The 2016 Pathways of History, a tour of historic places in northern Morris County, represents 18 individual groups and highlights 20 landmark sites! This self-guided tour is a family-friendly, admission free event offering something for visitors of all ages and interests. The venues will open their doors in simultaneous welcome on Saturday, October 8 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Sunday, October 9 from Noon to 4:00 pm.
Organized in 2010 as a way to encourage the public to visit local museums and landmark properties, Pathways has become a popular yearly event attracting hundreds of enthusiastic tour goers. This year’s eclectic collection highlights small, volunteer-run historic properties in Boonton, Boonton Township, Butler, Dover, Florham Park, Kinnelon, Lake Hopatcong, Mine Hill, Montville Township, Mount Tabor, Parsippany, Pequannock Township, Randolph, Riverdale, Roxbury Township and Washington Township.
Housing historic artifacts, collections and exhibits, the museum buildings themselves represent an outstanding anthology of architectural periods and styles; most are listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. Some are legacy buildings, revered and treasured by their communities. Others have been rescued from oblivion just in the nick of time by concerned, preservation-minded groups and individuals who understood their significance. Learn the stories of how some of the antique buildings were saved. Glenburn, a grand heritage home, was given a “New Beginning” when Riverdale residents and neighbors in surrounding communities saved it from the wrecker’s ball. The Oscar A. Kincaid Home of History was also rescued from an unknown fate with a successful grassroots campaign by the Historical Society of Boonton Township. Learn about Pequannock Township’s current effort to save the pre-Revolutionary Martin Berry House whose legacy began almost 300 years ago.
Venerable 18th century structures, many predating the Revolutionary War, offer German folk-tradition and Dutch stone examples, as well as those of Georgian and Saltbox construction. The 1758 Randolph Friends Meeting House is purported to be Morris County’s oldest extant hand-hewn building. Designs of the 19th century are represented in buildings of varied uses and sizes including a Folk Victorian Camp Meeting Cottage; an 1890’s Colonial Revival; a diminutive two-family iron miner’s dwelling which is included on the New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail; three schoolhouses; two 19th century railway stations; a Morris Canal lock tender’s house; a general store and several wonderful examples of vernacular farmhouses. Old graveyards are part of several sites and are open to respectful visitation by the public.
Whether you live near or far, we invite you to join the Pathways adventure. You may begin at any site on the tour. Friendly docents await to welcome you and to share their knowledge of community history. Learn about those honorable citizens for whom our roads, schools and other buildings were named. Enjoy the special exhibits and programs each venue has planned especially for this event honoring history, community and friendship. Various locations will include special activities for children. Many of the museums have wonderful shops offering a selection of books, gifts and souvenirs; some serve light refreshments.
Volunteers are the backbone of all the museums – there are no paid employees and an admission fee is never charged. Loyal friends who no longer live in the area continue to support the Pathways tour via 21st century virtual pathways. Our social media network is maintained in South Dakota and our brochure layout team now resides in New York State! To help plan your next stop, be sure to pick up a Pathways tour brochure and map, recipient of a first place Kevin Hale Publication Award from the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey in 2015. You will want to keep this information-filled booklet on your bookshelf to plan follow-up visits! Whichever Pathways you choose will lead you to a warm welcome and an enlightening visit.
More details about this exceptional heritage tour can be found on our website: www.PathwaysofHistoryNJ.com.