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Montville Museum to Provide Pathway Into History

Montville's Doremus House, Vreeland Out Kitchen among stops on historical tour.

Several local historical societies will be coming together next month to offer special events as part of the third annual "Pathways of History" tour. 

The two-day tour, which will be held on Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Oct. 21 from noon to 4 p.m. will guide attendees through what was once all considered Pequannock Township and beyond.

The tour will offer something for almost every kind of history enthusiast.

"We [in Montville] tend to do more Revolutionary War. Boonton tends to do more Civil War, so it just depends what your interests are," Kathy Fisher, president of the Montville Historical Society, said.

Last year's tour included five local museums: Montville, Kinnelon, Butler, Boonton and Boonton Township. This year, the tour has been expanded to also include museums and historical sites in Denville, Dover, Jefferson Township, Lake Hopatcong, Riverdale and Pequannock—and it's close enough that Parsippany history buffs should find it interesting as well.

Butler Museum Chairwoman Peggy Spranzani said Butler's portion of the tour will include general exhibits and pieces from the Statue of Liberty. There will be photos of the Pequannock Rubber Company fire in 1957, one of the largest industrial fires in the area's history, Spranzani said.

Spranzani said the museum will also be displaying yearbooks dating back to 1918 and historical information about Butler's churches.

Renovations to the Butler museum have caused the Butler historical organization to be selective in its presentation during the tour.

"It has to be simple because we do not have our own building to do it in," Spranzani said.

But for those who make more than one stop on the tour, the historical culture of the larger area will be explained in depth.

In Montville, Fisher said the Henry Doremus Dutch Stone House will be showcased, with live demonstrations of how life was during the late 1700s.

"People will be able to see what room George Washington would be in and things like that," she said. "With the Henry Doremus house, not only was George Washington here and Alexander Hamilton, the architecture is all unique, so we talk a lot about that."

Fisher said Dutch culture will also be discussed at the Montville locations and tour attendees will be able to see antique furniture. In the back yard of the Doremus house, live period music will be playing and a quilt show will be on display.

Below are the historical sites included on the tour, with information provided by the museums. Fisher said admission is free to all the museums and attendees can start and end the tour whenever they would like.

Boonton Museum (210 Main Street, Boonton)-At the Dr. John Taylor House, tour the historic residential area whose early settlers came from England seeking work in the Boonton Iron Works.

Miller-Kingsland House (445 Vreeland Avenue, Boonton)-Experience the 33rd Regiment New Jersey Volunteers Civil War encampment.  

Boonton Township-Oscar A. Kincaid Home of History (591 Powerville Rd, Boonton Township)- Enjoy a pictorial exhibit chronicling the restoration of the historic Oscar A. Kincaid Home of History; participate in a grand celebration honoring the home’s enigmatic folk art face as “he” marks his 175th year; visit the Kincaid Fine Crafts and Art Shoppe at the historic road stand and take time to observe the ART-IN Group painting on site.  

Butler Museum (10 High Street, Butler)- Witness the sights of Butler’s glory days 100 years ago through news stories, photos and slides; experience the 1957 Pequanock Rubber Company fire; visit the Little Miss Liberty statue and learn about this town’s connection to her famous relative in New York Harbor. Because the Butler Railroad Station Museum is closed for renovations, exhibits and artifacts will be on display at the Butler Police Community Center.  

Denville Historical Society Museum (113 Diamond Spring Rd, Denville)- Tour the "Garden of Thyme and Roses" and be sure to visit the featured exhibit detailing over three centuries of Denville's history. Take in a guided tour during your visit.  

Dover Area Historical Society (55 West Blackwell St, Dover)- An educational and entertaining presentation of the rich history of the Dover Area.  

Borough of Riverdale’s Glenburn (211 Hamburg Turnpike, Riverdale)- A grand heritage home given a “new beginning” when residents and neighbors in surrounding communities saved it from the wrecker’s ball, will be open for guided tours. Don’t miss the historic barn, outbuildings and beautiful grounds.  

Henry Doremus Dutch Stone House (490 Main Road, Towaco)- A Revolutionary War encampment will be staged. While there, also enjoy live period music and an antique quilt display.  

Nicholas Vreeland Out Kitchen (52 Jacksonville Road, Towaco)- An exhibit featuring 1780, Dutch architecture, hearthside food practices and some period take-home recipes will be featured. 

Jefferson Township Museum (315 Dover‐Milton Road, Jefferson Township)- Costumed docents will welcome visitors and guide them through the Chamberlain house and surrounding gardens. Quilters will be on hand to demonstrate their craft; Miss Elizabeth’s Shoppe, located in the kitchen of this Victorian gem, will offer unique gifts, local provisions, antiques and homemade goods for purchase.  

Kinnelon Borough’s L’Ecole Museum (25 Kiel Avenue, Kinnelon)- Museum will offer historical displays and vignettes. “The Life and Work of Dr. Helen L. Miller,” the fascinating story of a charismatic 20th century physician who brought state-of-the-art medicine to Kinnelon and the surrounding area, and “A History of the 35,000-acre Newark Pequannock Watershed” are featured presentations both days of the tour.

Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum (Hopatcong State Park, Landing)- Located in a rustic 19th century building, which served as a lock tender’s house on the Morris Canal, the museum will offer an entertaining and enlightening look at the history of New Jersey’s largest lake.  For the Pathways of History Museum Tour, the museum will feature a special salute to Bertrand Island Park.  

Museum of Pequannock Township (34 Evans Place, Pompton Plains)- In observance of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, the museum has prepared an extraordinary display to honor Old Pequannock Township’s Civil War veterans.


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