Van Kirk Homestead Museum to reopen by appointment

Sparta. The Sparta Historical Society invites you to reserve a time slot for one of its Sunday open houses. Only four people will be allowed in the museum at one time.

Sparta /
| 21 Jul 2020 | 04:10

Upon receiving the governor’s green light for museums to open with capacity restrictions, the Sparta Historical Society has been working to make its site safe for guests. Being that the society’s museum, the Van Kirk Homestead, is a historic home, the board decided to open only the changing exhibit gallery that currently houses “Thomas Alva Edison: The Person, The Vision, His Genius.” The rest of the house, including the outbuildings, will be closed to visitors, although they may stroll the grounds and lovely gardens.

Only four guests will be permitted at a time. The historical society is allotting 30-minute tours by appointment only for inside the gallery with a docent. Masks are required.

Visitors are urged to arrive 15 minutes prior to their reservation for entry preparation and exhibit preview.

Free open houses will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on the second and fourth Sundays of the month: July 26, Aug. 9, and Aug. 23. Time slot choices are 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3 p.m., and 3:30 p.m., with a maximum of four guests for each time slot. Upon arrival, expect a short virus protocol and talk preparing for your entry into the house. You will be accompanied by a docent who will discuss the highlights of the exhibit.

Visit to reserve your date and time slot. As restrictions are further reduced, more tickets will be added.

Those unable to attend the open houses may request a personal 30-minute tour appointment. The historical society requests prior notice of two weeks so that they can make the house safe and secure a docent.

The Sparta Historical Society is located at The Van Kirk Homestead Museum at 336 Main St. (Route 517, use middle school driveway), Sparta. For more information call 973-726-0883 or email

Funding has been made available in part by the New Jersey Historical Commission through the County History Partnership Program, as administered by the Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council and a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.