ou’ve probably heard or even been part of a discussion that is takingplace within historical communities all across the country—how torespond to cash-strapped governing bodies that want to cut fund-ing for historical societies and preservation commissions because of theweak economy.
Many of these elected ofcials were elected by voters caught in an epic
economic hiccup that has left them feeling vulnerable and uncertain.Someone must have dropped the ball, they say. Municipal governmentsare loath to be accused of any excess spending and are desperate for bud-get cutbacks. “We just can’t afford historic preservation,” they declare,hoping to close the subject.
It is up to historical communities everywhere to point out the implications
of stripping historical budgets by labeling them “unnecessary spend-ing.” Many municipal historic committees and societies do tremendouswork on a few thousand dollars a year. Often this is far less than $1 perresident. And studies show that historic preservation is sound economicpolicy, delivering returns many times the initial investment via local anddestination tourism.Historians can further point out that most municipalities’ Master Plans
include a historic preservation element that pledges ofcials to preserve
their town’s historical resources. How much might be lost forever if mu-nicipalities in effect suspend this obligation when times are tough?The historical community must help governing bodies make choices for thelong term during these stressful economic times, despite political pressure.To paraphrase a popular mode of expressing comparative values:Making do with fewer municipal services: a necessary inconvenience
Saving $50 on your local taxes: a cheap night out
Preserving our history and cultural heritage in tough times: priceless
Virginia Vogt, Commissioner
Dan Beards Appointedto Commission, ReplacingRetiring Member KarenAnn Kurlander
aniel Beards of RandolphTownship has been appointedto the Morris County HeritageCommission by the Board of Chosen
Freeholders for a ve-year term.
Mr. Beards has been a Morris Coun-ty resident for over twenty years. Heis a retired human resources executivewith risk management and facilitiesplanning expertise.Beards has served on the RandolphTownship Planning Board and Boardof Adjustment. He is an avid pho-tographer and has generously do-nated the use of his photographs tothe Morristown National Park, Mor-ris County Visitors Center, MorrisCounty Historical Society, and othernon-profit organizations. MCHCcommissioners welcomed Mr. Beardsat their regular February meeting.
Beards lls the seat recently va
-cated by Karen Ann Kurlander, whowas a member of the Commissionsince April 2005. During her tenureMs. Kurlander served as secretaryand as chair of the publications com-mittee, where she was responsiblefor editing the Commission’s bro-chures, newsletters, books and otherpublished materials, both print andelectronic. The Commission and theMorris County Freeholders are grate-ful for her many years of dedicatedvolunteer service.
The freeholders appointed Dan Beards of Randolph Township to the Heritage Com-mission. in January.
Morris County Historical SocietyReceives Archival Collection
n January 2011, the Morris County Historical Society at Acorn Hall (MCHS)
received a donation of a signicant archive of local legal papers dating
from 1713 to 1934.These papers are associated with some of the most im-
portant business, social, and political gures in Morris County’s history, in
-cluding Mahlon Dickerson, Joseph Kirkbride, Silas Condict, Ario Pardee, and
Frederick A. Caneld. Also represented are important local businesses such
as the Dickerson Suckasunny Mining Company and the Morris County Trac-tion Company.The collection contains more than 600 items including indentures, land surveys,deeds, stocks and bonds, wills, receipts, genealogical materials, and other docu-ments. Some of the indentures predate the Revolutionary War, with the earliestdated 1745. The earliest land surveys date from between 1713 and 1718.An independent appraiser who reviewed the collection said, “Taken as agroup, the papers offer a detailed view of businesses, particularly those relatedto coal mining and iron, and the business dealings of prominent individuals inthe Morris County area during a period lasting over 200 years. Much of this
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