The Whitall House National Park, NJ
Upon my discoveries, I have come across a few historical elements in the area. I sometimes get cross-referenced with certain things in my findings. For instance, I was checking out the legendary Frank Stewart’s historical notations (as you see in my previous blog posting.) He mentions Ann Whitall’s diary. The day of the attack in the Revolutionary War at Fort Mercer in current day National Park, NJ.
Stewart’s notes made me laugh. Ann is a typical stubborn woman who is quite “normal” when you talk about the women of NJ. Oh and I need to mention I truly love her. She was warned by her son to go to the neighbor’s house so she would be safe on the day of the war. Ann Whitall did not budge. She said The Lord would protect her. She set up her spinning table in one of the rooms and continued spinning throughout the duration. However, a cannonball flew into the home landing pretty close to herself, it kind of perked her up. She then picked up her wheel and continued spinning in the basement until the war was over.
She was instrumental for all the wounded soldiers even the British/Hessians. Ann used her home as a hospital so she could tend to their wounds.
After reading Stewart’s article, I had to immediately check out the house. I have always walked right by it when walking around the park.
The Whitall’s were actually quite wealthy and owned 400 acres of land. They were Quakers like a lot of folks were in the area. The home was built in 1746. It is quite large. It is accustomed with a large kitchen and even closets which were very rare for the time period.
I came here on a rainy, hot and steamy day in September. I knocked at the door and was greeted by a nice woman in colonial garb. It frightened my kid out. However, after we walked around he was quite alright.
I got to tour the whole downstairs with a few original pieces that the Whitall’s owned. Some old medical instruments they used in the time frame. Plus, seeing an antique clock and the original floors made me quite happy to see it has been well-preserved.
Funny to see that it was going to be knocked down in the early 1900s to build a housing development. However, due to Frank Stewart, it did not. The house and the grounds remain today due to his generosity and preservation efforts.
You have to check out the house and all the cool features. They also hold candlelight tours on certain nights throughout the year. It’s a great little piece of history in our backyard. They are working on the upper level as we speak for tours. Can’t wait!