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“A good half day trip”
Review of Historic Speedwell

Historic Speedwell
Ranked #11 of 29 things to do in Morristown
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Attraction details
Owner description: Experience life during the early years of the Industrial Revolution at Historic Speedwell. This National Historic Landmark site preserves the restored estate of Stephen Vail, proprietor of the Speedwell Ironworks, located nearby through exhibits and iron working artifacts. The most significant of the eight historic structures on the site is the completely restored Factory, where Stephen's son, Alfred Vail, worked with Samuel F. B. Morse to perfect the telegraph. It was here on January 11, 1838, where the first successful demonstration of the electromagnetic telegraph changed the course of modern telecommunications. A new hands-on, interactive exhibit experience awaits visitors to the Factory Building. Visitors receive guided tours of the Vail House and the Factory. The Wheelhouse, adjacent to the Factory, houses a restored 24-foot overshoot waterwheel, which still works today!
Reviewed 30 May 2014

Interesting historic site with restored buildings and exhibit with signs that described the era of inventions. It is a pretty place to walk around, a house tour is also available to learn how people lived a century ago.

Thank Netmouse R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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19 - 23 of 29 reviews

Reviewed 4 March 2014

This place turned out to be a good place for me to shoot pictures of historic buildings. The afternoon was cold so I was the only one there which I didn't mind. Glad I made the discovery. I love to shoot historic areas.

Thank JLTLincolnPark_NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2013

We've been here a few times, and there are some really great events that keep bringing us back. We recently attended the Civil War Winter Encampment and had a blast. There was music and period dancing. The kids got to dance with men and women in period costume to music from the era. Then we went to make crafts and see the decorated historic house on the site. We browsed the gift shop and found some fun things for the holiday. We picked up some information about the next year since this was their last official event of the year. I had taken the girls to a fashion show earlier in the year and they really enjoyed it. The troops had set up a winter camp with these really interesting huts made of logs. The reenactor explained they were based on original plans from the Civil War and they had actually slept in them overnight and kept very warm.

We had been through the building dedicated to the telegraph before, but the kids wanted to go back and enjoyed it. The day was cold, and we were able to warm up near a roaring fire with a cup of hot mulled cider that was free and really good! The kids really had a fun time and went home humming some of the songs they learned at the Civil War dance.

This wasn't our first visit and it won't be our last! We had a lot of fun. After we left, we went up the road for some pizza. There were a lot of restaurants in the area, so we had a lot to pick from.

2  Thank HistoryLover75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2013

I think they keep Speedwell Village going for a tax deduction to the owners. There are so many more places in NJ where you can see living history without being charged a high entry fee. I think it's a scam. Don't bother!

5  Thank SarahRebeccaCats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2012

I visited this site recently with my family for a special event. We had a blast! Not only did my kids learn about an important, but little known part of our history, but they also had fun - not an easy thing to do with history and kids these days! They recently installed a great exhibit on the history of the telegraph, and communications through to modern times, and my kids had a blast. They got to interact with a video done in a somewhat Monty Python-esque style on the original demonstrations of the telegraph at Speedwell. They were enjoying it so much! There is also a video timeline, audio interaction and so many "please touch me" type exhibits. We were initially there for a hands-on program for kids, but picked up flyers about upcoming programs that include an mid-19th century funeral program (held at night!), and a Civil War holiday program that looks like a lot of fun. We can't wait to go back! We spent a couple of hours there, and I can imagine spending even more time for these events. I absolutely recommend it for families or indivduals, and the price is right for the amount of history and entertainment you receive!!

7  Thank WearyTravelerPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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