New Jersey Gold – Autumn in Morris County
Vonda Givens, Executive Director of Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms
New Jersey Gold
By Vonda Givens
New Jersey summers rightfully enjoy a lot of attention. It’s true that sunshine and the Jersey shore make a magical combination, but I’m just as infatuated with autumn in the Garden State. I’m a transplant to New Jersey. As a Tennessee native, until moving here nearly 20 years ago, I had only experienced autumn as a brief stop on the downhill slope to winter. It was hot until it wasn’t. As a New Jersey resident—particularly as a resident of Morris County—I came to see autumn as much more. Here summer gave way to winter at a slower pace, along a meandering path. Autumn could bring any kind of weather from cool and clear to warm and rainy to fair and foggy. In Morris County I came to see that while New Jersey summers might have the warm sunshine, autumn in New Jersey has the gold.
I first encountered Morris County, New Jersey after joining the staff of the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms, an historic house museum and National Historic Landmark in Parsippany. Like many other museums, historic and cultural facilities in Morris County, the Stickley Museum’s most important annual events take place in the autumn—Fall Family Day is set for September 21 and The Stickley Weekend is October 12-13. I was recently looking back over several files worth of pictures from these fall events. Until then, I might have said that the timing of these annual events had mostly to do with convenience. As I sorted through pictures, I came to see that this timing is less by chance and more by design than I realized. Year after year, autumn in Morris County is a spectacular sight! Every year nature delivers glowing yellow, reds and oranges blended into the golden sunlight.
I hope this year you’ll make a point, like me, of relishing the autumn season in Morris County, whether you are a resident or tourist. You can experience the riches of this season at the cornucopia of historic, arts, cultural and recreational facilities across the county. I happen to be partial to the Stickley Museum—its ornamental maples are dazzling in early November—but you will find riches all over Morris County from harvest celebrations and family fun at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morris Township and at Alstede Farms in Chester. Or enjoy autumn beauty at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morris Township or Willowwood Arboretum in Far Hills. Rainy day? Take in the new Graffiti exhibition at the Morris Museum in Morristown, the fashion exhibition at the Morris County Historical Society at Acorn Hall in Morristown or the “Sweet Treats” exhibition at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts in Madison.
Like the Jersey shore in summer, when it comes to autumn glory Morris County always delivers. You can count on it. To learn more about all of these events and more, make sure to follow the Morris County Tourism Bureau and check their website for information and updates.
Vonda Givens, Executive Director of the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms