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A Tour of Historic Colts Neck

COLTS NECK – Freeholder Lillian Burry has announced the release of her first book, “A Tour of Historic Colts Neck,” a guide for all residents and visitors who want to visit the 13 historic sites designated in the township.

The book also includes a map showing the location of each of the sites for a vehicular tour of the township and is presented by the Colts Neck Historical Preservation Committee.

“The book is meant to serve as a tourist guide,” Burry said, “and is designed to be kept in the glove compartment of the car or somewhere else convenient for a short drive and a historic experience,” the freeholder added.

“Lillian is a tremendous advocate for historic preservation. As she is also a long-time resident of Colts Neck, I can’t imagine anyone more suited to write a book about these historical sites,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “This book will be a great asset to anyone who lives in or travels to Colts Neck, a true gem of a town in Monmouth County. It is an  asset for everyone who would like to learn more about its rich history.”

Burry, who holds a degree in political science and history, and graduated cum laude from Wagner College, was elected to the National History Fraternity and in 2005 was granted the Wagner College Fellow in Political Science. A strong advocate of both open space preservation and local history, she was appointed to the Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee for the National Park Service by the Secretary of the Interior and is also the recipient of the first M. Claire French Award for her leadership in historical preservation. She was named the Person of the Year by the Monmouth County Historical Association and has been commended and been a speaker for numerous historical societies throughout Monmouth County. Burry is also vice-chair of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Planning Authority and is a member of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority where she chairs the veterans affairs sub-committee. She is a leader in bringing to fruition the current joint effort by the Monmouth County Vocational School District, National Park System and the Board of Freeholders to reconstruct and preserve two former Army buildings on Fort Hancock that were originally constructed in 1899 for use by the NJROTC program at the Marine Academy of Science and Technology. In both Matawan, where the Burrys lived before moving to Colts Neck, and in Colts Neck, where she served both on the Township Committee and Mayor, she was the leader in creating historical preservation committees.

”As Mayor of Colts Neck Township I would like to congratulate the Honorable Lillian Burry and the Historical Preservation Committee on the publication of their new guide book, "A Tour of Historic Colts Neck", said Mayor Frank G. Rizzuto. “I would also would like to acknowledge the Honorable Lillian Burry for her untiring dedication to the cause of historic preservation on the local, county, and state levels.”  Rizzuto said he is confident the publication  “will quickly become a treasured resource for our residents and visitors to our beautiful and historic township.”

The historic guide to Colts Neck includes all 13 of the properties and buildings within the township that have been designated by the Historical Preservation Committee with clearly marked identification signs installed at each property and highlighted at the beginning of each chapter in the book. The author gave a brief history of each of the locations and included some photos  both from  historic and current scenes in the book.

Local historian and author Muriel J. Smith, Atlantic Highlands, a member of the Monmouth County Historical Commission and a professional journalist, edited the manuscript with Burry.

The book will be available in several locations very soon,  but immediately at the General Store in the heart of Colts Neck Village.  “I wanted it to be available in the historic General Store at the very beginning,” Burry said, “ since the book traces the history of the township together with the village itself, which was settled in the 1700s and the General Store is located on the historic Burlington Path and Minnisink Indian Trail, once a stagecoach route.”

The book was funded in part by a grant from the Historical Commission with funds granted from the NJ Historical Commission. The book is available at $10 each. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Committee’s historical fund.

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