Oh, what, like I was going to visit a GARDEN and NOT take pictures of the pretty flowers? Come on now.
(Princeton is about an hour’s drive one way from here, which is a pretty respectable time commitment for a college student on a Sunday in late April, so— props to them for making it!)
Greenwood Gardens, near Old Short Hills Park, is usually an admission-only space, but they opened it to the public for free today. (Who doesn’t like free things?)
In 1906, Joseph P. Day purchased 80 acres of land in Short Hills and called it “Pleasant Days.” The original house on the property was destroyed by a fire in 1911, so Day built a huge Italianate mansion in its place. By the time the property was purchased by the Blanchards in 1949, the 1911 mansion “had deteriorated significantly,” so it was replaced by the modest Georgian Revival mansion you see here (“modest” my foot).
And, y’know, if you’re gonna purchase a large estate and call it your own, you might as well call it by a name YOU prefer, like “Greenwood Gardens” (because, really, “Pleasant Days?” that’s like so 1910s, OMG, really) so there was THAT.
In 2000, a Blanchard descendent began working with the Garden Conservancy to establish Greenwood Gardens as a nonprofit public garden and conservation organization. They’re in the process of fully restoring everything to its glory, but (in my humble opinion) it looks pretty good now.
Greenwood Gardens. (n.d.). “Garden Guide and Walking Tour.” (Pamphlet).
Remember the Wick House? Seems like only yesterday.
Sometimes the Wick House is open to the public. When it is, they have it set up as they think it might’ve been during the 1779-1780 encampment. The table above is supposed to be a bunch of maps and stuff that General Arthur St. Clair might’ve laid out when he was planning an attack or whatever generals do.
This is the Wick House.
It was built by Mr. Henry Wick around 1750 (possibly 1752 exactly), and is currently preserved within the Morristown National Historical Park.
That would be cool in and of itself, but during the Revolutionary War, Continental soldiers loitered around the Wick Farm from 1779-1782, chopping down 600 acres of Mr. Wick’s trees, and made themselves at home IN his home (this house) during the winter encampment of 1779-1780.
…Well, SOME soldiers (officers) hung out in his house. Most soldiers had to make do with makeshift huts.
There’s a lot of talk of Major General Arthur St. Clair using the house as a headquarters during that time. (I’d never heard of him, but maybe you have.)
…And then there’s the Legend of Tempe Wick. According to the story, Tempe (Henry Wick’s daughter) was out riding her horse when some soldiers tried to commandeer it; Tempe was like “screw you,” galloped the horse back home, and stashed her steed inside the main house. The soldiers eventually followed her back to the house, but found themselves stumped because obviously horses aren’t found in houses. And thus the horse was saved.
I must’ve read this next part on a sign board somewhere and neglected to document the sign, so I can’t verify this information—but in recent years, I believe the accuracy of the story is unverified, so they’re not promoting it as hard truth anymore. As such, the former “Tempe Wick House” is now called simply the “Wick House.” Regardless, there’s still a Tempe Wick Road in Morristown.
Aaaaaand this is what the building looked like many years ago (specifics unknown, but apparently it’s from an old Water Company brochure):
Oh, and because I put an “architecture” tag on this post: apparently it’s a Cape Cod. There ya go.
National Park Service. (n.d.). “Jockey Hollow.” Morristown National Historical Park, New Jersey. http://www.nps.gov/morr/historyculture/jockey-hollow.htm.
Rt23.com. (2008?). “Wick House: The Revolutionary War in North Jersey.” http://www.rt23.com/american_revolution/wick_house.shtml.
“The Wick Farm.” Information plaque near Wick House. Morristown, NJ. Documented April 2013.
Williams, J.M. (1996). Images of America: Morristown. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH. ISBN 0752402072.