Arts & Entertainment

Florham Park’s Iconic Little Red School House Celebrates Columbus Day with Weekend Long Event

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FLORHAM PARK, NJ- The Little Red School House joined several other small museums across Morris County in the seventh annual “The Pathways of History” event. Originally set up as a way to promote history and bring in the public, the event works to bring attention back to the small museums that lack the widespread appeal their larger counterparts.

Competing with Ford’s Mansion/Washington’s Headquarters and Jockey Hollow, smaller museums in Morris County search to not only bring out the residents of their own townships, but to spread their reach around the county. “The Pathways of History” aims to do just that. 20 individual museums now open their doors free of charge for extended hours on Columbus Day weekend and offer themselves as a self-guided weekend tour of the rich history of the county.

“The museum is typically only opened one Sunday a month,” said Suzanne Herold of The Historical Society of Florham Park. “From 2-4 on Sundays many people have soccer for their kids and football. Opening for more time with events like this, gives people more time to come out and visit and see what we have to offer.”

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This coming year marks a huge year for Florham Park’s most famous building with the school house’s sesquicentennial arriving next year. Originating even before the creation of the borough in 1899, the school was active as “Columbia School District #5” at its start in 1867 and continued operating until 1914. The building’s birthday is in February, but there are events being planned across the course of the year to raise funds for the museum building’s maintenance and upkeep.

The site is rich in Florham Park’s history with everything from the area’s famous corn husk brooms to a display of old political and campaign memorabilia. The museum even sports the original mail sorter from the borough’s first post office. Even Mayor Mark Taylor made an appearance to honor the event.

“Mayor Taylor is very supportive of historic preservation” Herold went on to say. “He was here this morning for an hour and a half and the borough let us borrow the tent outside for the event.”

The Little Red School house can be spotted on banners and sigils for the borough and is really the town’s own mascot. The importance of the structure and the history it contains is not lost on its governing body as the borough continues its support of the museum. The building even held the borough’s council meetings in the past.

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