MONTVILLE, NJ - The Montville Museum has stood on Taylortown Road since 1867. Of course, it didn’t start out as a museum; it was built to be a schoolhouse. According to the Society’s website, it also played host to many temperance meetings in the late 1800s.
In 1911 it became Montville’s town hall. In 1939 it was once again repurposed as the town’s post office, but when a new post office was built in 1961, it lost that designation. A commission was formed to renovate the building, and it was opened in 1963 as a museum, in order to aid in the celebration of New Jersey’s three hundredth anniversary as a state, in 1964, when the Montville Historical Society formed.
The Historical Society’s website describes the museum as containing photographs of the Morris Canal, a model of a Morris Canal lock, and old photos and newspaper articles from Montville’s history. There’s even a cannonball from the Civil War that was found in the township.
Historical Society President Kathy Fisher says her favorite items in the Museum include a grandfather clock, which Tom Brokaw's ancestor, Isaac Brokaw, made, frakturs, which are Dutch pen and ink fold drawings, and church and tax records from Montville. She says she loves to read the records “because they tell us about the people that lived here- - their personalities.”
The Historical Society is hosting its anniversary party on Sunday, Sept. 14 , at the Senior House on Main Road, from 1-5 p.m.
Fisher says a lot is planned for the day. “There will be a cake in the shape of the museum, we’ll be showing old photos, there will be presentations of donations to the Museum, and we will be honoring some senior citizens who have lived in Montville all or most of their lives. We’re encouraging people to bring their old photos of Montville so we can scan them and have a record of them, and we’re going to ask people to help us identify people in some of the photos that we have. We would love people to come and share their memories.”
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