crewelwork bed hangingsPHOTO: Mid-18th century American crewelwork bed hangings. Photo credit: McKay Imaging, LLC

FREEHOLD – Monmouth County Historical Association’s newest exhibition, Hartshorne: Eight Generations and ­Their Highlands Estate Called Portland, will open on October 7 at the Museum at 70 Court Street.

A preview reception to celebrate the opening will be held on Thursday, October 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with Curator of Museum Collections Joseph W. Hammond. The reception is open to the public at no charge and refreshments will be served.

From about 1676 to 1952, eight generations of the Hartshorne family resided on their estate at the Highlands called Portland. At its maximum extent, the Portland tract encompassed more than 2,400 acres between the Navesink River and Sandy Hook Bay, including Sandy Hook.

This exhibition tells the story of those individuals through original documents, artifacts, paintings, textiles, silver and furniture owned by the Hartshornes over those three centuries Of special interest are one of the most complete sets of mid-18th century American crewelwork bed hangings known to survive, a silver-headed walking stick owned by Richard Hartshorne, the immigrant, and a large collection of ancestral miniature portraits and daguerreotypes still owned by descendants. Also included is much material on the California Gold Rush, and the West Coast career of Benjamin Minturn Hartshorne (1826–1900), whose fortune transformed Portland from a working farm into a country gentleman’s estate.

The exhibition draws on the collections of Monmouth County Historical Association, the Monmouth County Park System, and the privately held treasures of Hartshorne descendants.   Also on display and open for the enjoyment of guests at the reception is That Memorable Sabbath-Day: The Battle of Monmouth in Drawings, Paintings & Prints.

This program is made possible in part by funding from a New Jersey Historical Commission Grant and sponsorship from Amboy Bank and Investors Bank.

Monmouth County Historical Association, a private non-profit organization that has been working to preserve history and provide educational opportunities since its founding in 1898 comprises a Museum, Archives, Research Library in Freehold and Five Historic House Museums located around the county.  The Museum and Research Library is located at 70 Court Street in Freehold.  Museum hours are: Tuesdays - Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Research Library hours are: Wednesdays –Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Five Historic House Museums around the County are open seasonally. House Museum hours generally are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  For further information about the Association, please call (732) 462-1466 or visit the web site at www.monmouthhistory.org.

Monmouth County Historical Association received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.