About

Mendham Township Historic Preservation Committee

Mendham Township’s Historic Preservation Committee has likely existed in official and unofficial forms since the township’s formation. Notes and Town record books and documents kept from the late 1700s and early 1800s take great care to document which families lived where and the old Native American footpaths which eventually would become Route 24.

In more recent history, a group of citizens became concerned in 1990 when Morris County proposed a major correctional facility at the end of Prudence Lane off of Washington Valley Road. The historic nature of Washington Valley became an important factor when considering future uses for the land and this focused public attention on the historic resources in the area, leading to the formation of a Mendham Township Historic Preservation Committee in 1991. In response to the Washington Valley jail controversy, the Washington Valley Historic District was established and registered with the Department of the Interior in 1992. The other historic districts were registered in succession – Brookside (1995), Combs Hollow (1995), Ralston (expanded 1997), and Tempe Wicke (2000).

Ernie Maw, Tim Timpson and Bierce Riley, among others, were early influential members of the Committee. They took great pains to document historic sites and buildings in photographs. These efforts evolved into short video documentaries capturing invaluable historical information about the township. Ernie Maw organized bus tours of our historic roads, the buses on loan from the Mendham Township School District.

Ray Nadaskay was another early influencer in historic preservation. Ray was an active member of the Committee and, with Ernie Maw, convinced the town to preserve the Ralston Cider Mill on Route 24. With a group of volunteers they worked tirelessly to renovate the building and restore the machinery. The Mill opened in 2008 as the only operating Cider Mill Museum in New Jersey.

In 2018, the Township officially established via ordinance the Historic Preservation Committee. Some of the Committee’s responsibilities include review of applications for development, advise on said applications, make recommendations for preservation of historic sites, and prepare a survey of historic sites.

The Committee established an Archive to collect and preserve an impressive collection of documents, photographs, record books, maps, and artifacts. Previously stored at Town Hall and the Mendham Township Elementary School, the Archive is now temporarily housed in space donated by the Community of St. John Baptist. Our Digital Archive, which currently contains thousands of photographs, scanned documents and maps, as well as oral histories and videos, continues to grow.

In 2021, the Historic Preservation Committee created ten signs for the Mendham Township Historic Park at Pitney Farm. The signs lie along the park’s meandering walking path and cover many important topics from the township’s history. The Committee drew from its archives and other resources for the incredible photographs, maps and documents displayed in the park.

The Committee’s work in the park continues towards full preservation of the Pitney Seed House, Walled Garden and Gazebo. These structures are the only original remnants of the Pitney Farm which once stood on the property. Through a generous donation from Anatol Siemienczuk, the initial preservation and restoration of the Seed House took place in 2022. The Committee continues to work towards phase two of the project – restoring the former greenhouse area behind the seed house and repairing the interior of the building.

As we move forward, the Historic Preservation Committee is dedicated to preserving Mendham Township’s historic nature and charm.

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We are always on the lookout for stories, papers, photos, artifacts and just about anything else related to Mendham Township. Are you an amateur historian? Interested in research and writing? We invite volunteers to contribute content to the website and to the Archive.
Please contact us at historicmendhamtwp@gmail.com.

Committee Members

Name Title Term Expiration
Helen Wall

Chair, Class C Member

12/31/2025

Sam Tolley Vice Chair, Class C Member 12/31/2025
Patricia Russell Secretary, Class C Member 12/31/2026
Robert Scialla Architect, Class A Member 12/31/2025
Robin Johnston Class C Member 12/31/2027
Kim Kohler Class C Member 12/31/2025
Susan Luciano Class C Member 12/31/2027
Ernie Maw Class B Member 12/31/2025
James Zemaitis Class C Member

12/31/2025

 

 

 

 

 

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The Committee is always on the lookout for stories, papers, photos, or just about anything else related to Mendham Township, New Jersey.