In 1973 Dr. Joseph Salvatore and wife Patricia Anne acquired Cold Spring Grange #132, thus beginning Historic Cold Spring Village, a living history museum. Over the next eight years, the Salvatores assembled a collection of 18th and 19th century buildings on twenty-two acres of wooded land between Routes 9 and 626. The Salvatores and their children, Rick and Kate, collected furnishings, fixtures, tools and implements for the buildings. Their objective was to provide visitors with a sense of stepping back in time to a South Jersey rural community of the 1800s. In 1981, after eight years of development, the Village was opened to the public. In December 1984, the buildings and land were donated to the citizens of Cape May County. The County operated the Village for eight years until it was returned to the Salvatores in 1993. The family immediately donated it to the newly formed private non-profit corporation, HCSV Foundation.
The first 43 years of Historic Cold Spring Village have been exciting and innovative. However, the future promises to be challenging amidst continued funding cuts to arts, history, cultural and tourism-related organizations. The Board of Trustees, Friends of the Village, and the administrative staff fervently believe that without a past, the future has little meaning. Their pledge is to continue to expand upon the Mission Statement of Historic Cold Spring Village by preserving history and improving our understanding of the past.
On September 27, 2016 the Historic Cold Spring Village Historic District was entered in in the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. The New Jersey Register is the official list of New Jersey properties worthy of preservation. The Historic Cold Spring Village Historic District is now protected by the review process for public projects established by New Jersey Register of Historic Places Act (N.J.A.C. 7:4)