Butler, New Jersey, Sunday, December 17, 2017
 
Museum History
In 1997, the Butler Museum and Historical Committee was officially established under an ordinance passed by the mayor and council of the Borough of Butler. That, however, was only a formality. Since 1961, groups of dedicated volunteers discussed, planned, and brought into existence the Butler Museum.

In the early years, the Butler Historical Society searched for a home for local artifacts that were being destroyed, discarded, or lost. R. Kennedy Carpenter, Butler Tercentenary Chairman for the 300th Anniversary of the State of New Jersey, worked with the Butler library committee, Mr. John Farrell, the Butler High School Jerseymen, and the Historical Society members to use the High Street Library basement as a museum for two years.

Following those two years, the historical collection was moved from one location to another. Items were lost; some were destroyed by a fire in the old Mace House that served as a storage facility for the artifacts, and some were just thrown out for trash pickup.

Through the impetus of the Butler High School Jerseymen and the students in the Junior Officials program, the idea was set forth for the borough to purchase the old, abandoned New York, Susquehanna and Western railroad station and convert it to a town museum. In preparation for the Bicentennial celebrations of the United States, then Mayor Roger Struble appointed a committee in 1971 that would help the borough gain recognition as a "Federal Bicentennial Community."

After four years, this committee encouraged the borough to purchase the train station. Under the direction of Mayor William Monahan, Butler purchased the station in 1975. Through the hard work and perseverance of the Jerseymen, the Downtown Businessmen's Association, professionals, and community members, the station was renovated and the museum was dedicated on May 8, 1976. The formal opening of the museum to the public was on May 20, 1977.

The three original rooms of this historic 1888 station were soon filled with items of importance to the borough's past. All of the artifacts displayed in the museum have been loaned or donated by individuals, businesses, and community groups interested in preserving family and borough history.

Many structural and cosmetic changes have taken place at the museum over the past thirty years. The most recent renovation to the museum was the conversion of the former freight room/senior center to our new resource center in 2003. The room was dedicated to R. Kennedy Carpenter based on the suggestion from museum committee member Raymond Heywang. Mr. Carpenter, Butler High School Science teacher and fencing coach from 1943 to 1975, served as the chairman of the Tercentenary Committee for Butler. From the 21 projects planned by Mr. Carpenter and his committee came the Borough of Butler Coat of Arms, the borough flag, and Borough of Butler Day at the New Jersey Pavilion at the New York World's Fair in October 1964, and the first museum in the library basement. He continued his involvement with the museum until his death in 1987.

The former New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad Station was built in 1888 to replace an 1872 station built by the Midland Railroad Company. After 78 years of service, the last passenger train departed from the Butler station in 1966. The station received a Morris County Historic Site Marker in recognition of its role as a transportation hub, spurring economic growth in the community. The marker was dedicated in September 1997. State recognition was awarded the building in 2001 and the station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. It is one of the few remaining wooden structures of its kind.




 
 
3/10/2017 - Museum restoration
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10/29/2007 - Butler Museum foundation concerns
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Overview of Museum Exhibits
 



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