Red Bank Battlefield Park


James and Ann Whitall House

 Re-enactment of The Battle

In 1748, Quakers Ann and James Whitall established a 400-acre plantation at Red Bank along the Delaware River.  This bustling plantation included fruit orchards, a lumberyard, a shad fishery, livestock and a ferry.  Together, Ann and James raised nine children who worked the plantation alongside dozens of indentured servants hailing from Ireland, the Netherlands, and Germany.  

In 1777, the American Revolution interrupted life at Red Bank when American forces constructed Fort Mercer immediately north of the house.  On October 22, 1777, Colonel Christopher Green's Rhode Island Regiment inflicted heavy losses on Hessian soldiers and the Whitall's home served as a field hospital.  Hundreds of Hessian soldiers lost their lives in the battle and were buried just north of the house.  The Whitall's never forgave the American forces for the devastation they inflicted on their beloved property.

The James and Ann Whitall House is open seasonally, from April through mid-October, Thursday through Sunday, from 1pm to 4pm.  One Sunday a month, the House and Fort offer special programs focusing on an aspect of the park's history.  Ever wonder how people made clothes in the 1700"s?  What was it like to be a Revolutionary soldier?  How did women prepare meals?  Why is Fort Mercer so important to Revolutionary history?  Heritage Days are always family friendly and filled with great activities for everyone to enjoy.

The Rutgers University Master Gardeners maintain our historic gardens.  The gardeners are volunteers who actively work to cultivate vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs, dyeing flowers and cutting flowers that are historically representative of the eighteenth century.  Learn what herbs Ann Whitall would have used to treat a cough or heal a wound.  Observe how flower pigments added color to clothing.  Hear about true farm to table family.

We routinely offer special tours to elementary and secondary schools, home schoolers, summer camps, scouts, and senior community centers and homes.  Have a particular interest in early American history?  Let us know and we can tailor a tour just for you.  Our knowledgeable docents are experts in Revolutionary history and early American life.  After your tour, Red Bank Park offers scenic picnic pavilions for groups to relax and enjoy magnificent views of the Delaware River.

We would not be here if it were not for our dedicated volunteers who help make this National Historic Landmark come alive.  Volunteers help in all aspects of the House and Battlefield.  Volunteer docents offer tours to the public and visiting schools, plant and maintain our historically-inspired gardens, and offer hearth cooking demonstrations throughout the year.  If you have some time and would like to help the Whitall House and Red Bank Battlefield, please drop us a line.  We'd love to have you!


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