Spend a weekend steeped in history

Weekend in Old Monmouth tour of 40 historic sites May 5-6

The Weekend in Old Monmouth tour returns for the fourth year with 40 historic sites throughout Monmouth County open to visitors interested in local history. Hours for most sites are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 6.

“The tour includes 40 sites, and each illustrates a piece of local history,” Randall Gabrielan, executive director of the Monmouth County Historical Commission, which coordinates the weekend event, said in a press release. “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 to get people started.”

Start planning a route by previewing tour sites at www.visitmonmouth.com. A detailed tour book and tour map are available on the website. On the tour dates, each tour stop will also have maps and booklets available. Tour options represent several historic themes:

Shore: This tour includes sites on the north, Sandy Hook; central, Ocean Grove; and southern shores, National Guard Militia Museum, Sea Girt; and 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.

Revolutionary War: The American 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, and 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 exhibits and fighter aircraft and tanks.

 Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove Preservation: Marlpit Hall in Middletown was the first restored house museum in the region, dating from its 1930s opening.

Other elements on the tour include lighthouses, Victorian homes, agriculture, industry, education and science. All of the sites contributed to the importance of preservation and history throughout Monmouth County. The county supports the preservation movement annually by awarding preservation grants to historic sites. Many of the tour locations have received grants in the past.

 Sandy Hook Lighthouse Sandy Hook Lighthouse A site list and map are available on the county’s website at www.visitmonmouth.com

Tour sites are:

All Saints Memorial Church, Middletown; Allaire Historic Village, Wall; Allen House, Shrewsbury; Ardena School Museum, Howell; Burrowes Mansion Museum, Matawan; Centennial Cottage, Ocean Grove, Neptune; Christ Church, Shrewsbury; Covenhoven House, Freehold; Dr Cooke’s Medical Office, Holmdel; Eatontown Museum, Eatontown; Eden Woolley House, Ocean.

Also, Old First Church, Middletown; First Presbyterian Church, Rumson; Friends Meeting House, Shrewsbury; Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove; Holmes- Hendrickson House, Holmdel; InfoAge Science Center (Camp Evans), Wall; Jewish Heritage Museum of Monmouth County, Freehold Township; Keyport Steamboat Dock Museum, Keyport; Longstreet Farm, Historic, Holmdel; MacKenzie House, Howell; Marlpit Hall & Taylor-Butler House, Middletown.

 Burrowes Mansion, Matawan Burrowes Mansion, Matawan And, Monmouth Battlefield State Park, Manalapan; Monmouth County Historical Association Museum, Freehold; Joseph Murray Farmhouse, Middletown;

National Guard Militia Museum, Sea Girt; Oakley Farm House, Freehold Township; Ocean Grove Historical Museum, Ocean Grove; St. Catharine Church, Spring Lake; Sandy Hook Lighthouse, Middletown; Sea Bright Lawn Tennis & Cricket Club, Rumson; Seabrook-Wilson House, Middletown; Shrewsbury Historical Museum, Shrewsbury; Strauss Mansion Museum, Atlantic Highlands; Old Tennent Church, Manalapan; Twin Lights Lighthouse, Highlands; Village Inn, Englishtown; Old Wall Historical Society, Wall; Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold; and the West Freehold School Museum, Freehold Township.

 Christ Church, Shrewsbury Christ Church, Shrewsbury