Family Trip: Jonathan Edwards 2010

This fall we are planning a return to homeschooling and along with it we are planning one course for the kids that focuses on colonial American history. My hope is that this learning will lead up nicely to a short road trip in October to track the footprints of Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and the Great Awakening.

The trip goals are simple:

(1) visit key places in the life of Jonathan Edwards,

(2) learn about the Great Awakening,

(3) better appreciate domestic life and architecture in Colonial America,

(4) better understand the 18th century tension between colonists and native Americans,

(5) appreciate the marriage of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards,

(6) learn about the person and preaching of George Whitefield and his initial meeting with Edwards in Northampton,

(7) learn about David Brainerd and the frontier missions work with the indians that Edwards later participated, and

(8) appreciate nature’s beauty.

The route will largely unfold chronologically in an 874 mile long balloon-shaped loop (see map here). The planning is early and things will change but what follows are all the locations I’m planning to hit. Most of them I have found and marked with GPS coordinates (because I’m nerdy like that). I’ll fill in the locations as I find them.

Please tell me if you know of other landmarks of interest that I have not mentioned here. We cannot see everything (sadly New Haven, CT got an early x). Please tell me what I’ve missed.


East Windsor, CT: 1703-1716

Timothy Edwards’ church
Timothy was Edwards father and he was a pastor. This is the site of the East Windsor awakening of 1716. For background reading see Marsden, 33-34.
Location: 41.830287,-72.617598

Jonathan Edwards’ birthplace (Oct 5, 1703) and childhood
For background reading on Edwards’ childhood and his early memories of the natives see Marsden, 11-24.
Location: 41.844849,-72.611963 (birthplace marker)

Edwards Cemetery
Resting place for his parents (Timothy and Esther Edwards) and two daughters (Jerusha and Lucy).
Location: 41.848644,-72.609842

Hike: Windsor Meadows State Park
We plan to hike a bit along the way so I throw this in as one option.
Location: 41.813263,-72.647379


Enfield, CT: 1741

Sinners in the Hands” sermon location
On the July 8, 1741 sermon see Marsden, 219-226; Murray, 168-170. Listen to Mark Dever read/preach the message in 58-minutes (
Location: 41.971588,-72.592761 (stone marker)

Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail
A beautiful <2 mile hike. Read Edwards appreciation for nature’s beauty in Miscellany #108 (Works, 13.278-280)
Location: 41.986587,-72.605060


Northampton, MA: 1726-1750

Read Marsden, 110-374

Historic Northampton Museum
Gateway to Jonathan Edwards walking tour. The website reads ( “The Museum and Gift Shop are open daily, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM until 5 PM and on Sunday from Noon until 5 PM. Historic Northampton is closed on Mondays & Holidays.”
Location: 46 Bridge St, Northampton, MA 01060

Edwards’ home
Read about their home (Marsden, 320-323) and the historic meeting there between Jonathan Edwards and Whitefield on Oct. 17, 1740 (see Dallimore, 1:537-540; Marsden, 206-213).
location: ?? Smith College ??

Jonathan Edwards’ church location
See the commemorative plaque for the 1737 church on the front steps and the JE plaque inside. For background read about the periods of awakenings in the church read Marsden, 150-169.
Location: 42.319062,-72.630887

Bridge Street Cemetery
Resting place of David Brainerd, Jerusha Edwards, and many of the Stoddards. Read about Brainerd and Jerusha in Marsden, 320-340.
Location: 42.327452,-72.629693


Stockbridge, CT: 1750-1758

Read Marsden, 375-428

Morning reading: Sermon, “Christ Is to the Heart Like a River to a Tree,” a brief sacramental message read and translated to the Mahican Indians in Stockbridge in August of 1751 (Works, 25:602-604).

