Exploring the History of New Jersey and Beyond!

Architecture, National Park Sites, Local Sites, and More!

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!

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.

From historic figures to historic places...

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

Friday, November 28, 2014

Weekend Historical Happenings: 11/29/14 - 11/30/14

NJ WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an e-mail to let us know!
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Every Friday - Sunday through January 4, 2015 - West Orange, Essex County
Holidays at Glenmont
Children Friendly

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Weekend Estate Sales: 11/28/14 - 11/30/14

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!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Building a Model 'Industrial Village' in Smithville

Building a Model 'Industrial Village' in Smithville
Written by NJ Historian

During the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, company towns, mill towns, and industrial villages existed throughout New Jersey. Some of the more notable communities include Roebling, Batsto Village, and Allaire Village. One community which is not often on most historian's lists is the Industrial Village of Smithville in present-day Eastampton, Burlington County. Settled in 1776 and reaching its height in the mid-nineteenth century, many buildings and structures associated with this town, known for its high-quality woodworking machinery, the Smithville-Mt. Holly Bicycle Railroad, and the Star high-wheeled bicycle, still exist, in whole, in ruins, some partially restored, and some fully restored, echoing its once-glorious past as an industrial center of Burlington County.

The Mansion at Smithville.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

12th Annual Colonial Christmas at the Jacobus Vanderveer House Offers Two Weekends of Holiday Festivities

12th Annual Colonial Christmas Offers Two Weekends of Holiday Festivities
November 29 - 30 and December 4 - 7

Holiday shoppers, history buffs and visitors of all ages can celebrate Christmas past and present, when Bedminster’s historic Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum opens its wreath-clad Dutch doors for the 12th annual Colonial Christmas show house and tour Saturday and Sunday, November 29-30 and Thursday through Sunday, December 4-7. Hours are from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm daily (see schedule below). 

“This year, there will be more merchants than ever before, offering unique and creative items for everyone on your holiday gift list both Saturdays and Sundays,” commented Sean Blinn, president of the Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House Board of Trustees.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Organization of the Week: Smithville Conservancy

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 Smithville Conservancy. The Conservancy was founded in 1997 to support the Burlington County Freeholders in their efforts to preserve and restore the once-thriving Village of Smithville, a nineteenth century company town, and to develop the County Park at Smithville. In addition to its fund-raising activities, the Conservancy works to promote interest in Smithville as an historic, cultural, educational, and recreational center. The Board functions in cooperation with the Burlington County Parks Department, the Burlington County Division of Cultural Affairs and Tourism, and the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Their fundraising activities have included the annual Mt. Holly Grand Prix  bicycle race, the Smithville Mystery Dinner Theater, and the Commemorative Brick Fundraiser for the Smithville Visitor Center. The Conservancy was instrumental in helping attain interpretive markers and establishing the visitor center at Smithville.

The Smithville Conservancy relies on memberships, fundraising, and countless volunteers to continue its mission. For more information on programs, special events, and exhibits hosted by the Smithville Conservancy or to become a member or volunteer, please call 609-265-5068 or visit www.smithvilleconservancy.com.

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.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekend Historical Happenings: 11/22/14 - 11/23/14

WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an e-mail to let us know!
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Saturday, November 22 - Pennsauken, Camden County
Harvest Celebration at Historic Griffith Morgan House
Children Friendly

The end of harvest and the approach of winter gives us an opportunity to celebrate the seasonal lives lived by our colonial ancestors and the measures they used to prepare for and thrive through the winter's privations! This celebration ahead of Thanksgiving also gives us all the chance to embrace the coming holiday season! The hearth at Griffith Morgan House will be warm with a cooking fire and the aromas will fill the room and the heart! A demonstration of candlemaking will help prepare for the darker days ahead. The revelry will be aided by a visit from the pirate crew of The Sea Dogs who threaten to plunder the feast but will also share lore of the high seas rogues and songs of the bounding main! A sale of fresh baked goods, provided by volunteers and friends, will offer to fill those empty spaces at the Thanksgiving table with deliciousness! Finally, this is the final chance this year to get a tour of historic Griffith Morgan House and its museum and hearken to holidays past as they echo in our historic walls! The program runs from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. The Griffith Morgan House is located at 243 Griffith Morgan Lane, Pennsauken, NJ. For more information, call 856-486-9561 or e-mail griffithmorganhouse@yahoo.com.

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Saturday, November 22 - Fort Lee, Bergen County
Annual Retreat to Victory
Children Friendly

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Weekend Estate Sales: 11/21/14 - 11/23/14

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!

