THE NATION’S FOUNDERS
GAVE US GOOD DIRECTIONS
One summer during college I worked for the Bucks County Historical Tourist Commission. My job was to drive around eastern Pennsylvania and nearby portions of New Jersey, stocking the map racks of gas stations, restaurants, motels, and other tourist haunts with copies of “Highways of History,” a large, folded map highlighting places of historical and cultural interest in Bucks County.
My favorite place to drop them off happened also to be the best-known site on the map: Washington Crossing. This was the riverfront location from which George Washington launched his fabled Christmas-night foray across the ice-bound Delaware to attack Trenton and Princeton, turning the tide of the Revolutionary War.
The focus of Washington Crossing Historic Park (located about 30 miles northeast of Philadelphia) was the Visitors Center. This modest structure contained a museum, the requisite gift shop, and a small auditorium where tourists could view the famous painting, “Washington Crossing the Delaware.”