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Our Hours:


Tuesday through Saturday, 10am - 4pm 

Library & Archives

Wednesday through Saturday, 10am - 4pm


Historically Speaking Lecture Series

The Hartshornes of Middletown and their Portland Estate

Wednesday, May 27, 7pm

Thompson Park Visitor Center

805 Newman Springs Road

Lincroft, 07738

Presented by Joseph W. Hammond

Free and Open to the Public


Joseph W. Hammond will give a talk on the Hartshorne family of Middletown and the history of their large estate called Portland. At one time, Portland encompassed all land east of Atlantic Highlands between the Navesink River and Sandy Hook Bay, including Sandy Hook itself. Divided between two brothers in the mid-eighteenth century, the southern half of the estate remained largely intact until portions of it were acquired in 1942 by the U. S. Government to construct gun batteries for the World War II defense of New York Harbor. Ownership of Portland passed from father to son through eight generations until the bulk of it was sold in 1952.


The story of the Hartshornes and Portland will be told with many illustrations drawn from the Hartshorne Family Papers bequeathed in 2008 to the Monmouth County Historical Association by the late Daniel Ward Seitz, and by additional materials donated to the collection by the estate of the late Ellen Noonan Adams. The Hartshorne Papers are by far the largest manuscript collection acquired by the Association since its founding in 1898. It is also rich in maps, surveys, daguerreotypes, photographs and other visual materials of every description. Housed in seventy-four archive boxes, it documents every aspect of family interests and involvements from 1670 to 2014 with no gaps in its chronology. Roughly one quarter of the collection pertains to the life and California business interests of Benjamin Minturn Hartshorne (1826-1900), who amassed a large fortune in Western steam navigation and investments between 1850 and 1878. It took four years in phases to archivally arrange the Hartshorne Family Papers, and to prepare a detailed Descriptive Guide to its contents. The collection is now available for research.


Joseph W. Hammond received a BA degree in New England and American History from Boston University, and an MA degree in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program of the State University of New York, College at Oneonta. From 1978 to 1981, he served as Director of the Monmouth County Historical Association, and then pursued a career as an international management consultant. Since 2008, Hammond has been engaged for numerous projects pertaining to Monmouth County and New Jersey history. It was his special privilege to become Consulting Historian/Archivist for the Hartshorne Family Papers project.


40th Annual Garden Party

Sunday, June 28th


To purchase tickets click here.

For more information call 732-462-1466 x19


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Updated 22 May 2015




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This website was funded by the Marion Huber Trust

Copyright © 2015 Monmouth County Historical Association. All rights reserved. The contents of this site, including all images and text, are for personal, educational, non-commercial use only and may not be reproduced in any form without the permission of Monmouth County Historical Association.

Museum & Library
70 Court Street
Freehold, NJ 07728
Monmouth County Historical Association received a general operating grant from the the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State, and an Institutional and Financial Stabilization Grant from the New Jersey Cultural Trust, a division of the Department of State.
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