Historic Morristown Walking Tour
Estimated Tour time: approximately 2 hours
Audio: 25 minutes
Morris County was formed by an Act of the State Legislature on March 15, 1738. Named after Colonel Lewis Morris, then Governor of the Province of New Jersey, the region originally included what are now the counties of Morris, Sussex and Warren. Several years after its founding, the community of West or New Hanover was renamed "Morris Town" and designated the county seat of government.
The Gilded Age of Morris County
By 1900 the nation's business and financial leaders, seeking escape from New York City, discovered Morris County (which was renowned for its isolation, ideal climate and unspoiled countryside) and began constructing large country estates. Within a few years, more millionaires lived within a three-mile radius of the Morristown Green than anywhere else in the United States.
These magnificent estates were numerous enough to fill the pages of a pre-World War I vintage picture book entitled Beautiful Homes of Morris County, boasting the most opulent homes of moguls such as Otto H. Kahn, Charles Mellon and the Frelinghuysens. Sadly, the introduction of the federal income tax and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, sounded the death knell for the large estates. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s the impressive mansions that lined Madison Avenue’s "Millionaires Row" were demolished to avoid rising property taxes and upkeep expenses.
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