The Montclair History Center (MHC), a private, nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization, promotes preservation, study and appreciation of local history.
We are stewards of four historic houses in Montclair: the Crane House and Historic YWCA (110 Orange Road), the Nathaniel Crane House (110 Orange Road), the Clark House (108 Orange Road), and the Shultz House, also known as Evergreens (30 North Mountain Avenue).
The mission of the Montclair History Center is to preserve, educate, and share. We preserve our local history through our historical buildings, artifacts and documents. We educate the community on local history and its importance through programs, advocacy and exhibits. We share the stories and history of the various persons and groups that have and continue to shape Montclair. Adopted February 2012.
The Montclair History Center was originally founded in 1965 to save the Israel Crane House, a Federal Revival style landmark home built by a local entrepreneur in 1796. It was relocated from Glen Ridge Avenue to its current location on Orange Road. Located next to the Israel Crane house’s new location is the Nathaniel Crane House. Built about 1818, it was donated to the Montclair History Center in 1973 by the Sampson family. Together, the two Crane Houses serve the public as a historic house museum, museum shop and space for demonstrations, lectures and classes interpreting our area’s past. In 2014, the scope of interpretation for the Crane House was expanded to include the period in the 20th century when it served as a YWCA for African American women and girls.
In 1984, the Montclair History Center purchased the Clark House, located at 108 Orange Road, adjacent to the two Crane houses. The house, built in 1896, expanded the institution’s ability to service the public by creating the Terhune Research Library and administrative offices. Since its inception, the Library has been a valuable resource for scholars, historians, local teachers and homeowners wishing to know more about their home (often to aid in restoration efforts and thus preserving historic districts).
In 1997 the historic home on North Mountain Avenue of successful Montclair banker Charles Shultz, was donated to the Montclair History Center by his granddaughter Molly Shultz. Known as Evergreens, the house has been virtually unaltered for 100 years and holds an important collection that reflects Charles Shultz’s keen personal interest in science, the arts and world travel. This estate represents an important addition to the Society’s collection of properties and historical education program.
In 2011, we joined the Montclair Community Farm Coalition and offered a 6,000 square foot undeveloped area on our Orange Road site for growing produce. Through its education programming, the Farm helps connect people to their agricultural roots. Through its food production, it helps feed area seniors and people in need.
Read our 2017-2018 Annual Report.