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Posted Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

Special Anniversary Programming Planned in 2020

The Morris County Heritage Commission is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a calendar of special programming to highlight many aspects of Morris County’s history.

Morris County Heritage Commission logo

Anniversary programs for 2020 will include a wide variety of topics that celebrate and acknowledge Morris County’s rich history. The topics were selected from featured articles published in the Commission’s newsletter The Heritage Review, previously known as the County Circular, since the first issue in 1977.

Original newsletters from the 1970s through 2019 are available online at

“We thank the Heritage Commission for 50 great years of educating us on the important role Morris County played in our nation’s history, from its founding and formative years, through the Civil War and World Wars I and II, to the present day,” said Morris County Freeholder Director Deborah Smith. “The staff and all volunteer members of the Heritage Commission over the past half century are to be congratulated for their outstanding efforts in calling attention to our great history.”

To help commemorate this year-long anniversary, the Heritage Commission created a specially designed 50th- anniversary logo which features the Morris County Courthouse. The courthouse was selected because Heritage Commission offices were located there in the early 1970s and historic records and documents were housed there in the 19th century.

The color gold represents 50th anniversaries. Aubergine is the color associated with wisdom, dignity, devotion, and humanitarianism and is used on the Commission’s web page and Facebook page and newsletter banner.

Currently scheduled 50th anniversary programs and events include:

Schedule of Events
Program Topic Speaker Date Location
The Founding of MCHC – Am. Rev/Bicentennial MCHC Staff
Jude Pfister, Morristown NHP
February 25, 3 – 6 pm Morris County Library
Picatinny Arsenal History and Archaeology Jason Huggan and Jeff Ranu, Picatinny/ARDEC April 30, 5 – 8 pm Morris County Library
Civil War in New Jersey Dr. David Martin, NJ Civil War Association May 13, 5 – 8 pm Morris County Library
Historic Preservation Janet Foster, Architectuarl Historian June 4, 5 – 8 pm Morris County Library
How To Make Sure You Are Researching The Correct Family Susan Simon, Morris Area Genealogy Society July 16, 3 – 6 pm Morris County Library
Technology Firsts in Morris County Paul Israel, Director Edison Papers, Rutgers Sept. 26, 12 – 4 pm Morris County Library

Also, a presentation on women’s suffrage is under development for later this year.

In addition to anniversary programming, the Commission will co-sponsor the 2020 Local History Symposium with the Canal Society of New Jersey at the Morris County Cultural Center in Mendham Township on April 25, present a Grant Writing Basics workshop on Aug. 19 at the Morris County Library in Hanover Township, and participate in the annual Morristown Fall Festival in September.

graphic shows World War I soldier in silhouette for the Commission's Centennial of World War I events in 2017

The Heritage Commission focused on the Centennial of World War I in 2017

The Morris County Heritage Commission, which was created in 1970, is charged with maintaining the County Archives, publishing a newsletter and brochures relating to Morris County history, placing and maintaining historical site markers, and curating public programs, workshops and small exhibits.

Since its inception, on behalf of the Board of Freeholders, the Heritage Commission also has facilitated the understanding and preservation of Morris County’s diverse heritage by administering the county re-grant program, with funding provided by the New Jersey Historical Commission for nonprofit organizations.

History organizations, such as historical societies, museums, and historic preservation societies are eligible to apply for general operating support or project grants between $1,000 and $7,000.  Fraternal, veterans’, education, youth and ethnic organizations can apply for project grants ranging from$500 to $5,000.

Members of the Heritage Commission staff are professional historians and archivists and offer guidance and assistance to nonprofit organizations on archival and history subjects.

Stay tuned to the Heritage Commission’s website and Facebook page for program announcements and updates.

 One of many historic markers erected by the Heritage Commission over the past 50 years

One of many historic site markers erected by the Heritage Commission over the past 50 years