Historian Contact Info


James Nelson


phone icon (845) 783-1900 ext 143
 (845) 783-3406
fax icon (845) 782-5597
email icon Email

house 101 Mine Road
Lower Level
Monroe, NY 10950 


The Village of Monroe was established from a small farming community after a disastrous fire destroyed nearly all the buildings at the heart of the settlement.  The village and its boundaries were created in 1894 as a result of the need to establish a volunteer fire district to avoid such future calamities.  

Although the town itself was incorporated in 1799, settlement was well established by the time of the Revolutionary War with Dutch and English coming as early as the 1600’s.  

It was a perfect setting for a hamlet with abundant water and farmable lands nestled in the picturesque valley of the Ramapo.  Rung by protective mountains and  yet only a short distance to the important access of the Hudson river; so beautiful in fact that it was often likened to the tranquil foothills of Scotland. 

Monroe was once the lands of the Lenepe Indians and the domain of the prehistoric Mastadont, ancient glaciers left behind a land perfect for settling and a river ideal for milling.

The Monroe Historical Society was established in 1974 and endeavors to preserve the history of the Town of Monroe, the village of Monroe, the village of Harriman, and the village Kiryas Joel through photographs, artifacts and written history. Please explore our site or visit us and learn about the history of your town and villages.

For more information, please visit the Historical Society


Come celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the Monroe Historical Society on July 8th, 2017, at our archives at 101 Mine Road, Monroe, NY from  10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  We are located at the lower rear level of the Monroe Senior Center.  Some of the exhibits we have planned for you will be a model railroad display provided by David Lewis and Alex Prizgintas, Orange County milk bottle display by Alex Prizgintas, exhibit and talk about the origins of license plates by Al Erdmann, Tim Mitts will have a display on the restoration of Rest Haven, a historic home that served the blind for 45 years.  You will also be able to view a number of the movies that were filmed in Monroe, along with exhibits of old photos of Monroe.  Please come join us on the 8th of July for a program for the young and old.

The photos included:

  • The 1861 William Crook on it's way to the 1939 World's Fair in NYC at the Monroe grade crossing
  • Collage of This is America series - this was when they made "Letter to a Hero " 1943
  • Helen Keller on the steps of Rest Haven 1950
  • Alex Prizgintas
  • Next three from This is America
  • Collage from Village of Monroe
  • Monroe Historical Society logo