Nutley Museum, Nutley, New Jersey

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The Ann A. Troy Gallery

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Nutley Museum Has Big Plans, New Exhibits, for Our Reopening

By Barry Lenson

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.

■ WE’RE PLANNING A BLOCKBUSTER EXHIBITION TO HONOR NUTLEY’S FIRST RESPONDERS AND VETERANS

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.

■ WE’RE OPENING A PERMANENT ANN TROY EXHIBITION

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.

■ WE’RE POLISHING UP OUR DISPLAY OF WORKS BY NUTLEY ARTISTS

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.

■ WE’RE UNVEILING THE VINCENT METHODIST CHURCH GATES

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.

■ AND THAT’S NOT EVERYTHING …

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 DEMMER HAS GIVEN US HIS NUTLEY SUN ARCHIVES

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


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What's in the Nutley Museum

Sharpshooter Annie Oakley lived in Nutley, N.J. 1894

The Ann A. Troy Gallery

Visit the restored Church Street School, built in 1875 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Nutley Museum brings local history to life with a photography exhibit and memorabilia from Annie Oakley and other prominent Nutley families.

The Ann A. Troy Gallery houses an interesting collection of Nutley Historical items such as guns that belonged to former resident Annie Oakley along with a coin shot by Oakley during a town fair; A Narwahl's tusk brought back from the Arctic during Admiral Robert Peary's expedition in the early 1900s by a former Nutley Mayor Emil Diebitsch who served as Peary's astronomer; The anti collision beacon from the top of the ITT Tower; an old telephone switchboard that was used in town hall until the 1980's; and the first Nutley indoor phone booth that was used in Guthrie's general store

The first floor of the facility is used as a meeting room and is also available for rent by the public for family gatherings and by civic organizations. 

The Nutley Museum is one of the many public buildings that the Nutley Parks and Public Property Department maintains.

History of the Nutley Museum is fascinating. The land on Church St was donated to the town by Henry Stager in 1853 (Henry's descendant Eleanor Slomkowski  currently serves on the Board of the Historical Society) and a wooden schoolhouse was built. This elementary school burned down in 1874.

The current stone structure was built in 1874-1875 and served as a school until about 1930.  Through the 1920s the building served as an Industrial Skills/VO Tech type of school for students from Nutley High School. 

The caretaker's residence was built sometime between 1949 and 1952 and the Museum Gallery officially opened in 1954.

The museum contains numerous collections including memorabilia from Annie Oakley, the former Guthrie Store, postcards, toys, information on prominent Nutley families, sports memorabilia, original paintings of Nutley scenes and much more!

It also includes the Alice J. Bickers Library which contains over 200 volumes of historical books and maps devoted to the history of New Jersey.


Museum tours available upon request

For school groups and private museum tours, please CALL 973-667-1528, or Suzanne at 973-667-4270.


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

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

Seating for up to 70 people. Handicap accessible

Facility rental available year-round.

Save time, download forms:

Hold Harmless Agreement

Rental Agreement


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Nutley Historical Society

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

65 Church Street, Nutley N.J. 07110
973-667-1528

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RENT THE Historic First Floor of the  Nutley Museum for your event

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

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

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

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

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

Email Contact - Nutley Historical Society

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
973-667-1528

Copyright © Nutley Historical Society