Permanent Collection

The Morris Plains Museum offers visitors a wide variety of objects to browse and learn about, each of which is a product of Morris Plains’ long history.

  • Homer Davenport – Famous political cartoonist and author who moved to Morris Plains in the early 1900s. He is credited with Teddy Roosevelt’s election and the importation of Arabian horses into the United States. Museum holdings include:
    * Original Davenport drawings
    * Davenport books
    * Photos of Davenport, his family, and his horses
Homer Davenport
  • Jonathan Roberts – Successful New York businessman who moved to Morris Plains in the late 1800s. His home is now the Morris Plains Library and adjacent land is Roberts Garden.  Mu
  • seum holdings include:
    * Books
    * Family photographs
    * Business letters
  • * History of Morris Plains Library
Glenbrook, now the Municipal Library, and Robert’s Garden.
  • Julia Beers – Morris Plains’ first historian, born in town in 1862, wrote A History of Early Morris Plains in 1926.  She was also the first librarian when the library was located on the second floor of the Morris Plains School on West Hanover Avenue. Museum holdings include:
    * Original manuscript and notes for the History
    * Microfilm copies of manuscript and notes
    * Photographs

    Julia Beers
  • The Farmer’s Almanac – Headquartered in Morris Plains and operated by Daniel Merchant between 1907 and 1933. Museum holdings include:
    * Original editions of the Almanac
  • Native Americans – Lenni Lenape tribe populated the Morris Plains area prior to the arrival of European settlers. Museum holdings include:
    * Spearheads
    * Tools
    * Lenape language book
  • Monahan’s Band – Local band started by blacksmith Lawrence Monahan. Museum holdings include:
    * Instruments used by the band
    * Sheet music for songs performed by the band
    * Band uniform
    * Photographs
    * Items created in blacksmith shop
Monahan’s Band in the 1930’s. The band was started in 1888.
  • Morris Plains Fire Department – Formed in 1907 following a fire in 1906 that destroyed the Weise Hotel and two adjacent stores. Museum holdings include:
    * Morris Plains Fire Department uniform
    * Photographs
  • Oral Histories from Longtime Residents – Captured on tape in the form of interviews by town historian Daniel Myers.
  • Greystone Park – Greystone Park, originally named New Jersey State Insane Asylum, opened in 1887 on 400 acres of prime farmland. It was the equivalent of a self-contained city and boasted the largest continuous building foundation in the nation prior to the construction of the Pentagon. Museum holdings include:
    * Maps
    * Early Annual Reports
    * Articles published in the print shop
    * Copies of the newspaper “Psychogram”
    * Pictures and postcards
    * Book of poetry written by a patient and published in the hospital print shop
    * Various handcrafted items made by the patients

    Greystone Hospital’s Main Building.
  • Postcard Collection – Our assortment of postcards includes:
    * Antique postcards of Morris Plains and the surrounding area
    * Antique holiday greeting cards. The illustrations and wording all express the true meaning of the occasion.
  • School Days – A collection of pictures, yearbooks, and programs of schools attended by the children of Morris Plains. The schools include:
    * Morris Plains School (Hanover Avenue) built in 1866 and now an apartment house
    * The new Morris Plains School built on the corner of Speedwell Avenue and Academy Road in 1908
    * Saint Virgil’s School opened in September of 1910
    * Morris Plains Borough School built in 1923
    * Mountain Way School built in 1956
    * Community Park School built in 1966 and now the borough Community Center
    * Morristown High School opened in 1869

    The Class of 1906 or 1907 at the New Frame Schoolhouse.
  • Local Churches – A collection of photographs, bulletins, programs, and parish newspapers. The churches include:
    * Morris Plains Presbyterian, established 1876
    * Saint Virgil’s Catholic Church, established 1881
    * Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, established 1928
    * Trinity Lutheran Church, established 1954

    The First Presbyterian Church in 1876.
  • The Morris NewsBee – The newspaper is on microfilm from 1946 – 2000 and is available for local research.
  • The Morris Plains Chronicle – The Chronicle is on microfilm from March 1929 to March 1930 and January 1940 to September 1941.
  • Morris Plains Homes – Numerous pictures showing the transformation of Morris Plains from a farming community to a retreat for wealthy families to a modern day suburban borough. Museum holdings include:
    * Photographs of existing and demolished homes keyed into a map of town
    * Photographs of mansions destroyed by fires

    The Canfield-Laudig Home, originally built in 1915, was on the Arbor Terrace site.