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shrews historicClockwise from top left: the Shrewsbury Borough landmarks of the Friends Meeting House, Allen House, Old Christ Church and  First Presbyterian Church are among the historic sites on the Weekend in Old Monmouth Tour.

If it’s the first Saturday and Sunday in May, this must be the Weekend in Old Monmouth — and if you’re sufficiently curious about the rich history of the place where you live, there’s never been a better time to take a closer look at the area’s many historic places, some of which you’ve surely passed by countless times on your way to someplace a bit less charming.

A series of free, self-guided tours of some 45 homes, meeting halls and houses of worship in Monmouth County, the eighth annual event (brought to you by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Monmouth County Historical Commission) runs four color-coded tour routes on Saturday (10 am – 5 pm) and Sunday 3 (12 – 5 pm) — with all stops on the tour synching up their visitation hours, and waiving any admission fees for the duration of the weekend.

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The Sandy Hook Lighthouse is the oldest continuously operated lighthouse in what is now the United States. For 250 years, the Sandy Hook Lighthouse has stood as a beacon of hope, surviving a revolution, hurricanes and two world wars. Most recently, it occupied the high ground while Hurricane Sandy covered much of the peninsula with water.

On Saturday, June 14, the public is invited to a free celebration, in observance of the 250th anniversary of its lighting on June 11, 1764. Scheduled for the hours of 11 am to 4 pm, the event includes a look at the Lighthouse Keepers Quarters, which serves as temporary office quarters for park staff, and is currently used as the visitor center for Sandy Hook Unit.

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