This Saturday Middletown Township will present a heritage tour of Middletown Village for the first time. The inaugural walking tour will begin at 10:00 am on May 13 at the Middletown Arts Center located at 36 Church Street.
“We’re excited to offer our first heritage tour in Middletown Village. The township’s rich history is one of the many things that make our community a great place to live,” said Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, an archaeologist and long-time member of the township’s Landmarks Commission.
A colonial-garbed guide will take walkers on a 45-minute tour along Kings Highway located in the heart of the Middletown Village Historic District. The village is among the oldest permanent English settlements in New Jersey with the first land being purchased by settlers in 1664 from Popomora, an Indian chief.
The historic district contains 99 properties, 12 of which have origins in the early 18th century. It’s also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The district includes Marlpit Hall which has sections that date back 1686; Old First Church, a Baptist congregation founded in 1688; the Hendrickson Cemetery where the oldest stone dates back to 1798; and a circa 1825 blacksmith shop that’s considered one of the oldest and best surviving shops in Monmouth County.
“Take the family out for some fresh air and walk in the footsteps of our ancestors. You’re sure to learn some fascinating facts about some of our most storied residents,” encouraged Deputy Mayor Stephanie Murray who spearheaded efforts to celebrate Middletown’s 350th anniversary in 2014.
The Middletown Village Historic District Tour will be available on the second Saturday of each month through September. Tours start at 10:00 am. Remember to wear comfortable shoes. Tourists are also encouraged to stop by the Middletown Farmers and Makers Market when it opens next month. The market will be held at Middletown Arts Center on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from June through September.
The Middletown Village Heritage Tour is funded in part by the Discover NJ History, License Plate Fund Heritage Tourism Grant. For more information about the tour, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Township Clerk’s Office at 732-615-2015.
The tour is part of an ongoing effort to promote heritage tourism in Middletown Township. The township which is more than 350 years old is home to five historic districts including Middletown Village. The 42-square-mile-community also includes Sandy Hook where the nation’s oldest continually lit lighthouse can be found. Visit middletownnj.org/heritage to learn more about Middletown’s history.