The Hermitage, a National Historic Landmark and house museum, incorporates a stone house that was visited during the Revolutionary War by General George Washington. It was also the site of the marriage of Aaron Burr and Theodosia Prevost. Its picturesque Gothic Revival design dates to the 1847–48 renovation by the architect William H. Ranlett.
New Displays at The Hermitage
Tablets Enhance Orientation Gallery
Visitors to The Hermitage now have access to three interactive tablets installed in the new permanent orientation gallery, just off the Gift Shop. Before taking a docent-led tour, visitors can use the tablets to learn about the history of The Hermitage, Theodosia Prevost and George Washington, important members of the entrepreneurial Rosencrantz family, the cotton mill, recreation in the 1890s and the early-twentieth-century tea room. In addition to interpretive signage, the orientation gallery contains a special case displaying Theodosia Prevost's handwritten note inviting Washington to The Hermitage in July 1778; a model of what the original colonial Hermitage is believed to have looked like; and an audio installation interpreting workers from the Rosencrantz family's nineteenth-century cotton mill. The large exhibit case currently portrays a scene with Mary Elizabeth Rosencrantz's beloved doll carriage and late Victorian costumes.
Ringing in Spring at The Hermitage
Spring has arrived, and The Hermitage has been freshly decorated for the season. In addition to enjoying the exterior gardens as they begin to bloom, visitors to the National Historic Landmark can view the displays to learn about springtime hobbies of the Victorian era. The women who lived at The Hermitage enjoyed gardening, bringing beautiful magnolia and lilac blossoms from their gardens indoors as cut arrangements. In the late 1800s, Bess and Bessie (Tyler) Rosencrantz kept up The Hermitage and sewed and cooked for the family. They spent time outdoors gardening; collecting, labeling, and pressing wildflowers and ferns. Several of Bess's pressed flowers are displayed in the back parlor. Another annual activity for women of the Rosencrantz family was preparing their hats for the new season. In the bedrooms, visitors will see a hat being trimmed with springtime flowers and ribbons; other hats are also on display, including children's lovely straw hats. In the dining room, the table is set with Limoges china and an abundance of lilacs and hydrangeas.
Women's Heritage Trail
In the summer of 2012, The Hermitage unveiled an outdoor historical marker/interpretive sign to recognize the 250-year-old National Historic Landmark as part of the New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail. The Hermitage was first designated a significant site along the Women’s Heritage Trail in 2004. The trail uses historic places throughout the state to bring to life the vital role played by women in the state’s past and present by telling the stories of notable women who contributed to the agricultural, industrial, labor, and domestic history of New Jersey. The Hermitage received this special designation because of the Revolutionary War heroine Theodosia Bartow Prevost Burr (1746–94), who owned the modest red sandstone home at that time. The marker (above with past presidents Delight W. Dodyk and Carol W. Greene) has been installed on the walkway to the Hermitage Education & Conference Center. For information about other sites along the New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail, visit the New Jersey Women's History project website at www.njwomenshistory.org.