Crane House & Historic YWCA

110 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ 07042 - United States




A unique museum with a rich history. The Crane House & Historic YWCA has lived three lives: as the Crane family home, as a YWCA for African American women and girls, and as a historic house museum. See the rooms where the prominent Crane family of Montclair entertained guests and served extravagant meals from 1796-1900. See the fire ablaze in the hearth and taste some dishes made from historic recipes. Then travel to the early 20th century when the women of the Montclair-North Essex branch of the YWCA took charge of the house and made it their headquarters. At a time of segregation, the house became a safe haven for these African American women and girls and a place where they could learn and form friendships. The house again changed hands in 1965 when the YWCA made the difficult decision to raze the home to build a more modern facility. Thanks to a group of concerned citizens, the house was saved, moved to a new location in town (by picking it up in one piece, no less!), and beginning life anew as a historic house museum. The house today tells the story of the people who represent the different periods of the house. When you're done visiting the house, check out the herb garden, microfarm, and chickens!


For the first time, the Crane House & Historic YWCA will be offering audio tours! Explore the house at your leisure while discovering the stories behind the men and women who lived, worked, and played in the house throughout it's 225 years. Audio tours are included with Smithsonian Museum Day admission tickets.

Special exhibit: Treasures of the Shultz House. Charles Shultz was a banker by day and amateur scientist by night. He traveled the world in the early 1900s, gathering and buying souvenirs throughout. Discover his treasures from China, Mexico, Belgium, and Japan!

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