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

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What may seem minute and insignificant is what makes history!

Redcoats!

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

Spread the History!

Help bring awareness to the historic sites in your area.

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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

eBay Items of the Week: 3/31/13 - 4/7/13


eBay Items of the Week!
Click on each link for the eBay page!
More items always going up.
Stay updated about new items on Facebook.

Rahway, NJ Pay Envelope
Savings Institution Bank Envelope



Vintage Pamphlet


From September 1968


MD Potatoes


H.C. Decenring & Co.


Great pieces.


Unique bottles.


Small glass bottles.

Check out more Antique BooksBottlesEphemera, & Tins.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Weekend Historical Happenings: 3/30/13 - 3/31/13



WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an e-mail to let us know!
Be the first to find out about these events on Facebook!


Saturday, March 30 - Port Norris, Cumberland County
Volunteer Training

Learn to sail the historic 1928 oyster schooner A. J. Meerwald, and a myriad of other volunteer opportunities from education to waitressing in our café, cooking, working in the office, mailings, you name it: if you have a skill or if you have none, we can use you! Discover your hidden talents at this series of learning Saturdays, from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. For more information or to register, contact Laura S. Johnson, ljohnson@bayshorediscovery.org; 856-785-2060 ext. 102. www.bayshorediscovery.org

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Saturday, March 30 - Union Township, Union County
Easter Egg Hunt

Children will explore the grounds of Liberty Hall searching for plastic eggs hidden through the landscape, filled with holiday treats. A surprise visit from the Easter Bunny caps off the events. Two sessions are scheduled: 10:00 - 11:30 am or 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m. $8.00 for a child and adult, all additional children are $5.00, all additional adults are $4.00. Reservations are required; call 908-527-0400. Liberty Hall Museum is located at 1003 Morris Ave, Union, NJ 07083. Visit www.kean.edu/libertyhall for more information.

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Saturday, March 30 - Maywood, Bergen County
Visit with the Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny will make a visit to the Maywood Station Museum, 269 Maywood Avenue, Maywood, NJ on Saturday from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon during a special Museum Open House. Parents are invited to bring their cameras for a unique opportunity to photograph their children with the Easter Bunny at the historic station museum. The museum features a wide assortment of displays, artifacts and photographs on exhibit and visitors are invited to climb aboard restored Caboose 24542 and view its operating model train layout and additional photographs and displays. Admission is free. www.maywoodstation.com

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Saturday, March 30 - Princeton, Mercer County
Thomas Fleming Book Talk

This Saturday at 9:30 am, Thomas Fleming, author and historian, will be speaking at the New Jersey Civil War Heritage Assocation's annual meeting at Princeton University's Friend Center in Princeton, NJ about his new book entitled, A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War. This event is free and open to the public. Come out and hear him speak on his latest Civil War Book. Directions can be found herewww.njcivilwar.org


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Saturday - Sunday, March 30-31 - Camden, Camden County
Battleship New Jersey

Tour the Battleship! Open every day, including Easter Sunday, from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. Climb inside the legendary 16-inch gun turret, check out the bridge, experience a simulated tomahawk missile launch in the Combat Engagement Center and learn how the crew lived aboard this floating city! Battleship New Jersey is located at 62 Battleship Place in Camden. www.battleshipnewjersey.org

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Saturday - Sunday, March 30 - 31 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Egg Hunt and Easter Sunrise Service

Celebrate at Allaire Village with an Easter Egg Hunt and an Easter Sunrise Service! Join us for a weekend of Easter celebrations at the Historic Village at Allaire! On Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, join Villagers for an Allaire Village Easter Egg Hunt! Activities will include wagon rides, an Easter egg hunt, photos with the Easter Bunny, games, crafts, and more! Visitors are welcome to bring homemade or purchased Easter bonnets to participate in an Easter Bonnet contest and auction! 

On Sunday, Allaire Village, Inc. will co-sponsor an Easter Sunrise Service at the Allaire Chapel. The service will be held in the Historic Village Chapel. Admission is free (donations gladly accepted). The service will be co-sponsored by Rev. Steven Kengeter of the Pierce Memorial Presbyterian Church and the Rev. Tom Detamore of the Ardena Baptist Church in Farmingdale. This service is presented free of charge by Allaire Village Incorporated and the churches of the Farmingdale-Howell Council of Churches. All are welcome to attend the service.

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

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Other sites open Easter Weekend:

*The New Jersey State Museum and Planetarium will be open on Saturday ONLY from 9:00 am - 4:45 pm. The museum is located at 205 State Street, Trenton, NJ.

*The Cape May Lighthouse is open Saturday and Sunday. 215 Lighthouse Avenue, Cape May, NJ. Open 11:00 am - 3:00 pm.

*The World War II Lookout Tower in Cape May opens for the season on Saturday and Sunday. 756 Sunset Blvd, Cape May, NJ. Open 11:00 am - 3:00 pm.

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Through April 28, 2013 - Paterson, Passaic County
New Exhibit at Lambert Castle

Lambert Castle, the Victorian-era mansion located on the Garrett Mountain Reservation on the border between Paterson and Clifton, will be home to an exciting new art exhibit now through April 28, 2013. The exhibit, entitled "Message in a Bottle: The Bottleworks of Dr. Etta Ehrlich," will feature Dr. Ehrlich's unique and thought-provoking take on society and culture, using carefully-arranged antique bottles and other found objects. The exhibit will be open until April 28 during regular museum hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Lambert Castle is located at 3 Valley Road, Paterson. For more information, call 973-247-0085 or visit www.lambertcastle.org.

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

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Weekend Estate Sales: 3/29/13 - 3/31/13


WEEKEND ESTATE SALES
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 Telephone, Sewing Machine & More
North Plainfield, NJ 07060
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday


Vintage Collectibles
Hammonton, NJ 08037
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday & Saturday (Same Time)


Antique Maps
Teaneck, NJ 07666
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday & Saturday (Same Time)

Find more Estate Sales near you at estatesales.net

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Saving the Grave: Strangers Work to Preserve Swackhammer

Saving the Grave: Strangers Work to Preserve Swackhammer
Written by NJ Historian


Abandoned and virtually forgotten for over one hundred years, the Swack Church ruins and Swackhammer Cemetery in Lebanon Township, New Jersey is receiving renewal thanks to a number of volunteers, proving that history is not only what has happened in the past, but in fact can be made in the present. With no budget, a group of volunteers, almost complete strangers, have come together to achieve a common goal, creating a renewed interest in this cemetery and church neglected by time. This page in the history of the Swack Church and Cemetery honors those who are buried there, some marked, some unknown, and creates a new type of meeting place, much like the church provided a meeting place over a hundred years ago.


The Old "Swake Church'' at Mount Bethel was founded in 1844 by Reverend Lambert Swackhamer. The church was named after Jacob Swackhammer, the mason who built it. Jacob was born on September 16, 1793 in German Valley, Morris County, New Jersey and was known locally as "Stuttering Jake." 

Lambert Swackhamer was born on April 21, 1805, in Middle Valley, Morris County, New Jersey. Shortly after his birth, his parents, Stephen and Jane (Bowman) Swackhamer, moved to Hartwick, New York. Lambert married three times and over the course of his life would have twenty-five children; his first marriage was to Janet MacNaughton on June 19, 1828. On September 9, 1831, young Lambert graduated from Hartwick Seminary as a licensed preacher. After his graduation, he became the pastor of a Lutheran Church in Manheim, New York. 

Two years later, in 1833, Lambert withdrew from the New York Synod over doctrinal differences. He was ordained at Dansville by the Harwick Synod on September 24, 1833. Four years later, he withdrew from the synod over differing views on slavery. Unsatisfied with the local synods, he formed the Franckean Synod with John D. Lawyer, Phillip Wieting, William Ottman, and their respective congregations. The Franckean Synod condemned slavery. Eventually, a New York chancery court found the synod to be "un-Lutheran" and Swackhamer regained membership in the Hartwick Synod.

