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The premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and announcements in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Aug 05, 2022

MHCA Hosts 47th Annual Garden Party

By Lori Draz

From left: Monmouth County Board of County 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) held one of their 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 much-anticipated annual soiree was again a sold-out affair as history lovers came together to enjoy an elegant outdoor garden party in this gracious home. Among the notable guests were the Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners who were honored for their enduring commitment to preserving the history of Monmouth County.

“Throughout many decades, MCHA has greatly appreciated and valued the enthusiastic support of the County Commissioners,” said MCHA President Linda Bricker. “They consistently support our mission by providing vital funds and encouragement in preserving and celebrating the history of Monmouth County for all. It is our honor to thank them all.” 

Most recently, the commissioners assisted with critical aid needed to present the 20th anniversary exhibition “9/11, Monmouth County and Its Aftermath” at Taylor-Butler House.

Guests enjoyed a spectacular sunset at the beautiful Hillandale grounds, along with 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 sweeping views of the Navesink River, Huber Woods and Navesink Country Club. Knott recently acquired Hillandale, and he and Fondas are enthusiastically revitalizing 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 history focused private non-profit organization in New Jersey, MCHA operates a Museum and 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 residents and businesses in the community each year through its insightful and meaningful programs and exhibitions.

Photos courtesy of Chris Bahr