Welcome, history lovers! If you’re curious about America’s revolutionary history, then you won’t want to miss visiting the Liberty Hall Museum in Union, New Jersey. This magnificent museum offers an immersive experience that transports visitors back in time to the Revolutionary Era. You’ll get to see and touch priceless artifacts, learn about the influential personalities, and feel the patriotic spirit that weaves throughout this defining period of American history. Visiting the Liberty Hall Museum is a must-do activity for anyone who cherishes our nation’s history and wants to immerse themselves in the story of our founding.
The History of Liberty Hall Museum
Liberty Hall Museum is a remarkable historic site located in Union, New Jersey. It is a fascinating place that offers an insightful glimpse into the life and legacy of the Kean family—the people who were involved in shaping the American nation.
The Kean family played a pivotal role in the American Revolution by lending their voices, resources, and support to the cause of liberty. The family patriarch, William Livingston, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and a Governor of New Jersey.
His son, John Kean, who inherited the Liberty Hall estate, fought in the Revolutionary War and suffered several injuries. His bravery on the battlefield earned him the rank of Brigadier General.
In addition to their role in the war, the Keans were known for their progressive beliefs and dedication to education. They also hosted numerous historic figures from George Washington to Alexander Hamilton, making Liberty Hall a hub for political and intellectual discussions.
Building a Legacy
The Kean family’s contributions went beyond the Revolutionary War. They had a considerable influence on the development of New Jersey and American politics.
John Kean, who was a senator and member of the US Congress, fought tirelessly for the rights of Black people. His advocacy led to the creation of Liberia, a West African nation that became a home for freed slaves.
The next generation of Keans, including Peter Kean and John Kean II, continued to serve the public in various roles. Peter Kean was a military officer and a prominent lawyer, while John Kean II served as a US Senator and Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Preservation and Restoration
Liberty Hall has undergone a series of preservation and restoration efforts over the years to maintain the estate’s historic significance. It has been open to the public as a museum since 2000.
The architects responsible for the restoration spared no effort to ensure that the mansion retains the old-world grandeur that characterizes it. The spaces have been designed to replicate the original ambiance, and the furnishings showcase the exquisite taste of the Kean family.
Visitors to the museum can enjoy guided tours that take them through the elegant reception rooms, the library, the dining room, and the private quarters. They can also explore the meticulously maintained gardens and admire the stately trees that have stood the test of time.
In addition to the historic house, the museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts, artworks, and documents that tell the story of the Kean family and their legacy. Visitors can also attend various events and programming, such as lectures, concerts, and exhibitions, as part of the Liberty Hall experience.
The Liberty Hall Museum is an exceptional site that preserves New Jersey’s history and legacy. It is a must-visit destination for history buffs, architecture enthusiasts, and anyone interested in exploring the American past.
The Exhibits at Liberty Hall Museum
Liberty Hall Museum is a treasure trove of American history and culture, and the museum’s exhibits showcase the Kean family’s contributions to American democracy, social justice, and culture. The museum contains hundreds of artifacts, documents, and photographs that provide visitors with a window into the past, including a look at how the Kean family helped shape American history.
A Window into the Past
The exhibits at Liberty Hall Museum provide visitors with a unique opportunity to step back in time and explore the world of the Kean family. Visitors can see the couch Abraham Lincoln sat on while he penned the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as original letters and documents signed by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The museum also has exhibits highlighting the Kean family’s contributions to education, including a display honoring Hamilton Fish Kean, who helped establish the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
Visitors can also explore the museum’s extensive collection of artwork, including paintings and sculptures from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The collection includes rare maps, printed materials, and other artifacts related to the Revolutionary War and early American history. In addition, the museum features an exhibit called “The Magic of Liberty Hall,” which showcases the family’s collection of magical artifacts and illusions.
The Christie Collection
Another highlight of the museum is the Christie Collection, which is a vast collection of fine art, furniture, and decorative arts from all over the world. The collection was amassed by the Kean family over many generations and includes pieces from some of the world’s most famous artisans. Visitors can see intricate silver pieces, beautiful portraits, and a painting by John James Audubon entitled “American White Pelican”. The collection also includes rare Chinese export porcelain, French furniture, and Italian Renaissance art.
The Firehouse Gallery
In addition to the historic exhibits in the main hall, Liberty Hall Museum also features a contemporary art gallery located in the former carriageway and firehouse. The space is now known as the Firehouse Gallery and showcases exhibits from local and international artists. The gallery features rotating exhibits and installations, and admission is always free.
