Giving Back

Madison Residents Participate in the Annual Thursday Morning Club House Tour

Residents at the community house for lunch Credits: Jason Cohen
Residents at the community house for lunch Credits: Jason Cohen
Beverly Pickering with her friends on the way to see a house Credits: Jason Cohen
Pictures in 32 Crescent Road Credits: Jason Cohen
A bedroom in 32 Crescent Road Credits: Jason Cohen
The outside of 32 Crescent Road Credits: Jason Cohen
The outside of 637 Spring Valley Road in Harding Credits: Jason Cohen

MADISON, NJ - On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, Madison residents had the privilege to view six historical homes in town as they participated in the annual Thursday Morning Club House Tour.

There were five households on display in Madison and one in Harding. It is held every other year and new homes participate each time. Some homeowners are present during the tour, while others are not and the Morning Club provides docents who give tours instead.

There was a sale of fashion and jewelry accessories by Patchpoint of Short Hills and Silver Touches of Florham Park, complimentary coffee from 9 to 11 a.m.,  a homemade lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and members donated baked goods to La Patisserie where pies, pastries, loaf breads and cookies will be available for sale.  A “Restaurants fund-raising event” offered gift certificates to more than 30 popular restaurants.

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The types of homes were a Gilded Age Charmer, a Queen Anne Victorian, a Stately Manor Home, a Gothic Beauty, a Colonial Classic and an updated townhouse. Except the townhouse, they were all built in the 1700s and 1800s and have all been restored.

Many people enjoyed the colonial classic house in Harding, which is on the U.S. and N.J. historic registers. It was owned by Marcellus Harttledy Dodge, who was the chairman of Remington Arms Company and it had many famous guests inducing Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Hoover. There was also a trap door and a secret wall that moved in the library.   

The Community House was filled with people eating food and devouring pastries, while others were touring the homes. In total 275 people signed up, but treasurer for the event Christa Janssens said Hurricane Sandy may have caused people not to come.

“They love the houses,” she said. “They really like the lunch. We try to be festive.”

Teresa Reeth attended the tour for the first time and said it was amazing. Seeing how the families modernized the homes while still keeping the historical value is remarkable, she said.

“I’m just blown away,” she said.

Helen King said it’s always nice to see other homes in the neighborhood. She was enamored with the kitchen at 44 Crescent Road and wished hers looked like that.

“I’m very interested in the decorative arts,” King said. “I love to see beautiful homes.”

Proceeds from the event will provide operating funds for the Madison Community House owned by the Thursday Morning Club.   For information about the Thursday Morning Club or membership, call the Community House at (973) 377-0244 or visit  Organized in 1896, the Thursday Morning Club is a member of both the New Jersey State and General Federation of Women’s Clubs.

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