In 1740, a man named Samuel Miller built a farmhouse in what was then called the West Fields of Elizabeth Town. Today, that house has been transformed into The Miller-Cory House Museum. The Miller-Cory House Museum is a “living history” museum part of the Westfield Historical Society. Its goal is to present an accurate portrayal of life in a certain time period using live interpretation rather than books or photographs, thus providing a more active learning environment. It is also a “house”museum, literally, a house that has been transformed into a museum. It has been restored and furnished in order to tell a particular story – of an area, a social class, a way of life, and an historical period.
On open Sundays during its season, docents present special programs for children, adults and families. Visitors on Sundays also have the opportunity to tour the museum, which has been furnished using Joseph Cory’s inventory as a guideline. The museum grounds contain a number of gardens with typical early American plantings, as well as an outhouse or “necessary,” a corncrib, and a cookhouse, the Frazee Building. All of the structures date to the 18th century. Of special interest is the museum’s unique open-hearth cooking program. Each autumn and spring, members of the Cooking Committee demonstrate the preparation of dishes over the open hearth, using seasonal ingredients and 18th century recipes and cooking techniques.
The museum is also an historical resource for schools, Scout troops, and other community groups. The museum may be booked for group tours during the week as well as for a special program called the Showcase of 18th Century Skills. The Showcase brings costumed volunteers to local schools and other groups to demonstrate colonial era crafts and to discuss or re-enact 18th century life in New Jersey. And finally, volunteers are available to bring their expertise to customizing programs by request, which may be held either at the museum or off-site.
Please browse our website for details on all of our programs. We hope you visit soon!
Miller-Cory House Museum Board of Governors
Debbie Bailey, treasurer
Joan Barna, secretary
Pat D’Angelo, co-president of volunteers
Laura Sassi, co-president of volunteers
Lowell Schantz, chairman