The Thomas Warne Museum & Library
Here at the Thomas Warne Historical Museum and The Madison Township Historical Society we are striving to discover, preserve, and pass on the rich history of Old Bridge Township and the great state of New Jersey…
BUT WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU!!!
Because of you (the people of Old Bridge and surrounding communities) and the donation of your talent, time, and treasures we have been able to begin work on the preservation of the Douglas Fountain Bushnell Archive, start “Natural History” and “Old Bridge Underground (Archeology)” programs, and begin some much needed repairs to the schoolhouse and museum gallery, but we’ve still got a long way to go. We are confident that we are not alone in our passion for history and we are looking forward to facing the challenges on the horizon. We hope that those of you who have already joined “the cause” will continue to stand with us, and that those out there, who may have just found out about our organization, will join us either through Membership, Volunteerism, or Financial Support.
If you would like to join our team of commited historians and continue the work that the Madison Township Historical Society started back in 1964, drop us a line…
732-566-2108 or email us at [email protected]
Thank you again for your continued support!
The staff of the Thomas Warne Museum and Madison Township Historical Society
About the Thomas Warne Museum & Library
Thomas Warne was one of the Twenty-Four original proprietors of “East Jersey” (the Raritan Bay Area). In 1682 Thomas and his father purchased 1000 acres of land between the Cheesequake and Matawan Creeks. 187 years later, in 1869, Madison Township was formed. Thomas’ “little” parcel of land lay at the heart of this growing farming community, and his descendants continued to thrive there.
On a two acre plot of Warne property, in 1820, a one room schoolhouse was erected and dedicated to the education of the area children. It was named “Cedar Grove” and served the town well for 127 years. Through wars, droughts, and the Great Depression thousands of 1st through 8th grade students attended Cedar Grove School. There were some changes over the years, including, in 1885, changing of the building. The original schoolhouse was moved to an adjoining farm, a “New” schoolhouse was erected and time marched on until the school’s closing in 1947.
Now let’s fast-forward a couple of decades to 1964. It was in that year that a group of pioneering residents of Madison Township (Present Day Old Bridge) got together and decided that the two things that their town lacked were an historic preservation group and an educational museum to highlight their efforts. With vision and their own collections of artifacts, research, and memories they created the Madison Township Historical Society (a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization) and The Thomas Warne Historical Museum & Library.
(The museum was so named because of it’s location on a portion of Thomas Warne’s 1000 acre parcel of land. It has been reported that Thomas, who had an excellent rapport with the local Native Americans, had built a wigwam nearby in 1685.)
For nearly half of a century the Thomas Warne Museum (housed in the tiny one room Cedar Grove Schoolhouse which in 1999 was expanded to include a display gallery) has been a vital historical site and a source of education and information from the earliest days of the area’s history. The Madison Township Historical Society’s mission is the acquisition and preservation of area history, and the education of our children.
From our newly updated computer systems to aid you in your genealogical and historical research to new programs, living histories, and events…
The Thomas Warne Museum Has Something For Everyone!
STOP BY AND SEE HISTORY COME TO LIFE!
Living History: Ann Miller by Jeff Kagan April 23, 2017 Some people read about history. Some learn about it watching the news on television. But Ann Miller is living history. At 92 years old, Ann has seen so much change in the world as an eyewitness from the horrors...read more
Information and Hours of Operation
We are Open
- Monday through Friday by appointment only.
- Saturday & Sunday from 12PM to 4PM.
Special Note: In the event of inclement weather and a State/County/Township advisory has been issued to stay off the roads: the Museum will be closed for the safety of our staff, volunteers and patrons. This includes regular opening hours and special events (unless otherwise noted within event advertising).
It is always best to call before visiting, within the hours noted above, and speak to one of our volunteers or curator.
The museum is available for group and private tours.
Our school programs are completely customizable and are available for public, private, parochial, and home schoolers.
We can accommodate up to 85 students and their chaperone’s per tour or program.
Questions and information requests:
Thomas Warne Historical Museum and Library
4216 Route 516
Matawan, NJ 07747