Like some adventure?

So do I! From discovering strange antiques to visiting historic sites - I love it all!

Where to?

Somerset County, Morris County... even Cape May County!

No Place is too Small...

What may seem minute and insignificant is what makes history!


Not only do I like to write about history - I love covering events too!

This Place Matters

Help bring awareness to the historic sites in your area.

From historic figures to historic places...

I want to teach America just how significant New Jersey is!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Weekend Estate Sales: 8/22/14 - 8/24/14

Click on each link for more information on the estate sale!
Find something neat at an estate sale? Let us know!
Hosting an estate sale? Send me an e-mail to be featured in our weekly post!
Be the first to know about these sales on Facebook!

Antique Furniture
Plainfield, NJ 07060
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday & Saturday (Same Time)

Furniture, Trunks, Lamps, & Clocks
Nutley, NJ 07110
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday (Same Time)

Vintage 1960s Goodies
Edison, NJ 08820
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday & Saturday (Same Time)

Quality Antiques
Morristown, NJ 07960
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday & Saturday (Same Time)

Vintage Comic Books
Succasunna, NJ 07876
9:30 am - 3:00 pm
Friday & Saturday (Same Time)

Do you enjoy the articles and features that The History Girl produces each week? 
If so, consider a donation to keep the movement going!

Help Support Heritage Tourism in New Jersey!

Help Support Heritage Tourism in New Jersey!

Whether it’s Washington Crossing State Park where General George Washington and his troops crossed an icy Delaware River to attack Hessian soldiers resting in Trenton, or Ellis Island where millions of immigrants first entered America, or Menlo Park where Thomas Edison’s research laboratories churned out world-changing inventions, or Whitesbog Farm where blueberries were first cultivated for consumption by people around the world, or the Cape May Lighthouse, which at 150 years of age is one of the nation’s oldest lighthouses in continuous operation, or, well, you get the point - New Jersey has always been a place where history is made!

However, not everyone is savvy to the rich history New Jersey has to offer. In fact, the NJ Heritage Tourism Master Plan states that "the development of heritage tourism by linking sites and educating historic site stewards about the heritage tourism industry" is a key need within the state.  

So, what is an avid history supporter to do? One really easy and fun way you can help promote heritage tourism in New Jersey every day is by purchasing a “Discover NJ History” license plate. Proceeds from the sale of these plates provide small grants to develop and promote visitor ready sites as heritage tourism destinations. Launched in 2012, a sample of projects completed so far include: a wayfinding program for historic sites in Morris County, architectural tours in Essex County, and a smartphone app for a historic burial ground in Elizabeth. 

Adapted from a painting of a house in Lambertville by renowned New Jersey artist Harry Devlin, these beautifully designed plates are a great reminder that history is never far away in the Garden State.  

If you are buying a car from a dealership, ask if they can order the plates for you under the “dedicated plates” category. Otherwise, click here to purchase your “Discover NJ History” license plates directly from the DMV website. Plates cost an initial $50 and $10 to renew annually.

Interested in applying for a “Discover NJ History” grant? Click here to learn more about the program.

The “Discover NJ History” License Plate Fund grant program is administered by the NJ Historic Trust, which was created by law in 1967 to preserve New Jersey’s historic resources throughout the state.

Do you enjoy the articles and features that The History Girl produces each week? 
If so, consider a donation to keep the movement going!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Finding Rare Images of Antietam in New Jersey

Finding Rare Images of Antietam in New Jersey
Written by Stephen Recker

An unfortunate fact about early photographs of Antietam Battlefield is that there are darn few of them. Unlike Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where photographers roamed the blood-soaked fields continually after the armies left, the town of Sharpsburg, Maryland was in the theater of war for years after that battle, the area was in a depression for over a decade, and the town had no professional photographers.

Looking north up the Hagerstown Pike toward the New Jersey Monument at Antietam, circa 1920.
Courtesy Stephen J. Recker Collection.
Because of these and other factors, the famous Bloody Cornfield remained unphotographed until the 20th century, or so I thought until I stumbled upon an amazing cache of early Antietam Battlefield images hidden in plain sight hundreds of miles from my western Maryland home. This is the story of how I unearthed those images and brought them to light in my book Rare Images of Antietam and the Photographers Who Took Them.

One snowy winter morning some time around the year 2008, about four years before my book was published, I sat at my desk perusing the Internet for any hint of obscure Antietam photographs. Six years into researching my book I had hundreds of great images to show for my efforts. But I was starting to cast my net wider to make sure that I had not missed anything. 

I got a hit at the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark. Ezra Ayres Carman had his papers there, and the finding guide said that, apparently, there was one image in the lot. Carman commanded the 13th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry at the Battle of Antietam, and they fought right through the Cornfield. Could that one photograph be an early image of it? The possibility was good enough for me. Road trip!

Colonel Ezra A. Carman, 13th New Jersey, Army of the Potomac. He was born in Middlesex County, New Jersey. Courtesy of Antietam National Battlefield.
The Society would not be open until noon that day, so I sent them a quick e-mail to let them know I was on my way and headed off to my target in the Garden State, 230 miles away.

Upon my arrival I scored a parking spot right on the street, smack dab in front of the society’s historical edifice. I saw this as a good sign. The librarian, having received my e-mail, had fast-tracked my paperwork and I was at a large oak desk in a flash. Quickly, he presented me with a half-dozen boxes from Carman’s papers, mostly pertaining to his Antietam years.

Ezra Carman fought in many battles throughout the Civil War. He kept a diary the entire time and it is a fantastic resource. In the 1890s, he became historian of the Antietam Battlefield Board and wrote an 1,800 page manuscript which, although unpublished until recently, is considered to be the authoritative text on the battle.

