a little new jersey history

I know, I am posting a ton this weekend, but I can't help but share all we have seen the past couple days! As some of you know that have come to visit, Morristown, NJ is famous for the part it played in the Revolutionary War. George Washington and men camped in Morristown and had established headquarters that can still be visited today throughout the town. There are historical markers all over and each one is very informative. Being from the West, I think they might be especially interesting for us since they mark events and dates that are far older than anything we are used to seeing in the States.

Possibly the most beautiful historical spot in Morristown is the Dam on Speedwell Lake. This "park" area contains the lake (that in the summer is filled with trout), the dam, the historical bridge and the modern day jogging bike trail "Patriots Path". In the fall the park really stands out with the various colors of all the trees surrounding the lake. What seems now like a large pond in reality is the "lake" and in the 1880's-1900, it was quite the draw for the townsfolk. To give you an idea, a small side-wheeler type steamboat operated on it prior to 1900 giving tours. I am posting a picture Tom took today--the Lake is behind the Dam.

Speedwell, an historic town within Morristown, is actually a historical landmark in itself. It was the location of the FIRST message sent by telegraph--which was invented by Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail. Alfred was just a college student at NYU back in 1836 and persuaded his father, a judge who housed his family in Speedwell, to loan Morse (a college professor with the original idea) and himself $2000 to get the invention off the ground. The judge had the honor to script the first message his son and Morse would end up sending. The message: "A patient waiter is no loser". It was successfully sent over 3 miles of cotton covered copper wire strung around Vail's barn. Upon this achievement, the judge rewarded Alfred and Samuel with a large party with all the town and an oyster feast--quite the luxurious party no matter what the year!

Today, Morristown and Speedwell are a bit more modern. Morristown is one of the best places to live in the State and they have just constructed multi million dollar condo's just down from where Tom and I used to live when we moved here. Speedwell has soccer fields now where Washington and his men had their gatherings--but history is still very well preserved in both locations.

We had great weekend just playing tourist in our own town! Tonight--we carve pumpkins! :-)

The pics are
-the Lake
-di at the remains of a headquarter building at the Lake
-another park in Morristown where we like to take the dogs to run (where Frank had the infamous "deer run-in" about a year ago
-frank trying to track the squirrel that outran him
-ollie flying. super dog.


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