Right In Our Backyard

We always seem to want to travel far to see new sights and experiences and forget what is in our own backyards.  My Husband and I have lived all our lives in and around New York City (in the City’s own backyard, New Jersey), but I have yet to see the view from the Empire State Building or the Statute of Liberty.  This is a real shame.

One of our Backyard treasurers is the Morristown National Historical Park.  This National Park not only encompasses the City/Town of Morristown but nearby Jockey Hollow as well. The picture above is of the Ford Mansion in Morristown, which was George Washington’s headquarters from December 1779 to June 1780.

While Washington headquartered here in Morristown, nearby his troops were encamped at Jockey Hollow.  The picture below is of the Wick House which is in Jockey Hollow and was where General Arthur St. Clair made his headquarters during that very cold and very snowy winter.  (The Photographer, Dave, is in this picture as well – a nice selfie).


There are many nice hiking trails in the park as well as a one way park road which leads you through the main encampment area.  Close by to Jockey Hollow also lies the New Jersey Brigade Encampment Site where another 900 soldiers arrived during that winter.  At the New Jersey Brigade site one can find The Cross Estate Gardens.  At one time the house on this property was known as the Hardscrabble House – not really sure why, but the owners wife, Julia Newbold Cross was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society.  The gardens here include a formal perennial garden, native plant garden, pergola covered by wisteria (as seen below at sunset) and a pathway of mountain laurel.


The original owners of this estate Mr. and Mrs. John Bensel, who was a civil engineer, and built the water tower below.  This supplied them with water and suitable pressure for the plumbing system in the house.


Remember to look in your own backyard from time to time to see the treasures you can find.


Randomness – Some Favorite Pictures

Pondering a Blog post, I decided to look at some pictures that both Dave and I have taken over the past 6 months or so.  Decided this post would be dedicated to those pictures that are some of my favorites.  They come from different places and represent different styles.  The one above was taken from Liberty State Park in New Jersey looking across the Hudson River towards NY.  This would have been where the ferry from Ellis Island would have brought over the immigrants that were going to find new homes in America, via the Central Rail Road terminal here in Jersey City.


Also at Liberty State Park is the Empty Sky 9 11 Memorial seen below.  A stark reminder of those horrific events back in 2001.  This first one was taken near sunset, looking out at the new Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center.


Staying in New York, here is the Flat Iron building taken from the top of the Empire State Building.


I think I found a theme here, so I’ll stick with it with another view from the Empire State Building looking out over the Hudson into New Jersey.  Interesting enough, I have not even been up in the building ever.  I must put it on my bucket list.


All photos were taken by my husband Dave here and are among my personal favorites.  One final one – a view of the Hudson early morning with the Anthem of the Seas coming in to Bayonne.


Hyde Park and FDR’s Home

In addition to visiting Saratoga Battlefield a few weeks ago, Dave and I also enjoyed a stop at the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt.  This 110 acre estate that sits on the Western banks of the Hudson River in Hyde Park, was purchased by FDR’s father, James, in 1867.  Franklin himself was born in this house in 1882.

The estate, Springwood, was opened to the public one year after Roosevelt’s death in April of 1946.  The contents of the home are exactly as Franklin left them upon his death.  One of the few homes I can remember visiting where the interior pieces are authentic not only to the time period of the owners life there, but are the actual furnishings of the owner, in this case FDR and his family.


Also on the estate is the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum, which he had built during his presidency.  I don’t have a picture here of his study in the Library, which was left in tact the way that he left it.  The buildings and the grounds are lovely, and the Library and Museum provide a glimpse into FDR’s presidency, including the depression, recovery efforts and WWII.

There are lovely trails throughout the site as well as the Hyde Park Trial.  Picnic benches are provided throughout the estate and the Visitors center is a must first stop.  Guided tours are provided of the house.

This is a fine example of our National Treasurers that are provided to us by the National Park system.  The Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt is a National Historic Site.  Nearby you can also visit the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site and the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site.  We did not get a chance to see these other two sites, but plan on a return visit very soon to do so.

It would be very easy to spend a long weekend in the Hyde Park area which is very close to the lovely town of Rhinebeck, as well as being home to the Culinary Institute of America.