Hobart Manor Opens Holiday Showcase


Jacob Martinez, Production Manager

Hobart Manor buzzed with music and laughter Friday night as visitors toured the historical site during the third annual “Holiday Showcase” presented by the Hobart Manor Revitalization Committee.
The event attracted more than 110 people from around New Jersey who roamed the halls and rooms while docents stood around explaining the documented history of the building. Each room was individually dressed and represented different themes such as Kwanza and Hanukkah. Event organizers charged attendees $5, with all funds collected being directed towards the restoration of the 200-year-old structure. WPUNJ President Richard J. Helldobbler believes the Holiday Showcase helps students and visitors keep in mind the significance of the manor.
“Hobart Manor is the cornerstone of the campus and students and visitors can get a sense of the history of the Hobart family and our commitment to maintaining a presence in our community,” Helldobbler said.
The grounds William Paterson University currently sits on was once known as Ailsa Farms where architect John McCullough constructed the mansion. The building had many names before finally being ceremoniously named Hobart Manor after the 24th Vice President of the United States Garret Hobart during a Bicentennial celebration.

Hobart was born in Long Branch, New Jersey and attended Rutgers College where he graduated at the top of his class. Shortly after graduation, Hobart studied law and met Jennie Tuttle, who had four children with.His family lived in one of the most luxurious houses in Paterson, NJ known as Carroll Hall. Considered the “favored son of New Jersey,” Hobart served as the state’s Senator before being selected to run for Vice President alongside ex-President William McKinley. After years of service towards the development of the country, Hobart died from heart complications on November 21, 1899.
In 1902, Jennie purchased Ailsa Farms and gifted the building and land to her son, Garret Hobart Jr., who then remodeled much of the construction. Hobart Jr. expanded the mansion with an extra wing and converted the structure to a 40-room estate. Hobart Jr. died months after his mother’s passing and the estate was then sold to the city of Paterson who then moved Paterson State Teachers’ College to the new grounds.
As WPU is a public institution visitors and students are welcomed to walk around Hobart Manor to study or spend time away from the rest of the University. The manor which used to hold galas for prominent figures from New Jersey to Washington, D.C. is now home to the President’s office.
The majority of the manor’s original décor and original woodwork has stayed in place according to the wishes of the HMRC. Hobart Manor is also registered in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Visitors of the Holiday Showcase promised to be back next year with more friends and children after realizing the importance and legacy of the manor.