Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

HONOR MT. TABOR HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOR CIRCA 1873 J. SMITH RICHARDSON HISTORY HOUSE RESTORATION 

The Morris County Freeholders have honored the Mt. Tabor Historical Society with a Historic Preservation plaque to be installed in the 143-year-old structure, which dates to the days of Mt. Tabor’s Methodist Camp Meeting history, long before it became part of Parsippany.

J. Smith Richardson History House

J. Richardson Smith History House in Mt. Tabor

Michelle LaConto Munn, president of the Mount Tabor Historical Society, accepted the historic plaque at the Freeholder Board’s Aug. 10 evening meeting held in Morristown.

The ongoing project has been partly financed through the Morris County Historic Preservation Grant Program, which has provided $191,000 from the voter-approved fund to J. Smith Richardson House project.

“This is a really unique historical structure that offers a good look into the very interesting past in Mt. Tabor,’’ said Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo.

“It is a perfect use of historic preservation funds, restoring an iconic structure that is historically relevant to the early days of this community,’’ added Freeholder Christine Myers. “Preserving our historic buildings is critical as they provide visible evidence of the hard work and character and vision of those who formed our great county. We thank the Mt. Tabor Historic Society for their efforts.’’

Mt. Tabor 2

(l/r) Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo Ray Chang, Michelle Munn and Freeholder Christine Myers

”With the grant assistance of the Morris County Historic Preservation Trust, we are able to preserve a significant historic site and create awareness of both the Richardson History House and the Mount Tabor Historic District,’’ said Michelle LaConto Munn. “Our little museum is a Victorian-era jewel within a district filled with quaint gingerbread cottages. The Mount Tabor Historical Society is proud to bring attention to our own hidden gem, and the rich cultural heritage found right here in Morris County.’’

Morris County Historic Preservation Program Coordinator Ray Chang provided details of the J. Smith Richardson History House project:

The J. Smith Richardson History House is located in Mt. Tabor section of Parsippany-Troy Hills.

  • It is the western-most one-third section of an attached Second Empire triplex built in 1873 as part of the Methodist Camp Meeting that was held in Mt. Tabor beginning in 1869.
  • The house was built for J. Smith and Lydia Richardson. Evelyn Clark, a great niece of the Richardsons, bequeathed the house to the Mount Tabor Historical Society to be used as a camp meeting cottage museum in 2007.
  • The residence is unique as a part of the only attached row within the community, and includes a circa 1880 kitchen addition and a decorative slate covered mansard roof.
  • The building is a contributing resource within the Mt. Tabor Historic District, which is listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.
  • With assistance from County Historic Preservation grants totaling more than $191,000, the Historical Society has successfully completed a Preservation Plan, roof replacement, structural work, exterior rehabilitation, and electrical upgrades.

Historic PlaqueThis fall, the public will have an opportunity to see the results of the restoration efforts when the Richardson History House is featured on the annual Mount Tabor Historic House Tour, along with more than 15 other historic houses and buildings. The Richardson History House is located at 32 Trinity Place in Mount Tabor.

The tour is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Proceeds of fall fundraiser go towards further restoration of the museum. Tickets are available online or by mail. For more information visit: http://mounttabornj.org/ or http://mounttabornj.org/museum/

The museum is open on the second Sunday of each month from noon to 4 p.m. and by appointment by calling 973-975-0001.

For information on the county’s Historic Preservation Grant Program, visit: http://planning.morriscountynj.gov/divisions/prestrust/historic/