The Annual Somerset Hills Holiday House Tour, Dec. 9

The Brick Academy 

By Taylor Smith 

Six impressive properties will be on view in Basking Ridge and Bernardsville for The Somerset Hills Holiday House Tour on Sunday, December 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Brick Academy, an 1809 historic landmark, will serve as the hospitality center. The Brick Academy is a Federal-style architectural structure located in the center of Basking Ridge in Bernards Township. Since 1809, The Brick Academy has served as a boys’ private preparatory school, a public school, a meeting hall for different fraternal and benevolent organizations, and the Bernards Township municipal building.

Other notable properties include the Van Dorn Homestead and adjacent historic stone mill. Named for Ferdinand Van Dorn, the four-acre property features a large pond, lush landscaping, and some of the oldest cucumber magnolia trees in New Jersey.

A spacious home reminiscent of the famous restauranteur William Childs’ mansion will also be on view. Childs purchased the Van Dorn Mill Barn in 1928 and moved the structure to its current location, The Grain House Restaurant on Route 202 in Basking Ridge.

Admission is $40 per person ($35 for Historical Society of Somerset Hills members). The deadline to purchase tickets is December 2, 2018. Tickets will not be sold on the day of the event. The event will be held regardless of all weather conditions. For further information, visit or call 908.221.1770.

Founded in 1928 as the Historical Society of Basking Ridge, The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills is now a recognized nonprofit organization serving all five communities of the Somerset Hills region: Bedminster Township, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Far Hills, and Peapack-Gladstone.

The mission of The Historical Society is to acquire, conserve, and share local artifacts and historical materials, facilitate historic research, cultivate an interest in local history, and preserve, operate and interpret local historic resources.