2012 Historical Walking Tours of Morristown, NJ

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Morris County Tourism Bureau presents their Summer Tour Series Featuring Gardens, Sacred Spaces and Local Lore. Book Early to Reserve Your Space.

Morris County Courthouse

The Morris County Courthouse

The Morris County Tourism Bureau (MCTB) announces their perennial walking tour series for 2012. Experience the rich history Morris County has to offer with a knowledgeable guide. Tours are offered during June, July and the early part of August on Saturday mornings at 10:00 a.m. and last approximately 90 minutes. Tickets are $12 each. Call 973-631-5151 to make a reservation today. All tours except Dover and the Seeing Eye begin at 6 Court Street, Morristown NJ.

Secrets & Lore of Historic Morristown
Mark Texel – June 2             Carol Barkin – August 11

Grand homes, wealthy builders, and some annoying neighbors are part of the story of the development of Morristown’s historic residential district. As two farms developed into one of the nation’s most prestigious summer enclaves during the Gilded Age, the new ‘summer cottages’ changed the character of Morristown’s landscape and the local social scene. Walk by beautifully restored Victorian homes and hear the stories of wayward livestock, and former tycoons and their eccentricities. The tour ends in Morristown’s ‘secret garden.’

Mark Texel is the Director of the Morris County Park Commission’s Historic Sites Division. He is a trustee of the Washington Valley Association and lives in a circa 1920s farmhouse in Morris Township. Carol Barkin is a docent and outreach manager for the Morris County Tourism Bureau and a member of the Morristown and Morris Township Historic Preservation Commissions.

Group size is limited to 25.

Antique Gardens and Landscapes
New 2012
Alice Cutler
June 16 & July 14    

The guide will lead you through the Morristown Historic District, stopping at elegant buildings and residences, pointing out the history of their gardens and some unusual landscape and architectural features. Highlights will include the Green, Vail Mansion, Villa Fontana and end in the garden of Macculloch Hall during the one-mile stroll.

Alice Cutler is a trustee of Macculloch Hall Historical Museum and Gardens, one of the Trustees of the Morristown Green, and a former president and eighteen-year member of the Morristown Garden Club.

Group size is limited to 25.

Trial of the 19th Century: Antoine LeBlanc
Judge Kenneth C. MacKenzie
June 23 & August 4

Learn all about Morristown’s most famous murder trial as you sit in the actual courtroom where Antoine LeBlanc was tried in 1833 for the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Sayre and the servant Phoebe. The triple murder shocked the entire state and resulted in LeBlanc’s execution by hanging on the Morristown Green. The program will be in lecture format with no walking involved.

The story is told by the Honorable Kenneth C. MacKenzie, retired Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, historian, and member of the Board of Trustees of Historic Speedwell. Judge MacKenzie will share legal insights into one of Morris County’s most notorious trials.

A Town of Towers & Spires
Bonnie-Lynn Nadzeika
June 9 & July 28

Morristown is “a town of towers and spires”, home to churches with a variety of unique architectural features. The tour group visits the First Baptist Church, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, The Church of the Assumption, The Presbyterian Church of Morristown, the Church of the Redeemer, and the United Methodist Church. Some of the churches will be open so that the interiors can be viewed. Morris County is celebrating the 260th anniversary of the First Baptist Church this year.

Bonnie-Lynn Nadzeika is a former director of Acorn Hall, a Victorian costume interpreter and is presently at work on a Morristown postcard book for Arcadia Publishing.

Group size is limited to 25.

The Seeing Eye’s Training Ground
Jim and Ginger Kutsch                            
June 30 & July 21

North America’s first guide dog training school, The Seeing Eye of Morris Township, was founded in 1929 by Morris Frank. Visitors may have noticed the statue of Morris and his dog Buddy, off the Morristown Green, maybe even toured The Seeing Eye’s campus. During this tour you’ll learn about the history of The Seeing Eye, walk the streets where the dogs train, and see how Seeing Eye® dogs respond to their owners. As the group walks from the in-town training center, they will pass sites important to the history of the organization and visit the J. Seward Johnson’s statue of Morris and Buddy for a photo op.

Husband and wife, Jim and Ginger Kutsch, lead us on this unique tour. Jim serves as the president and CEO of The Seeing Eye; Ginger is a volunteer with the organization. Both are graduates of The Seeing Eye. This tour sells out fast, so book early.

Group size limited to 28. Tour begins at 14 Maple Avenue, Morristown.

Dover: Victorian to Vaudeville                    
George Laurie
July 7

The Town of Dover is nearing the 300th anniversary of its founding, a perfect time to reflect on its contributions to the growth of Morris County. The arrival of the Morris Canal in 1831 changed the nature of Dover forever. Canal workers would stop overnight and sample the entertainment choices as Dover became a mecca for vaudeville. The tours goes a mile through downtown, visiting some of the old theaters and the group will learn about the
celebrities who performed there in the pre-radio and television era.

George Laurie is the museum curator of the Dover Historical Museum House and a member of the Dover Area Historical Society.

The tour will begin at 55 West Blackwell Street, Dover at the museum. Group size is limited to 25. Parking is available nearby at the Prospect Street lot between Blackwell and Chestnut Streets.

Supported in part by a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism

For more things to see and do in Morris County New Jersey visit http://www.morristourism.org

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Deidre Schunk
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