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It Happened in Monmouth County: Historical Sites and Events

Farm property with house

Monmouth is one of the fastest growing counties in New Jersey, yet despite recent developments the area’s history continues to set it apart from other seaside communities.

Let’s explore some of the sites and historical events that make Monmouth so unique.

Village Inn – Englishtown, NJ

The first known European settlers began colonizing Monmouth County in the early 1600s. By 1668, so many people were traveling to the area that a law was passed, stating that every town must have a public house.

In 1766, the Village Inn was converted into one from a tailor shop. During the Revolutionary War, public houses were hubs for political debates and intrigue. Upon taking a guided tour of this historic attraction, you’ll find that the Village Inn was no different.

The building has been expanded and renovated throughout the years. It was purchased by the Battleground Historical Society and has been the organization’s headquarters since its public debut as a museum in 1993.

Monmouth Battlefield State Park – Manalapan Township, NJ

Monmouth Battlefield State Park was the site of one of the biggest skirmishes of the American Revolution. The battle between George Washington and Sir Henry Clinton ended in a standoff, but not before surrounding residents made a name for themselves through uncommon acts of bravery.

Today, you can visit the battlefield site and see some of the farmhouses that were in their prime during the American Revolution. The Sutfin Farmhouse was built in 1731, and the Rhea-Applegate House was built in 1745. Both survived bullets and cannon fire during the Battle of Monmouth that took place in 1778.

During your visit to the state park, you’ll enjoy discovering battlefield artifacts that are on display at the visitor center. Plan your visit for the second weekend of June and get treated to a re-enactment of the Battle of Monmouth.

Walnford House – Allentown, NJ

Historic Walnford is one of Monmouth’s must-see historic sites that’s appealing to locals and visitors alike. The area was settled during the 1700’s, and life in the village showed the industrial talents of the people who lived in that era.

In the 1770s, the Waln family bought the property on which the town sits and managed three mills, blacksmith and coppersmith shops, farm homes, orchards, and fields that span 1,300 acres. Historic Walnford now hosts many educational activities that are fun for all ages. Children can participate in age-appropriate tours of the town’s grist mill and weaving stations as well as scavenger hunts on the grounds. Adults can take tea at the Walnford House.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial – Holmdel, NJ

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a cultural landmark that honors America’s more contemporary heroes. The Wall of Faces is more than just a stunning piece of architecture; it inspires visitors to get to know the 1,562 men and one woman from New Jersey who gave their lives in service to their country.

While visiting the memorial, you’ll want to step inside the Vietnam Era Museum, which is the first of its kind that was built in America. At the 10,000 square-foot museum, you’ll find several exhibits that bring the cultural and political aspects of the Vietnam War to life.

The venue also has a testimony theater where visitors can hear first-hand accounts of the Vietnam War era from New Jerseyans who lived through that tumultuous time.

Monmouth County Historical Association Museum and Library – Freehold, NJ

Want to learn more about an ancestor who lived in Monmouth County 100 years ago? The best place to begin your quest is at the Monmouth County Historical Association Museum and Library. The library is known for its extensive archives of genealogical materials.

Become a local expert

Arguably the best time to visit many of these historic venues is the last weekend in April. During this time, nearly 50 of the county’s attractions waive their admission fees and offer self-guided tours of the properties.

Want to do more to highlight Monmouth’s important contributions to the state and the nation? Consider volunteering at your local museum or other historic site. Volunteering at one of Monmouth’s historic attractions is a great way to help others to immerse themselves in a bygone era.

Are you seeking a springboard to new discoveries where you can decouple from stress and simply soak in the beauty of each new day? The Atrium at Navesink Harbor in Red Bank, NJ puts you at the center of it all. Schedule a visit today.

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