Burry authors book about Colts Neck historic sites

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COLTS NECK – Monmouth County Freeholder Lillian Burry, who is a resident of Colts Neck, has announced the release of her first book, “A Tour of Historic Colts Neck,” a guide for individuals who want to visit the 13 historic sites that have been designated in the township.

The book includes a map showing the location of each site for a vehicular tour of the township and is presented by the Colts Neck Historical Preservation Committee, according to a press release.

“The book is meant to serve as a tourist guide and is designed to be kept in the glove compartment of a car or somewhere else convenient for a short drive and a historic experience,” Burry said.

Burry, who holds a degree in political science and history, and graduated cum laude from Wagner College, Staten Island, N.Y., was elected to the National History Fraternity and in 2005 was granted the Wagner College Fellow in Political Science, according to the press release.

An advocate of open space preservation and local history, she was appointed to the Fort Hancock 21st Century Advisory Committee for the National Park Service by the Secretary of the Interior and is also the recipient of the first M. Claire French Award for her leadership in historical preservation, according to the press release.

Burry was named the Person of the Year by the Monmouth County Historical Association and has been a speaker for historical societies throughout Monmouth County.

In Matawan, where the Burrys lived before moving to Colts Neck, and in Colts Neck, where she served on the Township Committee and as mayor, Burry helped to create historic preservation committees, according to the press release.

Colts Neck Mayor Frank G. Rizzuto said, ”I would like to congratulate Lillian Burry and the Historical Preservation Committee on the publication of their new guide book. I would also would like to acknowledge Freeholder Burry for her untiring dedication to the cause of historic preservation on the local, county and state levels.”

The guide includes all 13 properties and buildings in Colts Neck that have been designated by the Historical Preservation Committee with identification signs and highlighted at the beginning of each chapter in the book, according to the press release.

The author gave a brief history of each location and included photos from historic and current scenes in the book.

Local historian and author Muriel J. Smith, of Atlantic Highlands, a member of the Monmouth County Historical Commission and a professional journalist, edited the manuscript with Burry.

The book will be available in several locations in the near future, but immediately at the general store in the heart of Colts Neck village.

“I wanted the book to be available in the historic general store at the very beginning since the book traces the history of the township together with the village itself, which was settled in the 1700s. The general store is on the historic Burlington Path and Minnisink Indian Trail, which was once a stagecoach route,” Burry said.

The book was funded in part by a grant from the historical commission with funds granted from the New Jersey Historical Commission. The book is available for $10 and all proceeds from the sale will benefit the committee’s historical fund, according to the press release.