That was all well and good, but I was looking for photographs. I found a hand-made leather-bound diary titled “New Jersey at Antietam” that was Carman’s scrapbook of the creation and dedication of the New Jersey monument, dedicated at Antietam in 1903 by Theodore Roosevelt. It contained the deed for the monument, artist sketches, and yes, the photograph I had driven all morning to find. Alas, the image was actually from a magazine and was taken in the Bloody Lane. It was no great shakes, but the scrapbook was so exciting I already felt the trip had been worth it.

President Roosevelt at the unveiling of the New Jersey Monument, Antietam Battlefield, September 17, 1903. Courtesy Stephen J. Recker Collection.
Antietam’s New Jersey state monument first came on my radar when I purchased a nickel that had been left on some railroad tracks and was smashed by the train that carried Roosevelt to the 1903 dedication. And then I read the story of the woman who, just before the dedication, rode past the New Jersey monument in a horse-drawn carriage to show her little boy and husband the place where a workman had been killed during its construction. The horse shied, throwing her and the boy out onto the ground. The child fell under the wheel and was badly hurt, and the mother fell on her head and fractured her skull. She died immediately. Mrs. Francis McGraw is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, Hagerstown, Maryland.

The gallant Captain Hugh Irish, who stands on top of the New Jersey monument, waves his sword and urges his men to follow him across the Hagerstown Pike and into the mouth of Stonewall Jackson’s guns. Shot through the heart, Irish was buried by the side of the road where he fell. His remains were later sent to Paterson, New Jersey, where he was buried in the baptist cemetery at Sandy Hill and subsequently, in 1870, removed to Cedar Lawn.

Cabinet card of the New Jersey Monument, circa 1903.
Courtesy Stephen J. Recker Collection.
So, back at the New Jersey Historical Society I was quite excited to look through Carman’s diary, but things really got crazy when a small note fell out of the back of the book directing me to ask the librarian for certain boxes that promised to contain “image of antietam.”

I gave the call numbers to the librarian and in short order he returned with no less than eight boxes full of old images. And I am talking A++ quality images. I did not know it at the time but I have since surmised that what I ‘discovered’ that day was nothing less than Ezra Carman’s personal photograph collection. In the 1890s the historian of Antietam battlefield amassed over ninety wonderful and scarce images of the battlefield and years later when his son donated them to the Society they became somewhat disconnected from what would be considered his “papers,” hence the lack of labeling.

In the 1890s, cabinet cards were the rage, and stereo views were on their way out. This was reflected in his holdings. Many of the more obscure images were taken by John Wagoner, who at that time had just moved his studio to Hagerstown from nearby Boonsboro. One such image is the earliest photograph of the Cornfield that I have ever seen, circa 1888. A truly amazing find.

Early photograph looking toward the New Jersey Monument, circa 1913. The Indiana Monument (l) and the 125th Pennsylvania Monument (lc) can also be seen. Courtesy Stephen J. Recker Collection.
Also in the collection was a series of images taken in 1900 of the removal of some trees and a fence to make way for the monument to Joseph King Fenno Mansfield, commander of the Union XII Corps at Antietam. Sadly, one of the trees removed for the monument was one that veterans of the 10th Maine Infantry had written about only ten years earlier as having had an impact on their fighting. That said, these invaluable photographs are the only close-up images we have of that old stump.

I spoke to the director of the New Jersey Historical Society over the course of the next few years to secure the rights to use some of their images in my book. I was ecstatic to be the one who ‘found’ this treasure trove, but was frustrated that I had to wait a few years before I could reveal my find to the many Antietam historians that I was sure were not aware of these photographs.

As my anxiety mounted at the possibility of someone else finding out about these images before my book came out, I made a few more pilgrimages to Newark to refine my photo selection list. But on one last trip I had a special quest. My good friend, Dr. Tom Clemens, having spent the last twenty years or so editing Carman’s Antietam manuscript for publication, was getting ready to go to press with Volume II. Tom asked if I knew of any good images from Carman’s Antietam Battlefield Board period that might work well in his book. I told him I would think about it and headed off to Jersey.

1892 Liberty Nickel passed over by President Roosevelt’s train on the way to Antietam, September 17, 1903. Courtesy Stephen J. Recker Collection.
Upon my arrival, the librarian suggested that I might want to look in a few other boxes of images of battlefields that I had not seen previously. After a resounding "Yes!", he brought out a table full of astounding photographs. But one collection of larger format photographs caught my eye. Although they were not marked, I immediately recognized them as Antietam. Upon further examination I concluded that they constitute a photographic survey of the Antietam Battlefield Board’s work - historic tablets, avenues, the tower, and fences - commissioned by Carman himself. These were about six sets of four images each, taken to create panoramic views, embodying some of the earliest photographs known of the Cornfield, Rocky Ledge, and Nicodemus Heights. 

Not only was this going to lift my book to an even higher level, but when Tom found out about these he immediately planned a trip with me to go back and see for himself.

I will let Tom tell the story himself, from the Acknowledgements section of Carman, Volume II: “In researching material for this volume, fellow Antietam historian Stephen Recker discovered a trove of photographs of the Antietam Battlefield from the time that Carman was creating tour roads, plaques, and other features. Through an unpleasant snowstorm we journeyed to the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark, Stephen driving as I’d just had a hip replaced a few weeks earlier. We were greeted with the unfortunate news that the photographs were housed in the 5th floor library - and their elevator did not work! Neither pain nor stiffness were going to prevent me from seeing those images, so I slowly (and painfully) negotiated the flights of stairs to marvel at images of the field as Carman designed it in the 1890s. William King, whose photographs comprise most of those in this volume, was probably hired by Carman to document the battlefield, showing off the product of his interpretive efforts. Thanks to Stephen and the New Jersey Historical Society, many of those photographs are published here for the first time.”

