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The Somerset Hills Holiday House Tour

The Somerset Hills most celebrated house tour returns this holiday season with six wonderful properties located in Basking Ridge and Bernardsville.  For over a quarter of a century, the Somerset Hills Holiday House Tour, sponsored by The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH), has been a tradition enjoyed by thousands.  This year’s event will take place on Sunday, December 9, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This one of a kind, signature event will include four distinct residences displaying historic preservation, custom interior design, and creative holiday décor. Among those featured is one of the earliest and most important historic homes in Bernards Township, commonly known as the Van Dorn homestead, named for Ferdinand Van Dorn.  Van Dorn also constructed the adjacent historic stone mill.  Situated on four lush acres, the property boasts a large pond and a “mill race.”  The front yard contains one of the oldest cucumber magnolia trees in New Jersey.

A lovely home reminiscent of the original Childs’ mansion is also on the tour.  Beautifully decorated with tasteful décor and holiday trimmings, this home rests on close to five acres of the original Childs property and includes a delightful pond.

William Childs was a famous restauranteur who purchased the Van Dorn Mill barn in 1928 and moved it to its current location – The Grain House Restaurant on Route 202 in Basking Ridge, which was at first called the Old Mill Inn.

The Brick Academy, an 1809 historic landmark, will serve as the hospitality center.

Ticket cost for this event is $40 per person ($35 for members).  The deadline to purchase tickets is December 2, 2018. 
Tickets are not sold the day of the event.   Purchase tickets by check payable to THSSH and mailed to: THSSH, P.O. Box 136, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920.  NOTE: You must include a self-addressed, LEGAL SIZE, stamped envelope with your check

Make certain your check includes your name, address, and a phone number where you can be reached.  Tickets will be mailed after November 9, 2018.  This event will be held regardless of weather conditions.  Tickets are non-refundable.  This event may not be appropriate for children under 12 years of age.  For further information, call (908) 221-1770.

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About The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH)

THSSH logoFounded in 1928 originally as the Historical Society of Basking Ridge, the mission and name of the society was later changed to The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization including all five communities of the Somerset Hills region: Bedminster Township, Bernards Township, Bernardsville ,Far Hills, Peapack-Gladstone which are all located in Somerset County, New Jersey.

The mission of The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH) is to acquire, conserve and share local artifacts and information on matters of local historic interest; cultivate interest in local history; encourage the preservation of local historic resources; facilitate historic research; and preserve, operate, and interpret the Brick Academy.

To further this mission, THSSH sponsors events and activities that promote community awareness and appreciation of the history and architecture of the Somerset Hills. THSSH headquarters is at the Brick Academy in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township, where our collections of items of local historic interest are available to the public.

About the Brick Academy

BR_Brick_Academy_Sketch_08_sm.jpgThe Brick Academy (also known as the Basking Ridge Classical Schoolhouse) is a 1809 Federal-style architectural structure located in the center of Basking Ridge in Bernards Township. The Brick Academy has been a boys’ private preparatory school, a public school, a meeting hall for several fraternal and benevolent organizations, and the Bernards Township municipal building. It currently serves as the headquarters of The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills, as well as a schoolhouse and museum to local history. The Brick Academy also celebrated its bicentennial in 2009.




the Brick Academy
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Street Address:
The Historical Society
of the Somerset Hills
15 West Oak Street,
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
(908) 221-1770

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Hours of Operation:
Museum Open
First Sunday
of each month
(except Summer
and Holidays)
Research Room

By Appointment Only




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