In 1842, Lambert moved to South Carolina due to ill health, but returned to Hartwick a year later. By 1844, he moved his family to what is now Long Valley, New Jersey. This move enabled Lambert to establish the Mount Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church and employed local mason Jacob Swackhammer to construct it. Reverend Swackhamer's tenure at the Swack Church lasted until 1850, when he accepted the ministry of the Lutheran Church at Berne, near Albany, New York. He remained in Albany until his death on November 2, 1857.

Overview of the site as fallen trees are being removed.
The Swack Church is a stone building that was covered by stucco. The building's roof may have been raised, as evidenced by a piece of wood sandwiched between stone in what appears to have been a roof line. Raising the height of the roof in houses of worship was not uncommon, as churches did that to accommodate a balcony. This is rather conjecture, as the building has not been studied by a professional historic architect. As with most early churches, there would have been no chimney constructed and no evidence points to one existing. Commonly, a pile of charcoal was burned in the center of the room on a dirt floor, in an area of about eight square feet. A stack through the center of the roof would have allowed smoke to escape. In the winter, members of the congregation brought foot warmers to aid in keeping them warm.

A log cabin was built about two or three hundred yards east of the church for Swackhamer and his family. After Swackhamer's departure in 1850, Moore Castner, who originally donated the land for the church, assumed possession of it. The church was sold to the Albright Methodist congregation, who could not afford the structure. On May 14, 1867, the church was reorganized as a Lutheran church and on August 23, 1868, Moore Castner gave a warranty deed in exchange for $500 to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of New Jersey. The Spruce Run Lutheran church, which used it as an outpost until 1896. After 1896, no other congregation operated the church and it was abandoned.

Other stone churches nearby in Hunterdon and Morris Counties resemble the Swack Church's vernacular architectural style and materials. The Bethlehem Baptist Church in Pattenburg, Hunterdon County, was built in 1858 and abandoned by 1906. This church's exterior is also stucco over stone and has similar dimensions, although this building was taller, as evidenced by the window frames over the doors. There appears to have been a balcony in this church. Three of the exterior walls are also standing, giving the visitor an idea of what Swack may have looked like before large portions of its walls collapsed. A much larger stone over stucco church is the Mt. Lebanon Methodist Church in Lebanon. This church was built in 1844, the same year as Swack. This church building is much grander in scale and includes a tower. It was remodeled in 1878 by the local Grange and still stands today.

Broken headstones waiting to be reunited with their burial plot.
In nearby Long Valley, Morris County, is the ruins of the Old Stone Union Church. This church, built in 1774, is considerably older, and also was abandoned by its congregation in 1832 as its members split and formed two separate churches with 500 feet of the original. By 1890, the stone church had fallen into decay and its roof was beginning to collapse. This church building is purely stone and stucco was never applied to it, due to its early construction date. Recently, grants have enabled the ruins to be stabilized and offer a view of what the preserved ruins at Swack Church could look like. 

Swackhammer Cemetery
The Swackhammer Cemetery has at least thirty-three known burials, although up to seventy-five bodies may lay on this sacred ground. The first recorded and verifiable burial is believed to be that of Mahlon Castner, who died on April 17, 1818, at the age of twelve years, six months, and two days. Mahlon's parents, Moore and Susan, are buried in the church yard, with the largest, and most expensive stone, dating to 1875.

According to Biography of a Church and a Preacher by John Dickson Neel, shortly after the Civil War a female ex-slave was buried at Swackhammer. It was recorded that two field stones marked her grave rather than a formal marker, indicating that former slaves were still viewed as second-class citizens. This is in stark contrast to Ambo, a former slave who died in 1847 and is buried in Rahway Cemetery in Rahway, New Jersey. Her stone is carved and indicates her name, death date, and tells a brief story of her life.

Two signed stones have been found among the broken and battered stones of the graveyard. The stone of Susan A Lance, who died January 1, 1855, is signed by Josiah E. Lynn, a gravestone carver from Washington, New Jersey. This carver is associated with another stone in the cemetery, although the identify of the individual buried there is unclear because the top half of the stone is missing. Lynn was listed in the 1860 and 1866 business directories for New Jersey and carved Susan Lance's stone in 1855, which gives historians a clue as to the date range of when this particular stone may have been erected.

Remains of a broken gravestone carved by Josiah E. Lynn.
The cemetery was active until 1915, when Nathan Castner was buried, according to Biography of a Church and a Preacher. For reasons unknown, the burial site was not marked.

Since the last burial in 1915, the church and cemetery were not maintained. Members volunteering at the site say they have found reference to a cleanup in the 1930s, but aside from that, the cemetery and church became a forgotten and neglected relic of the past. In 2013, that all changed when Jeff Chiu, who has fourteen ancestors buried at the property, teamed up with the Friends of Old Swack Church, Metro Trails, GraveMatters, members of the Union Forge Heritage Association and Association for Gravestone Studies, and other unaffiliated volunteers. These volunteers have been working on weekends through March to remove brush, fallen trees, and discover and secure displaced gravestones. Lebanon Township is uncertain who owns the land now and has claimed that they have spent years trying to sort out deeds, but have come up empty-handed. While not officially endorsing the cemetery cleanup due to legal reasons, Lebanon Township is allowing efforts to continue on the property, uninhibited, as family members and history enthusiasts gather to try to piece together what remains of this sacred and historic site in the hills of Hunterdon County.


Additional photos of my trip to the Swack Church and Swackhammer Cemetery on Pinterest

Audio
Swack Church Podcast (right click and choose "save target/link as" to save to your hard drive)

For More Information:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Organization of the Week: Friends of Old Swack Church & Cemetery



Every Monday, I highlight a non-profit related to history or the arts, a historical society, preservation group or friends group whose main objective is to promote the historical and artistic history of New Jersey.

This week, I am featuring the Friends of Old Swack Church & Cemetery. In January 2013, a few local citizens and descendants of those buried in the Old Swackhammer Church Cemetery teamed up to begin clearing this overgrown and abandoned church and cemetery site in Lebanon Township, NJ. They were quickly joined by interested members of the Union Forge Heritage Association, the Facebook community "Grave Matters," and members of the Association for Gravestone Studies. This group of concerned citizens has worked on weekends throughout 2013 to begin clearing fallen trees, vines, and brush to reveal sunken, broken, and damaged headstones.

The Friends of Old Swack Church & Cemetery welcome anyone with an interest in history, cemeteries, or those who just want to volunteer, to help further their goal of restoring this cemetery and grounds for future generations to enjoy and visit. For more information on future cleanups, please visit The Friends of Old Swackhammer Church on Facebook.

If you are a member of a non-profit organization or know of one that you would like to see featured on this site, please let us know in the comments or send an e-mail to kelly@thehistorygirl.com.



Sunday, March 24, 2013

eBay Items of the Week: 3/24/13 - 3/31/13


eBay Items of the Week!
Click on each link for the eBay page!
More items always going up.
Stay updated about new items on Facebook.

Rahway, NJ Pay Envelope
Savings Institution Bank Envelope

Vintage Pamphlet


From September 1968


MD Potatoes


H.C. Decenring & Co.


Great pieces.


Unique bottles.


Small glass bottles.

Check out more Antique BooksBottlesEphemera, & Tins.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Weekend Historical Happenings: 3/23/13 - 3/24/13


WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an email to let us know!
Be the first to find out about these events on Facebook!


Saturdays, March 23 - 30 - Port Norris, Cumberland County
Volunteer Training

Learn to sail the historic 1928 oyster schooner A. J. Meerwald, and a myriad of other volunteer opportunities from education to waitressing in our café, cooking, working in the office, mailings, you name it: if you have a skill or if you have none, we can use you! Discover your hidden talents at this series of learning Saturdays, from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. For more information or to register, contact Laura S. Johnson, ljohnson@bayshorediscovery.org; 856-785-2060 ext. 102. www.bayshorediscovery.org

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Saturday, March 23 - Hancock's Bridge, Salem County
Massacre Commemoration

The Friends of the Hancock House have worked hard reminding those of the fallen Militia who died in a massacre fighting for our freedom. This year being the 35th year brings back some new and some old for the commemoration on Saturday. The New Jersey Regiment will open the activities by having a memorial service for those militiamen who died that day  when bayonetted by the Queen's Rangers, and will end the day, along with several living history troops showing off their skills in military tacticals and cannon firing.