Ezra Carman, post-war. Courtesy of Antietam National Battlefield.
But my glory was short-lived as I was alerted to the fact that the credit line for the New Jersey Historical Society photographs was missing from the printed copies of my own book! How could this be? I had placed it in there as you would lay a golden egg on a pillow. But, it was true. About a week before my book was put to bed I received an image of memorial windows that were placed in a church by someone who was featured in my book. I knew it was a bad idea to add content so late in the game, but I was determined to get it in and added it as a Post Script. When I inserted the credit line to the Newville Historical Society, instead of adding a line, InDesign replaced the line containing the precious New Jersey Historical Society credit.

Regardless of the toils, the pursuit of early images of Antietam continues. They are important because if one is to tell the story of a battle with any accuracy, they must know what the field looked like to those who fought. And these early images allow us to follow a thread of truth back through time to see where a road has been moved, or a tree line changed, or a fence built or realigned. Only then can we make sense of the narratives left to us by the veterans who made that ground historic.

Trivia quiz: 
Q. What is the only regiment that has three flank markers on the battlefield of Gettysburg?
A. The 13th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry.

Q. What is the only regiment that has three monuments on the battlefield of Antietam?
A. The 13th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry.

About the Author
Stephen Recker is a collector of rare Antietam photographs and relics. Items from his collection can be seen on battlefield waysides and in the newly renovated museum at Antietam National Battlefield, as well as in his book, Rare Images of Antietam, and the Photographers Who Took Them. Recker is a member of Antietam Battlefield Guides, a service he founded in partnership with WMIA, the non-profit at Antietam National Battlefield. He produced Virtual Gettysburg, a critically acclaimed interactive Civil War battlefield tour; Antietam Artifacts, a CD-ROM with images of rare postcards from the Maryland Campaign of 1862; and He began his professional career as a lead guitarist, recording and touring with Al Stewart, the Spencer Davis Group, Mary Wells, and Tommy Chong, and as technician for Ringo Starr, Kiss, Diana Ross, and Madonna. In multimedia, he produced for Apple Computer, Adobe, and the Smithsonian, and was named a “Top 100 Producer” by AV Multimedia Producer Magazine. He is currently the Web and Multimedia Coordinator at Hagerstown Community College and is a graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music.

Do you enjoy the articles and features that The History Girl produces each week? 
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Sunday, August 17, 2014

"Rare Images of Antietam" August Book Giveaway

Thanks to author Stephen Recker, The History Girl is offering one signed copy of his book Rare Images of Antietam and the Photographers Who Took Them, published by Another Software Miracle, LLC. In order to be in the running, submit your name and e-mail address below!

*One entry per person.
*Valid for all residents of the 50 United States of America, 13 years of age or older.
*Entries without a valid e-mail address are not eligible.
*Contest begins August 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm EST and ends August 23, 2014 at 8:00 pm EST.
*The winners will be chosen at random.
*The winners will be notified via e-mail on August 23, 2014 after 8:00 pm. The winner must respond with a mailing address within thirty-six (36) hours or another winner will be chosen.

Do you enjoy the articles and features that The History Girl produces each week? 
If so, consider a donation to keep the movement going!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Weekend Historical Happenings: 8/16/14 - 8/17/14

Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an e-mail to let us know!
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Saturday, August 16 - Montague, Sussex County
"Harmony in Motion" Performance

"Harmony in Motion" will be performing for the Montague Association for the Restoration of Community, on Saturday from 1:00 - 1:30 pm at the Foster-Armstrong House in Montague. "Harmony in Motion" is a group of singers dedicated to the preservation of barbershop style four part a cappella harmony. They enjoy developing the skills involved in both the musical and visual aspects of their performance. They treasure the lifelong friendships made in an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie. Two groups will be singing for our performance, so come early to reserve your seat. The Foster-Armstrong House is located at 320 River Road, Montague, NJ. For more information, vsit

Saturday, August 16 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
2nd Annual Sweet Corn Festival
Children Friendly

Sweet Corn and summer go together at Historic Walnford! The 2nd Annual Sweet Corn Festival will include live music, corn themed crafts and activities for children, a climbing wall, and more. Admission and parking are free.

While there, visit the large, elegant Walnford home built in 1774, the 19th century gristmill and the farm buildings set in a beautiful landscape. Walnford is located at 62 Walnford Road, Upper Freehold, NJ. For more information, call 609-259-6275 or visit

Saturday, August 16 - Somers Point, Atlantic County
10 Year Anniversary
Children Friendly

On Saturday from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm, visit the Somers Point Historical Museum to help celebrate its 10 year anniversary. Enjoy displays, free refreshments, and a free gift when you visit! The museum is located at 745 Shore Road, Somers Point, NJ. For more information, call 609-927-2900 or visit

Saturday, August 16 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Vintage Baseball Double-Header
Children Friendly

On Saturday, come see the Bog Iron Boys of Allaire Village take on the Elizabeth Resolutes in a doubleheader scrub match of 1864 Vintage Base Ball at Historic Allaire Village. The game will be played by 1864 rules, with 1800s vintage costumes and fun! The Historic Village at Allaire is located at 4263 Atlantic Avenue, Farmingdale, NJ. Admission to the game is free but there a $5 parking fee in effect for Allaire State Park. For more information, contact the Allaire Village office during business hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, at 732-919-3500 or visit

Saturday, August 16 - Little Egg Harbor, Ocean County
Local Men Who Fought in The Civil War

On Saturday, the Tuckerton Historical Society presents "Local Men Who Fought in The Civil War" presented by Pete Stemmer. Hear about about local men who served in the Civil War. Bring family stories, photos, memorabilia, etc to share with the group. This presentation will be held from 2:00 - 4:00 pm at the Giffordtown Schoolhouse Museum, 35 Leitz Blvd., Little Egg Harbor, NJ. For more information, call 609-294-1547.

