The Irish in Morristown
Celebrate the Irish in Morristown
General George Washington brought the Continental Army to Morristown, New Jersey, for two winters, in 1777 and again in 1779-1780. The second winter encampment took place at Jockey Hollow, today part of Morristown National Historical Park (MNHP). Over 10,000 men took over parts of the Guerin and Wick farms and suffered immeasurably during the worst winter on record.
Of the 11 brigades encamped at Morristown, 7 of them had generals who had either been born in Ireland or had parents of Irish heritage. It was estimated that one quarter of the entire Continental Army had been born in Ireland. On March 17, 1780 General Washington ordered that generals were not to assign duty to any Son of St. Patrick, and the holiday marked their first day off that winter in Jockey Hollow. To commemorate the Irish contribution to the War for Independence a plaque was unveiled at Jockey Hollow in April 2010 by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Morris County.
The left side of the plaque has an illustration of soldiers around a campfire. The right of the marker features a picture of the “Independence of Ireland” flag. Below this is a picture of a clay pipe with Irish harp and shamrocks and has the caption “Image based on archeological fragment found in Jockey Hollow and now part of Morristown National Historical Park’s museum collection”. Schedule a visit to Jockey Hollow and to the museum at Morristown. Spring seasonal hours are now in effect. nps.gov/morr
The Irish will show their pride once again in Morristown at the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 14th. The parade steps off at noon from Morristown Town Hall at 200 South Street and continues down South Street to the viewing stand near the Morristown Green. The parade concludes at Morristown High School on Atno Street at 2 pm For the line of march and more information visit paradeday.com
Morristown’s oldest church is Assumption Church at 91 Maple Avenue where a mass will be celebrated before the parade honoring St. Patrick at 10 am. Mass was celebrated for the first time at Assumption on Christmas Day, 1848. The cornerstone for the current Gothic Revival-style structure was laid on June 30, 1872. Read about the mass at Assumption
The church interior was restored to its Victorian-era grandeur in 2007 and is well worth a visit. While near the church, and prior to the parade, stop at the corner of Madison Street and Macculloch Avenue. Read the Morris County Heritage Commission marker about the Dublin Neighborhood, installed and dedicated in March 2019. There is also historic signage about the development of the area. Do a self-guided tour of Dublin using the information at this link. Dublin
Many of the local bars and restaurants will open early for the parade. The parade itself is alcohol-free and family friendly. Parking is plentiful in downtown garages and on surrounding streets. View a Morristown Partnership parking map here: map of Morristown
Restaurants puts on a memorable St. Patrick’s Day program each year-the Dublin Pub near the corner of South Street and Pine Street. With music and menu and drink specials, it offers an authentic celebratory experience in Morristown.
George and Martha’s and the Grasshopper off the Green, both on Morris Street, are lively before and after the parade. The Office Tavern Grill on South Street and The Grand Café (dinner only) on Washington Street are also favorites of our staff. And if you want to stay the night in Morristown, the friendly and very convenient Best Western PLUS Morristown Inn is offering a special St. Patrick’s Day Parade special.
“Erin go Bragh”