Nutley Historical Society and Museum

Founded 1945

65 Church Street, Nutley N.J. 07110

A not-for-profit organization dedicated to serve the educational, cultural and historical needs of our community.

Patricia Williams

Long-time Nutley Historical Society Trustee Patricia E. Williams, 79, passed away on March 18, 2023. Born in Passaic, she was a lifelong resident of Nutley. Her sister, Connie Iannicelli, said Patty loved everything about Nutley and collected books about its history.

Patricia Williams, Van Riper Historian, Nutley Historical SocietyPatty, a 1961 graduate of Nutley High School and a graduate of Fordham University, put her love of learning towards saving the Van Riper House on River Road from demolition and had been on hand to see the renaissance of its restoration all these years later. As past president of the Van Riper Restoration Trust, she provided a connection among local historical groups, serving as the historical society's Van Riper Historian for many years.

She served her beloved Nutley in many ways including on the rent leveling board and served one term on the Nutley Board of Education.

Williams was also a member of the Nutley League of Woman voters, having served as secretary and membership chair. She belonged to of the Nutley Chapter of the America Association of University Woman, was a member and former president of the Nutley Republican Club and she was also regularly active with the Red Hat Society. She was an Essex County Board of Elections poll worker for more than 40 years, and a member of WIN (Woman’s Initiative Network) from its inception.

Patricia retired as a systems engineer from Verizon, where she worked for more than 40 years. The  daughter of the late Harold M. and Ruth A. (Key) Williams, she was predeceased by her brother Harold C., her sisters Beverly Williams, Carol Rhodes and Barbara Stanford. She is survived by her sister Connie Iannicelli, and her husband Anthony, and her nephew Glenn L. Darden.

Arbor Day at the Nutley Museum

Saturday, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., April 29, 2023


*Memorial Tree dedications in memoriam to past board Members

*Arbor Art featured by local Artists including Nutley Students

*free tree seedlings to first 50 guests

*refreshments will be served

Sponsored by Nutley Historical Society, Township of Nutley, NJ, Arbor Day Foundation, and Nutley Tree Rescue

Historic Book Launch May 12

‘Colonial Taverns of New Jersey...'

by Michael Gabriele

 The Nutley Historical Society will host New Jersey author Michael Gabriele for a program on his newest book: “Colonial Taverns of New Jersey – Libations, Liberty and Revolution,” published by The History Press. The book-launch event will be Friday, May 12, 7 p.m. at the Nutley Museum, 65 Church Street, Nutley. The program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served and books will be available for sale.

Nutley Walk In The Park 2023

“A Walk in the Park,” led by Nutley Museum director John Simko of the Nutley Historical Society, is scheduled for Sunday, May 28, 2023. The tour travels along the Third River in Nutley Memorial Parkway—from Vreeland Avenue to Chestnut Street, then on to Nutley Town Hall and Franklin Reformed Church, and ends at the Nutley Museum.

Check back here for sign-up details.

John Simko leads history talk Walk In The Park in Nutley

Nutley news and historical archives

Nutley Ameteur Circus, Annie Oakley Poster, Nutley MuseumNutley History, from General George Washington's Retreat Route

to Annie Oakley to the Morris Canal on Our Western Border

to Quarry Town and Speed Racing Velodrome

to our Golfer's Heaven and Old Military Hall

to Presidential Visits and Professional Wresting

to Cold Ice Cream to our Cold War Anti-Aircraft Radar Camp

to the Arrival of Route 21 ... 

Read all about it and more!

Article Index

The Rooming Houses of Nutley, NJ

Railroads brought growth to Nutley and workers needed boarding houses for a safe place to call home. Read about the many rooming houses in our hometown. Rooms for rent

Dutch Introduced Skating as Nutley Winter Sport

Few alive today would recognize most of the Nutley backwoods and ponds described in this memoir sixty-odd years ago. Bearskin Brook, Rusby's Pond, or Hillside Park ring a bell in your olde Nutley memories? Compare your memories.

