Morristown Believes its Walking Tour Smartphone App is N.J.’s First

Morristown — where Samuel Morse demonstrated the electromagnetic telegraph and Gen. George Washington made his winter headquarters during the American Revolution — on Thursday launched a new mobile smartphone app that gives users a guided walking tour of the town’s 1.5-mile historic district.

Leslie Bensley, executive director of the Morris County Tourism Bureau, said the free app marries modern technology with a key Morristown tourism asset: 20 historic places that were significant in the American Revolution and the Industrial Revolution.

History and heritage are the main tourism draw for Morris County, Bensley said, adding that state figures show tourism spending in the country rose 4.7 percent, to $1.6 billion, in the fiscal year ended June 30, with Morris as “one of the six most productive counties in the state” for tourism.

Washington twice camped in Morristown, in 1777 and in the winter of 1789-1780; the Vail Mansion was home to Alfred Vail, the first president of AT&T. Both men would have been early adopters of smartphones, Bensley said: “I think George would have liked it.”

Bensley said the app may be New Jersey’s first to focus on a history tour. She said that in Morris County, “we are very blessed to be surrounded by very innovative and cutting-edge (people) who push us to lead” in technology. The app is an electronic version of the bureau’s current walking tour pamphlet.”

On May 15, from noon to 5 p.m., admission will be free at nine historic sites and museums throughout Morris County.

E-mail Beth Fitzgerald at

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