August 05, 2022

MHCA Hosts 47th Annual Garden Party

By Lori Draz

Left to right: Monmouth County Board of Commissioners Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley, MCHA President Linda Bricker, Commissioner Nick DiRocco and First Vice President Kathy Jones

On Friday, June 24, the Monmouth County Historical Association (MCHA) hosted one of its biggest events of the year, the 47th Annual Garden Party at the historic Hillandale House in Middletown, home of John Knott and John Fondas.

Sunset at historic Hillandale in Middletown

This highly anticipated annual soiree once again sold out as history buffs gathered to enjoy an elegant outdoor garden party at this gracious home. Notable guests included the Monmouth County Board of Commissioners, who were honored for their enduring commitment to preserving the history of Monmouth County.

“Over many decades, MCHA has greatly appreciated and valued the enthusiastic support of county commissioners,” said MCHA President Linda Bricker. “They consistently support our mission by providing vital funds and encouragement to preserve and celebrate Monmouth County’s history for all. It is our honor to thank them all.

Most recently, the curators provided essential assistance in presenting the 20th anniversary exhibit “9/11, Monmouth County and Its Aftermath” at Taylor-Butler House.

Guests enjoyed a spectacular sunset over the beautiful grounds of Hillandale, as well as cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, an exciting silent auction, music and networking.

Hillandale was built in 1931 by J. Wright Brown, one of the founding partners of Brown Brothers Harriman. Designed by renowned architects Polhemus and Coffin, the Georgian Revival sits on eight manicured acres that offer stunning views of the Navesink River, Huber Woods and Navesink Country Club. Knott recently acquired Hillandale, and he and Fondas are excited to revitalize this historic gem.

Since its founding in 1898, MCHA has enriched the quality of life in Monmouth County by preserving its heritage for future generations. As the largest private nonprofit organization focused on New Jersey history, MCHA operates a museum, library, and archives at its headquarters in Freehold, in addition to five historic house museums located throughout the county. that tell the story of the founding of the country. The association brings history to life and engages thousands of community residents and businesses each year through its insightful and meaningful programs and exhibits.

Photos courtesy of Chris Bahr