2021 is a landmark year for MCHS, representing both the 75th anniversary of the society‚Äôs 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)

  • Chippendale Chair from the Beverwyck Estate, Parsippany, c.1760-80
    This mahogany side chair was a possession of the Condit family who purchased Beverwyck in 1856 and lived there for over a century.
  • Crane Daughters Silver, William Gale Son, 1850s
    The Crane family silver includes two sets of childrens knives and forks engraved with their daughters names, Mary and Julia.
  • Silverware Set, Dominick & Haff, 1903
    This 114 piece set engraved "AC" was bought from the NYC firm by Mr. & Mrs. John Hone IV as a gift for his son, Augustus Crane Hone, on the occasion of Augustus's marriage to Alice Castleman.
  • Drum owned by Alexander Vandoni, Drummer of the NJ 27th, c.1863
    This drum was presented to Alexander Vandoni of Madison by his comrades after his original drum was stolen by the Confederates.
  • Osceola of Florida lithograph from Beverwyck Estate, George Catlin, 1838
    This George Catlin lithograph of Osceola of Florida (1804-1838, Seminole chief) hung for many years at the Beverwyck Estate in Parsippany. Catlin (1796-1872), famous for his works depicting American Indians, drew Osceola between Dec. 1837 and Jan. 1838.
  • John Schermerhorn's Passport, 1831
    The first owner of Acorn Hall's passport was signed by Washington Irving, author of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, when Irving worked for the US Legation in London.
  • J. Smith Gunther sign, c.1890s
    J. Smith Gunther was a wheelwright in Mendham before transitioning to owning a garage between 1900 and 1910.
  • Cape, Au Regent, 7 Boulevard de la Madeleine, Paris, c. late 1890s
    This fashion house appeared in many 19th century guides of Paris as "a highly respectable house, worthy of our highest recommendations."
  • Mary Crane Hone Memorial Window, 1886
    Following conservation, this stained glass window depicting St. Cecilia is now on permanent display at the Hall.
  • Arithmetic Textboook with Doodles by Benjamin Crane, c.1865
    Even in the 19th century, children doodled in their textbooks, including the youngest Crane of Acorn Hall. Unlike his siblings he was fond of covering his books in monsters, often alongside the inscription "Bennie Crane, care of his father, Morristown, N.J."
  • Julia Crane's Wedding Slippers, 1883
    On May 12, 1883 Julia Crane wore these slippers when she married Dr. J. Leonard Corning at Acorn Hall.
  • First Map of Morris County, 1853
    Created from surveys by J. Lightfoot and Samuel Geil the same year of Acorn Hall's construction.
  • Morristown High School Basketball, 1931
    In 1931, Morristown High School's basketball team again won the county championship, permanently taking the Abell Cup.
  • Photograph of the Crane Family, c.1874
    This picture is the first known of Acorn Hall. Mrs. Crane and daughter Mary in sleigh, Mr. Crane behind, Julia on porch, youngest Benjamin on right. Not pictured: eldest son Augustus Jr. and Mary's husband, John Hone IV.
  • US Hotel Register, Morristown, 1899-1900
    The US Hotel on the Green hosted guests from Rockaway to St. Louis, MO. A livery stable was attached to the hotel so guests could hire horses.
  • Stained Glass & 1911 Kitchen Lists, Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital
    Following the demolition of the original building, MCHS received windows from the chapel and kitchen lists to help preserve the institution's history.
  • Letter from Augustus Crane to His Son, 1870
    Mr. Crane wrote to "his dear son" away at miltary school that he would not "be compelled to do without ice cream" that summer as the Hall's ice house was nearing completion.
  • Golf and Bicyle Suit, c.1890s
    This dual purpose suit was owned by Morristonian Samuel V. Hoffman around the time that bicycling took off in the US.
  • Hiram Frazee indenture & chair, 1830s-50s
    The 4th donation ever to MCHS was an indenture for the sale of land on Bridge St., Morristown by a local furniture maker.
  • Scale, Smart Store, Morristown, c.1900
    William Smart's store on Elm Street sold groceries from the turn of the century to 1924.
  • Campaign and Inauguration Ribbons, 1936-41
    FDR defeated Alf Landon to win a second term, and in 1941, was inaugurated for an unprecedented 3rd term.
  • Letter from Col. Matthias Ogden to His Wife in Succasunna Following the Battle of Monmouth, June 30, 1778
  • Souvenir cup, Coronation of Nicholas II of Russia, 1896
    This cup became known as the Khodynka Cup of Sorrow after the field where at least 1,200 individuals lost their lives in a stampede during the celebration.
  • Bodice, House of Worth, c.1880s
    Charles Frederick Worth (1825-1895) founded the famous Parisian fashion house in 1858 and used a facsimile of his signature on later labels.
  • Cottage Furniture, c.1860s
    Elaborately painted cottage furniture like this set in Acorn Hall's summer bedroom was popular in mid-century country homes.
  • Marble Top Table and Pine Cabinet from J.R. Sutton's Store, Morristown, 1860s-80s
  • Wedding Gown of Lucy Fitz Randolph of Morristown, 1889
    Daughter of a former NJ governor, Lucy married in Morristown on May 9, 1889.
  • Crane Family Bodice, mid-1870s
    Likely owned by one of the Crane sisters of Acorn Hall, Mary (b.1849) or Julia (b.1850).
  • Letter from Edmund D. Halsey of Rockaway (1840-1896), Adjutant of the NJ 15th Regt. Vols, to his sister from the camp near White Oaks Church, VA on May 12, 1863.
  • 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.
  • 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.