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Park Commission Press Releases

Born to be Shorn: Live Sheep Shearing
MORRISTOWN, NJ –Witness the hand-shearing of live sheep, up close and personal, as it was done in the past. At Born to Be Shorn on Saturday, May 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cooper Gristmill in Chester Township take advantage of the opportunity to experience something unique and wonderful.

According to Mark Sutherland, Manager of Historic Sites for the Morris County Park Commission, “It is extraordinary to see the sheep shearing practices of the past come to life in modern day. Most people are quite amazed by the calm, almost meditative, state of the sheep as they are being sheered.” Sutherland continued, “The shearers, with no electricity work with only a pair of shears quickly and calmly, with skill and precision. It is astonishing to witness the trust demonstrated between human and animal in order to complete the job.” Without a doubt, the sheep are more comfortable after their annual shearing, and the fleece is ready to be put to good use!

Following the shearing, visitors enjoy many hands-on activities, such as skirting and washing the fleece, and carding, spinning, and weaving the yarn. Watch how the fleece/yarn turns amazingly brilliant natural colors as it is dyed in a pot over an open fire. Make a sheep craft, and other fascinating fiber crafts to take home. Top off your day with a tour the 1826 water-powered Cooper Gristmill, the only fully water-powered gristmill in New Jersey that produces flour.         

Admission to the event is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors (age 65 and over), and $1 for children (ages 4 - 16). Children under age 4 are admitted FREE. For more information, please call 908.879.5463, or visit

The Morris County Park Commission features one of the region’s best park systems in the state of New Jersey. It currently protects and maintains 18,730 acres at 38 distinct sites plus offers a year-round calendar of events and activities for all to enjoy!