Visit the re-enactment of the Battle of Monmouth at Monmouth Battlefield State Park each June. The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of Monmouth Battlefield. In 1776, General George Washington and his Continental army encamped at Valley Forge, about twenty miles from Philadelphia. This strategic location allowed them to monitor British troops in Philadelphia, while at the same time being in a strong defensive position. It is located at 20 NJ-33 Business, Manalapan Township, NJ 07726.
The park includes miles of hiking trails and picnic areas. There is also a restored Revolutionary War farmhouse. The Visitors Center, which stands on Combos Hill, once commanded by the Continental Army Artillery, provides information about the battle and a chance to view artifacts. While visiting Monmouth Battlefield State Park, be sure to check out its re-enactment and the museum.
Monmouth Battlefield State Park was created between 1963 and 1974 in anticipation of the bicentennial celebration. The park underwent an $870,000 landscape restoration in 1993 and 1998 and now has a new visitor center. The historic sites of the Battle of Monmouth, where 20,000 soldiers clashed, have been stabilized and are open for public viewing. The Sutfin House, the Rhea-Applegate House, and the Craig House have been fully restored. Visitors should plan to visit in the fall for a more pastoral setting. More interesting stuff.
Another place to visit while visiting Monmouth Battlefield State Park is the Freehold Township Museum. The museum houses exhibits about American and Native American art and offers live concerts throughout the year. While the Morse Museum is currently closed, you can still visit the park and the nearby museum. The museum has a restored farmhouse that dates back to the Revolutionary War. A picnic or a hike at the park will provide a relaxing afternoon.
In addition to the historical monument, the park has the courthouse and a ninety-foot monument dedicated to the Battle of Monmouth. Another historic building is St. Peter's Episcopal Church. It was built in 1771 and has Gothic and Georgian elements. Lastly, the town has a number of unincorporated communities. The county seat is Manalapan. If you visit Manalapan, don't miss Battlefield State Park!
The oldest building at Monmouth Battlefield State Park is the Derrick Sutfin House. It was built in 1718 by Jacob Sutfin. His farmhouse was caught in the crossfire during the Battle of Monmouth. He was captured by the British, escaped, and was hanged. In fact, his descendants occupied the farmhouse for over a century and even fought alongside the British. Click for more info.
Monmouth Battlefield State Park is a great place for families to visit for the history lesson. The state park has many attractions, including a museum and a battlefield. The state park is also home to the Clark House Museum and the Mercer Oak. In addition to the Battlefield, there are other historic sites worth visiting in the state. There is also a Thomas U. Walter-designed Ionic Colonnade.