Saturday, August 16 - Jersey City, Hudson County
Family Friendly

On Saturday, the Hudson Shakespeare Company performs the final show in its 23rd annual summer tour with an outdoor presentation of the road-tripping Mediterranean adventure, “Pericles” at 7:00 pm at the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery. The performance features exotic belly dancing, gladiator fighting, and sea-tripping "Pericles". It is a story of a king looking for love and experiencing loss and along the way meets assassins, goofy pirates, a down on its luck brothel, and a Greek deity or two. Seating is limited. Please bring lawn chairs or blankets.

Admission is a suggested $10 donation and concessions will be sold to raise funds for the upkeep of the 350 year old site. In case of rain or other inclement weather, the show will be held under a tent on site. The Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery is located at 435 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ. For more information, call 973-449-7443 or visit For more information on the cemetery, call 201-707-0738 or visit

Saturday, August 16 Port Norris, Cumberland County
Family & Railroad Heritage Day
Children Friendly

Come to Bivalve, Port Norris Township, NJ on Saturday for Family & Railroad Heritage Day. Come learn about local history and explore your own. There will be presentations throughout the day. Also on hand will be informational displays presented by local historical societies from Cumberland and Cape May counties. Learn how they can assist you with researching your genealogy or local history.

Heritage Day will feature our local railroad history with a "live steam" model engine display,  HO-scale-model trains, Central Railroad of NJ display and railroadiana. Also learn how steam engines work. Come and find out about the railroad's important role in the oyster industry.

There will also be:
- Music on the wharves
- The Oyster Cracker Café will be open for lunch
- A scavenger hunt and other activities for children

Specific Programming includes:
11:30 am - Antique Appraisals and Talk with Arthur Schwerdt
Bring your family treasures for a verbal appraisal and hear about today's antique market. A $10 donation to have two items verbally appraised. Mr. Schwerdt, co-owner of The August Farmhouse in Middle Township, has been certified as a Senior Professional Appraiser by The National Association of Professional Appraisers. He has been appraising antique furniture and decorative arts, residential furnishings, and collectibles for over 28 years. His book, The Antique Story Book: Finding the Real Value of Old Things, will be available for purchase.

1:00 pm - Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ) lecture with Ken Schwarz
The Railroad was a key partner in making the region the "Oyster Capital of the World." Learn about the history of the CNJ and its role in moving people and freight in the Garden State and beyond.

1:45 pm - Genealogy 101 with Ginny Wallace
Assistant Director, Vineland NJ Family History Center
Learn tips and resources for researching your family's history. Just getting started? Or are you an old pro? Come with your questions. Learn about research basics using's databases of records, how to use the information in the records, and going over some common, hard-to-find buttons in Ancestry Trees. Find out about Genealogical Standards and how to research properly. Participants are encouraged to bring their WiFi enabled devices. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is known for preserving and making accessible genealogical records on that will help identify ancestors. The church sponsors about 4,700 Family History Centers throughout the world, which are satellite libraries of the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.  

2:15 pm - Curator's Workshop with Rachel Dolhanczyk
Curator, Delaware Bay Museum
Learn tips and best practices for preserving your family photographs and documents. There are easy ways to ensure your family treasures last throughout the years. Learn what causes damage and what you can do to prevent or slow damage. Then, find out how to conduct oral history interviews with family members. Rachel has over 15 years experience in the museum field. She earned a B.A. in History from Wheaton College in Norton, MA and a M.A. in Museum Education from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia.

This event will be held from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm at the Bayshore Center at Bivalve, 2800 High Street, Bivalve, Port Norris, NJ. For more information, call 856-785-2060 or visit

Saturday, August 16 - Chester, Morris County
Industrial Metal Crafts Day
Children Friendly Site

Watch a tinsmith and tin piercers demonstrate their work at the Cooper Grist Mill in Chester. Make a tin pierced craft to take home. Cost: Free. Donations appreciated. The Cooper Gristmill is located at 66 Route 513, Chester, NJ. For more information, call 908-879-5463 or visit

Saturday, August 16 - Morristown, Morris County
Going Loomy
Children Friendly

Visit the Wick House for hands-on instruction about the basics of weaving using a table loom or tape loom. Learn about the clothing of the 18th century and how families worked together to prepare their clothing for the winter season. Programs at 11:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 3:00 pm at the Wick House at Jockey Hollow, within Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, NJ. Cost: Free. For more information, call 973-543-4030 or visit

Saturday, August 16 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Potato Harvest
Children Friendly

On Saturday from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm, Howell Living History Farm invites the public to celebrate the coming harvest season by unearthing a special crop of potatoes that will be donated to the Greater Mercer Food Cooperative. The potatoes were planted in April by Howell Farm visitors, volunteers, and interns.

Visitors of all ages can join the harvest crew, for as long or short a time as they like. Experience is not necessary. The crew will be led by farm staff, who will use horses or oxen to pull a special plow called a "potato lifter". 

Visitors can help by gathering potatoes unearthed by the lifter, and by turning the crank of the Farm's "potato grader" to sort the potatoes. Lemonade and cookies will be served to field workers throughout the day. 