Stockbridge Library Association
Jonathan Edwards artifacts on display.
Location: 46 Main St, Stockbridge, MA

Mission House
Read about the mission house in Marsden, 375-380, 390-391. The website reads ( “Open Memorial Day Weekend to Columbus Day [2nd Mon in Oct], Thursday through Monday, 11am–3pm.”
Location: 42.283161,-73.315984

Edwards’ home
Where Edwards wrote Freedom of the Will, The End for Which God Created the World, and Original Sin.
Location: perhaps 42.283143,-73.314487 (Directions “Go down street [W] a little ways from library, home site on right marked by small marble fountain.”)

UPDATED: Edwards’ church location
Location: perhaps in the area of 42.283788,-73.319806 [HT: Martyn]

UPDATED: Edwards’ monument
Location: 42.284223,-73.320254 [HT: Martyn]


Princeton, NJ: 1758

Princeton Cemetery
Resting place for Jonathan and Sarah Edwards. Readings: Marriage summary (find a good one); passings and burials in Marsden, 490-498.
Location: 40.352509,-74.660135

Nassau Hall
Period building
Location: 40.348641,-74.659301

MacLean House
Period building (back side only)
Location: 40.349063,-74.660211


Philadelphia, PA

George Whitefield statue
On the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, which began in 1740 as a meeting place for the crowds who flooded to hear Whitefield preach. The statue was commissioned and purchased by Benjamin Franklin. Franklin said: “I knew him intimately upwards of thirty years. His integrity, disinterestedness and indefatigable zeal in prosecuting every good work I have never seen equaled and shall never see excelled.”
Location: 39.950452,-75.197347


Misc. places of interest we will not see

George Whitefield Rock
Whitefield preached from this boulder to a gathering of a few hundred people on Oct 16, 1740 on his way to Northampton.
Location: 42.231930,-72.126419

16 thoughts on “Family Trip: Jonathan Edwards 2010

  1. It looks like you have a great trip ahead of you. I’m originally from Connecticut. It’s funny that I grew up there but have never been to any of the specific sites you’re planning to see. I’ve been to most of the cities you’re going to, but not the specific churches and stuff. But I will tell you that October is a great time to visit New England. You should be able to get a lot of great photos of the fall leaves. I hope you will post some of them.

  2. OK … the thoroughness is one thing … the GPS coordinates … I have to agree … nerdy. Though I do the same thing with fishing spots.

    Looks awesome Tony.


  3. Hey Tony, this sounds great! If you’d like some hospitality for you and the family, please drop me an email. I also know a few brothers in that area who are somewhat experts on these matters (my friend Steve Graham could take you to the famous Whitefield Rock). I have done most of the sites myself (years ago with a friend and JSP himself). Keep us all posted.
    dave bissett (we met at Banner Conf a few years ago).

  4. Hi Tony.

    Sounds like a really excellent trip! I am a member of a Sovereign Grace Church in NJ (Trinity Fellowship Church). When you get to the NJ leg of the trip you may also want to include a vist to Old Tennent Church in Manalapan NJ. Here is a link about the history of the church:

    If you have any questions or need additional info let me know.

  5. Thanks for doing this. More people need to see these places and understand our colonial history as well as the great theological minds that gave us our evangelical heritage.

  6. I am viewing your trip plans in the summer of 2012. I am wondering whether you took this trip and if so, do you have any comments to make about it. And do you still have your cancelled itinerary for New Haven, Ct. available for viewing?

  7. I’m six years late on this post, but I’ve been considering making a pilgrimage to some sites summer 2017 and when googling your blog post came up. So…how was it? What would you recommend from your initial list? Thanks!

    Fellow sojourner,

  8. Thanks, Tony!

    I’m doing a Samuel Hopkins tour this week, and this list has been very helpful.

  9. Dwight L. Moody has a large legacy in Northfield, Massachusetts. It is worth including on any American/church history tour! I would recommend that you read up on him first to have the best experience. Although the last time I was there, there were no tours of his house, the grounds of Northfield School, now lying quietly there, are just amazing – the buildings beautiful! The house he was born in, and his grave are all there. Also visit the other school, now a college, that he first established for young men. The wooded driveway into the second property is lit with what looks like old gas lamps (although probably not gas) and has such a charm to it. So much godly history there. I also believe that his library is intact, but not accessible.

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