Posted Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Morris County Historical Society received a “This Place Matters” award from the Morristown and Morris Township Historic Preservation Commissions for the restoration at Acorn Hall.

Each May, the National Trust for Historic Preservation conducts a national campaign that encourages people to celebrate the places that are meaningful to them and their communities. The campaign is called “This Places Matters.” This spring, MCHS celebrated the completion of nearly six years of planning, testing, construction, and fundraising as the $1.5 million exterior restoration of Acorn Hall was completed. Acorn Hall now reflects its historically accurate 1860-1880 paint scheme, the colors Augustus Crane would have chosen for his recently renovated “country home,” located about two miles from Morristown Green. Crane, a gentleman farmer, maintained a large garden and mixed fruit orchard on his nine-acre estate.

Acorn Hall

Acorn Hall, headquarters and museum of the Morris County Historical Society, was placed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places in 1973.

Acorn Hall, an example of the Italianate architecture, was built in 1853 as a residence for the Schermerhorn family. By 1860, it was altered and enlarged by Augustus Crane. The Hall then remained in the family for four generations when it was finally donated to MCHS in 1971 by Ms. Mary Crane Hone. Since then, it has served as a historic house museum, organizational headquarters and repository for Morris County archives, collectors and research library.

According to Amy Curry, executive director, “We are extremely excited for the recognition of our efforts to restore Acorn Hall. It’s an honor. We’re also very excited to turn our attention to Acorn Hall’s carriage house, which will see its restoration begin in the next year.

The Morristown and Morris Township Historic Preservation Commissions “make this award to organizations and homeowners who see the connection between place and preservation, and even through they’ve taken a sometimes tougher route, we commend them for preserving outstanding examples of our local historic fabric,” said Ken Miller, chair of the Morristown commission.

Morris County Historical Society logoMCHS thanks our partners in Acorn Hall’s restoration:

Morris County Historic Preservation Trust

New Jersey Historic Trust

New Jersey Cultural Trust

1772 Foundation

Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders

Benjamin Moore

Ricciardi Brothers

The Estate of Lowell Ray and Janet Anderson

The Estate of James and Joy Greco

The Estate of David Holdsworth

Campbell Family Foundation

Connolly & Hickey Historical Architects

Our Generous Members and Friends

MCHS invites the public to Acorn Hall to share this important milestone with us and enjoy our current exhibit, Iconic Culture: From Little Black Dress to Bell Bottoms. 

MCHS is located at Acorn Hall, 68 Morris Avenue, Morristown, and is open Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays, 1-4 p.m. Admission, which includes the exhibits and landscaped grounds, is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for students, and is free for children under 12 and MCHS members.  For more information, call MCHS at 973-267-3465 or visit the MCHS website: MorrisCountyHistory.org.

Founded in 1945, MCHS is a member-supported 501 (c)3 organization whose mission is to preserve and promote the history of Morris County. The MCHS receives operating funds from the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey Historical Commission, and project/preservation grant funding from the New Jersey Historic Trust, 1772 Foundation, and Morris County Historic Preservation Trust. The MCHS was also awarded a Sandy Disaster Relief Grant for Historic Properties by the New Jersey Historic Trust, with funds provided by the Historic Preservation Fund of the National Park Service to the NJ State Historic Preservation Office.