Anthony Melita of Revolution Tours Inc., and the Salem County Militia will give a presentation at 10:30 am entitled; "Salem County During the Revolution," detailing events leading up the  massacre at Hancock's Bridge including the Battle at Quinton's Bridge.

At 12:30 pm, Dr. Joseph Wroblewski will give a presentation entitled; "Queen's Rangers; Britain's First American Regiment." During the American War of Independence, 1775-1783, the British Army authorized the raising of a number of regiments from the colonial population who remained loyal to the Crown. Colonel Robert Rogers, a celebrated officer in the earlier French-Indian War, formed the Queen's Rangers in New York in August 1776. It was named in honor of Queen Charlotte the wife of King George the Third. Rogers, due to personal problems, resigned and eventually the Regiment came under the command of an Englishman, Major John Simcoe. The Queen's Rangers fought in the pitched battles of Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth and continued to be engaged in patrols, skirmishes and raids throughout the Delaware Valley from Philadelphia and Bucks County to across the river from Salem in southern New Jersey on to Perth Amboy and Springfield in Northern New Jersey.

In 1780, the Rangers were transferred to the Southern Theater of Operations and were present at the British surrender at Yorktown. Following the surrender at Yorktown, the Regiment eventually took up land grants in New Brunswick (Canada) and were later reconstituted to help build what is now Toronto. The Regiment survives today as part of the Canadian military as the Queen's York Rangers, and still practicing their original function as a reconnaissance unit. 

Other activities for the day include colonial cooking demonstrations and a child's chance to "Join the Militia" and participate in musket drills. Seek your cures for ailments from our house doctor who requires no co-pay. See Ben Franklin and learn about his battery and his battery powered rotisserie. There will be tours of the Hancock House and Swedish Plank Cabin, spinning demonstrations, visits to the militia encampments, food and fun for everyone.

The day's events will begin at 10:00 am and end at 4:00 pm. For more information contact Jim Schulte at 856-217-0420 or by e-mail at jschultesr@verizon.net.

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Saturday, March 23 - Bedminster, Somerset County
Outwater's Militia

On Saturday the Jacobus Vanderveer House will be hosting a drill by Outwater's Militia, a Revolutionary War reenacting group. The house will also be open for tours. Join them for this free event between 10:00 am  and 3:00 pm. The Vanderveer House is located in River Road Park, off Route 202/206 in Bedminster, NJ.  www.jvanderveerhouse.com

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Friday - Sunday, March 22 - 24 - Montclair, Essex County
Archaeological Dig

Weather-permitting,  students from Montclair State University will be conducting an archeological dig at the Montclair Historical Society's headquarters located at 108 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ 07042 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Call 973-744-1796 for more information and times for attending or e-mail mail@montclairhistorical.org. www.montclairhistorical.org

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Saturday, March 23 - Lebanon Township, Hunterdon County
Cemetery Cleanup

On Saturday beginning at 9:00 am, The Friends of Old Swack Church and cemetery grounds in Lebanon Township are sponsoring a cleanup of the grounds. Originally built in 1844, the church closed in 1894 and the grounds have been neglected, abandoned, and overgrown for years. The Old Swackhammer Church and Cemetery is located at 108 Anthony Road, Lebanon, NJ. Please bring rakes, shovels, gloves, clippers, chainsaws, and any other tools that you think may be helpful in clearing the grounds. Tell your friends and family about this opportunity to preserve a New Jersey historic site!

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Saturday, March 23 - Madison, Morris County
How to Research Buildings in Morris County

Join local history librarian Carolyn Dorsey, and architectural historian Janet W. Foster, for a workshop on how to research a building in Morris County and learn its story.

The richness of our community derives in part from the beauty of the structures that shape it - the detail of a cornice, the weather-worn pattern of old siding, the surprise of an intricate pattern on something as humble as a downspout. The story of the buildings - who built them, and when - enriches our understanding of the built environment.

The workshop will provide an overview of the maps, newspapers, and books in the North Jersey History & Genealogy Center (a department within the Morristown & Morris Township Library) that can help the curious researcher get started. A review of the public records available through Morris County will add more information on research possibilities. The workshop will also include a short lecture on the role of pattern books in setting styles in American architecture and providing the researcher with clues as to age and design intent for many houses. The workshop will go through the basic steps to get started in local building research.

You are invited to bring a photograph of a building, and other materials you may have related to local history building research, for a question-and-answer session following the talks. The presentation will take place between 10:00 am and 12:00 noon in the meeting room in the lower level of the library.

Participants should register in advance by calling 973-538-3473, or by e-mailing carolyn.dorsey@mainlib.orgwww.jfpl.org

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Saturday, March 23 - Atlantic City, Atlantic County
Murder Mystery at Absecon Lighthouse

Historic Absecon Lighthouse is presenting a murder mystery performance, "Lit With a Dim Bulb," on Saturday at 7:00 pm. The year is 1909, and the light-keeper has reported seeing the Jersey Devil at the top of the lighthouse, a true lighthouse legend, as reported in the Atlantic City Sunday Gazette. Three light-keepers race to the top in pursuit, but only two come down...why? And what do the light-keepers' wives have to do with it? Attend this deadly affair and see what happens in the dark shadows of the light. This killer event costs $25 per person. Tony Boloney's pizza, beer, wine, and soft drinks will be served, beginning at 6:30 pm, and the performance begins at 7:00 pm. A tower climb is included with the price of admission. Reservations may be made by calling the lighthouse at 609-449-1360. All proceeds benefit the Absecon Lighthouse educational programs. 

Absecon Lighthouse is a state-owned historic property administered by the non-profit Inlet Public/Private Association. Located at 31 South Rhode Island Avenue in Atlantic City, it is open to visitors Thursday through Monday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information about Absecon Lighthouse and its programs call 609-449-1360 or visit www.abseconlighthouse.org.

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Saturday, March 23 - Mount Laurel, Burlington County
Alice Paul in Mount Laurel

On Saturday at 2:00 pm, suffragist Alice Paul will be portrayed by Taylor Williams of the American Historical Theatre, co-sponsored by the Mount Laurel Library and the Alice Paul Institute. This program will be held at the Mount Laurel Library, 100 Walt Whitman Ave, Mount Laurel, NJ. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Alice Paul Institute at 856-231-1885 or visit www.alicepaul.org/events.

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Sunday, March 24 - Madison, Morris County
Exhibit Lecture

Attend "Livingston's Library and Gardens: Where Work Meets Leisure," presented by Elizabeth Hyde, PhD, Kean University on Sunday at 2:00 pm at the Museum of Earl Trades & Crafts. Learn about William Livingston, his gardens and botanical library. Advance registration recommended. Call 973-377-2982 x13. Regular museum admission applies: $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, students & children (ages 6 and up) and FREE for Members & children (ages 5 and under). 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. For information, call 973-377-2982 x10 or visit www.metc.org.

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Sunday, March 24 - Montclair, Essex County
Our History in Homes Bus Tour

On Sunday, Montclair Town Historian Mike Farrelly and Montclair Architect John Way lead a unique 2.5-hour bus tour discovering the architectural and social history of Montclair through its domestic architecture. We'll begin with the houses of the earliest settlers and work our way forward in history, discussing the architectural hallmarks as well as the people who lived in the houses. The bus tour includes light refreshments served upon return to the Israel Crane house and a tour of the home. The bus leaves from the Israel Crane House parking lot at 108 Orange Road at 1:00 pm and returns at 3:30 pm. Cost: $25 for members and $30 for non-members. Call 973-744-1796 or send a note to mail@montclairhistorical.org to place a reservation, as space is limited. www.montclairhistorical.org

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Sunday, March 24 - Freehold, Monmouth County
A History of the Garden State

As part of its "Historically Speaking" lecture series, Monmouth County Historical Association is  pleased to welcome Dr. Maxine Lurie who will speak on Sunday from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. She will present a lecture entitled, "New Jersey: A History of the Garden State." The lecture will be held at the Monmouth County Historical Association Headquarters at 70 Court Street, Freehold.

