LINCROFT – Join Monmouth County Historical Association on Thursday, May 4 at 7:30pm at the Thompson Park Visitors Center, 805 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ for a lecture presented by Gail Hunton on Hartshorne Woods in the Highlands.

Gail L. Hunton is Chief of the Acquisition and Design Department for the Monmouth County Park System and will present her lecture, The Legacy of Hartshorne Woods in the Highlands. The scenic forests, coastal bluffs, and waterfront vistas of the Navesink Highlands have been celebrated for centuries. Novelist James Fenimore Cooper called them one of the most beautiful combinations of land and water in America. The entire area was once part of the Hartshorne family estate called Portland, which at its maximum extent amounted to more than 2,400 acres. By the 1960s, development was rapidly changing the character of the Highlands, and the preservation of Hartshorne Woods at its core was in no way a sure thing. 

Learn how Hartshorne Woods Park was born and how the park has preserved one of Monmouth County’s greatest natural and historical legacies. Today the park includes 794 acres of woodland and waterfront, as well as two historic sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places – the Hartshorne home called Portland Place, and the former Navesink Military Reservation. Hunton will share exciting ongoing work to preserve this heritage for all to enjoy.

As part of Monmouth County Historical Association’s current exhibition, entitled Hartshorne: Eight Generations and Their Highlands Estate Called Portland, MCHA has scheduled a series of events to complement the story. “Gail’s lecture fits well with our current exhibition on the Hartshorne family and we are pleased to partner with both the Monmouth County Park System and Monmouth University to complement this exhibition and to draw attention to the local history of Monmouth County,” said Director of Collections Joseph Hammond.  

The Hartshorne exhibition tells the story of this Monmouth County family and their

historic property from the 1660s to the mid-20th century. At its maximum extent, the Portland estate encompassed more than 2,400 acres, including all of the Highlands of the Navesink plus Sandy Hook. Few families in New Jersey have placed so much of their history as seen through documents and artifacts in the public domain. Fewer still have seen so much of their historic real estate become public parkland for all to enjoy.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit monmouthhistory.org or call 732-462-1466.