In 1973, Atlantic Highlands began planning how to celebrate the 200th birthday of the United States in 1976. On March 2, 1973 the Town’s Bicentennial Committee decided to form the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society to plan this important event. Soon thereafter, there were 78 charter members who met, planned, and offered public lectures on historical topics. In 1974, the AHHS incorporated as a non profit organization. Then in 1976, the AHHS was a key factor in the area’s Bicentennial program, culminating in the visit of the "Tall Ships" to Sandy Hook Bay just off our breakwaters.
Since our inception, the AHHS in many ways has helped preserve our past for the future. For example, it has restored the neglected historic Henry Hudson Spring, focused attention through 25 house tours on the history and restoration of many interesting homes, hosted over 200 expert speakers, helped to define our historic district, published several books including a reprint of “From Indian Trails to Electric Rails", and in 1980, purchased and began the rescue of a deteriorating 1893 Queen Ann style building called "The Towers” at 27 Prospect Circle.
On June 8, 1986, the doors of “The Towers” opened to the public and became the Strauss Mansion Museum, our headquarters and home. In 2012, with great pride, the Strauss Mansion was listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. We are thrilled to have the support of the New Jersey Historic Trust and the 1772 Foundation, whose matching grant enabled us to replace some of the mansion’s deteriorated windows. The Atlantic Highlands Historical Society was able to raise the matching funds due to the generosity of many local donors and benefactors.
Atlantic Highlands is a quaint Victorian town on the New Jersey shore overlooking lower New York Bay with views of Manhattan in the distance. Its hills include the highest point on the eastern seaboard south of Maine (Mount Mitchill). Many of Atlantic Highlands’ Victorian homes have been preserved and restored, adding to the charm of small town living providing interesting walking tours in the historic district.
Browse the website of the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society to get a taste of the history of our town and perhaps be inspired to visit our town and headquarters at the Strauss Mansion Museum. You can also acquire information on theour events, membership, and resources for research.
Monthly programs of the Historical Society bring together historically minded individuals with speakers who explore and interpret the past of our town, region, and nation, and bring it to life. Lectures are the third Wednesday of each month from April through December starting at 7:30 PM at the Strauss Mansion Museum, 27 Prospect Circle, Atlantic Highlands. The Society also hosts architectural walking tours in town and a monthly “Music at the Mansion” series hosted by Audra Mariel every last Thursday of the month.