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Morris Tourism

Splendor in September-The Mansion in May Returns

Don’t know about you, but we LOVE a good Gilded Age mansion and are looking forward to the Women’s Association for Morristown Medical Center presenting its 19th fundraiser for the hospital called Mansion in May, albeit a bit belatedly.  Re-cast as Splendor in September, the goal this year is to raise $1.5 million for the hospital’s Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute.

This year’s decorator showhouse will take place at Tyvan Hill, a well-preserved, 92-year-old Gilded Age country estate in New Vernon, just minutes from Morristown.  The 10,000 square foot U-shaped brick and stone house was designed by the New York architectural firm of Peabody, Wilson and Brown for John Wesley Castles, Jr. and his wife, Dorothea Bradford Smith of New York City.

The home was built between 1928 and 1929 and is surrounded by 22 wooded acres.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property to the Silver Lake Historic District which was added to the National Register in 1999.  During the early 20th century, Morristown and its neighboring towns were home to 100 gentlemen’s farms or estates built by millionaires looking for a respite from city life.

They built “summer cottages” in rural New Jersey and brought their families here, eventually settling down all year round.  Lucky for us, there are still a few around today, though they are an “endangered species”.  The ones that were saved from the wrecker’s ball are here today because of adaptive re-use.

A few examples are the Vanderbilt mansion, “Twombly”, in Florham Park, now Fairleigh Dickinson University,and the Kountze mansion, today the Delbarton School.

A more recent example of adaptive re-use is the Vail Mansion on South Street, Morristown, now the popular restaurant Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen.

“Alnwick Hall”

In May 2017 the Mansion in May was held at Morris Township’s Alnwick Hall, also known as the

Abbey. One of New Jersey’s most distinctive buildings, and modeled after Alnwick Hall in England, it will be saved in the future with a creative adaptation.

Tyvan Hill will be open for your inspection beginning on September 8th, and we hope it will go on to enjoy a new chapter in its history after the exposure it receives through the showhouse.

The pandemic forced the hospital fundraiser to be postponed to the fall.  Safety protocols are in place that conforms to the State of New Jersey and C.D.C. guidelines.  These include timed day and hour tickets, limiting the amount of people on the shuttles and in a tour group, hand sanitizing stations, the wearing of masks, maintaining social distance, and health monitoring.  The hospital itself has helped designed the safety protocols.  Read about the protocols

It has been three years since the last Mansion in May, and the loyal fans and followers of the event are sure to flock to Tyvan Hill to see the specially preserved interior and exterior architectural features of the home, and the exquisite garden spaces designed by today’s most talented decorators and landscapers. Not to mention the hospital can really use the support!

Tyvan Hill may be toured each day between Tuesday, September 8 and Sunday, October 4th between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, with the last tour leaving at 3 pm.  Tickets are on sale now for $40.00 for a specific day and time.

Go to for more information.




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