Restoring History: $8.7 Million Building Rehab Project to Kick Off Soon
Washington Crossing Historic Park is best known for preserving the spot where George Washington and his troops crossed the icy Delaware River in December 1776. But it’s also home to many historic buildings. Eleven of those structures will soon undergo a major rehabilitation thanks to $8.7 million from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The project is slated to kick off in the next few weeks and take about a year and a half to complete. “This certainly signals the start of a long-awaited and strongly supported transformation at Washington Crossing Historic Park, one that reflects the work of so many toward Read More
With Each Painting, an Invitation to Enter a Secluded Scene
If you look closely at a collection of Kit Dalton’s landscape paintings, you’ll notice a common theme: a path leading your eye into the composition. “For some reason, I’ve always been drawn to the idea of existing within a piece. That’s why I primarily do landscapes,” Dalton says. “I’m usually trying to capture an emotional response, a feeling or memory of being some place.” Since she returned to painting 16 years ago, Dalton has painted picturesque scenes from all over rural Bucks County. When the weather is conducive, she’ll often venture out with a small group and paint onsite, or Read More
Leaving a Legacy – Twice Over
Bill Farkas outside the Washington Crossing Historic Park Visitor Center (photo by Peter Osborne) Bill Farkas has left a legacy to Washington Crossing Historic Park…again. Upon his death last year at the age of 82, Bill left a sizeable donation in his estate to the Friends of Washington Crossing Park. The money will be used to support public education and programming at the park far into the future. This donation was Bill’s second significant gift to the park. The first came a little less than 10 years when he commissioned author Peter Osborne to write a book documenting the Read More
What Became of Trenton After Washington Took It from the Hessians?
Photo of The Old Barracks Museum by William M. Brown Upon defeating the Hessians in the First Battle of Trenton on December 26, 1776, General George Washington immediately faced a critical decision: what to do with his new captives. The Continental Army had captured not just the roughly 900 Hessian officers and soldiers who surrendered, but also their wives and children. “The Hessians, like any 18th-century army, had camp followers. They appeared to be living in the Old Barracks,” explains William “Larry” Kidder, author of Crossroads of the Revolution: Trenton 1774-1783, which the park’s book club will begin reading Read More
Fife and Drum Corps Director Stacy Roth Named Volunteer of the Year
In a year that derailed so many, Stacy Roth (pictured above at left) was undeterred. When Washington Crossing Historic Park temporarily closed last March because of the pandemic, Roth, the director of the park’s fife and drums corps, was furloughed. She immediately decided to continue in the role as a volunteer and moved the corps’ two weekly practices to Zoom. “I just had to keep it going,” Roth says of the corps. “We’d generated such momentum over the previous year and formed so many good friendships. I couldn’t bear to see all of that to just go away.” Through its Read More
A Day in the Life of Colonial Pennsylvania: Tending a Garden
Many modern-day Pennsylvanians grow vegetable, herb and flower gardens, but few of us rely on them to stock our pantries or medicine cabinets. For families in colonial-era Pennsylvania, however, the kitchen garden was an important aspect of day-to-day life and a necessary source of food and medicine. Let’s explore how a colonial-era family used their gardens and what a typical day of garden work entailed. A Woman’s Work In the spring, summer and early fall, it would be common to find a colonial Pennsylvania woman tending her kitchen garden in the early morning. The kitchen garden – a small plot of land beside her home Read More
Where Did Washington Get the Durham Boats Used in the Crossing?
When you consider all that General George Washington and his men endured in crossing the Delaware on Christmas night 1776, it’s easy to gloss over the logistics, including their watercraft. But it took many boats to move the soldiers from one side of the river to the other: roughly 20 Durham boats in all, and untold numbers of other kinds. The History of Durham Boats The first Durham boat is believed to have been built around 1730. At its height, “there was a fleet of a thousand Durham boats on the Delaware giving employment to several thousand men whose job Read More
Painter Dorothy Hoeschen: ‘Roaming’ the Park, Paintbrushes in Tow
Landscape has always been one of Dorothy “Dottie” Hoeschen’s favorite subjects. Maybe it was inevitable that she would turn to plein air painting, where the artist paints outdoors within reach of, and sometimes among their composition. For painters accustomed to the cozy confines of their studios, it can be a sharp contrast. Strong breezes blow canvases to the ground, bitter cold numbs the fingers, and curious passersby break fragile concentration. Not to mention the race against fleeting light. It was a contrast for Hoeschen, who resides in Riegelsville, but she quickly adapted. She loves being outside and challenging herself as Read More