Howell Living History Farm represents typical farm life between 1890 and 1910. The farm is operated by the Mercer County Parks Commission. It is located at 70 Wooden's Lane, Lambertville, NJ. For more information. call 609-737-3299 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, August 16 - 17 - Washington Township, Gloucester County
Second Annual Living History Event
Children Friendly

On Saturday and Sunday, visit the Olde Stone House Historic Village in Washington Township, Gloucester County for their second annual living history event. It will run both days from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Meet members of the 9th Virginia Calvary and the 37th North Carolina Volunteers. Learn about the Civil War, hear stories of the battle, check out displays and artifacts, and watch real cannons fire!

Live firings of cannons will take place on Saturday at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm and on Sunday at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. Stop by Saturday night for a special 'night firing'! The cannon will be going off at 9:00 pm and you'll see a display of different colors! You won't want to miss that!

Admission is a $10 parking donation upon entry. The Olde Stone House Historic Village is located on Egg Harbor Road, Sewell, NJ. For more information, e-mail

Saturday - Sunday, August 16 - 17 - Cape May, Cape May County
Classic & Antique Car Show Weekend
Children Friendly

Cruise into Historic Cold Spring Village for the popular Annual Classic and Antique Car Show. The event will be held Saturday and Sunday and cars will be on display each day from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Vintage automobiles and trucks will park among the shaded paths and historic buildings. This event is generously sponsored by Kindle Auto Plaza.

See beautifully restored and preserved vehicles, from muscle cars to light trucks, from the 1910s to the 1980s parked along the Village’s tree-lined, shell-paved lanes. On Saturday, members of the Jersey Cape Region AACA will be showing their antique vehicles, while hotrods and other classics will be presented by KB Productions and the Greater Wildwood Hotel & Motel Association on Sunday. The buildings will be open during regular Village hours, from 10:00 am - 4:30 pm, with interpreters in period clothing teaching guests about the crafts, trades and lifestyles of Early America.

Historic Cold Spring Village is a non-profit, open-air living history museum that portrays the daily life of a rural South Jersey community of the Early American period. It features 26 restored historic structures on a 30-acre site. From late June to early September, interpreters and artisans in period clothing preserve the trades, crafts and heritage of “the age of homespun.”

Historic Cold Spring Village is located at 720 Route 9, three miles north of Cape May City and four miles south of Rio Grande. Admission during the season is $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 3 to 12. Children under 3 are admitted free. Unlimited free admission is available with Village membership. As a member of the national Blue Star Museums program, Historic Cold Spring Village is proud to offer free admission to active duty military personnel and up to 5 family members. The Village Nature Trail at Bradner's Run is open to the public for free self-guided tours. For more information, call 609-898-2300, ext. 18 or visit

Sunday, August 17 - Randolph, Morris County
Gizmos, Gadgets, and Peach Festival
Children Friendly
The Historical Society of Old Randolph (HSOR) invites one and all to attend its Gizmos, Gadgets, and Peach Festival at the Randolph Museum on Saturday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The museum is located on Millbrook Avenue at the entrance to Freedom Park, between Carrell and Schoolhouse roads.

This hands-on event will allow visitors to see gizmos and gadgets from the past in action. In addition, the HSOR is getting out the punch bowl and everyone is invited to enjoy peaches and cream and other light refreshment! The tree-ripened peaches come from Sun High Orchards, one of Randolph Township’s preserved farm lands. For more information, call 973-989-7095 or visit

Sunday, August 17 - Westampton, Burlington County
Who lived at Peachfield?
Children Friendly

Who lived at Peachfield? In 1988, an archaeological dig was conducted at Peachfield. Many interesting artifacts were uncovered from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.

Tours of the property will be available at 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm. There will be an archaeological dig activity for children of all ages.  Don't miss this opportunity to "dig" for artifacts in our backyard.

Admission is free. A free-will donation is welcome in support of the museum. Reservations are recommended. The program takes place at Peachfield, the Headquarters of The National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the State of New Jersey, 180 Burrs Road, Westamption, NJ. For more information, call 609-267-6996 or e-mail

Sunday, August 17 - Matawan, Monmouth County
Open House

The Matawan Historical Society will holding an open house on Sunday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm at the Burrowes Mansion located at 94 Main Street, Matawan, NJ. Learn how this circa 1723 home and its owners played a role in the Revolutionary War. There is a suggested donation of $5.00 per person. For more information call 732-492-6069 or visit

Sunday, August 17 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
The Annual Rolling Iron Auto Show Returns to Allaire Village
Children Friendly

The Historic Village at Allaire is proud to present its 19th Annual Antique Rolling Iron Auto Show on Sunday from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm. Antique vehicles will be coming in from all over the tri-state area. All vehicles manufactured in 1986 and prior years are eligible to be in the show. On display will be unique, antique vehicles from the area; many of these vehicles you may not see at other shows. Trophies will be awarded to vehicles in many classes including, foreign cars, American cars, custom cars, modified cars,street rods, trucks, modified trucks, and antique motorcycles.
There are more than 40 unique trophies, combining People's Choice, the Historic Village at Allaire Guilds, and Director's Choice will be awarded to the winners in each class. This show takes place in the parking lot of Allaire State Park, next to the Pine Creek Railroad. There will be plenty of macadam, with grass and shade to keep the vehicles dust-free, and of course, keep the spectators cool and comfortable. Our food vendors, will be tempting you with hot-dogs, hamburgers, french fries, Italian ice, sodas, funnel cakes and much more.

A State parking fee of $5.00 is in effect for spectator cars. Show vehicles are $18, to register the day of the show. Registration is at 8:00 am, and trophies will be awarded at 3:00 pm.

