Monday, November 20, 2017

Enjoy Candle Light Tours at the Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage - December 9, 2017

Enjoy Candle Light Tours at the Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage
Saturday, December 9, 2017

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

Reenactor Kathy Ormosi demonstrates use of the bake oven.
Photo supplied by 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 holidays, the inconveniences she anticipates when General George Washington and his entourage return from Philadelphia to stay at her house, and provide insight into the disruptions of the Revolution and how they have affected her family life. 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 enjoy light refreshments.

There is 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.

Private candlelight tours for groups of five to ten people can also be scheduled, from December 2017 to March 2018. Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance. There is a ten dollar fee per person for private evening candlelight tours.

The Wallace House
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.

1751 Old Dutch Parsonage historic site.
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 or call 908-725-1015.

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