The Hermitage

Erika Nevin

The Hermitage, a historic house that has stood since before the Revolutionary War, is located in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, off of the Franklin Turnpike. George Washington spent four days there during the war, and many other notable figures visited the property throughout the Revolutionary War and years following. Today it is a classic field trip destination for elementary and middle school students who are learning about the Revolution, as The Hermitage presents a very romanticized and less dire picture of the war.

I was surprised by the fact that the tour of the home only touches briefly on the Masonic symbols carved into stone on the side of the building.  When I saw them I thought they would be a more integral part of the families’ stories, when in fact very little was said about them.

This monument made me realize that history is presented to us in a very specific way since the time we are young children.  Especially when it is our own country’s history, we must look beyond what “common” conceptions are to see if we can find a different story.

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About urba0090

is an ACLS New Faculty Fellow in the American Studies and History departments at Rutgers University.
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