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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Aug 06, 2020

Monmouth County Historical Association’s Garden Party Zoom Bloom

By Lori Draz

MCHA Trustee and 2019 Garden Party hostess Kara Short, President Linda W. Bricker and Executive Director Meg Sharp Walton

For more than 40 years, the Monmouth County Historical Association (MCHA) has hosted a much-anticipated Garden Party on the last Sunday of June. The humble roots of this event go back to the original days when a small group met to enjoy blooms and homemade hors d’oeuvres from a member’s garden. But as all beautiful and successful gardens, the event has grown to become a summer institution.

Each year, groups of nearly 400 guests meet at some of Monmouth County’s most magnificent riverfront homes. The event this year could not be held, but gardens still bloom, and patrons still united to share their love of history and, of course, their own gardens with one another at the Zoom Bloom Garden Party.

Little Silver’s James “Hutch” and Daren Hutchinson, members of the Garden Party Committee


Rumson’s Nora and Kenny King and their kids made lemonade out of lemons in their own yard


Rumson’s Shea and Chuck Jones III with his parents, Hope and Charlie Jones Jr., past president, of Little Silver


This was the 45th annual Garden Party, and while the numerous partygoers stayed planted in the safety of their own gardens, they still honored this cherished tradition and joined in a virtual toast to MCHA and its mission to preserve and celebrate the history of Monmouth County.

The Zoom Bloom program featured a greeting from Linda Bricker, president of the MCHA Board of Trustees, who thanked the committee members, trustees, staff and contributors who continue to support the association through this challenging time.

Next, Executive Director Meg Sharp Walton discussed the MCHA’s rich 120-year legacy and the crucial role history plays in understanding and navigating the challenges the country faces today. She shared information on the association’s historic sites, reflecting 350 years of American heritage; diverse displays ranging from the paintings of 19th century artist Micah Williams to the “Springsteen: His Hometown” exhibit; and innovative programs, including a garden project based on Thomas Jefferson’s horticultural records. She also shared the new “Remembering Covid-19” campaign to gather and archive personal reflections on the pandemic. Attendees then joined 2019 Garden Party Honoree and past Interim Director Charles “Chuck” Jones III in a toast to the Garden Party and the future of MCHA.

For more information and ways to donate to MCHA, visit