the Green, or at the Morristown train station which is near to the tour’s endpoint, the Schuyler-Hamilton House, 5 Olyphant Place.
The National Park Service celebrates its Centennial in 2016 with many special programs including this one. As you “Find Your Park” as part of the Centennial year, visit Morristown National Historical Park for this special presentation given by Dr. Jude Pfister, the curator.
While the park displays and interprets the events of two local winter encampments by the Continental Army, its archives span the years 15,000 B.C. to the 20th century and include 500,000 objects, many of which never have, and never will be, on display to the public. There will be Native American objects, excavated Jockey Hollow artifacts, items related to George Washington, and, in honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, a letter from Elizabeth I, his monarch.
This presentation has an interactive component as we invite the public to share a special interest with us, and we will comb the archives for something relevant to be shown on August 6th. Send your request to [email protected] by July 29.
Saturday, August 6 at 10 a.m. at Morristown National Historical Park, 30 Washington Place, Morristown. Meet in the foyer of the museum building. Cost: $20 includes admission to the park for the day. Free parking is available in two parking lots adjacent to the Washington’s Headquarters Museum. Day of: MNHP phone number is 973-539-2016.
During the Revolutionary War, a young and dashing Alexander Hamilton, General George Washington’s aide-de-camp at the Ford Mansion, spent the winter and spring in Morristown while his future wife, Betsy Schuyler, was nearby at the home of the Campfields. Hear the romantic tale of their courtship from members of the D.A.R., who are the conservators of the c. 1760 Schuyler-Hamilton House.
Saturday, August 13 at 10 a.m. at the Schuyler-Hamilton House, Five Olyphant Place, Morristown. Tour size is limited to 25. Cost: $15. There is limited parking on Olyphant Place which is off Morris Avenue between Elm and Ridgedale. Parking is also available at the Morristown Train Station, Lackawanna Place and Morris Avenue. Day of: Schuyler-Hamilton House phone number is 973-267-4039.
The Morris County Tourism Bureau is a Destination Marketing Organization that positively affects the economy of Morris County by promoting the area’s exceptional historic, cultural and recreational opportunities by providing services to residents, business travelers and tourists.
The Summer 2016 Historical Walking Tours and Presentations from the Morris County Tourism Bureau is being generously sponsored by AAA Northeast and Morristown Whole Foods.