In Living Color: The History of House Paints in America - November 23, 2014

In Living Color: The History of House Paints in America
A November 23 Talk at Durand-Hedden House & Garden

Calling all house-proud Maplewood residents! Need some ideas for paint colors? This profusely illustrated talk at 2:00 pm on Sunday, November 23, 2014 by preservation consultant and Columbia University Professor Janet W. Foster provides a fascinating look at the materials and colors of historic American architecture. Ms. Foster has wide experience in analysis and research on paints and other finishes used to protect and decorate the homes of Americans from the Colonial era to the early 20th century. This year she collaborated with the Board of the Durand-Hedden House to develop its current new color scheme. Learn how the paint history on this particular house provides a great starting point for examining the trends that made architecture in the past both beautiful and fashionable.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Are you Audacious?

Are you Audacious?
Written by Ellen Gullo


Are you audacious?

Let’s consider a life or death situation: which side of the American Revolution do you envision yourself on?

A patriot – a dastardly rebel, risking your life and the safety of your family on the treasonous idea of self-rule?

A loyal subject to the British crown, solemnly devoted to restore peace and order, no matter the price?

Or, would you have chosen neutrality, unable or unwilling to pick a side?

Don’t answer yet.

Monday, November 17, 2014

New Vietnam War Exhibit Now Open Aboard The Battleship New Jersey

New Vietnam War Exhibit Now Open Aboard The Battleship New Jersey

The USS New Jersey’s third commissioning service in 1968 and 1969 during the Vietnam War is distinct because she was the only active battleship in the world at that time. A new exhibit, titled "A Dreadnaught in Vietnam," highlights the exploits of the USS New Jersey during her Vietnam service.

Come explore the battleship’s historic role in Vietnam, including several objects from the personal collection of Admiral J. Edward Snyder, Jr., the battleship’s commanding officer during her Vietnam deployment. Many of these objects have never been on public display.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

"Audacious" November Book Giveaway


Friday, November 14, 2014

Weekend Historical Happenings: 11/15/14 - 11/16/14

WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an e-mail to let us know!
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Saturday, November 15 - Franklin Township, Somerset County
How Did the Discovery of Oil in the Mideast Affect World War I?

On Saturday, insight into this little-discussed subject will be given at 2:00 pm at the Van Wickle House in Somerset. Local historian and Rutgers lecturer Bruce Tucker will present a lecture on the discovery of oil in the Middle East in the early 1900s and its impact upon military technology and strategy of World War I (1914-1918). Mr. Tucker will discuss the historical background of crude oil, including its discovery in the United States, Russia, and the Middle East and how oil helped determine how the war would be fought, where it would be fought, its outcome, and its effect upon the victors and losers at the Palace of Versailles peace conference.

Refreshments will be served after the Q&A following the program. The Van Wickle House is located at 1289 Easton Avenue, Somerset, NJ. Tickets are $10/person, and can be reserved by sending an e-mail to chrisflp@aol.com or by calling 732-748-7657.

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Saturday, November 15 - Oxford, Warren County
WWI Display and Competition

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Weekend Estate Sales: 11/14/14 - 11/16/14

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!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Keyport Historical Society: Preserving Keyport's Rich History

The Keyport Historical Society: Preserving Keyport's Rich History
Written by the Keyport Historical Society

The Keyport Historical Society is an organization made up of Keyport residents and non residents working together to preserve Keyport's history. The Society currently meets at the historic Keyport Senior Center located on Second Street on the first and third Monday of each month. The first Monday is usually a historic presentation and the third is a board meeting.

Photo Credit: KHS
Their two biggest fundraisers are an annual Tea and Fashion Show held at the Keyport Yacht Club in October and a Candlelight House Tour in December. Keyport Historical Society members are very active throughout the year volunteering their time at various town functions. 


About Keyport
The area now known as Keyport started as an 800 acre plantation settled by the Kearney family in 1714. It was called Key Grove Farms and farming, timber, shipping and oystering were the main sources of income. In 1829, the Kearney Estate was partitioned and sold at auction and the sale was the foundation of the soon-to-be town of Keyport.

Broad Street, Keyport, New Jersey circa 1920s.
In 1830, Keyport became the major funnel for county produce and other items shipped to New York. In 1850, Benjamin Terry opened a boat yard and began making steamboats for the Civil War. The most famous was The River Queen used in the Civil War by President Lincoln and General Grant. Keyport continued to thrive as a major shipping and oystering area until the early 1900s.

In 1917, the Aeromarine Plane & Motor Corporation purchased buildings in the Lockport section of Keyport and began making training planes for WWI pilots and seaplanes called flying boats. Aeromarine was in operation until 1937 and they produced many ‘firsts” in aviation. 


The Keyport Historical Society’s Origins
The Kearney Mansion’s ownership changed over the years until it was abandoned and left neglected. In 1972, a group of Keyport residents formed the Keyport Historical Society after salvaging some items from the Mansion before it was demolished. These salvaged artifacts created a need for a location where they could be kept and displayed along with other Keyport memorabilia to keep Keyport’s rich history alive.