This event is not just a car show; it's a day of family fun for the history buff, the car enthusiast, the train fan, and the nature lover. All visitors are encouraged to visit the Historic Village at Allaire. Walk through the buildings, shop at the General Store, and learn about life in the 1830s. This is a terrific outing for the whole family all within beautiful Allaire State Park. There is a picnic area, hiking trails and you can even take a train ride aboard the Pine Creek Railroad. Children will love fishing in the pond and looking at the authentically dressed museum interpreters, as well as visiting the carpenters, and blacksmith shops, where they can see demonstrations of their crafts. The Village tells a story of life in Allaire 176 years ago, a creative learning experience for all to see in the restored 1830's iron manufacturing community.

The Historic Village at Allaire is located at 4263 Atlantic Avenue, Farmingdale, NJ. For more information, contact the Allaire Village office during business hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, at 732-919-3500 or visit

Saturday, August 17 - Morristown, Morris County
Officer's Lot
Children Friendly

Washington referred to the officers who were his aide-de-camps as his "military family". These men were volunteers who, unlike enlisted men, personally paid for their food and equipment during military service. Learn more about the business of the Continental Army's headquarters and the men who worked most closely with George Washington through examination of objects they would have used. The program will run from 11:00 am - 12:00 noon and 1:30 - 4:00 pm at the Wick House at Jockey Hollow, within Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, NJ. Cost: Free. For more information, call 973-543-4030 or visit

Sunday, August 17 - Trenton, Mercer County
Civil War Memorial Service

The General James A. Garfield Camp Number 4, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War as part of its Civil War Sesquicentennial Celebration, will conduct a memorial service at the grave of 1st Lieutenant John Sanford Williams at 2:00 pm on Sunday. 1st Lieutenant Williams is buried in Riverview Cemetery, Trenton, NJ. He was a member of Company B, 3rd Delaware Volunteer Infantry. After the war, he was a member of the Aaron Wilkes Post Number 23, Grand Army of the Republic located in Trenton, New Jersey.

The memorial service is an adaptation of a GAR burial service and will include a civil war uniformed color party, a bagpipe rendition of Amazing Grace, a three gun volley salute, a bugle rendition of Taps, and a wreath laying. Riverview Cemetery is located at 870 Centre Street, Trenton, NJ. Parking is available at the cemetery. For more information, call Bill Kale at 609-218-1147 or e-mail

Sunday, August 17 - Walpack, Sussex County
Political Conflicts in Northwestern Jersey in the 1860s

What was the political climate in Sussex County before and during the Civil War? Were all  citizens in agreement? What motivated your great-great-grandpa to enlist? Find out when Kevin Wright speaks on "political conflicts in Northwestern Jersey in the 1860s," sponsored by the Walpack Historical Society.

The meeting takes place at 1:00 pm inside the Walpack ME Church, Main Street, Walpack Center within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The program is free and the public is invited. For more information and directions, call 973-948-4903.

Saturdays and Sundays Through October 2014 - Ringwood, Passaic County
Grounds and Garden Tour

Did you ever wonder what all that “stuff” is placed around the grounds at Ringwood Manor? What about all those other buildings on the property? What were they used for? If you have ever been curious about the estate at Ringwood Manor, this tour is for you! The 2 hour guided walking tour will take visitors around the main property at Ringwood Manor, discussing the historic objects, the planned gardens & landscape features, the out-buildings, and the cemetery. Historic photographs of the property will also be shown. These free tours meet at 2:00 pm in front of Ringwood Manor every Saturday and Sunday from June - October. It is advised that participants wear walking or hiking shoes, dress appropriately for the weather, and bring bug spray and sun block. Steady Rain cancels. No reservations necessary. For more information and to call ahead to confirm a tour, call 973-962-2240. Ringwood Manor is located at 1304 Sloatsburg Road, Ringwood, NJ, within Ringwood State Park. For more information, visit

Sundays through August 30, 2014 - Cranbury, Middlesex County
"At Long Last...Summer" Exhibit

The Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society is bringing a bit of the seashore to its museum in Cranbury. After a harsh winter, the society is happy to present a new exhibit  at the Cranbury Museum, entitled, "At Long Last...Summer."  Featuring treasures of the sea and seashore, the exhibit includes oil paintings, watercolors, a rare sea glass collection, antique whale bone, shells, Sailor valentines, ephemera, and vintage toys and souvenirs. The exhibit will continue through August 30, 2014. Celebrate summer and join us on Sunday afternoons from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, to view the exhibit! The Cranbury Museum is located at 4 Park Place East, Cranbury. For more information, visit

Through August 23, 2014 - Haledon, Passaic County
"The Mill Girls" Exhibit

The American Labor Museum/Botto House National Landmark in Haledon, NJ proudly opens the exhibit "The Mill Girls," a unique three-dimensional display that showcases images of three mill girls on large-scale replicas of the wooden bobbins used in early textile mills, by visual artist Donna Berger. The exhibit will be on view through August 23, 2014. 

The Botto House National Landmark, home of the American Labor Museum, is located at 83 Norwood Street, Haledon, NJ. It was the meeting place for over 20,000 silk mill workers during the 1913 Paterson Silk Strike. The Museum's hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Tours are offered Wednesday through Saturday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm and by appointment. For more information, call 973-595-7953, visit, or e-mail

Through August, 2014 - Lyndhurst, Bergen County
Let's Play! An Exhibit of Beloved Toys
Children Friendly

From a china-head doll to a Lionel train, several toys are on display at the Little Red Schoolhouse Museum as the Lyndhurst Historical Society recalls fun times with favorite toys. The new exhibit, "Let's Play! An Exhibit of Beloved Toys," is open now through August 2014.

