Morris County Heritage Commission Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Special Anniversary Programming Planned in 2020

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MORRIS COUNTY —  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.

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 by clicking here.

“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,” Smith added.

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 program include:

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 19 at the Morris County Library in Hanover Township;
  • Participate in the annual Morristown Fall Festival in late September.

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.