Denville Historical Society

Museum and Research Center

SAVE St. Francis!

Message from the Denville Historical Society President

"The recent announcement of the sale of St. Francis, its pending closure, and probable demolition has shocked and alarmed the greater Denville community. The potential destruction and loss of this iconic facility, will be the most dramatic alteration to Denville’s bucolic landscape since the burning of the Wayside Inn in 1953.

Few Denville properties can boast such historic significance as St. Francis. Its origins date to the very founding of Denville itself, culminating with the establishment of St. Francis in 1895, which it has been ever since. For decades beginning in 1974, thousands of Denville residents answered the call of the Sisters of St. Francis to assist in raising funds at the annual Harvest Festival for St. Clare’s Hospital, which they once owned. Selfless volunteers happily endured many months of planning, manned the food tents, concessions, and kiosks, directed traffic, sold raffle tickets, and then cleaned it up only to begin the whole process all over again for the next year. What must those people be feeling today?

The Denville Historical Society has spent the past 50 years trying to save what’s left of our historic places. To our credit, we’ve had a number of successes, but also, regrettably, many losses. Afterall, we’re just 17 volunteers with limited resources. Often, our Township government and the public have been very supportive. Never has there been a greater need for all Denville interests to ban together and stop this potential assault on our heritage. Together we must Save St. Francis!"

On behalf of the Denville Historical Society & Museum

Vito Bianco, President

FOR MORE INFO, SIGN UP TO OUR EMAIL LIST BY EMAILING with the subject line: Save St. Francis

Give a Gift of History this Holiday Season!

Images of America: Denville

Images of America: Denville's Union Hill

Denville in World War II

Denville 13: Murder, Redemption, & Forgiveness in Small Town New Jersey

For Sale at the museum, United Card & Smoke Shop, Ray and Judy's Bookstop - online at Amazon, Arcadia Publishing, Barnes & Noble, etc.

Proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Denville Historical Society


OPEN Saturdays!

10 am - 2 pm

Latest Eagle Scout Project

Mayor Tom Andes (left) looks on as DHS President Vito Bianco (center) accepts a check from Eagle Scout candidate Joshua Yagozinski (right) upon the completion of his Eagle Scout project. Joshua repurposed the memorial bricks from the old Project Playground by creating a patio and walkway near the herb garden at the Denville Museum. Over 3000 bricks were utilized including all the unclaimed memorial bricks. “Saving these memorial bricks was a pet project of the late DHS President, Judy McBride,” Bianco explained. “She would be very pleased with how the project turned out,” he said. Mayor Andes added that “projects like this continue to enhance the beauty of Denville.” Joshua donated the remaining funds he raised for the project to the Denville Museum. “The Historical Society is always grateful for donations that help us continue to preserve Denville’s history,” Bianco stated.


DENVILLE IN WORLD WAR II: For the first time in a while, the Denville Museum has a new permanent exhibit showcasing the town's story during the greatest conflict of the 20th Century. Historical artifacts, pictures, and first hand accounts from Denville Veterans of WWII are on display.


The grandeur of the historic Wayside Inn exemplifies Denville's glorious past. Denville, the "Hub of Morris County," has retained its small-town atmosphere from its early days as a stop along the stage routes. Iron and good soil attracted the first settlers.

Today, its scenic lakes, vibrant downtown, and many festivals attract tens of thousands each year. In Denville, the superb image collection of the Denville Historical Society & Museum provides spectacular views of this charming community.

More than two hundred images and informative text about the town and its people fill the pages of this history. Along with the photographs of buildings, landscapes, and locals are images of historical figures, such as George Washington, who passed through on his way to winter quarters at Jockey Hollow, and William Penn, who first surveyed the area in the early 1700s, as well as local legends "Uncle" Jeddy Cooper and Rock Etam.


We are always in need of more local artifacts (pictures, letters, old school books, etc.)

We are currently in the process of renovating the 1908 Denville School House building on Openaki/Franklin Ave, Denville and are looking for local artifacts related to education in Denville or that of its residents.


Are you as student that needs to fulfill required volunteer hours? Do you want to get involved in helping your community but are not sure how? The Denville Historical Society is always looking for volunteers. Please contact us or stop by any Saturday during our open hours for more information.

What's Happening

  • ON SALE! Denville in World War II by Peter Zablocki. Available at the museum and wherever books are sold. All proceeds from the book are being donated to the Denville Museum.

  • Renovation of the 1908 Schoolhouse (Openaki Rd/Franklin Ave)

      • Link with progress and pictures of the project to follow

  • Multiple Eagle Scout Project(s)

      • 9/11 Memorial near the Museum Garden




Family Membership $50 a year

Individual Membership $25 a year

Life- One Payment of $250

*Check payable to Denville Historical Society; P.O. Box 446, Denville, New Jersey 07834

Thank you for your tax-deductible contribution.

Membership- Donation Form DHS.pdf

For your convenience a printable Donation Form is located above.

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@denvillemuseum (Instagram)

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Open every Saturday from March through December 10:00am- 2:00pm

*unless otherwise noted (please check the site for updated information and closings)

Admission is Free!

*click on the map above for directions 113 Diamond Spring Road, Denville, NJ