When Bicycling and Auto Races Were Popular

When Sunday afternoon trotting races on a mile straightaway in elm shaded Washington Avenue were the town’s favorite diversion, bicycles captured Nutley’s favor. The wheel led to bicycles which led to the Nutley Velodrome which was the ancestor of the Tour of Nutley bike racing classic. Read all about it.

Artists of Nutley

Letter to Mark Twain:

“There isn’t much that is prettier than this end of New Jersey. It is all upland, tumbling into shallow valleys and bright sunny reaches along the Passaic River, and hillsides white as snow with the daisies, and everywhere trees, in little clumps or in long lines by the roadside.... You come. I’ll drive you around on Sunday and show you some views that will do your heart good. I’ll row you up the Passaic. I’ll give you a chance to play tennis.... Don’t be afraid. You can’t play worse tennis than I do.... The mosquitoes are very small this summer—few over an inch long...
Continue reading

25 Nutley Sights You Can No Longer See

Many of these Nutley, New Jersey locations have been gone for generations. A few would appear in some more recent memories by those of us walking these tree-lined streets.

The Nutley Historical Society is dedicated to serve the educational, cultural, and historical needs of our community. That would include keeping a door open to our past structures and other sights that may no longer exist but played a part in making Nutley what it is today.

Here, we offer a brief glimpse of twenty-five Nutley sights you can no longer see. Check it out

Nutley Was Born in Strife, Strategy and Secession

Franklin, NJ Officially Becomes Nutley, NJ on March 5,1902

Read more

NHS Meeting Room Available for Rental

We are happy to announce that our meeting room is now available for rentals. To inquire about availability and rental fee, please call 973-667-1528 and leave a message for our caretaker, Kerry Flynn. 

Rent the historic first floor of the Nutley Museum for your event

Call Kerry Flynn, caretaker to rent the hall: Call 973-667-1528


Seating for up to 70 people. Handicap accessible

Rent the historic first floor of the Nutley Museum for your event

More information on the Nutley Museum, and meeting room rental with photos.

Save time, download forms:

Hold Harmless Agreement

2023 Rental Agreement

Did you know Annie Oakley lived in Nutley NJ?

Annie Oakley: Little Sure Shot by Gary Erbe

"Annie Oakley: Little Sure Shot" by Gary Erbe

The Lady, or The Tiger

Nutley Author Frank R. Stockton wrote The Lady, or The Tiger, and Rudder Grange; Nutley Library ‘Lady or Tiger’ Room Is Opened for Youngsters, Named for Frank Stockton, Noted Local Author

Nutley Museum Online Tour

Nutley NJ, Nutley Museum online tour with John Simko

Nutley Museum Director John Simko's online tour of the Nutley Museum, recorded December 5, 2020. Simko spotlighted the Annie Oakley collection and other select items featured throughout the Nutley Museum. Projects by the Nutley Historical Society were also highlighted.

Nutley Museum Online Tour video

Historian John Simko reveals Third River history and growth of Nutley NJNutley Walk In The Park 2022

“A Walk in the Park,” led by Nutley Museum director John Simko of the Nutley Historical Society, was held Sunday, May 29, 2022. The tour traveled along the Third River in Nutley Memorial Parkway—from Vreeland Avenue to Chestnut Street, then on to Nutley Town Hall and Franklin Reformed Church, and ended at the Nutley Museum.

Simko discussed the Yantacaw River’s (the Third River) role in Nutley history as a source for early industry, as inspiration for world-class artists, as a symbol of civic pride, as an important boundary marker, and as a fitting memorial to our war veterans.

Stops on the tour include the sites of three former mills, see the pre-Revolutionary War Van Giesen homestead, the beginnings of Nutley’s 100-year-old Carnegie Library and even older Town Hall, and walk through one of Nutley’s oldest cemeteries.

