2023 ANNUAL APPEAL
These are historic times....literally.
We are in the midst of celebrating the Monmouth County Historical Association's 125th Anniversary this year, and one trip through any of our historic houses or museum will reflect just how essential these 125 years have been to preserving and sharing our local, state, and national history. Our current exhibit in Freehold, Highlights: Celebrating 125 Years of MCHA, features a wide array of objects from the collection that help tell these wonderfully unique stories.
MCHA attracts so many beneath its tent - most obviously dedicated history lovers, teachers, students, historians, and genealogists. Whatever your personal connection to the Association, it would be impossible to provide the many educational and informative programs and services without your support. With that in mind, we humbly ask that you make a gift to the Annual Appeal to honor this critical year and support our plans for the future, enabling MCHA to complete these significant projects and more in the months ahead:
With generous support from the New Jersey Historic Trust, we are entering "Phase II” – architectural probing and design - of critical restoration of the circa 1710 Allen House at Shrewsbury’s historic “four corners.” Our goal is to complete the restoration of this historic site in 2026 so that it can be enjoyed for generations to come. MCHA will need to raise approximately $750K in matching funds over the next two years.
Continued expansion of the first in our Living and Breathing series, Beneath the Floorboards: Whispers of the Enslaved at Marlpit Hall, our two-time NJ Historic Commission award-winning exhibition and basis for the professional development program.
The in-person and digital education program continues to evolve, benefiting hundreds of local teachers and thousands of students. In the summer of 2023, MCHA hosted the second annual Elizabeth Van Cleaf Institute, a multi-site professional development program in conjunction with Monmouth University and the Monmouth and Ocean County Educational Services Commission.
In November 2023, we will open Choices at the 1753 Covenhoven House in Freehold. This interpretive exhibit will tell the stories of Elizabeth Covenhoven, her family, and the enslaved, exploring the difficult choices they made during the British occupation of their home in the days prior to the Battle of Monmouth.
With eyes on our nation’s 250th Anniversary in 2026, we are proud to partner with Monmouth County in planning for such a momentous event. In the summer of 2024, MCHA will open the first of three planned exhibitions centered on the Revolutionary experience in Monmouth. The first, On the Edge of War, will explore the various perspectives of New Jersey residents as they braced for war.
Middletown’s “Orchard Home,” commonly known as the “Taylor Butler House,” serves as a wonderful rotating exhibition space for both MCHA and its community partners. Recently, visitors were treated to Julia’s Wardrobe, a beautiful exhibition of carefully preserved 19th century gowns and accessories once owned by Julia Norton Hartshorne, who tragically died at the young age of thirty in 1869.
Donations, house restoration pledges, and sponsorships of exhibitions are much appreciated and will help us with the vital work we strive to deliver in our community.
Thank you for your consideration and commitment to the goals and essential work of the Monmouth County Historical Association!