Historical sites throughout the county will open their doors on Saturday and Sunday for the fourth annual “Weekend in Old Monmouth.”
“The tour includes 45 sites and each illustrates a piece of local history,” Randall Gabrielan, executive director of the Historical Commission, said in a press release issued by the county.
Hours for most sites are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 5.
The West Long Branch site on the tour is Monmouth University's Wilson Hall.
Wilson Hall is one of six new locations on the 2013 which also includes: Keyport Fire Museum in Keyport, Monmouth Battle Monument at the Monmouth County Courthouse in Freehold, Old Yellow Meeting House in Upper Freehold, Red Bank Woman’s Club in Red Bank and Roosevelt Borough.
“Despite Superstorm Sandy’s best efforts, all but one of the sites from last year’s tour are back,” Freeholder Lillian G. Burry said in the release. “We are thrilled that all the sites came through the storm and are enthusiastically getting ready for this year’s Weekend in Old Monmouth.”
The tours also represent several historic themes:
- Shore: While the tour includes sites on the north, (Sandy Hook), 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 Ocean.
- Faith: Architectural gems of each of the last three centuries, 18th century 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 Fort Hancock at Sandy Hook, the most heavily fortified installation on the East Coast for much of the 20th century, 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.
- Preservation: Marlpit Hall in Middletown was the first restored house museum in the region, dating from its 1930s opening.
“The outlined tours help put the pieces together thematically or geographically. Many previous tour visitors have elected to see the places in an order of their own selection. The proposed starting points are just suggestions for those who may be seeking guidance,” Gabrielan said in the release.
Other elements on the tour also include lighthouses, Victorian homes, agriculture, industry, education and science.
The following sites are included on the tour:Tour Site Municipality Strauss Mansion Museum
Atlantic Highlands Eatontown Museum Eatontown Village Inn Englishtown M.C. Historical Association Museum
Freehold Monmouth Battlefield Monument Freehold Covenhoven House Freehold West Freehold School Museum
Freehold Township Oakley Farm House
Freehold Township Jewish Heritage Museum of M.C. Freehold Township 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 Fire 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 Red Bank Woman’s Club Red Bank
Roosevelt BoroughRoosevelt Borough Seabright Lawn Tennis & Cricket Club Rumson First Presbyterian Church
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 Walnford, Historic Upper Freehold Old Yellow Meeting House Upper Freehold Old Wall Historical Society
Wall InfoAge Science Center (Camp Evans)
Wall Allaire Historic Village Wall Wilson Hall at Monmouth University West Long Branch
More information about Weekend in Old Monmouth is available on the county’s website at visitmonmouth.com.