PHOTO: All Saints Episcopal Memorial Church, Middletown. Courtesy, Allan Dean
FREEHOLD, NJ – The annual “Weekend in Old Monmouth” event returns the first weekend in May with 48 historic sites throughout Monmouth County opening their doors to visitors all at the same time. The tour book and map as well as a link to the story map are now available at VisitMonmouth.com
“Weekend in Old Monmouth is a wonderful event for anyone interested in history and architecture,” said Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the County’s Historical Commission, which is the sponsor of the weekend event. “History buffs can travel by foot, bicycle or car to enjoy and experience many of the county’s rich historic places all in one weekend.”
The 2017 tour has gone hi-tech to enable history enthusiasts with an internet connection and home computer or smartphone to take an e-tour of the sites. Through an online Story Map Tour, each tour site is presented as a “story point” on an interactive map. Interested tour-takers may visit several points on the story map to learn about a tour route. Clicking-on an individual story point will reveal more about a story point.
The sites on the tour are generally operated independently. In addition to the waived fees, the hours of operation are all the same for the two days. Hours for most sites are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 6 and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 7. Tour visitors can see the places in any order and pick up the tour book and map at their first stop.
Three tour sites are new: the Crawford House (c. early 1800s) in Tinton Falls, the Spring Lake Historical Society Museum in Spring Lake and the Stephen Crane House (c. 1878) in Asbury Park.
Highlights of the tour include Victorian homes, churches, lighthouses, museums, agriculture, industry, education and science. Each site contributes to the importance of preservation and history throughout Monmouth County. The tours also represent several historic themes:
- Shore: While the tour includes sites on the north, (Twin Lights and Seabrook Wilson House), central (Ocean Grove) and southern shores, (National Guard Militia Museum) the drive along the shore is one of the best ways to feel and appreciate Monmouth County’s relationship to the Atlantic Ocean.
- Faith: Architectural gems of each of the last three centuries, 18thcentury Christ Church in Shrewsbury, 19th century All Saints Memorial in Middletown and 20th century St. Catharine’s in Spring Lake. In addition, Old Tennent Church in Manalapan is closely tied to the Battle of Monmouth and the Friends Meeting House in Shrewsbury represents 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 the National Historic Landmark Monmouth Battlefield in Manalapan and one of the more fascinating, but lesser known museums, the New Jersey National Guard Militia Museum in Sea Girt with museum exhibits and fighter aircraft and tanks.
The County supports the preservation movement annually by awarding grants to historic sites. Many of the tour locations have received monies in the past.
The annual Weekend in Old Monmouth tour is coordinated by the Monmouth County Historical Commission (Historical Commission). The Historical Commission is dedicated to the preservation of the County's rich historic heritage. As advocates for the preservation of historic properties, sites and projects, the Commission encourages citizens to be involved as well.
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2017 Weekend in Old Monmouth Tour sites
Tour Site, Municipality
All Saints Memorial Church, Middletown
Allaire Historic Village, Wall
Allen House, Shrewsbury Boro
Allentown Presbyterian Church, Allentown
Ardena School Museum, Howell
Baird House, Millstone Twp.
Burrowes Mansion Museum, Matawan
Christ Church, Shrewsbury Borough
Covenhoven House, Freehold Borough
Craig House, Freehold Twp.
*Crawford House, Tinton Falls
Dr. Cooke’s Medical Office, Holmdel
Eatontown Museum, Eatontown
First Presbyterian Church, Rumson
Friends Meeting House, Shrewsbury Borough
Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove, Neptune Twp.
Holmes-Hendrickson House, Holmdel
InfoAge Science Center (Camp Evans), Wall
Jewish Heritage Museum of Mon. Co., Freehold Twp. (open on Sunday only)
Keyport Fire Museum, Keyport
Longstreet Farm (Historic), Holmdel
Marlpit Hall, Middletown
Monmouth County Historical Assn. Museum, Freehold Borough
Montrose Schoolhouse, Colts Neck
Joseph Murray Farmhouse, Middletown
National Guard Militia Museum, Sea Girt
Oakley Farm House, Freehold
Ocean Grove Historical Museum, Ocean Grove, Neptune Twp.
Ocean Township Historical Museum
Old First Church, Middletown
Old Tennent Church, Manalapan
Old Wall Historical Society, Wall
Old Yellow Meeting House, Upper Freehold
Parker Homestead, Little Silver
Red Bank Woman’s Club, Red Bank
Roosevelt Borough (Jersey Homestead) Historic District
St. Catharine Church, Spring Lake
St. Peter’s Church, Freehold Borough
Seabright Lawn Tennis & Cricket Club, Rumson
Seabrook-Wilson House, Middletown
Shrewsbury Historical Museum, Shrewsbury
*Spring Lake Historical Society Museum, Spring Lake
*Stephen Crane House, Asbury Park
Strauss Mansion Museum, Atlantic Highlands
Taylor-Butler House, Middletown
Twin Lights, Highlands
Village Inn, Englishtown
Walnford (Historic), Upper Freehold