Monmouth County’s origins date back to the arrival of the first European settlers in the 1600s. The county played an important role in the Revolutionary War and has been a key figure throughout New Jersey’s long and colorful history. All around the county are sites and attractions that stand testament to its rich past.
Here’s a list of the top historical destinations in Monmouth County that any visitor or resident should see and explore.
Monmouth Battlefield State Park
1 E. Main Street
Hall of Records Annex
This 1,818 acre state park commemorates the 1778 Battle of Monmouth, an important encounter in the Revolutionary War that marked a victory for General George Washington and his troops. The park wonderfully preserves the area’s 18th century landscape of rolling hills, orchards, woodland, and wetlands, and includes miles of hiking and horseback riding trails.
One of the main attractions here is Craig House, an excellently preserved 18th century farmhouse that was used as a hospital by the British army during the Revolutionary War. In addition, the park is also the site of the annual reenactment of the Battle of Monmouth.
Jewish Museum of New Jersey
310 Mounts Corner Drive
The Jewish Museum celebrates Monmouth County’s strong Jewish heritage, which goes all the way back to the 1720s. The museum features photographs, stories, and artifacts showcasing the county’s Jewish history and traditions, and how they have influenced present day life here. The museum is located in a 1700s barn that was once part of the Levi Solomon farm, Monmouth County’s first Jewish farm settlement.
The Historic Village at Allaire
4236 Atlantic Avenue
Located within Allaire State Park, this living history museum will take you back to the early 19th century when the village was an iron factory town known as the Howell Iron Works, Co. This quaint attraction features excellently preserved buildings and structures from the era, including row houses where the village’s skilled workers lived, a bakery that supplied bread to the villagers, a three story general store, a chapel, and more. Steam engine builder James P. Allaire’s retirement house is also found on the site.
Historic Longstreet Farm
44 Longstreet Road
Another living history museum, Longstreet Farm recreates a slice of the agricultural life in late 19th century Monmouth County. This working farm features historic structures from the era, including a 14-room farmhouse and barnyard. Interpreters in period costumes demonstrate agricultural activities and practices during those times. Today, the farm raises the same crops and animals as those raised here in the 1890s. The animals serve the same purposes as they did back then – to plow the field and provide food and clothing for the villagers.
New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and Vietnam Era Museum and Educational Center
1 Memorial Lane, Golden State Parkway
Considered the only one of its kind in the United States, this memorial pays tribute to the veterans of the Vietnam War, including the 1,563 New Jerseyans who made the “ultimate sacrifice” during the war. Through multimedia exhibits, books, videos, and other materials, the memorial also aims to give visitors a better understanding of the war, including its political, military, cultural, and social aspects.