2021 is a landmark year for MCHS, representing both the 75th anniversary of the society’s incorporation and the 50th anniversary of its acquisition of Acorn Hall. In celebration of these milestones, we will be highlighting the many treasures preserved within our collections and archives that stand witness to our vibrant local history. Check back weekly as a new treasure will be revealed every Thursday on Facebook and Instagram! (Hover over a square for a preview of what’s to come)

  • Morris Canal & Banking Co. Notice to Surveyor Lemuel Cobb's Heir, 1831
    Signed by all his heirs, including his assistant and son-in-law Benjamin Howell (see surveyor's compass).
  • McEwan Brothers of Whippany's Matching Suits, 1920s
    Jesse L. McEwan and his younger brother John David had several matching outfits, including those worn in this family photograph.
  • Singer Manufacturing Co. Trade Card, 1926
    Sewing machine salesmen would hand out trade cards decorated with fun, attractive imagery like the American Song Bird series to keep their brand name in the public eye.
  • Daguerreotpe, Ambrotype, & Tintype, 1840s-60s
    Daguerreotype: CD Woodruff of Boonton. Ambrotype: young girl. Tintype: Civil War soldier.
  • Mary Crane Hone's Costume from R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)
    The highly influential 1922 science fiction Broadway play introduced the word "robots."
  • Potter Saber, c. Revolutionary War
    This sword made by Loyalist cutler James Potter of NYC is believed to have fallen into the hands of Jacob Van Winkle, Morris County militiaman, during the war.
  • Wm. B. Kerr and Company Chatelaine, c.1900
    Worn at the waist, a chateleine was a fashionable way for a woman to carry all she needed with her.
  • Slade Family Dresses, 1805-1905
    (L to R) 1st Gen: Hannah Thomas Patten (c.1805), 2nd Gen: Hannah Patten Slade (c.1867, altered), 3rd Gen: Elizabeth (c.1890) & Laura Emott Slade (c.1905)
  • Surveying Instruments owned by Benjamin Howell of Troy, NJ, late 18th-early 19th century 2005.02.01
    Circumferentor (Surveyor's Compass), early 19th Century
    The name of Benjamin Howell, Jr. of Troy Hills (1786-1852), deputy surveyor and son-in-law to Lemuel Cobb (1762-1831), is inscribed inside the case.
  • Acorn Hall's Front Parlor Carpet, c.1853
    Woven in two halves, the design was displayed at the Great Exhibition of 1851 by John Crossley & Sons of Yorkshire, England, then the largest carpet manufacturers in the world.
  • Tiffany Lamp, c.1909
    Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933), was an early titan of American stained glas, however, his studio did not begin producing their famous lamps until 1898. Like most Tiffany lamps, ours has opalescent glass and a brass base.
  • Thomas Jefferson Ship License
    This document and "Indian Peace Medal" were presented as a gift to Augustus Crane, Jr. The document is signed by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of State James Madison.
  • 1861 Farm Map of Morris Township
    This map features images of prominent residences and a detailed plan of Morristown (at that time a part of the township). It shows in colorful detail how agrarian the area still was with 256 farms and a population of 6,000 (today, it's roughly 41,000).
  • Augustus Crane's Checkbook, 1863-7
    This checkbook provides a fascinating insight into the expenses of an 1860s Morristown family, including payments for piano lessons, carriage repairs, coal, and a gift of pearl earrings for his wife.
  • 19th-Century Tantalus
    This small and unusual wooden cabinet called a tantalus hides 4 decanters and 8 glasses inside. Most popular in the mid-to-late 19th century, a tantalus could be locked to protect its contents.
  • Arnold Tavern Mantle
    Said to have come from the Arnold Tavern on the Morristown Green, Washington's headquarters in the winter of 1777. The tavern was later moved to become All Souls' Hospital, but was lost in a 1918 fire.
  • The Sycamores, Edward Kranich, c.1850-60
    Edward Kranich (1826-1891), noted NJ landscape artist, painted many scenes around Morristown between 1850 and 1860, including The Sycamores (home of the Bonsall family).
  • James Dixon & Sons of Sheffield Epergne, c.1854
    Designed in 1853, this remarkable piece was recently discovered to contain a January 30, 1854 edition of the Evening Mail, confirming its age.
  • Cape, Au Regent, Paris, c.1890s
  • Wedding Dress worn by Lucy Fitz Randolph, May 9, 1889
  • Letter from the front, Edmund Halsey, May 12, 1863
  • Marble Top Table, John R. Sutton, Morristown
  • Basketball, Morristown High School, c.1930s
  • Beaver hat, E.V. Connett & Co., given to Rev. Manning Force, 1815
  • Souvenir cup from coronation of Nicholas II of Russia, 1896
  • Letter from Matthias Ogden of Roxbury to His Wife Following the Battle of Monmouth, June 1778
  • Scale, Smart Store, Morristown, c.1900
  • J. Smith Gunther, Wheelwright Sign, Mendham
  • Bodice, House of Worth, c.1880s
  • "The Bubblegum Dress," The Swiss Shoppe, Morristown, c.1950s
  • Greystone Kitchen lists, 1910-11
  • Crane family items brought to Nantucket by Mary Crane Hone, 1840s-1910s
  • Benjamin Crane's Reader with monster doodles, 1860s
  • Florence Sewing Machine, c.1871
  • Louis Kutcher's kepi and springfield rifle, Civil War
  • Silhouettes of John Hone III and Jane Perry Hone, 1840s-50s
  • Augustus Crane's Antler footstool, 19th century
  • John Schermerhorn's Passport signed by Washington Irving, 1831
  • Osceola of Florida lithograph from Beverwyck Estate, George Catlin, 1838
  • Kettle, Westervelt Farm in Butler, 17th century
  • Chickering Grand Piano, wedding gift to Mary Hone (née Crane), 1872
  • Old Country Cutter Sled, early to mid 19th century
  • Handel "Birds of Paradise" Lamp