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, 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 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.
Link area sites on the tour include: