Friday, November 15, 2013

Weekend Historical Happenings: 11/16/13 - 11/17/13

WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
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Saturday, November 16 - Waretown, Ocean County
Doughboys - Soldiers of WWI

The Waretown branch of the Ocean County Library system will be hosting a talk called “Doughboys: The American Soldier of the Great War” on Saturday at 11:00 am. History teacher Jeff Brown steps into the years of World War I and brings to life a moving portrait of a soldier's life from that era.  For this program he dons period costume and presents original WWI artifacts. There will be a special emphasis on New Jersey’s role in the Great War. The library is located at 112 Main Street, Waretown, NJ. Please register by calling 609-693-5133 or click here. For more information, visit www.theoceancountylibrary.org.

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Saturday, November 16 - Kingwood Township, Hunterdon County
Cemetery Cleanup
Family Friendly

On Saturday beginning at 9:00 am, volunteers will be holding a cleanup at the Slacktown Cemetery in Kingwood Township, Hunterdon County, NJ. The abandoned cemetery was in operation from approximately 1825 - 1925. It is located at 15 Locktown Road in Kingwood, NJ. Please bring weed whackers, rakes, shovels, gloves, clippers, and any other tools that you think may be helpful in clearing the grounds and uncovering tombstones. Tell your friends and family about this opportunity to preserve a New Jersey historic site!

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Saturday, November 16 - Garwood, Union County
Benefit Concert

On Saturday, there will be a special concert to benefit the Miller-Cory House Museum. The Florian Schantz Jazz Combo will perform a program titled "Four Centuries of Jazz." The program will take you on a trip through time exploring traditional jazz music played on authentic period instruments, with a history of the performers who made this music a uniquely American art form.

The concert will be held at Crossroads, 78 North Avenue, Garwood, NJ. Tickets will be $20 at the door. Children under 12 are free accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 908-232-1776 or visit www.millercoryhouse.org.

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Saturday, November 16 - Morristown, Morris County
Morristown's Other Army
Children Friendly

During the Great Depression of the 1930's another army camped in Morristown. Join a Ranger at the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center for a 45 minute PowerPoint slideshow to discover the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps and how these 'Soil Soldiers' transformed Morristown National Historical Park and other public lands. Program at 10:30 am, 12:00 noon, and 2:00 pm in the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center within Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, NJ. Cost: Free. http://nps.gov/morr

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Saturday, November 16 - Franklin Township, Somerset County
"Gateway to History"

Please join the Meadows Foundation on Saturday at 2:00 pm as they welcome Meadows favorites Gordon Thomas Ward and Dr. Jude M. Pfister. They will present different perspectives on the era of the American Revolution as it relates to the Morristown area. First, Dr. Pfister (author of The Jacob Ford Jr. Mansion and The Fords of New Jersey) will discuss the Ford family of Morris County, New Jersey, along with their mansion in Morristown. Both the Ford family and their home participated in and witnessed some of the most trying times of the first century of the American pageant. The multi-layered family history is tangibly represented in the multi-floored and memory-laden mansion, which stands to this day as a testament to the passage of time and the enduring power of place. Following this, Gordon Thomas Ward (author of local history books A Bit of Earth and Ghosts of Central Jersey) will discuss the 1779-1780 encampment of the New Jersey Brigade in Jockey Hollow and their encampment site, which was discovered in the 1960s. He will also entertain you with several, seldom-told ghost stories connected with local historic sites from the time of the American Revolution. Projected photos will complement the entire presentation and books will be available for sale and signing. Tickets are $10 per person, payable at the door. To reserve a spot, e-mail chrisflp@aol.com.

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Saturday, November 16 - Princeton, Mercer County
Tour the Updike Farmstead

Tour the Updike Farmstead at 354 Quaker Road, Princeton, NJ on Saturday from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm. Explore the six acre grounds and browse farmhouse exhibitions, including photographs by members of the Princeton Photography Club and paintings by the A-TEAM artists of the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen. Nature lovers can try a scavenger hunt and see what’s growing in the Unity Garden. Plus, test your knowledge of Thanksgiving Myths and Facts! $4 admission, members free. For more information, visit www.princetonhistory.org.