The Nutley Historical Society sponsored the event.

Non-professional videos of previous tours are available on YouTube.

Another Park Walk Celebrates the Yantacaw

Due to an overwhelming response from our Memorial Day "Walk in the Park", Nutley Museum director John Simko led "Another Walk in the Park" - a free tour that celebrates the Yantacaw River and its role in Nutley history while strolling through Memorial Park on July 16, 2022.

Nutley Museum Big Plans, New Exhibits

By Barry Lenson

(POST COVID LOCKDOWN) The Nutley Museum has been quiet over the summer. We didn’t have our annual Ice Cream Social. John Simko, our Museum Director, didn’t lead his annual “Walk in the Park” history tour of our parks on Memorial Day. We cancelled an evening of sports films that was part of the Gary and Zeny Erbe Film Festival. And we have just learned that we will not be permitted to rent out our first-floor meeting/party space until autumn at the earliest.

Like you, we have been through a tough time. But we’ve been making huge plans for wonderful new things for the people of Nutley to enjoy when we open our doors.


The Nutley Museum owns a large collection of photographs and memorabilia that are related to Nutley’s long history of public servants and veterans from years past – firefighters, policemen and women, Red Cross volunteers, and more. And we’re planning to put our collection on display at a special event and exhibition.

Stay tuned after we open our doors again.


Ann Troy (1890-1983) is best known to Nutley people as the author of the “bible” on Nutley History, a book called Nutley: Yesterday and Today. She was also principal of the Park Street School from 1919 until 1934 and later, principal of Washington School until 1952. And back in 1945, she was one of the founders of the Historical Society and Museum.

Museum Director John Simko (and his family too) have been working hard to create an area in the Museum where a collection of Ann Troy’s possessions will be on permanent display. And there will be a big surprise. John Tiene, a longtime friend of the Museum, has given us the desk where Ann Troy wrote her book. It will be the centerpiece of our new permanent display.


Thanks to a grant from Essex County, we have been able to restore a painting we own by Frank Fowler, who founded the Enclosure Artists’ Colony nearly 150 years ago. We plan to display it when we reopen, alongside works by Nutley’s other great artists. We’re also hoping to invite today’s Nutley artists to lend their work to the show.


Silas Mountsier, the Nutley hero who is best known to Nutleyites as the cultivator and developer of the gorgeous Mountsier Garden, has underwritten the cost of restoring and reinstalling the impressive wrought iron gates that once stood at the entrance of Vincent Methodist Church. They are now being professionally restored. We plan to reinstall them as a grand entrance to the Nutley Museum, or nearby on museum property.

Stay tuned. It will be a grand event and a major addition to our beautiful town.


We’re unveiling lots of artifacts from our history … class trips will come again and fill the museum with fun and laughter … we will host our annual Pumpkin Festival, Holiday Party and other events … we’ll hold lectures and special exhibitions … and we can hardly wait to see you at the Nutley Museum!


John, our Town Historian, has donated an extensive collection of old issues of The Nutley Sun. While the Nutley Public Library has its own digitized collection too, we are thrilled to add this resource to our research tools.

■ Won’t You Join the Nutley Historical Society and Museum? We invite you to become a member of the Nutley Historical Society. It’s easy and fast to join. Membership Form

For Room Rental: Call 973-667-1528

Nutley Historical Society

Founded 1945

65 Church Street, Nutley N.J. 07110

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2023 Calendar

April 29 - Arbor Day Meet & Greet

May 12 - Michael Gabriele book launch

May 28 - A Walk in the Park (Rain date May 29)

June 1 - Ice Cream for History

October 15 - Fall Festival, Pumpkin Painting

November 11 - Artwork of Carol Fortunato

Subject to change

All events are free of charge. By renewing your membership, your support helps us to be able to continue to offer these programs to our community.

Got Historic Nutley Stuff?

