Monday, December 5, 2016

Enjoy Candle Light Tours and Music at the Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage - December 9, 2016

Enjoy Candle Light Tours and Music at the Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage
Friday, December 9, 2016

On Friday, December 9, from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm, there will be hourly group tours by candle-light, featuring costumed interpreters, cooking demonstrations and period music, at the Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage State Historic sites.

Join Mrs. Mary Wallace when she steps out of her portrait frame on the evening of December 9 to guide groups of visitors around her home, taking them back in time to the memorable winter of 1778. She will talk about the simple ways in which she and her husband, John Wallace, plan to celebrate the upcoming Christmas holiday, the inconveniences she anticipates when General George Washington and his entourage return from Philadelphia to stay at her house, and provide personalized insight into the history of her family, how they live, and the furnishing of her home. Moving on to the Wallace House kitchen wing, visitors will see re-enactor Kathy Ormosi presenting hearthside cooking, and discussing the foods of the season. Finally they will adjourn to the nearby Old Dutch Parsonage, where they can listen to Robert Mouland perform period music on antique instruments, and enjoy light refreshments. 

There is a ten dollar per-person fee to attend this program. All visitors must register for this program in advance. Visitors may register for the 6:00 pm, 7:00 pm, or 8:00 pm tour. Each hourly tour will be limited to ten visitors per group. Call 908-725-1015 to register. Please register early.

Robert Mouland at the harp.
The Wallace House, built in 1776, served as George Washington’s winter headquarters during the Middlebrook Cantonment of 1778-1779. The house was the country residence of retired Philadelphia merchant John Wallace; Washington rented the use of half the house for himself and his staff and paid Wallace $1,000 for the use of his house and furniture. During his stay, the General hosted foreign dignitaries and planned strategies for the spring military campaign. The house is fully restored and furnished with period furniture.

The Old Dutch Parsonage was constructed in 1751, by the congregations of three local Dutch Reform Churches. The house was occupied by the Reverend John Frelinghuysen and his family until his death in 1754. His successor, the Reverend Jacob Hardenberg was the principal founder and first president of Queens College in New Brunswick, now Rutgers University.

Both sites are administered by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, and are open to visitors Wednesday through Sunday. The Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage are both listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.

The parking lot entrance and interpretive center for the sites is located at 71 Somerset Street, Somerville, NJ. For directions and more information about the sites, visit www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/historic/olddutch-wallace/odwh-wallacehouse.htm.


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