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Saturday, November 16 - Elizabeth, Union County
Commemorating John F. Kennedy

In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Elizabeth Public Library will present Walt Brown, who will discuss "The Case For or Against Conspiracy in the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy" on Saturday. Professor Brown is a former adjunct professor of history and international studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey, a five-time Fulbright Scholar , and a former special agent of the U.S. Justice Department. He is a longtime researcher of the Warren Commission and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and editor of JFK/Deep Politics Quarterly. Prof. Brown has authored several books on the subject, including: The People V. Lee Harvey Oswald (1992), Treachery in Dallas (1995), Referenced Index Guide to the Warren Commission (1995), JFK Assassination Quizbook (1995), The Warren Omission (1996), and The JFK Chronology (2008).

This free event will take place on Saturday at 2:00 pm at the Elizabeth Public Library Main Library Auditorium, 4th Floor, 11 South Broad Street, Elizabeth, NJ. There is ample parking  available and light refreshments will be served. For more information, call 908-354-6060, ext. 7223.

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Saturday, November 16 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Basket, Broom, Barrel Making
Children Friendly

Time to make products based on the crops grown at the farm! Join the team at Howell Living History Farm in making baskets brooms and barrels from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm! 

Howell Living 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 or to register for the program, call 609-737-3299. www.howellfarm.org

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Sunday, November 17 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
Turn of the Nineteenth Century Music
Children Friendly

On Sunday, visit Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel to take a step back in time to join music man Rich Marzec as he performs songs from the turn of the century on the farm. This free event runs from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. Historic Longstreet Farm is located at 44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, NJ. For more information, call 732-946-3758 or visit  www.monmouthcountyparks.com.

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Sunday, November 17 - Morristown, Morris County
Soldier's Knapsack
Children Friendly

Have you always wondered what types of things soldiers carried throughout the war? Join a Park Ranger at the Wick House to discover what would have been inside a soldier's  knapsack. Program runs continuously from 1:30 - 4:00 pm in the Wick House at Jockey Hollow, within Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, NJ. Cost: Free. http://nps.gov/morr

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Sunday, November 17 - Trenton, Mercer County
Victorian Tea with Martha Washington

A Victorian Tea - "If Teacups Could Talk" - will be held at The Contemporary's Victorian Townhouse Museum on Sunday at 2:00 pm featuring actress Maggie Worsdale, who impersonates Martha Washington. Expect the unexpected as she relates her tales of love, loss, epic adventures, fashion, and even scandal. Come enjoy Victorian-inspired refreshments, music, and conversation with Martha. Tickets for the tea cost $20 per person. Hats admired but not required. Bring your favorite tea cup and share your teacup story. Tours of the museum will be available.

The museum is located at 176 West State Street, Trenton, NJ.  For information and to purchase tickets call 609-882-5334.

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Sunday, November 17 - Madison, Morris County
Gravestone Lecture

The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts invites you to its next exhibit lecture entitled, “Folk Traditions in New Jersey Grave Memorials”, presented by Gordon Bond and Stephanie Hoagland. The program will be held on Sunday at 2:00 pm. Most gravestone aficionados focus on the beautiful monuments that take center stage in the cemeteries but what about the smaller stones located near the outskirts? Come learn about the folk tradition in New Jersey grave memorial that developed during the turn of the century and led to unique, one-of-a-kind hand crafted stones. Cost: $7 for adults, $5 for students & seniors, and $3 for members. Reservations suggested.

The Museum is open Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sunday 12:00 noon to 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 information and to reserve a spot, please call 973-377-2982 x10 or visit www.metc.org.

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Sunday, November 17 - Trenton, Mercer County
Gettysburg Address: The Trenton Connection

On Sunday, The Trenton Museum Society will have a presentation and discussion to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg address. Concerning the Gettysburg Address, one of history's most celebrated speeches, did you know there is a Trenton connection? 

Lincoln made two short speeches in Trenton in February 1861 that remarkably presaged the Gettysburg address. One speech was made to the NJ State Senate, the other to the NJ Assembly. Lincoln had been elected President but had not yet been inaugurated into office. He stopped in Trenton while traveling toward his inauguration in Washington - and in a larger sense, toward his rendezvous with history. 

Speaking before the NJ Senate, Lincoln recollected thinking, as a boy, about the Battle of Trenton. He recalled "The crossing of the river; the contest with the Hessians; the great hardships endured at that time." He felt that the extraordinary efforts of the revolutionary soldiers were motivated by an extraordinary purpose even greater than achieving national independence. Lincoln was already thinking of great struggles lying ahead and of the important role of ideas in creating history. Compared to the power of ideas, Lincoln expressed his humility, and spoke of himself as the "humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty."