Our trustees and docents continue to itemize, catalog and preserve as much Nutley history as we can. If you have an item tied to our town's history, please consider donating it to the Nutley Museum. Give us a call 973-667-1528, or email us for more information.

Nutley Museum gains bound copies of Nutley Sun

Red Cross vice-chairman portrait donated to Nutley Museum

 NUTLEY Yesterday - Today, edited by Ann A. Troy

NUTLEY Yesterday - Today - Ann Troy & Vivian Noyes Fikus

Where all great study of Nutley history begins

The importance of history in general cannot be doubted. It sets before us striking instances of virtue, enterprise, courage, generosity, patriotism and, by a natural principle of emulation, encourages us to copy such noble examples. History displays the dealings of God with mankind. It often leads us to view with awe His darker judgments and again it awakens the liveliest emotions of gratitude for His kind and benignant dispensations.

In 1945 the founders of the Nutley Historical Society wrote into its constitution the statement that:

“It shall be the purpose . . . of this association to do all in its power to collect all the available historical material connected with . . . the history of Nutley and carefully to preserve the same. . . . This shall mean ultimately the writing of the history of the town. . . Down through the years, work on this project continued until the present volume has been prepared.

So now, since History never stops, we in the Nutley Historical Society in 1961—like those who wrote the first History of Nutley in 1907— pass on the torch to those coming generations who at some future time will feel the need to once again issue a . . .


Robert F. Heald

First President 1954 to 1961

March 5, 1961 The Nutley Historical Society

From the Foreword

Hardcover keepsake copies are available at the Nutley Museum

Nutley Historical Society

Membership Benefits

As a member, you and your family are welcome to participate in any or all of our upcoming events. When you join or renew your membership, the Nutley Historical Society will be able to continue and expand our work to bring you interesting, informational and fun programs throughout the year. By making our history available and known to those who visit the museum, we continue to move forward by knowing about and appreciating our past. We can only accomplish this with your help.

Join Now

Now is a great time to join or renew your Nutley Historical Society membership.

Thanks to all our members who supported the Nutley Historical Society’s events and activities.

If you are interested in volunteering to be on one of our committees or for any additional information, please call 973-667-1528.

Membership Form

Nutley Historical Society Celebrates 75th Anniversary

Thanks to all who joined us to raise a toast in celebration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Nutley Historical Society on March 5, 2020. Events included cake cutting and a birthday toast, an update on recent museum acquisitions and activities, and a special tour of museum highlights by the museum director.

Nutley NJ Town Hall, Nutley High School, Bank of Nutley, Arthur J Elder artist, C. 1910-1912

Rent the historic first floor of the Nutley Museum for your event

Call Kerry Flynn, caretaker to Rent the Hall: Call 973-667-1528


Seating for up to 70 people. Handicap accessible

More information on the Nutley Museum, and meeting room rental with photos.

Save time, download forms:

Hold Harmless Agreement

Rental Agreement

For Room Rental: Call 973-667-1528

St. Paul's Church, Arthur J Elder artist, C. 1910-1912, Nutley NJ

See the 1910 artist's view of Nutley in person in our first floor meeting room!

Also of Interest in Nutley, N.J.

Kingsland Manor

Van Riper Trust

Nutley Little Theatre

Nutley Historic Preservation Committee

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The Nutley Historical Society is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serve the educational, cultural and historical needs of our community.

65 Church Street, Nutley N.J. 07110

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Nutley Notables in two volumes: 

The men and women who made a memorable impact
on our home town, Nutley, New Jersey

     Nutley Notables:  The men and women who made a memorable impact on our home town, Nutley, New Jersey  Nutley Notables, Volume Two by Anthony Buccino  Nutley Sons Honor Roll, Remembering the Men Who Paid for Our Freedom   Belleville NJ and Nutley NJ in the Civil War: A Brief History

Local authors and books about Nutley, NJ