MORRISTOWN, NJ— Morristown once comprised territory stretching from Mendham to Chatham until 1865 when, amidst the chaos of the Civil War, mysterious forces acted to separate it from Morris Township. 

The Morristown & Morris Township Library invites the public to explore an exhibit that details the lives of those who came to Morristown seeking wealth, redemption, conflict, or a new beginning. 

The exhibition, titled Morristown: 1865-2015: Identity, Tradition and Enterprise will be on display in the F.M. Kirby Gallery from September 8th through December 31, with an evening reception to be held on Thursday, September 17 at 7:00 p.m. 

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Utilizing rare and previously unseen archival materials, visitors will witness the development of the Green as the center of commerce, public affairs, and leisure, and how nearby houses of worship focused residents’ spiritual and social lives.  Long a center of commerce and trade, early settlers struggled with the limitations of dirt roads until residents developed interstate canals, rail and trolley lines, and sophisticated highway systems. Changes in criminal behavior and law enforcement will be explored, as well as efforts to educate productive, upstanding citizens through forward-thinking private and public schools. 

In addition to the generations of innovators and immigrants who built Morristown’s many businesses and infrastructure, we will take a look at those who celebrated cultural and religious events, grieved over shared disaster and commemorated war dead, and fought to make Morristown a place where everyone could gather in peace.

The exhibit is sponsored by a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission and by funding from the Friends of the Library. 

For more information please contact the North Jersey History & Genealogy Center at 973-538-3473 or njhgc@jpfl.org.