I first became acquainted with Thomas Nast when I was assigned to research him for a grade-school project. Otherwise, I’m not sure he’s a name that would’ve stuck in my mind, and consequently, be a name that I’d be pretty impressed to find near me.
But, things being what they are, I am pretty impressed to discover that Thomas Nast lived near me for thirty years of his life! See, look, here’s his family on the front steps in 1884:
These days, a sign in front of the Morristown residence summarizes:
From 1872 to 1902, home of political cartoonist who exposed Tweed Ring and created Democrat donkey and Republican elephant.
Thomas Nast was also responsible for developing our modern idea of Santa Claus to his current jolly-faced form.
You may have seen these in your history books, perhaps? How cool is that? You don’t have to answer, it’s pretty cool, I know. (That was an intentional comma splice, and so is this, please don’t correct me.)
See, despite all my posts to the contrary, not ALL of the local history is boring!
Anyway, if you want to visit Thomas Nast’s house, it’s a private residence, but you can drive by and take your own photos, if you like. Or visit Macculloch Hall directly across the street.
“Thomas Nast.” (n.d.) (Sign marker). Documented October 2011.
Kennedy, R.C. (n.d.). “The Third-Term Panic.” HarpWeek: Cartoon of the Day.
Kennedy, R.C. (n.d.). “Santa Claus and His Works.” HarpWeek: Cartoon of the Day.
Williams, J.M. (1996). Images of America: Morristown. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH. ISBN 0752402072.