|The Hill Memorial, 1916-17
The Sussex County Historical Society was organized in 1904 in response to local interest focused by the Sussex County Sesquicentennial celebration of September 1903.
The Hill Memorial, 82 Main Street, was constructed in 1916 by contractor Thomas Farrell of Newton in Renaissance Revival style, according to design of Henry T. Stephens, architect. It was built by donation of $15,000 from Joshua Hill, a native of Sussex County, for use of the Sussex County Historical Society. The cornerstone was laid May 23, 1916, and the building dedicated on Founders Day, June 8, 1917.
The Historical Society Building is faced with two shades of tapestry brick: stretchers of "freestone tint" and headers of "delicate brownstone tint," furnished by N. H Sloan from their Pennsylvanian kilns. The raised basement, window trims and quoins are laid in stretcher bond while the fields of the first and second story walls are laid in Flemish Bond with "burnt" headers. The terra cotta portico and door casings at the main entrance were manufactured by the Brick Terra Cotta & Tile Company of Coming, New York. Roof slate is from the New Jersey Slate Companys Lafayette quarry. Wooden elements on exterior were originally painted the color of limestone.
An entry hall containing the grand staircase of quartered oak is flanked by Exhibit Rooms on the first floor. An Assembly Room comprises the second floor. A large fireplace in the Sussex County Room, built by George Sharp in 1922, incorporates stones of local geological or historic significance.
In 1985, historian Kevin Wright placed the Hill Memorial on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places as the oldest museum building in the State of New Jersey.
Copyright 2000 Kevin W. Wright. All rights reserved.