mcha allen 4th july burryReading of the Declaration of Independence during the 4th of July Celebration.

SHREWSBURY – The Monmouth County Historical Association welcomed 400 revelers to the third annual historic celebration in honor of Independence Day on Tuesday, July 4, at Allen House in Shrewsbury, New Jersey.  The highlight of the morning was the public reading of the Declaration of Independence, with volunteers from the audience voicing the powerful words of the Founding Fathers.


MCHA President Linda Bricker was master of ceremonies. Freeholder Lillian Burry, Mayor Donald W. Burden of Shrewsbury, and Reverend Lisa Mitchell from Christ Church also joined in the festivities. The bells at Christ Church rang 13 times in honor of the signing and the 13 original colonies.  Shrewsbury Boy Scouts, along with their Troop Leader, served as color guard during the Pledge of Allegiance. Attendees also enjoyed the unique opportunity to see one of the original copies of the Declaration, on loan to the MCHA from the archives of the Monmouth County Library in Manalapan for this day only. 

Costumed interpreters welcomed guests and conducted tours of the Allen House. Honoring the classic summertime tradition, cookies and lemonade were served.

Monmouth County Historical Association was pleased to welcome Heritage House Sotheby’s International Realty as a 2017 sponsor of the July 4 Celebration at Allen House.

Allen House was initially built circa 1710 as a second residence for a wealthy merchant, his wife and eight children.  By 1754, Josiah Halstead had purchased the property and transformed the home into the Blue Ball Tavern, “the most noted tavern in Shrewsbury.” Taverns served as community centers in the 18th century as well as places to drink and eat.  Today, the house is furnished to reflect its early use as a tavern.

Monmouth County Historical Association is a private non-profit organization that has been working to preserve history and provide educational opportunities since its founding in 1898.  The Historical Association’s Museum and Library is located at 70 Court Street in Freehold.  Museum hours are: Tuesdays - Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Library is open Wednesdays through Saturdays.  The Historic Houses are open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from May 1 through September 30, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  For further information about the Association, please call (732) 462-1466 or visit the web site at

Monmouth County Historical Association received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.