On June 23, 1780, the British mounted yet another major offensive to break through the American defenses. Their goal: Morristown, to crush Gen. Washington’s army once and for all. Headquartered on Staten Island, the British and Hessian troops ferried across the Arthur Kill to Elizabethtown and made their way west.
But the resistance they met in Springfield proved too great. They turned back but were so furious with their failure, they pillaged and burned whatever they could. During the Battle of Springfield the house was used as a field hospital, which likely saved it from being burned by the retreating British.
The Cannon Ball House, now home to the Springfield Historical Society, is one of only four houses in Springfield not destroyed that day. Seven of the eight rooms in this house are open to the public. The first documented owner of the house was Dr. Jonathan Dayton, uncle to the signer of the U.S. Constitution, for whom the township’s high school is named. Dayton died in 1778, leaving his wife and children to run the household. It’s believed his widow, Keturah Dayton, then established a tavern in the home to support the family.
Listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places
Operated by the Springfield Historical Society
– An exhibit of furniture and artifacts including 18th- and 19th-century household items
– Relics of the Battle of Springfield including the cannonball that lodged in the wall of the house on June 23, 1780
For Hours: springfieldhistoricalsociety.webs.com or call (973) 912-4464