A Hidden Gem: The {Hoboken} Historical Museum

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Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

~Author Unknown

While we love Hoboken’s charm and the mix of old and new in town, it’s hard to resist thinking about what Hoboken was in past – especially those of us who are transplants. {Shoutouts to the OG Hoboken girls who have been here since they were in diapers!}. Beyond the waterfront and new condos and businesses that are going up in town, Hoboken has a wealth of history that is worth sharing and reflecting on — that we don’t want to lose. We’ll be featuring tidbits about Hoboken’s past and history going forward, and so we thought what better way to kick that off than with the Hoboken Historical Museum!

Located uptown at 1301 Hudson Street, the Hoboken Historical Museum is located in the former Bethlehem Steel machine shop, known to Hoboken residents today as the Shipyard.

hoboken historical museum

A Little History

The museum was established in 1986, and it features various exhibits on the history of Hoboken. They frequently provide lectures, tours, and films to further educate the community. In the past, exhibits have covered Hoboken’s relationship to the Hudson river as well as the city’s influence on music and shipping {Hello, Frank Sinatra!}. The Museum’s focus includes exploring and sharing the historical, cultural and architectural gems that Hoboken holds by collecting and interpreting artifacts, documents relevant physical and cultural heritages, as well as collaborating with organizations with similar goals. It sounds kind of dry when you think of it as a mission statement, but it’s really a neat place that houses a lot of relics from the past.

The organization is a registered 501(c) 3 nonprofit and has a number of ways that makes it easy to support them. {for more info on this click here}.

hoboken historical museum


The HHM is open 6 days a week …when they have exhibitions open {see their daily hours here}. Admission is $4 and free for children and members. An annual membership is $50, while a Dual/Family Membership is $75. So if you support the HHM’s cause and get a membership, you can roll up at ANY point when they’re open sans cash.

hoboken historical museum

What’s Inside?

The museum offers a ton of really interesting learning opportunities if you’re ever looking to learn something new about the History of Hoboken. One of the coolest features is their self-guided walking tours! If you’re interested, head to their website {which has a map set up with a drawn out path to follow} and voila! Along the way, the map shows points of interest to stop and see while the pin for each location gives you a slide of information about where you are, or what you’re looking at. Additionally, there are three different tours: the Hoboken Walking Tour Map, Frank Sinatra Tour Map {going along with the exhibit to open this month}, and a Kids Tour Map. All three options gives something for each member of entire family or the occasional curious mind. {Fun fact: The museum also has a gift shop to help you find the perfect Hoboken-themed gift}

hoboken historical museum

Main Gallery & Upper Gallery

The museum is actually lucky enough have a great space to show all different works having to do with the history of Hoboken and the Hoboken community. The Main Gallery, which resides downstairs is what changes every several months {they’re currently changing over from the Stevens Family exhibit to the Frank Sinatra exhibit}, but what many people don’t know is they also have an Upper Gallery that features some local artists. The show that just ran from May 10th to July 5th was an exhibition called Capturing Hoboken, which were a series of paintings done by Judy Schmitt {Fun fact: The museum also offers an online archive of previous exhibits to be able to take a glance back at whats been shown}.


For any other information including their Calendar of Events, Educational Programs, Research, or just a little more History of Hoboken, click the associated links.

Have you been to the Hoboken Historical Museum? What did you think? 

Written by:

Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Hoboken Girl. She started the site to discover and share the wealth of things happening in Hudson County. Her roots in the area extend to her maternal grandparents, who owned two textile factories in Weehawken and North Bergen. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event/volunteer project or editing her life away, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her French bulldog + rescue pup, or watching the latest murder doc on Netflix with her husband.