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In honor of Presidents Day I thought I’d write about our first president.

I don’t know if George Washington ever slept on Martha’s Vineyard but he certainly slept his way around New Jersey.

He arrived at Ford Mansion in Morristown, NJ in Dec of 1779 and stayed until June of 1780.  His troops of 10,000 men were encamped at nearby Jockey Hollow during the harshest winter of the war.

Morristown, New Jersey


This description of the mansion is from Wikipedia:

‘The Ford Mansion has a Georgian style exterior, but the interior kitchen and framing shows evidence of Dutch influence. The mansion was made with palladian window above the door and a stylish cornice. The fancy architecture was not created to look appealing, but to showcase the wealth of the family who owned the building.’
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Built between 1772 and 1774 it was the home of Jacob and Theodosia Ford.  The following description is from Wikipeida:

‘The headmaster’s section of the house was built with symmetrical rooms on both side of the foyer. The office is across from the library and the parlor is across from the dining room. On the second floor there are symmetrical bedrooms for each side of the hallway. The servant’s section of the house was near the kitchen  and the pantry  on the east side. The grand hall and the parlor are what categorized the house as a mansion. Unlike most mansions at the time, the Ford Mansion did not use bricks for the exterior, but painted flush board and clapboards.’


Front door of main part of house

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Door to servant’s quarters

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Fireplace and back of house

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Across the road is this statue of George Washington by Frederick Roth (1927-28)

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Sometimes it’s fun to play tourist in and around where you live.   Morristown in particular is rich in American Revolutionary War history and Morris County is known as  The Military Capital of the American Revolution.


Ford Mansion – Wikipedia

Revolutionary War New Jersey

Washington’s Headquarters – National Park Traveler


It’s been snowy, rainy, icy, grey, cold, snowy, sleety just icky a lot lately…   so why go visiting then?  Well for one thing we’re not leaving the comfort of our homes or even our keyboards.

We’re going to visit my other blog …


 For those of you who don’t know about TJE I thought it would be nice to pop next door, so to speak, and take a look around.  ‘Through Jersey Eyes’ is primarily a photography blog… so c’mon over to the Jersey side of this girl and take a look around.
Here are a few samples of categories…

DSC_0077 CLICK HERE for Martha’s Vineyard category
101_3450 CLICK HERE for my home state of New Jersey

101_0745  CLICK HERE for the city and state of New York

 100_3945 CLICK HERE for flowers
100_4468  CLICK HERE for food
100_5396 CLICK HERE for architecture of all kinds

DSC_0299 CLICK HERE for sunsets
100_5501 CLICK HERE for animals

That’s only 8 of the many categories you can visit if you choose to come on over and spend awhile at ‘Through Jersey Eyes’.

Just CLICK HERE  walk right in and make yourself comfy.

PicMonkey Photo

Wall calendar…

 CLICK HERE to read about this special house…


Desk calendar …

Among The Flowers flowers – house – Flying Horses








Do you know where these places are ?  Leave a comment if you wish :)

St Patrick’s Cathedral   ~   New York city

2007                                                               2013

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St Patrick’s Cathedral is undergoing a massive restoration, even surrounded by scaffolding this cathedral exudes beauty and peace.


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Find time to enjoy the beauty and peace of this Christmas season.

Did you know there are two Rockefeller Christmas trees !

Chester, New Jersey



New York City




(CLICK HERE for Rockefeller Bldg in Chester, NJ)

(CLICK HERE for Rockefeller Center, NYC)

December’s picture is of windows of the Federated Church in Edgartown.  I took these pictures around 6pm in May 2012.  I liked the way the light was streaming into the church and illuminating a little bit of the balcony.  The colors look warm and comforting to me.

December 2013



1 – How far from the edge of the  cliffs is the Gay Head Lighthouse.

Answer : 47 feet

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2 – Who was the first lighthousekeeper.

Answer: Ebenezer Skiff was the lighthousekeeper for 29 years from 1799 to 1828.. his salary was $200 a year.

3 – What year was the current red brick lighthouse built.

Answer : 1856.. the bricks were composed of clay from the cliffs or from the nearby Chilmark Brick Works.


4 – What year were the Fresnel lenses installed, and where are they now.

Answer: the Fresnel lenses were installed in 1856 and in 1952 moved to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Edgartown.  CLICK HERE


5 – What were the Fresnel lenses replaced with.

Answer: in 1952 the Fresnel lenses were replaced with high intensity electric beacons.


6 – How many times has the Gay Head Lighthouse been moved.

Answer: The lighthouse has been moved once.  In 1844 the first Gay Head Lighthouse had to be moved back 75 feet from the edge of the bluff.

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How did you do ?

(If you wish to contribute to the Save The Gay Head Lighthouse fund please CLICK HERE)

Trivia #11 is all about Gay Head Lighthouse… let’s see how much we know about this endangered landmark !

1 – How far from the edge of the  cliffs is the Gay Head Lighthouse.

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2 – Who was the first lighthousekeeper.

3 – What year was the current red brick lighthouse built.


4 – What year were the Fresnel lenses installed, and where are they now.

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5 – What were the Fresnel lenses replaced with.

6 – How many times has the Gay Head Lighthouse been moved.

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Leave your answers in the comments section and come back in a few days and see how you did :)

(All answers can be found HERE and HERE)

This is the house of my godparents, the house of my childhood summers, the house that holds a special place in my heart.

The house I wrote this short story about (CLICK HERE) and this post where I’d been inside the house in the 1980’s after 40+ years and what I found there… (CLICK HERE).


This is the house that I drive past each and every time I’m on the Vineyard.  This is the house that looked sad and showed its age… the house that needed people to see its potential and give it the TLC it deserved for so long.

Then one day I got an email….  it was titled something like ‘we bought your house’!!  They had had their eye on the house for awhile and when it went on the market they bought it.  The house couldn’t have been luckier.  This couple and their family obviously love this house and have already made it more beautiful than its ever been… and they’re not even done yet.  I firmly believe that certain houses have a ‘soul’… maybe it’s my deep connection to this house but when I saw it recently it looked happy and even better there was a feeling of warmth and contentment when you walked inside.

Look at the house now …take a close look at the detail work and how they’ve made it stand out.


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I recently met the new owners and had the pleasure of going into the house and stepping back into time…    this is some of what I saw…

When I walked into the living room the first thing I recognized  was the mirror over the fireplace…  it had previously been in the dining room over the sideboard.  The sideboard, dining room table and china cabinet are all original to the house and they are still beautiful.

This house was built around 1907 – 1911…  we think my godparent’s were the original owners but one thing’s for sure… a lot of the furniture is original…like for instance…

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… the iron beds and some of the side tables.

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But the one that I really got emotional about was in this room pictured below…  the only twin bed in the house… MY BED… the bed where I spent every summer of my childhood.

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To get to my room in those days I had to climb the steep stairs which led to a long, long hall … at least it seemed like a long hall then …

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however, on the nights I listened to ‘The Shadow’ on the radio with my godfather the hall seemed like this.


Me and the house, 1950 and 2013… not much difference in my height :)

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Thank you my new friends for letting me revisit the past, to share with you what little I know about the history of the house, and thank you to you and your family for giving back to this house the heart it had been missing for so long.




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