A Leading Organization for Preservation, Interpretation and Advocacy of Morris County's Heritage
Morris County Historical Society (MCHS) was founded in December 1945, by the Lions Club of Morristown. Beginning with 56 charter members, MCHS initiated regular meetings at the Morristown & Morris Township Library. Working by committee, MCHS began collecting artifacts of local history, publishing books and pamphlets, advocating the preservation of Morris County’s historical resources, and sponsoring lectures and walking tours.
In 1971, Mary Crane Hone donated Acorn Hall and six of the original nine-acre property to MCHS to serve as its headquarters and house museum. Built in 1853, Acorn Hall was the ancestral home of four generations of Crane and Crane-Hone family members. Despite its age and generations of residents, Acorn Hall still retained an overwhelming percentage of its original 19th century furniture and fine and decorative arts. Ms. Hone recognized its unique significance, and so did MCHS.
MCHS listed Acorn Hall on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places by 1972; the nominations were updated and expanded in 2016 to include associated outbuildings and entire six-acre property. An organization dedicated to historic preservation and cultural resource interpretation, MCHS’s most recent, and award-winning, restoration of Acorn Hall allow the structure to reflect its earliest known exterior colors; we have applied the same philosophies to our recent interior restoration efforts.
MCHS maintains an extensive archival and object collection, which includes one of the richest, most diverse historic costume collections outside of New York City. We hold nearly 15,000 objects in the public trust, including business and legal source materials from the County’s earliest days. Annually, MCHS installs several exhibitions drawing from our varied collections allowing for a stronger appreciation for the significant objects we hold.
MCHS is a self-sufficient, member-supported, 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We receive generous support from our members, state and local organization, private foundations, and independent donors. Today, we have an active and growing membership and partner relationships with compatriot organizations throughout Morris County.