Join us at the Trenton City Museum in Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park at 2:00 pm for a presentation and discussion to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg address. The program is free to members of the Trenton Museum Society and $5 for non-members. Learn more about the Gettysburg Address and its Trenton connection. David Bosted, Trenton Museum Society trustee, will give the presentation and lead the discussion. 

For more information, contact the Trenton Museum Society at 609-989-1191 or visit www.ellarslie.org.

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Sunday, November 17 - Andover Borough, Sussex County
Historical Society of Andover Borough

Andover Borough has a very fascinating and interesting historical past. The Andover Museum's historical displays will be changed regularly throughout the year in order to highlight and showcase some of the prominent residents, important events, and significant properties and buildings of the area. In addition to the historic displays, the society also has a nice collection of gift items for sale, including the Andover Borough Afghan, glass ornaments, and note cards, all depicting scenes and buildings of this historic town. This month's exhibit will feature items related to Election Day and Christmas.

The Andover Museum is open to visitors from 1:00 - 4:00 pm this Sunday. It is located upstairs in the Andover Borough Municipal Building at 137 Main Street/Route 206, Andover Borough, NJ. There is ample parking located behind the building and the museum entrance is on Smith Street.

The museum is open to the public. For additional information please call 973-786-7833 or e-mail historyandovernj@aol.com.

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Sunday, November 17 - Union Township, Union County
New Jersey's Role in the American Revolution

Arthur S. Lefkowitz will present a program on New Jersey’s role in the American Revolution at the Caldwell Parsonage, 909 Caldwell Avenue, Union, on Sunday at 2:30 pm.

New Jersey is often called the crossroads of the American Revolution - a fitting description, since our state was the scene of frequent skirmishes, ambushes, and fierce battles for control of strategic towns and roads. In addition, the bountiful farms were a target for both the Continental and British armies - in desperate need of food for their men and horses.

Sadly, 225 plus years of development have obliterated much of New Jersey’s woodlands and farms, which the opposing armies fought so tenaciously to control. Today, we unknowingly drive on local roads, cross rivers on superhighways, and hike mountains that were once the scene of intense action.

In a fast-paced presentation, accented with projected period maps, portraits, and rapidly drawn field sketches, Mr. Lefkowitz will help his audience better understand our state’s pivotal part in the War for Independence.  He will focus his stores on the 1776 British invasion of New Jersey and Washington’s defense of the state.

Mr. Lefkowitz, a member of the Board of Governors of the American Revolution Round Table, received his BA from New York University and an MBA from Long Island University. He taught American history at Middlesex County College and is the owner of a sales-marketing and consulting firm specializing in architectural hardware.

A lecturer on numerous occasions for the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, the National Park Service, and Fraunces Tavern Museum, Mr. Lefkowitz was the keynote speaker in 2006 for the Washington Association of New Jersey. He is the author of award-winning books: The Long Retreat (Rutgers University Press); George Washington’s Indispensable Men (Stackpole Books); The American Turtle Submarine: The Best Kept Secret of the American Revolution (Pelican Publishing); Benedict Arnold’s Army: The 1775 American Invasion of Canada (Savas Beatie) and Benedict Arnold in the Company of Heroes (Savas Beatie).

The program will be part of the meeting of the Union Township Historical Society, which will begin at 2:00 pm. Non-members are cordially invited to attend. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free; donations are greatly appreciated. For more information, please call Barbara La Mort at 908-687-0048 or visit uniontwphistoricalsociety.webs.com.

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Sunday, November 17 - Montclair, Essex County
Historic House Tours
Children Friendly

Step back through 200 years of American history at the Montclair Historical Society's historic properties on Sunday. While at the Orange Road site, visit the chickens on the farm and watch Carolina Capehart cook over the open hearth. At the North Mountain site, take a look at the decoration changes the MHS made to better reflect how the Shultz family lived. Both sites are open from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Admission is $8 per adult and $5 per child for both properties with same day admission. Or come as a family (1 or 2 adults with up to 3 children) for $25. Free admission for members! 

Also on Sunday at 3:00 pm, Montclair University Professor Chris Matthews will discuss what he and a team of students from the University found this past spring on the grounds of the Israel Crane House as part of an archaeological dig. Come hear what they discovered and see the artifacts they unearthed at this month's Sunday Spotlight at the Israel Crane House, 108 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ. Suggested donation: $5 per person.

The sites are located at 108 Orange Road and 30 North Mountain Avenue, Montclair, NJ. For more information, call 973-744-1796, e-mail mail@montclairhistorical.org or visit www.montclairhistorical.org.

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Sunday, November 17 - Plainfield, Union County
Revolutionary Tea

The Historical Society of Plainfield will host a special presentation entitled "Revolutionary Tea," by Stacy Flora Roth on Sunday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm at the Drake House Museum. Why was tea so important in the lives of 18th century people that fashion-conscious families posed for portraits with their tea sets? Did Great Britain lose her American Colonies over "the cup that cheers?"  Find out in this unusual costumed presentation of tea lore, history songs, poetry, living history display and demonstration.

Stacy Flora Roth is a freelance museum educator, public speaker, vocalist, and performance artist specializing in educational presentations on themes in American History. Ms. Roth approaches her subjects from many angles: incorporating activities, reproduction objects, music, storytelling, roleplaying, demonstrations and other techniques. She is a native of New Jersey and a lifelong enthusiast of state history, ignited from a fascination with the American Revolution that began in the 4th and 5th grades.

Ms. Roth holds a BA in History from Kean University, an MLS from Rutgers School of Library and Information Studies, and an MA from the University of Pennsylvania in American Civilization. Following graduation from the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Roth studied Visitor Behavior and Museum Education through a fellowship at Rutgers SCILS.

Seating will be on a first-come first-serve basis. Refreshments will be served immediately following the presentation.  The program is free but donations are always appreciated. The Drake House Museum is located at 602 West Front Street, Plainfield, NJ. For more information, call 908-755-5831 or visit www.drakehouseplainfieldnj.org.

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Sunday, November 17 - Bridgewater, Somerset County
Archaeology and the Delaware Indians

On Sunday, the Somerset County Historical Society welcomes special guest speaker Dr. Richard Veit who will present "Archaeology and the Delaware Indians: A 12,000-Year Odyssey." This heavily illustrated presentation examines New Jersey's rich Native American heritage. It begins with a discussion of the sources archaeologists use to inform their work, including artifacts, archaeological sites, colonial documents, and oral histories. Then, using a series of case studies the cultural history of the region is examined from the earliest Paleoindian pathfinders over 10,000  years ago through to the Lenape of the historic period. We see the changing lifestyles of New Jersey's native inhabitants as the environment they lived in slowly evolved. The experience of the Lenape in the historic period is also examined through a series of case studies. The presence and continuing importance of Native Americans to the region today is also discussed.

Richard Veit is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Monmouth University. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles and reviews and five books including Digging New Jersey's Past: Historical Archaeology in the Garden State (Rutgers Press 2002), New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones History in the Landscape (Rutgers Press 2008), and New Jersey: A History of the Garden State (Rutgers Press 2012). He serves on the New Jersey Historical Commission and on the boards of the Society for Historical Archaeology, Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology, Crossroads of the American Revolution, and the Archaeological Society of New Jersey.

This program will be held at the Van Veghten House located at 9 Van Veghten Drive, Bridgewater, NJ. For more information, visit www.schsnj.com.

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Sunday, November 17 - Westfield, Union County
"Crazy for Cranberries"
Children Friendly

On Sunday, the museum will go "Crazy for Cranberries!" Sassamanesh, fenberry, craneberry...These are all names for the cranberry, one of the few fruits native to North America. Our celebration of the all-American berry includes a presentation and fun facts about cranberries, a tribute to Harry and Wende Devlin, creators of the beloved “Cranberry Series” of children’s books, take-home recipes, a children’s craft, and refreshments. In the museum’s Frazee Building, cooks will prepare seasonal foods over the authentic 18th century open hearth, incorporating this favored fruit of Native Americans and Pilgrims alike.

Admission is $3.00 for adults and children 13 and older, $2.00 for children ages 3 to 12 and free under age 3. The program is from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. For more information, call 908-232-1776, e-mail millercorymuseum@gmail.com, or visit www.millercoryhouse.org.

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Sundays Through November 30, 2013 - Lakehurst, Ocean County
Pittis - Doctor - Mayor - Postmaster

The Borough of Lakehurst Historical Society announces a special exhibit about an important resident - "PITTIS - Doctor - Mayor - Postmaster". Dr. Pittis was the local physician for Lakehurst and Manchester from the turn of the 19th century until World War II.  He  would make house calls all the way to Whiting in his horse-drawn buggy. Later in life, he became a physician at the Jersey City Medical Center. Dr. Harold Pittis was the son of Thomas Kearn Pittis and Susan  null Henrietta Collins.  Harold was the fourth of ten children; eight brothers and one sister, all from Plainfield, New Jersey.

Dr.  Harold received his MD in 1901 from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, where he met his wife Ruth. He and Ruth were married on January 8, 1900 at St. Mark's Church in Malone, New York. In the 1910 census, Dr. Pittis was living on Union Avenue, Lakehurst, with his wife and son Harold, who had received his MD from McGill University in 1937.

Dr. Harold Pittis was not only the town physician, but also Lakehurst's first postmaster, beginning in November 1918. He was reappointed twice and served until August 16, 1929. He financed the construction of the first post office. 

The museum is open Wednesdays and Sundays from 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm. The Lakehurst Historical Society Museum is located at 300 Center Street, Lakehurst, NJ. For more information, call 732-657-8864 or click here.

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Through June 30, 2014 - Piscataway, Middlesex County
Got Work? Exhibit

View the exhibit "Got Work? New Deal/WPA in New Jersey" at the 1741 Cornelius Low House Museum in Piscataway. The museum is open Tuesday - Friday, 8:30 - 4:00 pm and Sunday afternoons from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The exhibit will run through June 30, 2014.

The Cornelius Low House, built in 1741, was the home to its namesake and is only one of two remaining buildings from historic Raritan Landing. This high-style Georgian mansion is listed on the National Register and operated by the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission. Admission to the museum is FREE. The museum is located at 1225 River Road, Piscataway, NJ . For more information, visit http://www.co.middlesex.nj.us/culturalheritage.

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Through February 2014 - Madison, Morris County
Ghosts, Ghouls, & Gravestones Exhibit
Children Friendly Site

The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts presents "Ghosts, Ghouls, & Gravestones: The Trades of Burial," which will examine the progression of the burial trade. Passing away from this world was once a family affair, but over time, the process spread through the social and economic ties of the community. By 1900, a robust funeral industry had developed that saw to a family's every need. The exhibit will also explore the strict protocols that dictated mourning and the artistry in gravestones.

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 10:00 am - 4:00 pm and Sunday 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 information, please call 973-377-2982 x10 or visit www.metc.org.

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Through Sunday, February 23, 2014 - Trenton, Mercer County
Historic Maps of the Garden State Exhibit
Children Friendly Activities

Often overlooked as a decorative art form, maps are ideal artifacts for exploring New Jersey history. Stories of New Jersey’s social, economic, military, environmental and political history – as well as the state’s role in the history of American transportation – can be told through the visual splendor of the Garden State’s historic maps.

Opening on September 7 and running through February 23, 2014, “Where in the World is New Jersey? Historical Maps of the Garden State” is comprised of nearly 100 maps depicting the colony and state of New Jersey from 1635 through 1950 on display at the New Jersey State Museum.

This unprecedented exhibition provides the visitor with an introductory survey of historical maps depicting the colony and state of New Jersey from 1635 until 1950. The nearly 100 maps on display – most of which are original hand-colored copperplate engravings or chromolithographs – come from the collections of four public institutions – the New Jersey State Museum, State Archives, State Library, and Special Collections and University Archives at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. They were selected for their rarity, their ability to convey aspects of New Jersey history, and their artistic merit – underscoring the dual role of maps as both works of art and utilitarian tools essential to the human experience. 

The New Jersey State Museum, located at 205 West State Street in Trenton, NJ is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 am - 4:45 pm. The Museum is closed Mondays and all state holidays. The NJ State Museum has a “suggested” admission fee. For more information, visit www.statemuseum.nj.gov or call the recorded information line at 609-292-6464. On weekends, free parking is available in lots adjacent to and behind the Museum. Please visit www.trentonparking.com for a number of options for parking in downtown Trenton during the week.

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Through December 14, 2013 - Harrison Township, Gloucester County
Under the Sea: Our Prehistoric Past
Children Friendly

The Harrison Township Historical Society's fall exhibition, Under the Sea: Our Prehistoric Past is on display through Saturday, December 14, 2013.

This new installation, which features rare fossil specimens on loan from the New Jersey State Museum, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, and private collections, explores how fossil discoveries at 19th century marl mining operations around Mullica Hill attracted the interest of such notable early paleontologists as Yale's Othniel Marsh and Philadelphia's Charles Lyell, Timothy Conrad and William Gabb. As guest curator, Shirley S. Albright, retired Assistant Curator of Natural History, New Jersey State Museum has written, the historic significance of the classic Mullica Hill fossil locality cannot be underestimated. The exhibits show the diversity of  prehistoric faunal life inhabiting the ancient ocean that covered Harrison Township, as well as Pleistocene fossils transported southward by melting glaciers.

The exhibition also discusses the area's geology and native stone deposits with photos of buildings constructed of limonite, or Jersey sandstone, that survive in the area from the 18th and 19th centuries.

With over sixty specimens, an introductory video, and activities for children in the gallery and to take home, Under the Sea offers insights into the area's ancient past for the entire family, and admission is free.

The Harrison Township Historical Society's Old Town Hall Museum is located at 62-64 South Main Street, Mullica Hill, NJ. The Museum is open Saturdays and Sundays, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, through December 14, 2013.  For more information, call 856-478- 4949 or visit www.harrisonhistorical.com.

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Through June 2014 - Morristown, Morris County
"Controversies: The More Things Change..." Exhibit


Currently on display at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is an exhibition about topics that helped shape our world. "Controversies: The More Things Change..." opens new territory for the Museum, presenting challenging subject matter that may not be suitable for casual dinner conversation. This new exhibit explores topics that helped shape our world through local history events which had national significance: medical experimentation, immigration, and the right to die.

"Controversies: The More Things Change..." inspires people to consider, even reconsider, the ways in which they think about these important, frequently debated issues. The exhibit explores local history events which had national significance: the 1833 Antoine LeBlanc murder trial and public execution; the immigration issues of the late nineteenth century as depicted by political cartoonist Thomas Nast, a Morristown resident, and the 1976 Karen Ann Quinlan "right to die" case.

The museum is making a major departure in exhibit presentations with "Controversies."  Where most exhibits typically provide detailed information about the objects on view, "Controversies" offers limited information about the objects, essentially forcing personal thought, and inspiring discussion, about the areas represented.  Each object and concept in the exhibit represents a part of New Jersey's history - specifically Morris County's history. The ideas expressed through the historical objects in the exhibit, however, are not confined to New Jersey boundaries- the significant concerns raised by the important and controversial issues showcased in this exhibit continue to be debated throughout the United States and the world.

"We wanted to give our visitors a chance to participate in an exhibit in a new way - to have a reaction without being guided by the institution's interpretation of what the objects represent, which labels typically provide," said Executive Director Carrie Fellows. Instead, curator's books of supplementary information will be available within the exhibit, should the visitor want to learn more, drawn from primary sources like news articles, contemporary commentary, and images. Visitors are encouraged to leave comments about the themes presented.

The exhibition was inspired when Fellows and Ryan C. Hyman, the Museum's curator, heard Burt Logan, Executive Director of the Ohio Historical Society speak at a conference about the organization's groundbreaking "Controversy: Pieces You Don't Normally See" exhibit, and its sequel, "Controversy 2: Pieces We Don't Normally Talk About". During his talk, Mr. Logan strongly encouraged other museums to adapt the concept and develop similar exhibits. Inspired by the presentation, Hyman and Fellows began discussing how they might create an exhibit using themes from the Morris area's rich history.

"Controversies: The More Things Change..." will be on view during Museum touring hours through June 2014. Please note the subject matter may not be suitable for all audiences. Visitor discretion advised. Recommended for visitors 12 years of age and older.

Macculloch Hall Historical Museum preserves the history of the Macculloch-Miller families, the Morris area community, and the legacy of its founder W. Parsons Todd through its historic site, collections, exhibits, and educational and cultural programs. The Museum is open for house and exhibit tours on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The last tour leaves at 3:00 pm. Adults $8; Seniors & Students $6; Children 6 - 12 $4. Members and children under 5 are free.  For more information, call 973-538-2404 ext. 10 or visit www.maccullochhall.org. Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is located at 45 Macculloch Avenue, Morristown, NJ.

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

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