To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Strauss Mansion, home to the all-volunteer Atlantic Highlands Historical Society, the AHHS is kicking off its first crowd-funding campaign.
The mission of the Atlantic Highlands Historicals Society is to: Protect, preserve and promote the History of Atlantic Highlands and the Strauss Mansion;
Provide educational and cultural programming about our local heritage;
Ensure the Society’s contribution to current and future community life.
The AHHS accomplishes two Herculean responsibilities with no paid staff:
We provide a packed calendar of events for the benefit of our community: monthly lectures, a monthly music series, bi-weekly architectural walking tours, and local field trips. Our annual events include the Henry Hudson Regional School Choir Concert, the Arts & Crafts (Makers Market) fair, Flea Market, Porch Supper and October events which relate to Victorian Spiritualism, ghost hunting and scary things. In 2018 we are hosting the historic sailing vessel, Schooner AJ Meerwald, into port for a week-long visit of tours and educational sails. We are also hosting a vintage baseball game in August accompanied by a festival. These events are all dedicated to celebrating various aspects of the town's history and to educate the public about our past and encourage involvment in creating the future. Our lectures and tours of the mansion which is open on weekends from noon–5pm are free to the public.
These events need a home to make them happen. The Board is committed to restoring and preserving the Strauss Mansion. The mansion is the only Queen Anne-style building open to the public in Monmouth County. It has 21 rooms of exhibiton space and period rooms. It has a library and gift shop which promotes local topics, authors and goods. This retoration work is continually being accomplished through donations and grants. This year we are restoring the doors, finishing the porch, attending to the grading of the property and fixing the masonry work. This work is covered in part from a grant, which requires a cash match, from the NJ Trust for Historic Preservation. Future work to be done includes, painting, restoring the cedar shakes, replacing the roof, building access stairs to the yard, rebuilding the stairs off the porch.
We are hoping to raise $10,000 to ensure the guest speakers fees are covered, musicians get paid, and our basic operating expenses get paid. When we have more money vailable, we create more programs. In the near future we hope to initiate the production of an oral history podcast, create a searchable database on historic homes and town documents and artifacts, create a school trip agenda and a summer steampunk camp. These things can happen—the Strauss Mansion become an integral part in every phase of our community life—when we have the funding to make it happen.