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The Wick House in Morristown New Jersey
Wick Hall at the Morristown National Historical Park

The Wick House served as officers quarters during each of the Continetal Army's encampments at Morristown, New Jersey.
The Wick House in the Morristown National Historical Park served as the quarters of Major Joseph Bloomfield of the Third New Jersey Regiment during the winter of 1776-1777. Later, it also served as the winter headquarters of General Arthur St. Clair in 1779 through 1780. The Continental Army spent that winter camped on the Wick and Kimbel Farms approximately four miles southwest of Morristown.

The Wick House was built between 1747 and 1750 by Henry Wick. The property was purchased in 1746 was known as the Dick Tract. Henry Wick and his family migrated from Long Island and the construction of the Wick House mirrors the style of their origin. Settlers were attracted to the Morris County by good farmland, the virgin timber supply, and deposits of iron ore. Henry Wick's main crop was trees which brought him his wealth.

The Wick home is an example of the "integral lean-to" style of New England. This type of design may start as a simple rectangle with a fireplace and chimney across one wall. As a family grew, the house would be expanded on the other side of the chimney. Eventually, a second floor may be added. The Wick home is only one story with an attic. The Chimney was probably replaced around 1848 as evidenced by that date on an oven door. The Wick House was restored to near original condition in 1934.

The Wick House was known as Wick Hall because of its timber frame construction and its large size. Most homesteads in this area were constructed of logs, but the Wicks were well to do and their wood home reflected that prosperity. Wood was an unusual building material in pioneering days in Morris county. In the northern and eastern counties, stone was common while brick was the main building material near the Delaware River.

Captain Henry Wick owned the home and farm including 1400 acres of timber and open field. He served with a company of the Morris county calvary. The calvary's mission was to protect Governor Livingston and the Privy Council. A short story survives to this day about the Wick family and the Pennsylvania troop encampment:

In 1781, the Pennsylvania soldiers under Captain Anthony Wayne mutinied. Mrs. Wick was ill at the time and Temperance Wick, known locally as Temp, was sent to get her brother-in-law, Dr. Leddel. Upon returning on her horse, several soldiers stopped her and made her dismount, telling Temp that they needed her horse. Temp played a trick on the soldiers and escaped with her horse. When she returned to the house, she hid the horse in a bedroom using a feather bed to muffle the sound of the horses hooves. Shortly thereafter, the soldiers came looking for the horse and searched the barn and in the woods surrounding the home, never thinking that the horse could be inside the house. In one version of this story, the horse remained hidden in the home for three weeks.

The Wick House is part of the Morristown National Historic Park in Morristown, New Jersey. It is usually open from 9:30 am til 4:30 pm depending on staff availability. Morristown National Historic Park is administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.

 

Wick Hall and Morristown Photo Gallery

 

Sources

• Historic American Buildings Survey, Seymour Williams, Rahway, New Jersey


Related Links

Dey Mansion Photo Gallery - Photos of the interior and exterior of Dey Mansion in Wayne, New Jersey
Wick House Photo Gallery - Photos of the interior and exterior of the Wick House in Morristown, New Jersey
Joseph Bloomfield - Revolutionary War leader and New Jersey's fourth governor
William Paterson - Statesman and New Jersey's second governor
Arthur St. Clair - General of the Continental Army
1776 New Jersey Constitution - First constitution of the state of New Jersey
Maps of Northern New Jersey - Historic and other maps of Northern New Jersey
Search rt23.com's North Jersey Directory for Museums and Historical Sites
Search rt23.com's North Jersey Events Calendar
The Reader's Companion to American History by Eric Foner (Editor), John A. Garraty (Editor), Houghton Mifflin,1991

This Time, Tempe Wick? by Patricia Lee Gauch, Margot Tomes, Depicts the indomitable spirit of a young girl, Tempe Wick, as she saves her beloved horse from the mutinous soldiers of Jockey Hollow during the American Revolution. Childrens Book, ages 4-8.

 

 

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