The exhibit is free and open to the public, though a small donation to the Society would be appreciated. The Little Red Schoolhouse Museum is open on the second and fourth Sundays of  every month from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. The Lyndhurst Historical Society was established in 1984 in an effort to preserve the 1893 schoolhouse, located at 400 Riverside Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ. For more information, call 201-804-2513 (leave a message) or visit

Through Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Princeton, Mercer County
Micah Williams: Portrait Artist Exhibition

Traveling portrait artist and New Jersey resident Micah Williams (1782 - 1837) was a prolific artist who has 272 known existing works. His works are represented in many major museums and are highly sought after by folk art collectors. Yet, there has never been an exhibition dedicated solely to the work of Micah Williams. "Micah Williams: Portrait Artist," on loan to Morven from the Monmouth County Historical Association, tells a story about the new America of the 19th century. With over 40 portraits on view, visitors can come face-to-face with the state's nineteenth century farmers, orchard growers, militia officers, politicians, silversmiths, potters, carpenters, and their families.

The exhibition will also debut Morven's newest acquisition: a pastel portrait of Commodore Robert Field Stockton (1795-1866) completed by Micah Williams around 1821. Stockton was a third-generation resident of Morven, head the Pacific Fleet and a U.S. Senator. With this exhibition, the portrait makes its return to the walls at Morven. "Micah Williams: Portrait Artist" exhibition will be on display at Morven through September 14, 2014.

Morven Museum & Garden is a museum and public garden located at 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ. A National Historic Landmark, Morven was the home to Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, as well as the former Governor's mansion of New Jersey. Public Hours: Wednesday - Friday 11:00 am - 3:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm. For more information, call 609-924-8144 or visit

Through Sunday, October 5, 2014 - Paterson, Passaic County
The History of the Silk City Diner Company of Paterson Exhibit

On exhibit through Sunday October 5, 2014 in Lambert Castle, home of the Passaic County Historical Society, view "Pancakes, Patties, and Pies...the History of the Silk City Diner Company of Paterson." The humble origin of American diners can be traced back to 1872. Since then, diners have evolved to become an iconic representation of the American lifestyle. This type of dining, with its comfort foods, distinct architecture, and unique aesthetics has captivated the appetites and imaginations of generations. In this exhibit, learn how the Paterson Vehicle Company contributed to this phenomenon with their  Silk City Diners. Exhibit co-curated by Clifton native and author Michael Gabriele. Visitors can access the exhibition during regular museum hours (Wednesday-Sunday). General museum admissions apply.

Admission: Adults $5.00, Senior Citizens (65+) $4.00, Children ages 5-17 $3.00, and children under age 5 and members of the Historical Society are free. Lambert Castle is located at 3 Valley Road, Paterson, NJ. For more information, call 973-247-0085 or visit

Through Sunday, October 12, 2014 - Trenton, Mercer County
"Before There Was Trenton" Exhibit

This year New Jersey observes the 350th Anniversary of its political establishment in 1664. To commemorate the event, the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park is hosting a display of items related to the mid-1600s - before there was a place called Trent's-town. "Before There Was Trenton," on view through October 12, 2014 is curated by Trenton Museum Society Trustee David Bosted and son Nicholas Bosted. A formal lecture, "Before There Was Trenton" will be given by the curators on Sunday October 12, at 2:00 pm, on the last day of the display. 

Prior to 1664, New Netherland was a colony founded by the Dutch on the east coast of North America. The Dutch colony extended from Hartford, CT in the east to Albany, New York, in the north to Delaware in the south, encompassing parts of what are now the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and Delaware. The New Netherland colony included three major Rivers: Nord (North River, now the Hudson River), Sud (South River, now the Delaware River) and the Versche (Fresh) River (now the Connecticut River). The English wrested control of the colony from the Dutch in 1664, turning its capital, New Amsterdam, into New York City.

The Dutch colonial efforts were mostly directed toward trade with Native Americans. However, their permanent settlements in some cases caused conflict with native peoples as well as with several other European powers, especially England, Sweden and France. 

Beaver pelts were especially sought after for the fur trade. Marten, fox, otter and mink were also bartered.  In 1624 (the year New Amsterdam was first settled), Dutch settlers shipped 1,500 beaver and 500 otter skins to Europe. Thereafter, the fur trade grew enormously under the Dutch. Fort Orange (now Albany) and New Amsterdam (now New York City) were the centers of the fur trade, reaching deep into the Lenni Lenape and Mohawk tribal territory, and promoting contact between the Dutch and the Native peoples.

"Before There Was Trenton" recalls that early period of exploration, contact and settlement. Among the items on display are items highly valued in the fur trade: hand-forged trade axes, knives and other metal tools; easily transportable and popular trading commodities like the red "white heart" glass trade beads made in Venice; objects reflecting Dutch nautical exploration and the fur trade; and Lenni Lenape stone tools from the Delaware Valley as well as early agricultural items. Tobacco, another highly desirable trade commodity, is represented in the display by early tobacco pipes. Because tobacco was so expensive, the 17th century pipe bowls were small, holding only a pinch of tobacco.

The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie is located in Cadwalader Park in Trenton, NJ. For more information about the exhibit or the talk, call 609-989-1191, e-mail, or visit

Through October 31, 2014 - Trenton, Mercer County
Trenton's Old Barracks Museum Shows Iron Art

The Old Barracks Museum will feature the sculpture of AbOminOg Intl. Arts Collective in an exhibit entitled "Founding the Future: A Continuum of Iron Casting in Trenton with AbOminOg Intl. Arts Collective." The exhibit will run from April 26 to October 31, 2014.

