Monday, July 7, 2014

Organization of the Week: Union Forge Heritage Association

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 Union Forge Heritage Association (UFHA). Founded in 2002, the UFHA's mission is to preserve and protect the rich history and natural environment of Hunterdon County and the State of New Jersey. For ten years, the organization maintained and operated out of the Solitude House in High Bridge, New Jersey. But after failing to negotiate a new lease with the town, the Association began searching for a new headquarters and found the 1760 Joseph Turner House in neighboring Union Township, which was slated for demolition. After negotiating a 25 year lease with the State of New Jersey, restoration work began on this abandoned property. The new 1760 Joseph Turner House/Solitude Heritage Museum opened to the public on July 5, 2014. Future plans call for further restoration of the property, its outbuildings, and the home's exterior to its original appearance and establishing an environmental center.

Previously, the Association was instrumental in establishing the Taylor Steelworkers Historical Greenway in High Bridge, which features the Taylor Steelworks Company office building (circa 1720s), Shop E, the grinding shop (1904), a restored 100 year old truss bridge, the Union Iron Works ruins (circa 1742), the Solitude House (circa 1710), the Lake Solitude Dam (1909), and Springside Farm. The acquisition of the land for the greenway, its construction, and the restoration of the truss bridge and forge site ruins was performed exclusively by volunteers from the organization.

The Union Forge Heritage Association relies on memberships, fundraising, and countless volunteers to continue its mission. For more information on programs, special events, and exhibits hosted by Union Forge Heritage Association or to become a member or volunteer, please send an e-mail to ufhanj@hotmail.com or visit their Facebook page.

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.

The ribbon cutting at the 1760 Joseph Turner House/Solitude Heritage Museum on July 5, 2014.


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