Thursday, July 12, 2012

Place Over Time: Evolution of a Landscape

The winter encampment of 1779-1780 saw over 10,000 soldiers of the Continental Army encamp five miles southwest of Morristown. The area in which they encamped comprised of several different property owners. Henry Wick, Peter Kemble, and Joshua Guerin had part or whole of their properties utilized by the Army that winter. The Army was divided by Brigades which represented the various states, such as New Jersey Brigade, Pennsylvania Brigade, Maryland brigade and so on. The Brigades were given hillsides throughout the area known as Jockey Hollow. The Brigade areas provided adequate source of wood for hut construction and fuel. Nearby streams provided water and the roads provided supplies to be brought into camp and soldiers to march out on. Jockey hollow would continue to be a winter encampment in 1780-1781 for the Pennsylvania Line and in 1782 for the New Jersey troops returning from the Siege of Yorktown. Eventually the landscape would return to fields and forests.

The area was mostly farm land. Farmers raised livestock and grew wheat, corn, rye, buckwheat and oats as well as a variety of fruit trees. The land remained mostly farmed until the National Park was established in 1933. Since the inception of the National Park the landscape has evolved into the forest that it is today with over 26 miles of hiking trails.

Lesson Activity:
The objective of this lesson is to demonstrate how historic places change over time based upon use and historic interpretation based upon research and practice.  The area known as the Pennsylvania Line Encampment will be the focus of the theme Place Over Time: Evolution of a Landscape.

Changes to the landscape can be attributed to techniques in archeology, historical interpretation, land conservation, Park Mission, or environmental. 

Extending the Lesson:
Students can choose a historic building/structure/landscape in their own community and locate photographs to create a timeline of change over time: Evolution of the Landscape.

Students will be able to:
  • Utilize the photographs to understand the effects of place over time
  • Analyze photographs for historical understanding
  •  Compare a historic structures use over time and evolution of the landscape


Study each photograph for a few minutes. Form an overall impression of each photograph and then examine individual items contained within the image. Based on what you have observed above, list three things (per photo) you might infer*.

* Infer-to guess; speculate; surmise. to hint; imply; suggest


Image 1

Civilian Conservation Corp, Pennsylvania Line Encampment Site. Ca. 1934

Image 2

Civilian Conservation Corp, Pennsylvania Line Encampment Site. Ca. 1934

Image 3

 Pennsylvania Line Encampment Site. Ca. 2009

Comparing the photos, how has the landscape changed over time?  What may have caused the landscape to change over time?

ML10: Place Over Time: Evolution of a Landscape
Mini Lesson by Steve Santucci 

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