The Jefferson Township Historical Society was incorporated on July 1, 1971. The purpose of the Jefferson Township Historical Society is to preserve and promote the history of Jefferson Township and to maintain the George Chamberlain House, known as the Jefferson Township Museum, as a historic site. The George Chamberlain House and Miss Elizabeth’s Garden are lovingly tended 'jewels’ that present a living glimpse into the daily lives of George Chamberlain, his wife Ruth Elizabeth (Speaker) and their 2 sons, Raymond and Archie, who survived to adulthood. Built in 1874 by Amos Chamberlain, and presented to the newlyweds, the 3-story Mansard-roof home – and the Chamberlain family – were central to the development and commerce of Milton Village from the late 1870"s to the 1920"s.
The Jefferson Museum -- the George Chamberlain House -- participates in local and community events, including Jefferson Township’s Christmas in the Village and the Pathways of History Historic Home Tour. With the assistance of docents and guides dressed in Victorian attire, changing exhibitions present discussions of the Chamberlain family, as well as local and national history during the late Victorian era. Placed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places in 2009, the museum is open monthly April - December. Our docents sometimes travel to outside venues in costume, serving as liaisons for the Jefferson Township Historical Society, providing information about our museum.
Within the Museum is Miss Elizabeth’s Shoppe, named after the Museum’s first bride, Ruth Elizabeth Speaker Chamberlain, was once the downstairs kitchen. The Shoppe carries a large display of reproduced postcards of numerous sites and buildings throughout the township. Historic reproduction maps and notecards with images of the Museum are also available. Beautiful cut glass, vintage dish ware and lovely dolls along with vintage jewelry make up a large part of what is offered in the shoppe. Handcrafted quilts from local quilters and hand knitted scarves are beautifully displayed for sale.
Proceeds from Shoppe sales fund the Jefferson Township Historical Society's Annual Scholarship program.
The focus of the Museum Garden Club is to develop and maintain the gardens surrounding the George Chamberlain House, also known as the Jefferson Township Museum. The gardens are a representation of the style and structure of the period. "Miss Elizabeth’s Garden" is affectionately named after the first lady of house, Miss Ruth Elizabeth Speaker. Other activities include an annual plants sale and decorating the Museum, both inside and outside, for the Museum Christmas weekend event.
The Museum is open for tours April - December from 1PM - 4PM the first Sunday of the month.