Interior of the former Steamboat Dock Museum in Keyport, NJ. Photo Credit: KHS
In 1976, the Steamboat Dock Museum opened. It was located at the foot of Broad Street at American Legion Drive. It was originally owned by the Keansburg Steamboat Company. It was built in 1948 and used as a machine shop, tool storage, and sleeping quarters to support steamboat operations before it was left unattended for years. In the mid 1970s the Keyport Historical Society was able to rent the building from Keyport Borough for $1.00 per year. The members of the society toiled to renovate the structure. including removing dirt and sand that had accumulated inside the building and make it into a place where artifacts could be displayed and admired by the public.

In October of 2012, Sandy destroyed the museum. Members were able to save and salvage many items from the museum. Although some items were lost, many Keyport residents have donated historic items from their own personal collections. After the storm, items from the museum washed up on the waterfront several towns away. Although the Society cannot rebuild on the property where the museum once stood, they are currently looking for a new place to call home.

The Steamboat Dock Museum after Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Photo Credit: KHS
The Museum was home to over 4,000 Keyport historical artifacts and was a meeting place for Keyport Historical Society events, such as their annual Yard Sale, annual Art & Craft Show and Sale, and monthly free historical presentations which are open to the public.


Upcoming Event
The Keyport Historical Society's annual Candlelight House Tour will take place on Saturday, December 13, 2014 from 4:00 - 9:00 pm. Tickets will be on sale soon for the cost of $18 in advance or $20 the day of the tour. Tickets will be available for purchase at Keyport IHOP, Espresso Joes, and the Keyport Public Library.

The former Steamboat Dock Museum in Keyport, NJ. Photo Credit: KHS

For More Information
Keyport Historical Society
Keyport Historical Society on Facebook


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Monday, November 10, 2014

Organization of the Week: Keyport Historical Society

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 Keyport Historical Society. The Society was founded in 1972 after local concerned citizens salvaged some items from the historic Kearney Mansion before it was demolished. The salvaged artifacts created a need for a location where they could be kept and displayed along with other Keyport memorabilia. In 1976, the Society opened a museum in a building that was originally owned by the Keansburg Steamboat Company. The museum was lost in October 2012 to Hurricane Sandy. Floodwaters surged into the building, knocking down walls and damaging hundreds of artifacts.

Despite their loss, recovered artifacts have been moved and are now awaiting a new permanent location. The Society continues to be active and hosts an annual yard sale, arts and crafts show and sale, a holiday house tour, and monthly free historical presentations open to the public.

The Keyport Historical Society relies on memberships, fundraising, and countless volunteers to continue its mission. For more information on programs, special events, and exhibits hosted by the Keyport Historical Society or to become a member or volunteer, please call 732-739-6390 or visit www.keyporthistoricalsociety.com.

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, November 9, 2014

Keyport Historical Society Giveaway

Friday, November 7, 2014

Weekend Historical Happenings: 11/8/14 - 11/9/14

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!


Friday - Sunday, November 7 - 9 - Harding Township, Morris County
31st Annual Antiques Show and Sale

The Harding Township Historical Society is sponsoring its 31st annual Antiques Show and Sale at the Tuni-Elicks House, 16 Village Road, in New Vernon, NJ on Friday evening, Saturday from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and Sunday 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. The Friday evening opening is a preview party and sale with historic wines and hors d'oeuvres open to the membership of the Harding Township Historical Society and to the general public from 6:00 - 9:00 pm at a suggested donation of $35. The show in the historic house expands into two large heated tents containing 30 quality dealers from three surrounding states and eight counties and is focused on American antiques of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries but also includes oriental rugs and a clock restoration dealer, an antique print dealer, fabrics, and antiquarian books and local history books.

Parking is free. Harding Township is just west of Morristown, using exit 33 of I-287. New Vernon is a section of Harding Township and the Tunis-Elicks is one of the oldest continuing farmhouses in the community. Admission is $6.00 per adult ($5.00 with this announcement). For more information, call 973-292-3661.

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Saturday, November 8 - Netcong, Sussex County
It’s Lake Hopatcong on the Big Screen!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Weekend Estate Sales: 11/7/14 - 11/9/14

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!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Walk on the Wild Side: Turtle Back Zoo

A Walk on the Wild Side: Turtle Back Zoo
Written by Connie McNamara

I have hated zoos for years. The thought of exotic and wild animals taken out of their natural environs and self-constructed habitats and placed in cages always made me sad. I was taken to zoos as a youngster and as an adult visited some of the better known menageries around. No matter: I still felt for the confined animals.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Lake Hopatcong on the Big Screen - November 8, 2014

It’s Lake Hopatcong on the Big Screen!
Saturday, November 8, 2014

On Saturday evening, November 8th, see Lake Hopatcong come alive on the big screen!

During its heyday as a major northeast resort, many newsreel crews visited Lake Hopatcong, capturing events from those years on film. Retrieved by the Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum from film vaults around the globe, this newsreel footage of Lake Hopatcong will be shown as it originally appeared at movie theatres from the 1910s to the 1940s. See celebrities, beauty pageants, winter carnivals, boat races, and more filmed at New Jersey’s largest lake.