The Montclair Historical Society (MHS), a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization, promotes preservation, study and appreciation of local history. MHS was originally founded in 1965 to save the Israel Crane House, a Federal Revival style landmark home built by a local entrepreneur in 1796. It was relocated from Glen Ridge Avenue to its current location on Orange Road. Located next to the Israel Crane house’s new location is the Nathaniel Crane House. Built about 1818, it was donated to MHS in 1973 and together, the two Crane Houses served the public as a historic house museum, museum shop and space for demonstrations, lectures and classes interpreting our area’s past.
In 1984, MHS purchased the Clark House, located at 108 Orange Road, adjacent to the two Crane houses. The house, built in 1896, expanded the institution’s ability to service the public by creating the Terhune Research Library and administrative offices. Since its inception, the Library has been a valuable resource for scholars, historians, local teachers and homeowners wishing to know more about their home (often to aide in restoration efforts and thus preserving historic districts). In 1997 the historic home on North Mountain Avenue of successful Montclair banker Charles Shultz, was donated to MHS by his granddaughter Molly Shultz. Known as Evergreens, the house has been virtually unaltered for 100 years and holds an important collection that reflects Charles Shultz’s keen personal interest in science, the arts and world travel. This estate represents an important addition to the Society’s collection of properties and historical education program.
Mission: The mission of the Montclair Historical Society is to PRESERVE, EDUCATE, and SHARE. We PRESERVE our local history through our historical buildings, artifacts and documents. We EDUCATE the community on local history and its importance through programs, advocacy and exhibits. We SHARE the stories and history of the various persons and groups that have and continue to shape Montclair. Adopted February 2012.
Goals: The main goals MHS strives to achieve are preservation and education. The institution is dedicated to preserving its four historic buildings, grounds and collections. By preserving our historical assets, we are afforded the opportunity to interpret the Montclair area history, utilizing our four houses that span three centuries as tangible examples.