The 40 participating “Weekend in Old Monmouth” historic sites are putting the finishing touches on their preparation for this weekend’s event.
That’s when most of Monmouth County historic sites will open their doors to visitors interested in local history from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 6. The tour includes lighthouses, Victorian homes, farms, museums, churches and a working gristmill.
“This is a great way to see so much of Monmouth County’s history in a day or two,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the county’s Historical Commission, coordinator of the weekend event.
“Weekend in Old Monmouth is a special tour project that synchronizes the hours of operation so history buffs can travel by foot, bicycle or car to take in many of the county’s rich historic places,” Burry said.
You can start planning your route by downloading the tour booklet and map from the county’s website. Also, each tour stop will have maps and booklets available.
The tours also represent several historic themes:
- Shore: Sites on the county’s north, central and southern shores are one way to feel and appreciate Monmouth County’s relationship to the Ocean.
- Faith: Architectural gems of each of the last three centuries are tied to significant parts of American history and includes the Friends Meeting House in Shrewsbury that is one of the oldest worship traditions in Monmouth County.
- The Revolutionary War: The Revolution is visited here, not only the major sites in the Monmouth Battlefield area, but in lesser known places such as the Burrowes Mansion in Matawan, Marlpit Hall and the Murray Farm, both in Middletown.
- Military: There is Fort Hancock at Sandy Hook, the most heavily fortified installation on the East Coast for much of the 20th century and the relatively unknown museum at the New Jersey National Guard Militia Museum in Sea Girt with museum exhibits and fighter aircraft and tanks.
- Preservation: Marlpit Hall in Middletown was the first restored house museum in the region, dating from its 1930s opening.
All of the sites contributed to the importance of preservation and history throughout Monmouth County. The county supports the preservation movement annually by awarding preservation grants to historic sites. Many of the tour locations have received grants form the historic commission in the past.
The tour sites are as follows:
Atlantic Highlands Eatontown Museum Eatontown Village Inn Englishtown M.C. Historical Association Museum
Freehold Covenhoven House Freehold West Freehold School Museum
Freehold Township Oakley Farm House
Freehold Township Jewish Heritage Museum of M.C. Freehold Township Walnford, Historic Upper Freehold Twin Lights Lighthouse Highlands Dr Cooke’s Medical Office Holmdel Holmes-Hendrickson House Holmdel Longstreet Farm, Historic Holmdel Ardena School Museum Howell MacKenzie House Howell Keyport Steamboat Dock Museum Keyport Monmouth Battlefield State Park Manalapan Old Tennent Church Manalapan Burrowes Mansion Museum Matawan Marlpit Hall & Taylor-Butler House Middletown Joseph Murray Farmhouse Middletown Sandy Hook Lighthouse Middletown Seabrook-Wilson House Middletown All Saints Memorial Church Middletown Old First Church Middletown Centennial Cottage
Neptune, Ocean Grove
Great Auditorium Ocean Grove Ocean Grove Historical Museum
Ocean Grove Eden Woolley House
Ocean Seabright Lawn Tennis & Cricket Club Rumson
Rumson National Guard Militia Museum
Sea Girt Shrewsbury Historical Museum Shrewsbury Allen House Shrewsbury Christ Church Shrewsbury Friends Meeting House
Shrewsbury St Catharine’s Church Spring Lake Old Wall Historical Society
Wall InfoAge Science Center (Camp Evans)
Wall Allaire Historic Village Wall