HistoryMorris County Approves Funding for 21 Historic Sites


More Than $50 Million Directed Toward Preservation Efforts Since 2003Chamberlain House

The Morris County Board of County Commissioners allocated $3.6 million in grants from the county’s Preservation Trust Fund tonight to help restore, preserve and further protect 21 historic sites in 16 towns across Morris County.

Including this grant disbursement, Morris County has awarded more than $50 Million to preservation efforts at 123 historic locations since 2003, when awards were first issued for protecting historic sites through Morris County’s Preservation Trust Fund. The properties have benefited through 533 grants, with some properties receiving multiple grants over the years to conduct planning, acquisition and construction projects.

“This funding has been supported by our taxpayers for more than 20 years and preserves our county’s unique heritage while supporting economic development, tourism and educational opportunities,” said Commissioner Deputy Director Stephen Shaw, liaison to the Historic Preservation Trust Fund Review Board. “As Morris County prepares to host the 250th Anniversary of our nation’s independence in 2026, many of the 123 funded historic sites will be on display for visitors to appreciate.”


See the Full List of Projects Approved for 2024


The Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund Review Board recommended the funding, of which about 77 percent is directed toward construction grants for 12 of the projects. Roughly 23 percent is recommended for non-construction activity at nine other historic sites. Those grants would support design and specification work for future construction on four sites, preservation planning for two sites, a historic landscape plan for one site, assist with the acquisition of one site and fund the research and development necessary to submit another site for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Review Board

The Chamberlain House in Jefferson Township will receive first-time funding of $16,160 to support a Preservation Plan. Built in the 1870s in the Second Empire architectural style, the building was used as a library from the 1960s until 1982 when it was acquired by the township. It currently operates as a museum and headquarters for the Jefferson Historical Society.

A grant of $176,360 will support the interior restoration of the Acorn Hall in Morristown. Constructed as an Italianate residence in 1853 and expanded by the Crane family in 1860, the building is individually listed on the National and New Jersey Registers and is the home of the Morris County Historical Society. This grant will provide for conservation of wallpaper, restoration of floors, plaster walls, ceilings, and interior wood trim and millwork.

Two non-construction grants totaling $10,000 will support a Preservation Plan and Register Nomination for the Orchard Street Cemetery Gatehouse in Dover. The circa 1875 Carpenter Gothic gatehouse was built by the Dover Cemetery Association and was likely designed by Paul Botticher. It was also known as the “Receiving House” and is a rare example of the Carpenter Gothic style in Dover. The building is certified eligible for individual listing in the historic registers.

Orchard Street GatehouseApplication Review Process

For the application review process, the county historic preservation consultant reviewed 21 applications for conformance to the Secretary of Interior Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties.

“For the application review process, the county historic preservation consultant reviewed 22 applications for conformance to the Secretary of Interior Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties. The (Historic Preservation) board members conducted site visits after final presentations by the applicants, and the review board deliberated on funding recommendations,” said Larry Fast, Chair of the Review Board.


View photos from a May 18 Review Board Visit to Recommended Sites


Site visits were conducted by the review board to assess the properties up for consideration. After a final presentation was made by the grant applicants, the review board deliberated on the funding recommendations. 19 of the 21 projects received full funding requested for preservation purposes this year.