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School Programs

Hermitage School ProgramsHermitage education programs for school groups are available Monday–Friday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. To ensure the dates of your choice, we recommend scheduling as far in advance as possible. Contact Vanessa Hamilton, Education Coordinator, at (201) 445-8311, ext. 103 (Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.).

All programs begin at the Hermitage Education & Conference Center. Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled start time of your program to allow for disembarking from your bus and entering the building. The Hermitage Museum does its best to accommodate late groups but reserves the right to adjust or shorten programs as circumstances demand. All changes are discussed with the visiting teachers. The Hermitage Museum does not have indoor eating facilities; however, groups may picnic on the grounds.

On-Site Programs

1.5-2 hours. Maximum group size: 4 classes (depending on season; call for information). Fee: $5/person.

We offer education programs for pre-K through 12th grade on a wide variety of subjects that meet NJCCC Standards. Our most popular programs are listed below.

For information about current offerings, please contact Education Coordinator Vanessa Hamilton at 201-445-8311, ext. 103, or by e-mail at vhamilton@thehermitage.org.

Colonial Life during the Revolutionary War (NJCCC Standards 6.1, 6.4)

Theodosia Prevost BurrStudents will explore Colonial America and the Revolutionary War by visiting The Hermitage and hearing the story of the resourceful Theodosia Prevost, the American wife of a British officer who entertained George Washington, Aaron Burr, the Marquis de Lafayette, and William Paterson in her home, The Hermitage. Students will discuss Theodosia's life and decide whether she was a Patriot, a Loyalist, or just dedicated to her family.

In this program students will begin to compare and contrast life in Colonial America to modern-day life by touring parts of the historic Hermitage and viewing artifacts, textiles, and clothing from the Colonial period. This program can be adapted to emphasize Colonial life or the Revolutionary War based on teachers' and students' needs.

The Civil War in New Jersey (NJCCC Standards 6.1, 6.4 )

Civil WarWhy were some New Jerseyans considered "Copperheads," and why did the Rosencrantz family, who lived at The Hermitage, have sympathy toward the South during the Civil War? Students will explore issues concerning the North and the South in the years of the U.S. Civil War, discussing how the establishment and abolition of slavery affected the Rosencrantz family (and New Jersey generally) in the 19th century, as well as Elijah Rosencrantz's cotton warp mill and the Industrial Revolution in Bergen County.

Machines and Mills (NJCCC Standards 6.1, 6.4)

How did the Industrial Revolution affect the Rosencrantz family who lived at The Hermitage? Find out how they started a cotton mill and harnessed water power from Ho-Ho-Kus Brook, and why they permitted the railroad lines to go through their  property. Also, study how the mills gave the family money to redesign The Hermitage into the Gothic Revival Style that it is today and what modern conveniences they had when the house was finished

Local History/Life during the 19th Century (NJCCC Standards 6.1, 6.4)

The Hermitage Museum ToyGain knowledge of what life was like for the Rosencrantz family during the 19th century by listening to stories of the children's lives, the toys and games they played with, the clothes they wore, and more about The Hermitage during this time period.

Primary Documents

Explore The Hermitage and its past through the use of primary documents from the people who lived on the property to George Washington, who visited in 1778. Discuss why primary documents are so important and what can be learned form reading them. A full house tour for the students is included.

Evolution and Preservation at The Hermitage

How has The Hermitage been sustained over time, and what changes have occurred to the house and property over its 300 year history? Discover how The Hermitage was preserved by the people who lived here and how citizens fought to make it a National Historic Landmark to keep the home and property safe for future generations to enjoy.

Architecture (for High Schools)

The Hermitage MuseumDiscover how The Hermitage National Historic Landmark went from the Dutch colonial style of the 1760s to the Gothic Revival style it is today. Students will learn about various architectural styles that were popular over the centuries, why styles changed, and how owners of The Hermitage felt it was important to modernize their home. A full tour of The Hermitage will be given along with the history of the people of the home.

Off-Site Programs

1 hour. Maximum group size: 1 class. Fee: contact the Hermitage Education Coordinator.

Teachers must provide a large table at the front of the classroom for all programs. For PowerPoint presentations, please arrange for a screen to be set up in the room. Consecutive programs must be held in the same location.

For information about our current offerings, please contact Education Coordinator Vanessa Hamilton at 201-445-8311, ext. 103, or vhamilton@thehermitage.org.

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