strauss mansionATLANTIC HIGHLANDS – Al fresco dining and a sunset cruise with a Shore Lore theme are on the agenda for end of summer celebrations sponsored by the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society.

In addition to the end of summer variety, the monthly candlelit cabaret setting held the last Thursday of each month will feature Orlando Alvarado on Aug. 29 at 7:15 p.m. at the Strauss House Mansion.  Hosted by Audra Mariel, acclaimed for unique sound and interpretations of  standard music, the August program will feature Alvarado performing Afro Cuban Latin jazz. Admission is $15 plus a food or beverage to share. 

the  Porch Supper Potluck  will take held on the newly restored first floor wrap-around porch of the Strauss Mansion on Wednesday, August 21 , at 6:30 pm. During this free event, the public is invited to share their favorite food and beverage while relaxing on the spacious porch and enjoying a delightful summer evening, a reminder of the past and a 21st    century recapture of how the Strauss family would have entertained and relaxed.  

Audra Mariel and Tom Monda  will provide delightful musical accompaniment during the dining event. While dining during the Strauss Mansion era was a more formal, multi-course sit-down event in the sumptuous dining room, the Strauss’ would have frequently entertained their friends on the porch — most likely for afternoon tea — to enjoy the cooling ocean breezes wafting up to their hilltop summer cottage.  Mimicking English Victorian society, afternoon tea was a pastime of the well-to-do, fulfilling the purposes of socializing, event planning, introductions and informal business meetings, as well as a perfect platform for gossip, a major pastime of the day. The four o’clock tea ritual became known as “low tea”  and tea fare included items such as bite-sized sandwiches made popular by the Earl of Sandwich, as well as a plethora of sweets and pastries.

A three-hour sunset cruise on Sandy Hook Bay is planned for Saturday, Sept. 7 at 5 p.m. aboard Capt. Dan’s Mariner with the theme, "Shore Lore". Local author and news reporter Muriel J. Smith will be guest speaker on the cruise.  Smith’s latest book, “Hidden History of Monmouth County,” which she co-authored with Rick Geffken, was recently released by Arcadia Press and includes a compilation of short stories about a variety of historic events and people in the Bayshore area and other sections of Monmouth County . During the cruise, Smith will highlight tales of the waterfront towns the Mariner will pass on the cruise, as well as personages popular as bootleggers during Prohibition, local heroes in war and writers who appreciated the beauty of the Bayshore.  Reservations and advance payment are required for the cruise. Further information is available by emailing Ken at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Mariner is a Classic Boat Rides 41-passenger, open air wooded boat docked at the Atlantic Highlands Harbor on Pier 1. 

Sandwiches and salad will be served on the cruise, and a cash bar will be available. Tickets are $55.. Rain date for the event is will Sept. 21.  

All proceeds from fund raising activities by the Historical Society, go towards restoration of the historic mansion, completed in stages with the latest concentration on replacing the walkway and kitchen door and restoring the upper porch.