Friends of White Hill Mansion hold first Living History Day event

Members of the 1st Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers participate in a Revolutionary War reenactment at the White Hill Mansion on March 19 in Bordentown.

Historic remnants from the Revolutionary War are entrenched throughout the Bordentown community. Part of that history lives in the White Hill Mansion which is located in the Borough of Fieldsboro.

The Friends of White Hill Mansion have helped preserve the historic landmark over the last eight years and decided to bring part of its history to life through the organization’s first annual Colonial Living History Day event.

They brought in members from the 1st Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers to put on a special reenactment of the Revolutionary War for the over 250 visitors who were part of the festivities that took place on March 19 at the White Hill Mansion.

The special reenactment featured battlefield encampment and military drills by the 1st Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers to showcase the great history the mansion has for the Bordentown community.

Dawn Reichard, who is a member of the Friends of White Hill Mansion, thought the event went well and said the organization got a lot of great feedback from those who attended the reenactment.

“It was amazing,” Reichard said of Living History Day. “We had great weather. A lot of people said they enjoyed the event.”

The festivities included a colonial crafts area where children could participate in different types of activities and free tours of the White Hill Mansion given by members of the Friends of the White Hill Mansion.

Members of the Bordentown Historical Society, the Isaac Pierson House, and the New Jersey American Revolution Geo Trial were also on hand during the event.

Both the Bordentown Historical Society and the Friends of White Hill Mansion recently received grant funding from Burlington County to help them preserve the historic landmarks they respectively own in the Bordentown community.

The Friends of White Hill Mansion will use the $4,750 they received from the county towards installing five historical accurate and accessible interpretive signs through QR codes for visitors to learn more information about the Field family, railroad history, Colonial naval battles, architecture, archeology, Native Americans and the mansion’s restoration.

Beginning its Living History Day series has been something the Friends of White Hill Mansion have wanted to do for the past few years, said Rechicard.

She added that the organization hopes to do more of these events in the future as a community outreach program to bring to light the impact the White Hill Mansion has in the history of the Bordentown area.

“We want to do this at least once a year,” Reichard said. “We are currently waiting for another grant to do more work on the mansion and get more people inside to walk around and learn more about its history. We want to make it a true Revolutionary War site for people to visit.”

Back in 1776, Mary Field owned and lived in the White Hill Mansion where she housed members of both the American and British armies to acquire protection purposes to keep her property and her family safe during the war.

Reichard said that Fields began doing this after the Colonial of the Hessian Army, Carl von Donop, came to Bordentown and entrenched his army of 3,000 troops at her establishment.

As the Friends of White Hill Mansion continue to raise money to help them restore the mansion, they also plan on partnering up with other Revolutionary War organizations in the surrounding areas to help with special events in the future.

One of those organizations is the Crossroads of the American Revolution, which is based in Trenton, said Reichard.

For more information on the Friends of White Hill Mansion and how to donate towards its restoration of the mansion, visit www.whitehillmansion.org.

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