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.


More than 20 vendors and artisans, carefully selected for the event, will offer personalized made-to-order silhouettes and calligraphy note-cards; candy confections; floral decorations; wood-carved birds, fish, and decoys; distinctive wraps, belts, and accessories; handmade candles and lotions; Revolutionary War novelties; one-of-a-kind pocketbooks; eye-catching leather-cut jewelry; silk and angora scarves; organic body butters, teas and jellies; Italian olive oils, balsamic vinegars, truffles and linens; vintage silverware jewelry; and semi-precious stone and freshwater pearl creations. Local merchants, including Apogee, of Basking Ridge, will offer a collection of distinctive women’s apparel and fashion jewelry, while Classic Home and Garden, of Far Hills, will feature an array of home and holiday accessories.

Visitors will also enjoy:
  • Tours of the circa 1772 home, which was owned by Jacobus Vanderveer and served as headquarters of General Henry Knox, Chief of the Continental Army Artillery, while he commanded an artillery and training encampment in nearby Pluckemin during the winter of 1778-79.
  • Colonial-inspired holiday decorations by The Rose and Radish Floral Design, of Whitehouse Station, including Christmas trees decorated with hand-cut silhouettes, beeswax ornaments, patriotic drums and eagles, crocheted snowflakes and gingerbread cookies; vintage stocking brimming with goodies; and mantels resplendent with fruits, vegetables, and evergreen.
  • Colonial re-enactors, musicians and performances by The Bernards High School Madrigals, The Ridge Choir, and The Harmonium Choral Group
  • Santa visits 1:00 - 3:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays.
  • A rare, authentic Revolutionary War drum, from a private New Jersey collector, on loan to the Jacobus Vanderveer House and Museum during Colonial Christmas.
  • The debut of Christmas 1778, a newly commissioned work of art by Bernardsville artist Thomas Calvin Houtz, depicting Gen. Henry Knox and his family in front of the Vanderveer House prior to departing for the Pluckemin Cantonment.
Colonial Christmas, sponsored by the law firm of Bevan, Mosca, Giuditta & Zarillo, P.C., kicks off with a bang Saturday, November 29, when members of John Lambs Artillery stage a Revolutionary War-era encampment complete with cannon firing, musket drilling, open fire cooking and colonial crafts.


“If you’re looking for something to do with your weekend Thanksgiving guests, this is it!” advises Blinn. “There’s something for visitors of all ages.”

A 1778 Colonial Christmas cocktail party is planned for Friday, December 5. The evening begins at 6:30 pm with guests arriving amidst the backdrop of drumbeats performed by a re-enactor portraying Revolutionary War drummer boy John George. The entrance will be illuminated by an array of Colonial-era lanterns; and as guests enter the front door, they will be greeted by the sights and sounds of Christmas as it was celebrated by the Vanderveers and Knox’s more than 200 years ago.

The party will feature specialty cocktails, sumptuous hors d’oeuvres with a Colonial flair prepared by Elegant Taste, musical entertainment by harpist Odarka Stockert, a chance to win a luxury shopping spree at the Short Hills Mall, and boutique shopping among a variety of vendors.

Tickets for the 1778 Colonial Christmas cocktail party are $150 per person and $100 for Junior Patrons (25 years and under) and includes admission to the Colonial Christmas Open House. Reservations are required. Call 908-396-6053 or visit www.jvanderveerhouse.org.

“Colonial Christmas is our biggest fundraiser for the Jacobus Vanderveer House and a vital means of preserving this extraordinary piece of Revolutionary War history for future generations,” said Blinn. “Each year, we welcome a growing number of newcomers, repeat visitors, schoolchildren and groups as Colonial Christmas becomes the ‘go-to’ event kicking off the holiday season.”


Ticket Information
Admission at the door is $10 (children 12 and under, free).
Advance tickets may be purchased online: http://bit.ly/ZcKxQB

For tickets and information about Colonial Christmas and Friday’s gala, call 908-396-6053 or visit www.jvanderveerhouse.org.

Proceeds from Colonial Christmas benefit exhibit development, historical interpretations, and educational programs at the Jacobus Vanderveer House.


Schedule of Events
Saturday, November 29               
10:00 am - 4:00 pm              
· House Tours
· Lambs Artillery Encampment featuring drilling, canon firing, open fire cooking
· Holiday Shopping
· Colonial Re-Enactors
11:00 am - 1:00 pm   
· The Enslows perform Colonial American Christmas Music
1:00 - 3:00 pm                            
· Santa Visit

Sunday, November 30                 
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
· House Tours
· Holiday Shopping
· Colonial Re-enactors
1:00 - 3:00 pm
· Santa Visit
3:00 - 4:00 pm
· Harmonium Choral Group Performance

Thursday, December 4    
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
· House Tours                     
· Colonial Re-enactors
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
· School Group Tours featuring “George Washington”

Special group rates available for parties of 5 or more - $8 per person. School groups free. Reservations required. Call Hillary Murtha 908-396-6053 or email hmurtha@jvanderveerhouse.org.

Friday, December 5                      
10:00 am - 2:30 pm
· House Tours
· Colonial Re-enactors
6:30 - 8:00 pm  
· 1778 Colonial Christmas Cocktail Party featuring specialty cocktails, sumptuous hors d’oeuvres by Elegant Taste, boutique shopping and musical entertainment by harpist Odarka Stockert
· Reservations required
          
Saturday, December 6     
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
· House Tours
· Holiday Shopping
· Colonial Re-enactors
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
· The Enslows perform Colonial American Christmas Music
1:00 - 3:00 pm
· Santa Visit
3:00 - 4:00 pm
· Bernards High School Madrigals Performance

Sunday, December 7
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
· House Tours
· Holiday Shopping
· Colonial Re-enactors
1:00 - 3:00 pm
· Santa Visit
3:00 - 4:00 pm
· Ridge High School Choir Performance
4:00 pm
· Raffle Drawing

The Jacobus Vanderveer House is located at 3055 River Road (in Bedminster’s River Road Park), Bedminster, NJ. For more information about the museum, upcoming events, and becoming a member of the Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House, call 908-396-6053 or visit www.jvanderveerhouse.org.


About The Jacobus Vanderveer House                                  
For more than two centuries, the Jacobus Vanderveer House, located in River Road Park, has been at the center of Bedminster Township’s rich and colorful history. It is situated on part of the 218 acres that make up River Road Park in Bedminster Township, Somerset County. 


Jacobus Vanderveer, Jr., son of Vanderveer, Sr., a wealthy Dutch miller, built a small Dutch frame-style farmhouse just west of the North Branch of the Raritan River on the northern outskirts of Pluckemin. In 1778, during the War of Independence, Vanderveer lent his home to General Henry Knox, who was to command a new artillery encampment and training academy being established by the Continental Army on a hillside above the village of Pluckemin. General Knox, along with his wife Lucy and family, occupied the house from the winter of 1778 through the summer of 1779.

The Vanderveer house is the only surviving building associated with the Pluckemin encampment, which is considered to be the first installation in America to train officers in engineering and artillery. General Knox established “The Academy” and subsequently created its successor, The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.  

The Jacobus Vanderveer House and property were purchased by Bedminster Township in 1989 with the help of Green Acres funding. The house was listed in 1995 on the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places. The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House is a nonprofit organization formed to restore and develop the historic site as an important educational and cultural resource. During the past decade, the Friends have restored the house, created historically accurate period room exhibitions, established historic collections, supported important research, and embarked on a program of education and interpretation to tell the stories of General Henry Knox, the Pluckemin military encampment and the community’s key role in the American Revolution.


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