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70 Court Street, Freehold, New Jersey

Our Hours

          Museum: Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 4pm

                Research Library: Wednesday - Saturday 10am - 4pm

                Offices: Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm

                Historic House Museums are Closed for the Season. Visits can be arranged by appointment.

Taylor-Butler House will be open Special Hours during October for viewing of the exhibition Faces From Our Past: Portraits from the Permanent Collection


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We are currently undergoing a search for a Director of Education and Guest Experiences. Click here for a detailed description. Contact employment@monmouthhistory.org to submit your resume.


Hartshorne: Eight Generations and ­Their Highlands Estate Called Portland

Gallery Workshop

Wednesday, October 26

At the Museum: 70 Court Street, Freehold

Curator Joseph Hammond will conduct a Gallery Workshop on Wednesday 10/26 at 10:30. Resigstation $10. Call 732-462-1466 x. 11 or email pgithens@monmouthhistory.org to register.


3 Centuries, 8 Generations, 1 Family

Now Open

At the Museum: 70 Court Street, Freehold

Monmouth County Historical Association’s newest exhibition, Hartshorne: Eight Generations and ­Their Highlands Estate Called Portland, will open on October 7 at the Museum at 70 Court Street.

A preview reception to celebrate the opening will be held on Thursday, October 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with Curator of Museum Collections Joseph W. Hammond. The reception is open to the public at no charge and refreshments will be served.

 From about 1676 to 1952, eight generations of the Hartshorne family resided on their estate at the Highlands called Portland. At its maximum extent, the Portland tract encompassed more than 2,400 acres between the Navesink River and Sandy Hook Bay, including Sandy Hook.

This exhibition tells the story of those individuals through original documents, artifacts, paintings, textiles, silver and furniture owned by the Hartshornes over those three centuries Of special interest are one of the most complete sets of mid-18th century American crewelwork bed hangings known to survive, a silver-headed walking stick owned by Richard Hartshorne, the immigrant, and a large collection of ancestral miniature portraits and daguerreotypes still owned by descendants. Also included is much material on the California Gold Rush, and the West Coast career of Benjamin Minturn Hartshorne (1826–1900), whose fortune transformed Portland from a working farm into a country gentleman’s estate.

The exhibition draws on the collections of Monmouth County Historical Association, the Monmouth County Park System, and the privately held treasures of Hartshorne descendants.   

This program is made possible in part by funding from a New Jersey Historical Commission Grant and sponsorship from Amboy Bank and Investors Bank.


Faces From Our Past:
Portraits From the Permanent Collection

Now Open at Taylor-Butler House

Special Hours During October

This exhibition features a selection of portraits from the permanent collection of Monmouth County Historical Association that surveys the styles of portraiture available to residents of New Jersey and elsewhere in the nineteenth century. Those on view range from highly polished works by professional artists from New York and Philadelphia to the colorful efforts of local painters whose work today is considered folk art. Examples include portraits of young children, adults, and those who have reached advanced age. Many of the sitters lived in Middletown, Red Bank, Shrewsbury, and Holmdel, in addition to elsewhere in New Jersey and New York.

The demand for likenesses peaked in the nineteenth century. But after the Civil War, photography generally supplanted the work that was formerly the realm of resident and itinerant painters. Artists represented in the exhibition include Micah Williams from New Brunswick, John Bradley of New York, Robert Street of Philadelphia, famous itinerant Ammi Phillips, and others. Of special interest is a large group of portraits by Harvey Jenkins, Middletown’s own resident portrait painter from 1849 to his death in 1908.

The Taylor-Butler House, built about 1853, provides a uniquely suitable setting for displaying portraiture. Its high ceilings, gracious spaces and refined architectural detailing accommodate these works beautifully, many of which are quite large.


That Memorable Sabbath-day:

The Battle of Monmouth in Drawings, Paintings & Prints

Now Open

At the Museum: 70 Court Street, Freehold

That Memorable Sabbath-Day: The Battle of Monmouth in Drawings, Paintings & Prints explores artistic interpretations of the Battle of Monmouth. The battle was fought on June 28, 1778, a Sunday. During the mid-nineteenth century, as Americans became increasingly interested in their country’s rise to nationhood, depictions of historical events such as the Battle of Monmouth became popular with audiences throughout the eastern United States. Artists––professional and amateur alike––responded by creating drawings, paintings, and prints that brought the battle to life. The Association’s collections include a large number of such works.

This exhibition features a range of interpretations, from grand manner history painting and pictorial records of a documentary nature to scenes of romance, fantasy, drama, and outright caricature––all of which, whether grounded in fact or fiction, helped shape our awareness of what the American historian Benson J. Lossing (1813–91) described as “that memorable Sabbath-day in June, 1778.”



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Updated 13 September, 2016



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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.

This website was funded by the Marion Huber Trust


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.
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