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In 1810 George and Louisa Macculloch purchased a 26-acre parcel of land on which they built Macculloch Hall. The Maccullochs cultivated the land primarily to feed their family, planting a traditional kitchen garden as well as apple and pear orchards. George Macculloch (1775-1858) loved the gardens and kept meticulous journals. From them we know what was planted when and where, how crops did and what the family ate. Some of Louisa Macculloch’s (1785-1863) recipes are among the family’s papers in the Museum’s Archives.
Garden highlights include the wisteria trellised along the rear porch, given to the Maccullochs by Commodore Matthew Perry in 1857; the sundial on the upper lawn installed in 1876; the sassafras tree at the far end of the lawn, believed to be the second oldest and largest sassafras tree in New Jersey; and more than 65 varieties of heirloom roses, meaning their cultivars date to before 1920. Two varieties of roses, known only as “Old Macculloch Hall Roses”, likely date to the earliest part of the garden’s history. Mrs. Macculloch paid her day laborer, Francis Cook, $1.00 to plant the first roses in 1810.
Beginning in the 1950s, Museum founder W. Parsons Todd (1877-1976) engaged the Garden Club of Morristown to replant Macculloch Hall’s gardens. The Garden Club created the layout and specified many of the plantings that grace the garden today. Planted for seasonal bloom, the gardens offer daffodils and other bulbs to welcome spring, followed by the magnificent wisteria in May, the roses in June, and a selection of perennials throughout the summer and fall.
In the Spring of 2015, the Museum installed a kitchen garden to serve as an outdoor classroom. Planted with herbs and tomatoes, this garden is a fitting tribute to George Macculloch, who is believed to have grown the first recorded tomato in New Jersey in 1829.
To schedule photographs in the garden, please call 973-538-2404, ext. 11 or email: PPongracz@maccullochhall.org. A $75.00 donation is encouraged.