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Morristown Featured in Old House Journal Magazine

Morristown has been on the National Register of Historic Places for over 30 years and been recognized many times as one of the best preserved examples of a National Road community, yet the latest recognition may bring it to the attention of its largest audience yet.

Morristown is a featured community in the December 2016 issue of Old House Journal, a national publication with an audience of 3.6 million readers that is considered the preeminent restoration source by homeowners and design professionals.

The two-page, full color spread, which hits newsstands on November 1st, includes photos of six 19th century homes and the Black Horse Inn as well as a brief history of the village.

Morristown Mayor Heather Stitt said she was elated to learn that the magazine had plans to feature Morristown.


“Morristown is truly a link to the past,” Mayor Stitt said. “The future of Morristown looks bright and this is just the first step to show what our little village has to offer.”


Morristown came to the attention of Old House Journal via Carolyn Bates, a nationally-recognized photographer from Vermont. Bates was making plans to photograph a cabin owned by the Dutton family near Flushing and asked Greg Dutton if there were any historic homes that she could visit. He connected her with John Rataiczak, Morristown homeowner and president of the Morristown Historic Preservation Association.

"I was thrilled to learn of this interest as we have always felt that what we have here in Morristown is special and worthy of national recognition and attention," Rataiczak said.

In May, John began sending Bates pictures of every home built in Morristown between 1800 and 1899. After months of emails and photos, Carolyn had what she needed to pitch the idea of a Morristown feature to the editors of Old House Journal. They reviewed the photos and agreed to send Carolyn to photograph the village for a regular feature in the magazine called “My Neighborhood.”

Carolyn arrived in Morristown the third week in July.

“I felt like I had stepped way back in time,” Carolyn remarked about her first impression of the small village.

She stayed in the Brooks House, a guest of owner Troy Biery. She was the guest of honor at a dinner hosted by several homeowners on July 22. She spent the next several days walking around the community, taking photos and talking with residents.

“I felt so welcome,” Carolyn said. “Within an hour I felt like I was with my family.”

“It was a pleasure to share our community, our friendship, ‌food and conversation with someone who appreciated all that makes Morristown a special place to live,” said Melissa Rataiczak. “Carolyn gave us another reason to come together for fellowship and laughter, a hallmark of living in this awesome village,” she added.

Morristown has offered other opportunities for visitors, like Christmas Home Tours and National Pike Festivals. Morristown was also a stop on the 2016 Rubberneck Tour. Next up is the Fifth Annual Turkey Trot, a Thanksgiving morning tradition in Morristown. All are welcome to participate in this fun 5K Run/Walk.

“This is another opportunity for neighbors, family and friends to come together and create more Morristown memories,” Rataiczak said.

Mayor Stitt hopes this recognition generates interest and enthusiasm for preserving old homes and buildings. So does newest resident, Gabe Hays, who purchased one of Morristown’s historic homes last year.


“What I hope this will mean to Morristown is a continuum of stewardship awareness for this nationally-significant American historic place,” Hays said. “I pray that this will inspire others to invest in any of the current structures needing love.”

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