Overall, Liberty Hall Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in American history, art, and culture. The museum provides visitors with a unique opportunity to explore the past and learn about the Kean family’s contributions to American society. Whether you’re interested in historic artifacts or contemporary art, Liberty Hall Museum has something for everyone.
Events and Programs at Liberty Hall Museum
The Liberty Hall Museum is not just any museum. This historic home, built in 1772, sits on fifty acres of tranquil gardens, lush trees, and sprawling lawns. The museum is located in Union, New Jersey, and it holds a rich history that dates back to the American Revolution era. Liberty Hall Museum is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike and offers a wide range of events and programs.
Weddings and Private Events
Are you looking for an elegant and picturesque backdrop for your special day? Host your wedding, gala, or other private event at the Liberty Hall Museum. This historic mansion is a beautiful and unique setting for any event. Couples can choose to hold their ceremony in the mansion’s gardens or under the beautiful oak trees near the museum’s entrance.
The Liberty Hall Museum’s staff is experienced and will assist to ensure that your event runs smoothly. The museum offers a range of packages, which includes the use of its elegant ballroom, spacious dining room, and stunning galleries. Whether you’re planning a fundraiser, corporate event, or intimate gathering, Liberty Hall Museum has everything you need to create an event that reflects your vision.
The Liberty Hall Museum offers fascinating educational opportunities for visitors of all ages. The museum’s interactive exhibits, guided tours, and educational programs are designed to provide visitors with an overview of America’s intricate and diverse history. The museum is also home to more than 50,000 artifacts, including manuscripts, furniture, ceramics, and textiles, that bring the past alive and demonstrate American history’s diversity to visitors.
The museum’s guided tours are a perfect way to explore the mansion and the surrounding gardens. Visitors can take part in a guided tour of the museum’s main house, which provides a rare look at everyday life in the late 18th century, or take an outdoor tour of the grounds, which examines the unique history of the Liberty Hall property. The museum also offers group tours for schools and other organizations.
The holidays are a special time of year, and there is no better way to celebrate than by experiencing the Liberty Hall Museum’s annual events. These events are family-friendly and a great way to get into the holiday spirit. The museum hosts the Annual Apple Festival, where you can spend your day enjoying apple pie, cider, and various activities and crafts. Families can also enjoy the Annual Gingerbread House Workshop, where they can learn how to create beautiful gingerbread houses and explore the museum’s holiday decorations.
The Liberty Hall Museum is a perfect venue for wedding, educational programs, and holiday events. Its rich history and aesthetically pleasing gardens are unmatched. This historic site provides a unique and memorable experience that visitors are sure to enjoy. Visit the museum today and experience life in the 18th century!
Visiting Liberty Hall Museum
Location and Hours
Liberty Hall Museum is located in Union, New Jersey, on the grounds of Kean University. The address is 1003 Morris Avenue, Union, NJ 07083.
The museum is open for tours Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm, with the last tour starting at 3:00 pm. It is closed on Sundays, Mondays, and major holidays including New Year’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve.
It is recommended to plan ahead and check the museum’s website for any updates or changes to hours or closures.
Admission and Tours
Admission prices for Liberty Hall Museum vary depending on the type of tour you choose. General admission tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (65+), and $8 for children (3-17 years old).
The museum offers several types of tours:
- Guided Mansion Tour (60 minutes) – This tour is the recommended choice for first-time visitors and covers the history of the Kean family and Liberty Hall. It costs $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $10 for children.
- School Group Tour (90 minutes) – This tour is designed for school groups and covers history, architecture, and social studies. The cost varies depending on the size of the group.
- Behind the Scenes Tour (90 minutes) – This tour takes visitors to areas of the museum not seen on the Guided Mansion Tour. It costs $25 per person and is limited to 10 people.
- Private Group Tour (60-90 minutes) – This tour is designed for groups of 10 or more and can be customized to specific interests. The cost varies depending on the size of the group.
It is recommended to book your tour ahead of time online or by calling the museum.
Accessibility and Amenities
Parking is available at Liberty Hall Museum in the parking lot adjacent to the museum. The parking lot is free for museum visitors.
The museum is wheelchair accessible, and a limited number of wheelchairs are available for use on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors with other accessibility needs are encouraged to contact the museum ahead of time to make arrangements.
The museum has restrooms on the first floor of the Carriage House. The restrooms are equipped with changing tables for families with young children.
The museum store is located in the original carriage house and offers a variety of items related to the history and culture of Liberty Hall, including books, gifts, and souvenirs.
Liberty Hall Museum provides a unique and informative experience for visitors of all ages. With its rich history and stunning architecture, it is a must-see destination for anyone visiting New Jersey. Plan your trip today to experience this gem of American history and culture.