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May Designated as National Preservation Month

Posted: May 23, 2011

Joan Brembs presents award to Ed O'Connor
Landmarks Committee Chairwoman Joan Brembs presents the committee’s award to Ed O’Connor

Randolph’s Landmarks Committee joined the National Trust for Historic Preservation in declaring May 2011 National Preservation Month. The Randolph Township Council recognized the event by issuing a proclamation at its May 16th meeting which was signed by Mayor Trina Ruane Mitsch and presented by Deputy Mayor Guadagno to Landmarks Committee Chairwoman Mrs. Joan Brembs.

In keeping with this year’s theme of “Celebrating America’s Treasures,” the Landmarks Committee presented a special recognition award to Ed O’Connor, the present owner of the D.L. Bryant Distillery, one of Randolph’s 26 designated historic landmarks. Officially named a Randolph municipal landmark in 1975, the Sussex Turnpike house and property are also listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.

In presenting the award, Chairwoman Brembs lauded Mr. O’Connor for his restoration efforts, stating “Ed has restored and maintained this municipal landmark and it is wonderful. Several of us were fortunate enough to enjoy a tour last year.”

Mr. O’Connor expressed his gratitude to the committee for the recognition and in turn, the committee thanked him for his gift to the township and its residents—a beautiful preservation effort for one of Randolph’s historic treasures that has been made even more beautiful by his enhancements and refurbishment.

The first cider mill of the Byrant Distillery was built on the site in 1809. When it was in full operation, it produced more than 800 gallons of applejack a year. This “Jersey Lightning” was 100-150 proof, and was shipped all over the country. The distillery closed in 1934 after being in operation for 110 years.