In the fall of 2012, Rutgers University Press published New Jersey: A History of the Garden State, co-edited by Dr. Lurie and Dr. Richard Veit. It is the first overview of the state in nearly thirty-five years. During the lecture, Professor Lurie will discuss why and how the book was produced, its major themes, and how it can help us understand the fascinating and complex place where we live. Dr. Lurie has taught at Marquette University, Rutgers University, and Seton Hall from which she retired in 2010. An early American historian, she has taught and written about New Jersey history for twenty-five years. She is also the author of a number of scholarly articles published in magazines such as "New Jersey History" and the "Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography." Dr. Lurie remains active in state history groups and is chair of the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance, vice chair of the New Jersey Historical Commission, and a member of the State Historic Records Advisory Board. Dr. Lurie's lecture is open to the public and admission is free.  Her most recent book will be available for sale. Refreshments will be served. Please call 732-462-1466 for further information or to confirm your attendance. www.monmouthhistory.org

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Saturday, March 24 - Plainfield, Union County
Parks and Gardens in Plainfield History

The Historical Society of Plainfield announces its spring exhibit, "Parks and Gardens in Plainfield History," which will run through the months of March, April, and May in the second floor ballroom at the Drake House Museum. This exhibit will focus on the contributions of the many female residents of Plainfield who have beautified the city through the years. It features the 1924 Olmsted plan and the 1961 Plainfield Garden Club plan for the landscaping of the Drake House grounds, as well as information about the Union County Park System, Green Brook Park, and Cedar Brook Park, both located in Plainfield. Photos and illustrations from the Local History Collection of the Plainfield Public Library, NJ, Historical Society of Plainfield, Plainfield Garden Club, and private collections of Plainfield parks and gardens both current and lost will be displayed. Biographies of some of the women who championed parks and gardens in Plainfield will be included.

"The Olmsted Historic Landscape Legacy in New Jersey," a gallery talk by Kathleen Galop, Historic Preservation Consultant, will be held on Sunday at 2:30 pm. This gallery talk is free and open to the public and includes time for audience discussion. All are welcome. Regular tour hours are 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. on Sundays or by appointment. The Drake House Museum is located at 602 West Front Street, Plainfield, NJ. For more information contact the Historical Society of Plainfield at 908-755-5831 or visit www.drakehouseplainfieldnj.org.

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Sunday, March 24 - Ridgewood, Bergen County
Preserving your Precious Heirlooms and Antiques

Have you ever wondered how best to care for and preserve that precious heirloom given to you by a relative? Do you have an antique piece that you want to preserve for future generations? Join Bari Falese, an expert conservator with 30 years of experience, who will speak about the care, cleaning, and storage of heirlooms and antiques on Sunday from 1:30 - 4:00 pm. She will help the audience understand the importance of preservation, how to use archival materials for care and storage, and how to select which items require special treatment. After this basic introduction, Bari will examine heirloom or antique items from the audience and make recommendations for treatment and preservation. No monetary appraisals will be offered.

Fee to listen and learn: $5. No registration required. Heirloom Preservation Assessment Fee: $5. Registration required. Please e-mail info@ridgewoodhistoricalsociety.org to reserve your place. Reserve early as registration is limited. One item per person, please. This program is sponsored by the Ridgewood Historical Society and the Ridgewood Public Library. Proceeds raised will help support the Schoolhouse Museum and their preservation efforts. This event will be held at the Ridgewood Public Library Auditorium, 125 North Maple Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450. For more information, visit www.ridgewoodhistoricalsociety or e-mail info@ridgewoodhistoricalsociety.org.

