Summer 2024 Workshop

Field Study: Cultural Landscapes and Environmental Challenges at Red Bank Battlefield Park


One-day workshop, Saturday, June 8th, 2024 | Credit/no credit | .5 CEU
The James and Ann Whitall House at Red Bank Battlefield Park, 100 Hessian Ave, National Park, NJ 08063

Using Red Bank Battlefield Park as a case study, this workshop will examine the long history of a cultural landscape from its Indigenous use to the modern day. The workshop will use as its foundation the work of geographer Pierce Lewis, who argued, “all human landscape has cultural meaning, no matter how ordinary it may be…. Our human landscape is our unwitting autobiography, reflecting our tastes, our values, and even our fears, in tangible, visible form.” (Lewis, Axioms for Reading the Landscape, 1970).

The workshop will prompt participants to physically explore the park’s landscape–from beach to bluff–centering discussion on how the landscape has changed over time and the challenges of preserving this historic landscape. The park faces an increasingly alarming battle with the rising waters of the Delaware River and intense storms that shorten the life of our historic roof while the erosion of our trenches threatens to expose historic burials. We will explore how this landscape has changed over time, historic strategies Gloucester County has used to mitigate environmental threats, and what the future holds for site interpretation after the discovery of a mass grave in 2022.

Red Bank Battlefield Park is a multicomponent site. In 1748, Quakers James and Ann Whitall established their home on the Delaware River. However, the site saw Indigenous use for thousands of years prior to the Whitall’s arrival. Today, the park is remembered as the home of the Whitall family and Fort Mercer. Constructed in 1777 to defend Philadelphia, Fort Mercer dominated the Whitall’s 400-acre property. The Battle of Red Bank on October 22, 1777 saw a tremendous loss of human life the Hessians experienced in the Revolution. The Whitall’s farm served as a mass grave  with upwards of 100 individuals buried throughout the property. In 1906, after years of neglect, and thanks to the efforts of the Gloucester County Historical Society, Red Bank Battlefield became a part of the Gloucester County Parks system. Every year 200,000 people visit the park to enjoy the scenic walkways, celebrate family and work events, and learn some history.

Instructor: Jen Janofsky, Ph.D. is a Professor of Public History at Rowan University and the Director of Red Bank Battlefield Park. She is the co-director of the Red Bank Battlefield Archaeology Project. She has been a practicing public historian for over 20 years prioritizing community engagement and the production of accessible history.

Schedule:  Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Program runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturday, June 8th, 2024.

Cost: $85 (includes light breakfast – please bring your own lunch!)

Course Number: HP-131-SUM24

REGISTER (limit 15): Registration link HERE! If the workshop is full, you will be added to the waiting list. If a spot opens on the waiting list, we will let you know.

**We are temporarily not accepting Purchase Order (PO) requests as we undergo staffing transitions.**

Address: The James and Ann Whitall House at Red Bank Battlefield Park, 100 Hessian Ave, National Park, NJ 08063

Attendance policy:  You do not need to be pursuing the Certificate in Historic Preservation to take this workshop. However, participants must attend the entirety of the workshop for their participation to count toward the Certificate and to receive CEUs.

 Cancellation policy:

  • Workshops (two days or less): Cancellations are fully refundable up to one week prior to the start of the workshop. No other refunds will be issued.
  • In all cases, registrations are non-transferable to another person.

*Class and workshop details subject to change.