New Jersey, known for its fabulous residences, is also home to one of the country’s most exquisite mansions: the Gilded-Age Vanderbilt Twombly estate. Florham: An American Treasure, is a pictorial history of the manse and surrounding grounds that is now known as Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham Campus. Published by the Friends of Florham, it’s illustrated with vintage photographs as well as new color images taken especially for this project. Some photos show the campus as never seen before, including amazing views shot from a drone.
The book also offers historical details about the Vanderbilt and Twombly families, the creation and creators of Florham, a typical weekend as a guest of Florence Vanderbilt Twombly, other Morris County mansions and estates, and the unique survival of Florham when most of its neighbors have disappeared. (The mansion is of special interest to me because I was married on the grounds and our reception was hosted in Mrs. Vanderbilt’s tea room.)
History buffs will be happy to learn that, in March, NJTV will launch its Treasures of New Jersey series with a feature on Florham. The episode will cover the estate as well as its current day setting as part of a contemporary university campus. Perfect timing, since Fairleigh Dickinson University celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
Florham: An American Treasure can be purchased locally at Morris Museum in Morristown; Morris County Historical Society at Acorn Hall in Morristown; the Bookworm in Bernardsville; and Words Bookstore in Maplewood.
Or order a copy through myfdu.net/fofbook, fdumshop.com or from Amazon.com. All book sale proceeds will be used by the Friends of Florham to continue renovations to the mansion and grounds.