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Frelinghuysen Arboretum – Mid-Town Direct Things to Do

by: Sue Adler
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Admission: FREE
Hours: starting 8am to dusk
Where: 353 East Hanover Ave. Morristown, NJ 07962

shutterstock_104253467The Frelinghuysen Arboretum is located in Morristown, New Jersey, at 53 East Hanover Avenue. It gets its name from George G. Frelinghuysen, an attorney and Secretary of State during the presidency of Chester A. Arthur. He had been married with Sara Ballantine, the co-founder of the company with the same name. In 1891, the couple employed an architectural firm from Boston to construct a summer residence for them. The construction company created the beautiful colonial-style mansion with iconic columns and large windows. The family lived there only during the hot summer months, spending the rest of the year in New York. The propriety was also a farm and several greenhouses and gardens where built to grow vegetables and fruits, and have them sent to the family in New York.

George Frelinghuysen died in 1936 and his wife four years later. Their summer residence was inherited by their daughter, Matilda, who was interested in gardening and kept the cultures, as well as the residence in a perfect estate. In 1964 she began thinking about converting the propriety into an arboretum. After her death, the house and the land were conferred to the residents of Morris County who had followed her idea and transformed the place into an arboretum.

In time, it became more and more complex, presenting more types of trees, plants and it also improved its aspect and functionality. In 1989 the Haggerty Education Center was opened.This new construction included an auditorium and a couple of classrooms aimed to offer horticultural educational programs to those interested. Likewise, it is the headquarters of various plant societies in the area.

Furthermore, Frelinghuysen Arboretum organizes very diverse and interesting activities throughout the year. For instance, there is the “Gardening Hour” a special course for all those who are interested in gardening and who love plants and cultures. The class is held by Dr. Lesley Parness, a Superintendent of Horticultural Education at the Morris County Park Commission. She also has a radio show that can be heard live on the Rutgers Radio Station. What is more, there is going to be organized a Craft Show pretty soon. It will be held at the end of the year, just before Christmas, and will be the perfect occasion for individuals to enjoy making handmade piece, exhibit and even sell a couple of them.

There are many more other activities that people will certainly enjoy at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in New Jersey. Engaging activities related to plants and horticulture for example, will offer you a whole new perspective on gardening. From actual classes to relaxing courses, the Frelinghuysen Arboretum is a great place to bring your kids and have a good time on weekends. It is a place with an interesting history, which has developed greatly in the past few years. From a simple summer residence it came to be the most important arboretum in the area and surely one of the first in the country. If you’re looking for a great place in town to find out more about gardening, the Frelinghuysen Arboretum is the perfect location to consider.

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