Historic Portland Place


Hartshorne Woods Park  
200 Hartshorne Road, Locust (Middletown Township), NJ 07760  
732-842-4000, ext. 4312   
Grounds and parking lot open at 7 a.m. daily, year round.  
Closing time is 9:30 p.m. through July 21; 9 p.m. July 22-August 18; and 8:30 p.m. August 19-September 8.
Visit our Professional Photography page.  

2024 Historic Portland Place Tours
Wednesday-Sunday, May 4-November 24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  
Docent-led tours of the historic house will be offered at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m., with maximum of 10 persons per tour. Register on site at the Portland Place Visitor Center day of tour. Admission is free. Indoor tours may be suspended during severe weather conditions.  FREE! 

Julia’s Wardrobe Exhibit
June 7-September 22, 2024
Julia's portrait
An exhibit of Julia Hartshorne’s exquisite 19th century gowns presented in collaboration with the Monmouth County Historical Association.  Learn more. 
      

Portland Place

Welcome to Historic Portland Place   
Once a 200-acre farm, and later a summer home, Portland Place was owned by the Hartshorne family for most of its long history. Portland Place is closely interwoven with the early settlement of the Navesink Highlands, the Hartshorne family, and the lands that are now Hartshorne Woods Park. Located on a magnificent site overlooking the Navesink River, the restored 18th century house, furnishings, art and exhibits help tell the story of the region’s history and the Hartshorne family legacy in Monmouth County.

   
Daniel Ward Seitz, a Hartshorne descendant, bequeathed Portland Place to the Monmouth County Park System in 2008, thus ensuring its preservation for future generations and uniting historic Portland Place with over 800 acres of preserved lands in Hartshorne Woods Park.

Early Settlers   
Richard Hartshorne (1641-1722), an English Quaker, arrived in New Jersey in the late 17th century, and began his acquisition of nearly 2,400 acres of the Navesink Highlands, Bayshore and the Sandy Hook peninsula. Richard Hartshorne’s son William acquired the 200-acre farm that became known as Portland Place.

Cabin to Country Place   
The original cabin, now the dining room, was a 1½ story Dutch framed pioneer house built around 1720. It was expanded and altered incrementally over its long history, becoming a large farmhouse and then transformed into a handsome country place. The historic character of the house and grounds remain intact.
   

  

Preserving a Legacy     
Historic Portland Place is listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. The buildings and gardens have undergone extensive restoration and public access improvements by the Park System, with funding assistance from the Daniel Ward Seitz Bequest and a donation to the Friends of the Parks from the Estate of Doris Scheuing. Adjacent properties, which were historically part of Portland Place, have been acquired resulting in a 15-acre County Park Historic Site within Hartshorne Woods Park.

Visitor Center   
The Visitor Center is next to the house in a 19th century restored barn adapted for new use. Interpretive panels illustrate the story of Portland Place and the Hartshorne family along with the early settlement of the Navesink Highlands, its growth as a destination for vacationers and artists, and the area’s rich agricultural and maritime history.

Exterior of Visitor Center  

Inside Visitor Center

Artistic Inspiration   
The scenic beauty of the Navesink Highlands, with its forested bluffs and coastal light reflected off the surrounding river and bay, has long inspired artists and writers. The Hartshorne family collected and commissioned artwork by several prominent American and British painters. Examples are on view in the house and Visitor Center.

2024 Guided Tours and Hours of Operation 
Wednesday-Sunday, May 4- November 24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.    
Docent-led tours of the historic house will be offered at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. & 2:30 p.m., with maximum of 10 persons per tour.  Please sign up for tours at the Visitor Center. Group size is limited to ten (10) persons; visitors must register on the same day at our Visitor Center. Admission is free. Indoor tours may be suspended during severe weather conditions.

Coastal Forest and Vistas  
Visitors may relax and enjoy the expansive views of the Navesink River from several vantage points along the bluff. River access is not permitted from the property. Eight adjacent acres of century forest, historically part of Portland Place, thrive today as habitat for sensitive wildlife and stately tulip trees. Currently, there is no pedestrian trail access in this area.

Public Programs   
Programs focusing on history, preservation, art, literature, horticulture, and passive recreation inspired by the site, will be offered. Registration will be limited; please check our Programs & Registration page for listings.

Upcoming offerings:
  
Access  
Portland Place Visitor Center, patio, walkways, and main floor are accessible to visitors of all abilities. Accommodations, using interpretive materials, will be available for the second-floor rooms, which are only accessible by stairs.

On-site Parking  
Limited on-site parking is available for visitors to Portland Place. Ride sharing is encouraged.  If you are planning to hike in Hartshorne Woods Park, please park at Rocky Point, Claypit Creek, or Buttermilk Valley access points.

Volunteer with Us   
Volunteer docents and greeters are welcome to work alongside staff to assist visitors on site. If you are interested in training to become a volunteer, please contact the Park System volunteer office at 732-842-4000, ext. 4283, or visit the Volunteers in Parks page.

In accordance with New Jersey’s Smoke Free Air Act, all Monmouth County parks are tobacco free. The ban applies to cigarettes, pipes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and vaporize cigarettes, as well as smokeless tobacco such as snuff and chew.  

Directions   
State Hwy. 35 to Navesink River Rd. (north of Cooper Avenue Bridge, Red Bank.) Northbound, turn right. Southbound, use jug handle to make left turn. Travel east on Navesink River Road and continue on Locust Point Road. Turn right onto Locust Avenue and cross the bridge. At the intersection (landmark – All Saints Memorial Church), turn onto Navesink Avenue, then quick right onto Hartshorne Road. Park entrance is at 200 Hartshorne Road on the right.

From points North: Garden State Parkway to Exit 117. Follow Route 36 East to Valley Drive East. At intersection (landmark – All Saints Memorial Church), turn left onto Navesink Avenue, then quick right onto Hartshorne Road. Park entrance is at 200 Hartshorne Road on the right.