RINGWOOD, N.J. — Ringwood Manor's newly finished carriage barn exhibit will open to the public on May 6.

The public is invited to visit the first section of the barn to be restored to the way it looked when the Hewitt family actively used it. Three original Hewitt carriages will be on display, along with their other original harness, saddles, and equipment.

Weather permitting there will also be side saddle riders and horses and carriages driving around the property. The exhibit will open rain or shine.

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There is no fee to enter the self-guided barn exhibit.

According to the North Jersey Highlands Historical Society:

Ringwood Manor is the preserved summer estate of the Cooper and Hewitt families, wealthy 19th century industrialists and philanthropists, best known for owning and operating the Cooper-Hewitt iron company. The Manor along with nearly 1,000 acres of surrounding property was donated to the State of New Jersey in 1938 as a museum and a state park.

One of the Hewitt children, Miss Sarah Cooper Hewitt, had a love of horses, equestrian sports, and driving. Over the course of her lifetime, she amassed a collection that at one time included more than 40 horse-drawn vehicles, side saddles, and related tack and equipment, and was known to be a highly-skilled driver and side saddle rider.

All of these pieces were at one time housed in the carriage barn on the property. Before she passed away in 1930, she donated everything to The Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.

In 2016, Ringwood Manor and the non-profit friends group, the North Jersey Highlands Historical Society, began a phased process to restore and open the carriage barn. At the end of 2017, the interior conservation and restoration of the harness room and main stall areas of the barn were completed. Three original Brewster carriages that Hewitt at one time owned were acquired after the Henry Ford Museum had de-accessioned and auctioned off many years ago. The museum also worked with the museum which loaned the Hewitt-owned harnessed, blankets, a side saddle she used, and horse tags.

See http://www.ringwoodmanor.org/carriage-barn-exhibit.html for more information.

Other activities planned on May 6 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., include the playing of a baseball game — 19th century style, weather permitting. There will be poetry readings historic clothing on display. Visitors can also check out the art museum. The fee for guided tours of the Ringwood Manor is adults $3; Children ages 6-12 $1 and under 6, free.

The Ringwood Manor carriage barn exhibit will be open every weekend from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct. 28.

For updates on the May 6 event, check https://www.facebook.com/events/452797151818203/

Ringwood Manor is located at 1304 Sloatsburg Road, Ringwood, N.J., 07456

Additional information on the site can be found at www.ringwoodmanor.org

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