Blacksmith Shop Gets a New Roof
The park’s blacksmith shop is one of the most popular stops on school field trips. Within its dark and smoke-tinged interior, children can watch as blacksmiths hammer out period-accurate items such as nails and hooks. They come away with a better understanding of how these items were made in colonial times and the manual labor involved in producing them. To protect the interior of the shop and the tools contained within it, the shingles on the building’s roof were recently replaced. Work was done by park maintenance employees and $3,000 in shingles was donated by Jessie and Donna Winslade, friends Read More
Why Was Trenton Occupied by Hessians…Not the British?
Most people know that George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River on the night of December 25, 1776. The crossing was part of Washington’s daring plan to re-ignite the Patriot cause and give new life to the American Revolution. It was also a prelude to an equally important event: the Battle of Trenton. Trenton was held by a brigade of Hessians, who were among the approximately 30,000 German soldiers who fought during the American Revolution on the side of the British. The reason that Hessian troops—not British troops—were in Trenton appears to come down to a modest effort Read More
A Gaze Unbroken for 103 Years
Much like the real George Washington did 243 years ago, the lifesize stone statue of him that sits atop the 35-foot obelisk in front of the park’s Visitor Center looks eastward across the Delaware River. His gaze hasn’t been broken in 103 years. The story of the monument began in 1912 when the Pennsylvania chapter of the Patriotic Order Sons of America visited the site of today’s park to look for land on which to build a memorial to honor Washington. The chosen site was a small plot that was purchased in 1913 for $300. A design contest was held Read More
What Time Did Washington Cross the Delaware?
As with a lot of the details of the crossing on December 25, 1776, there’s no record of the exact time General George Washington ventured across the Delaware River. That’s not to say, however, that we can’t narrow the window. Timing was critical to the plan, says Pat Seabright, a historical interpreter at Washington Crossing Historic Park. The troops were to arrive by sunset at one of three assembly areas: McConkey’s Ferry Inn (in the park’s Historic Village); Trenton Ferry (near Yardley); and Bristol. Sunset was at 4:41 PM, which would put the soldiers on pace to cross by Read More
Next Book Club Pick: Standing in Their Own Light
The Washington Crossing Historic Park’s book club will begin discussion of a new selection at its September 16 meeting. The next book is Standing In Their Own Light: African American Patriots in the American Revolution by Judith L. Van Buskirk. Meetings are led by the park’s curator, Kimberly McCarty, who also selects the books. “I’d like members of the book club to have a clear appreciation of the contributions of people in the Continental Army who may have been underrepresented in other historic accounts,” she says. “That includes soldiers of color.” The book considers what the Revolutionary War meant for the 5,000+ Read More
Where Exactly Did Washington Cross the Delaware?
We all know that General George Washington and his troops crossed the ice-choked Delaware River under the cover of darkness on December 25, 1776 near McConkey’s Ferry Inn. But have you ever wondered where exactly George crossed the river? It’s a question that’s sparked much speculation among historians but has yet to yield a concrete answer. “The truth is, no one knows for sure because it wasn’t recorded by anyone, including Washington himself. Or, at least, those records have yet to be uncovered,” says Guy Sava, a historical interpreter at the park. There’s also no way of knowing with any certainty Read More
Today’s Intern, Tomorrow’s Teacher
Washington Crossing native Brynn Smith, a sophomore history education major at Ithaca College in New York, has spent the summer immersed in history at Washington Crossing Historic Park. She’s there for a summer-long internship sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Washington Crossing-Yardley. “I’ve known my whole life that I wanted to teach, but I wasn’t sure what subject until late in high school,” Brynn says. “Since I love to read, English seemed the obvious choice, but I like storytelling, and that’s a big part of history.” Since May, Brynn has been filling in wherever she’s needed around the park. The Read More
See Washington Crossing the Delaware…As It Probably Looked
“Perhaps the most accurate depiction ever of George Washington crossing the Delaware.” That’s how historians describe Washington’s Crossing at McKonkey’s Ferry, a 2011 painting by renowned historical artist Mort Künstler (above). Soon, visitors to Washington Crossing Historic Park can view Künstler’s original painting in the Visitor Center. The piece, currently on display at Mount Vernon, will be hung at the park sometime in August and stay until July 2020. The painting was commissioned by U.S. Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-NY, 3rd District), a Revolutionary War buff who wanted a depiction that corrected known errors in the iconic Emanuel Leutze painting. “What Mort Read More