Directory of Historic Morris County

Archives: Major Museums


The Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms

Box 5, Morris Plains, NJ 07950; located at 2352 Route 10 West, Parsippany, NJ; Tel (973) 540-0013; Fax (973) 540-1167; Email info@stickleymuseum.org

This museum has a growing library and archives consisting of documents relating to Gustav Stickley and the Arts and Crafts period. The collection includes architectural materials, photographs, drawings, oral histories relating to the Farny family (owners of the property until 1989), textiles, and pottery. A collection of The Craftsman magazine also is available. The library is accessible by appointment. Visit their web site at www.stickleymuseum.org.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm

Morris County Park Commission, P.O. Box 1295R, Morristown, NJ 07962-1295; Tel (973) 326-7645; Fax (973) 631-5023; Email mtexel@morrisparks.net

This 40 cubic foot archive contains several significant series including: Joseph Warren Revere Papers (1834-1881) consisting of correspondence documenting his military career and service in both the Mexican and Civil wars; Condit Family Papers (1834-1882) documenting milling and farming activities and the economic life of the region; Foster Family Papers (1865-1941) including a farm journal, ledger books, and other business records; photographs (nineteenth century to the present) documenting the site and its reconstruction; farm newspapers (in relatively complete runs); circulars describing inventions and farm implements; histories of various dairies; and other sources that provide insight into nineteenth century communal farming. Visit their web site at www.morrisparks.net.

Historic Speedwell

333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960; Tel (973) 540-0211

Historic Speedwell's manuscript holdings consist of personal and business correspondence and records documenting five generations of several branches of Stephen Vail's family. Stephen Vail's papers, written between 1808 and 1873, include business records, diaries (microfilmed), and correspondence between family members. Of special interest are Vail papers relating to the Speedwell Ironworks, correspondence with William Lidgerwood (Speedwell Ironworks operator in Rio deJaniero, Brazil), and over 100 letters from James Cummings Vail, who served in the Navy during the Civil War as clerk to Admiral F. Dupont, Commander of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Visit their web site at www.morrisparks.net.

Macculloch Hall Historical Museum

45 Macculloch Avenue, Morristown 07960; Tel (973) 538-2404; Email maccullochhall@aol.com

Holdings consist primarily of the papers of the Macculloch-Miller-Keasbey-Post family who built Macculloch Hall in 1810 and lived there until 1949. There is also a collection of Thomas Nast's original sketches and prints, with some of his correspondence. Material is arranged by inventory numbers, with access through a cross-reference card system. The collection is open to researchers by appointment. Visit their web site at maccullochhall.org.

Morristown National Historical Park

Washington Place, Morristown, NJ 07960; Tel (973) 539-2016/2017

Morristown National Historical Park, the first park of its kind, has extensive New Jersey manuscript holdings, most of which relate to Morristown, the Ford family, and the Revolutionary War. The collection, which includes 20,000 books and 40,000 manuscripts, is administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, and located in the museum behind Washington's Headquarters. There are two major collections. The Lloyd W. Smith Collection forms the bulk of the National Historical Park's holdings. Smith, was a Florham Park lawyer and manuscript collector with an interest in the Revolutionary War and historic preservation, who helped establish the park in 1933. A second collection, known as "the Park Collection," was formed when the Washington Association of New Jersey donated the Ford property with its manuscripts and other material. The original manuscripts are maintained in these two separate collections, each arranged by accession number. Researchers can access them through an alphabetical card catalogue. Both collections have been photographed and microfilmed. The photocopies are maintained in two separate collections, but the microfilm combines the two into a single alphabetical arrangement. A guide to this microfilm has been compiled. To use it the researcher must know the origin or source of the document or, if it is a letter, the name of the correspondent. The Park's holdings also include the extensive Ford family papers; the large William Van Vleck Lidgerwood Collection of transcripts of Hessian material; several diaries of Morristown residents, and many ledgers and account books. Also there are photocopies of four groups of family papers--the Oram papers, the Cobb papers, the Moses Tuttle papers, and the Tuttle-Hoff papers--whose originals have been transferred to the Joint Free Public Library of Morristown and Morris Township. Finding aids include inventory sheets for the Moses Tuttle and Tuttle-Hoff papers, and a complete guide to the Ford papers. Visit their web site at www.nps.gov/morr.

Museum of Early Trades and Crafts

Main Street at Green Village Road, Madison, NJ 07940; Tel (973) 377-2982.

Holdings include books, currency, maps, wills, deeds, advertisements, personal and business letters, and ledgers kept by farmers, artisans, and storekeepers. There is an extensive collection, accompanied by a finding aid, relating to the Ralston family, which played a major role in the establishment of forges and other industries. The collection also includes 19th century textbooks and several almanacs.