Each of Morris County's municipalities has something to offer the heritage tourist. There are many highlighting the county’s Revolutionary War-era past, its rich contributions to early Industrial America, the Gilded Age and its emergence in the 20th century as a cradle of innovation in the pharmaceutical & telecommunications industries. Home to America’s first national historical park, dedicated to preserving the history of General George Washington and the Continental Army who camped locally in the winters of 1777 and 1779-80.
In the years following the Revolutionary War, Morris County became a leader in the iron ore mining and fabrication industry. It was in Morristown that the steam boiler and some of the machinery for the S.S. Savannah, the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and parts of the first American locomotive were manufactured. The telegraph was perfected in Morris County by Samuel F. B. Morse and Alfred Vail. In fact, the old barn in which the two men conducted their experiments and sent the first message "A patient waiter is no loser,” still stands.
In 1831, the Morris Canal, conceived and developed by Morristown resident George P. Macculloch, was begun. Crossing the state from Phillipsburg to Newark, a distance of 102 miles, it played a major role in the movement of iron, coal and freight from mines to factories, and made Morris County an important transportation center.
The Morris County iron industry faced ruin when iron ore was discovered near Lake Superior in Michigan where it could be mined more cheaply. As the population of the county grew and the methods of transportation improved, new industries sprang up throughout the county, many using the iron ore as raw materials for finished products.