The first meeting of the Monmouth County Historical Association was held on October 12, 1898. Caroline Gallup Reed (pictured, 1821-1911) was the driving force behind the organization, and was its first president. Over the next 125 years, the Monmouth County Historical Association constructed a dedicated headquarters building in Freehold in 1931, added five historic houses, and amassed a collection of more than 30,000 artifacts and objects as well as a Library and Archives Collection that represents Monmouth’s fascinating history up to the present day. From Lenni Lenape arrow points and grinding stones to oral history interviews detailing modern Monmouth’s experiences, the Monmouth County Historical Association has lived up to its original mission with exhibitions, programs, tours, and events.
Monmouth County Historical Association collects, preserves, and interprets its extensive museum, research library, and archival collections that relate to Monmouth County’s history and culture and makes these resources available to the widest possible audience.
The Association promotes the study and appreciation of regional and national history through educational programming, publications, special exhibits, and research services. The Association also preserves and interprets five significant historic sites that represent the County’s vanishing architectural heritage.
Through its pursuit of these objectives, the Association enriches the quality of life in Monmouth County by preserving and passing on knowledge of its diverse heritage for future generations.
MCHA’s current exhibit is “Highlights: 125 Years of the Monmouth County Historical Association,” featuring 125 of the best, most interesting, and intriguing objects, artifacts, and archival materials from the collection. Among the items on view are the 1695 Rhea Chair, a rare copy of the 1664 Monmouth Patent, paintings, furniture, textiles, and more. And of course, visitors can view the iconic “Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth,” painted by Emanuel Leutze in 1857.
A HISTORICAL SOCIETY. (1898) The Daily Register, Red Bank, N.J., October 19, 1898, p.9.
About Us.(2023). Monmouth County Historical Association. Available: https://www.monmouthhistory.org/about.
Image: Photo of portrait painting of Caroline Gallup Reed. (1892). Painting is signed on the reverse: “M. C. Reed / Portrait of / C. Gallup Reed / Paris 1892.” Image courtesy Monmouth County Historical Association, used with permission.