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Sunday, March 24 - Ridgewood, Burlington County
Life at an Edwardian Manor

The Burlington County Historical Society is pleased to present Judith Krall-Russo and her program "Life at an Edwardian Manor" on Sunday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. The program is inspired by PBS's "Downton Abbey." There will be a display of Edwardian-era artifacts from the BCHS collection.

Cost is $10 per person. The program will be held at the Corson Poley Center at the Burlington County Historical Society, 454 Lawrence Street, Burlington, NJ. Program includes a Q&A session after the lecture with light refreshments. To RSVP call 609-386-4773 or e-mail burlcohistsoc@verizon.netwww.burlingtoncountyhistoricalsociety.org

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Sunday, March 24 - Hoboken, Hudson County
History of Sybil's Cave

Ever wonder about the history of Hoboken's Sybil's Cave? On Sunday at 4:00 pm, professional archaeologist Lauren Cook will share historical research into one of Hoboken's earliest tourist attractions that attracted thousands of New Yorkers in the mid-1800s. This program will be held at the Hoboken Historical Museum, located at 1301 Hudson Street, Hoboken, NJ. For more information, call 201-565-2240 or visit www.hobokenmuseum.org.

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Sunday, March 24 - Westfield, Union County
Celebrate the Season with Spring Cookie Decorating!

Even though it's still cold as of this moment, birds are singing and flowers are poking their greenery above the ground – spring must be coming! Visit the Miller-Cory House Museum on Sunday from 2:00 – 4:00 pm to “Celebrate the Season with Spring Cookie Decorating.” The program includes storytelling as well as two crafts. Children will be able to make a spring basket to take home and also to decorate cookies in the shapes of traditional spring symbols, such as butterflies, eggs and bunnies. The museum will also celebrate the 60th anniversary of the marshmallow peep!

In the Frazee Building, members of the Cooking Committee will demonstrate 18th century open hearth cooking with authentic recipes and seasonal ingredients. The museum’s gift shop will be open, offering a variety of colonial toys, crafts, books and educational materials. Admission: Adults/Children age 13 and older: $3.00; Children age 3 to 12: $2.00; Under age 3: free. The Miller-Cory House Museum is located at 614 Mountain Avenue in Westfield. For more information, call 908-232-1776 or visit www.millercoryhouse.org

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Sundays through April 14, 2013 - Cranbury, Middlesex County
Bunting Doll House on Display

The Bunting Doll House is on display at the Cranbury Museum on Sundays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm  through April 14, 2013. The house is a hand-made replica of an 1890's house and veterinarian's office in Burlington, N.J. When Lavada Bunting needed to relax after her long days as a private duty nurse in the 1950s, she turned to an all-consuming hobby, creating a dollhouse and the miniature furniture for it. The endeavor was nine years in the making. Thanks to Lavada Bunting's efforts, her descendants have a family heirloom: an elaborately furnished, nine-room, two-story replica of a Colonial house. The creator's nephew Bill Bunting, a Cranbury resident and Princeton lawyer, said, "It's an idealized version of the house in Burlington, NJ where my aunt grew up. No one has ever played with it.  It's not that kind of house." He has loaned the Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society this family treasure. The Cranbury Museum is located at 4 Park Place East, Cranbury. www.cranburyhistory.org

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Through April 28, 2013 - Paterson, Passaic County
New Exhibit at Lambert Castle

Lambert Castle, the Victorian-era mansion located on the Garrett Mountain Reservation on the border between Paterson and Clifton, will be home to an exciting new art exhibit now through April 28, 2013. The exhibit, entitled "Message in a Bottle: The Bottleworks of Dr. Etta Ehrlich," will feature Dr. Ehrlich's unique and thought-provoking take on society and culture, using carefully-arranged antique bottles and other found objects. The exhibit will be open until April 28 during regular museum hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Lambert Castle is located at 3 Valley Road, Paterson. For more information, call 973-247-0085 or visit www.lambertcastle.org.

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