The Old Barracks Museum is pleased to feature the metal sculpture of members of one of Trenton's illustrious artist collectives in an exhibit entitled, "Founding the Future: A Continuum of Iron Casting in Trenton with AbOminOg Intl. Arts Collective." Exhibiting artists include Kate Graves, Aylin Green, Bruce Lindsay, Rory Mahon, Steve Morse, Joanna Platt, Matt Reiley, David  Robinson and Scot Thompson.

This outdoor exhibit is part of the statewide celebrations of the 350th anniversary of the founding of New Jersey by representing the connection between the history that the Old Barracks Museum interprets and AbOminOg Intl.'s focus on the revolutionary industrial material of iron. As the first art installation at the Old Barracks, it will allow the visiting public a new perspective on the relationship between the past and the present in the formation of the future.

The Old Barracks Museum is adjacent to Petty's Run, site of the only excavated Colonial steel furnace in America. Trenton's history of industry, manufacturing and self-reliance is reflected in the AbOminOg Intl. model of collaboration through sweat equity, upcycling crushed iron scrap into sculpture. The essence of the artist collective's cause- to teach and facilitate artists of diverse backgrounds, age groups and skill levels in the creation of cast-metal sculptural artworks within an inspiring, supportive and sustainable setting while positively affecting the community and the art world at large- has remained the same since their inaugural iron pour in a Trenton backyard on December 31, 1999. The Old Barracks Museum is located at 101 Barracks Street, Trenton, NJ. For more information, call 609-396-1776 or visit

Through December 29, 2014 - Woodbury, Gloucester County
Be Prepared:  Scouts of Yesteryear
Children Friendly

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have been a tradition in America for over a century. The Gloucester County Historical Society Museum is presenting a remarkable exhibit with scouting artifacts from over the decades. Numerous uniforms, merit badges, equipment, manuals, and accessories from the 1930’s on are on display.  

The Gloucester County Historical Society Museum hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm and the last Sunday of the month from 2:00 - 5:00 pm. Adult admission $5; children 6-18 years $1; children under 6 free. The Gloucester County Historical Society Museum is located at 58 North Broad Street, Woodbury, NJ. For more information, call 856-848-8531 or visit

Through February 13, 2015 - Madison, Morris County
The American Revolution in New Jersey
Children Friendly

New Jersey spent much of the American Revolution as a theater of war. A new exhibit at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, "The American Revolution in New Jersey: Where the Battlefront Meets the Homefront," explores the rarely told story of New Jersey's farmers, women, and tradesmen and their actions during the war. Topics discussed include the local civil wars that erupted between revolutionaries and loyalists, the multiple roles that women took on as their men went off to war, and how civilian life was affected by the regular presence of troops. The exhibit will be open until February 13, 2015. 

Regular Museum admission is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, students & children (ages 6 and older), and free for members and children under 6. Family maximum admission $13.00. The Museum is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm. The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts is located at 9 Main Street in Madison, NJ just two blocks from the Madison train station. For more information, please call 973-377-2982 x10 or visit

1st and 2nd Sundays through June 2015 - Ocean Township, Monmouth County
The History of Houses and the Things That Make Them Home

Since prehistoric times, where we live has been about much more than shelter (think of those cave paintings). A new exhibit explores just how our human instinct to nest has played out in the structures we inhabit and the stuff we put in them. "The History of Houses and the Things that Make Them Home" is on display in the Richmond Gallery of the Eden Woolley House / Township of Ocean Historical Museum.

The exhibit examines the influences on the design and content of the American home - from the traditions early settlers brought with them, to the availability of materials, to the transforming power of technology. It takes guests on a virtual house tour, revealing room by room how things have changed and how those changes have shaped our lives.

What is home? It's where the heart is and there's no place like it. Beyond shelter, our homes express our tastes, values, and social status. Our neighborhoods abound with homes that illustrate the point, and the new exhibit asks us to see our familiar surroundings in a new light. It reveals the lineage of familiar house styles--colonial, neoclassical, Victorian, and modern, for example. It explains that the colonists of the new world built houses in the style of the old. That the founding fathers, all men of the Enlightenment, adapted the designs of Greeks and Romans whose rationality they admired. That the clutter and ornamentation of the Victorians expressed their fascination with goods made possible by the Industrial Revolution and made available by the railroads. And that twentieth century architects rejected Victorian fussiness in favor of designs that challenged old assumptions and took advantage of new technologies and building techniques.

House design is just the beginning. The exhibit takes us inside, room by room. For all but the rich, our earliest homes were one-room dwellings. The very concept of a single-purpose room (living, dining, bathing, etc.) is relatively new. And even in early multiple-room houses, people moved from room to room more in pursuit of sunlight and warmth than specific activity. In effect, all rooms were "living rooms."

Revolutionary new technologies - indoor plumbing, central heating, and electric light, in particular - made room specialization practical. The bathroom, bedchamber, dining room, library, and parlor emerged as distinct spaces in ways that both reflect and influence life style.

Take the living room (aka parlor, drawing room, sitting room, and salon). It has come full circle. As parlor, it was a room often reserved to receive visitors. In time, it became the place where the family "withdrew" to gather around the piano - later the radio and then television. Today, the "great room" has assumed that role and in many homes, the living room is again a more formal space reserved for entertaining guests.

The exhibit makes that case that every house has a story, every room has a history. "The History of Houses and the Things that Make Them Home" will be up through June 2015. The Township of Ocean Historical Museum is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (1:00 - 4:00 pm), Thursday evenings (7:00 - 9:00 pm) and the first and second Sundays of each month (1:00 - 4:00 pm). The Township of Ocean Historical Museum is located at 703 Deal Road, Ocean, NJ. For more information, please call 732-531-2136 or visit

Some event listings courtesy of the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey