Friday, November 14, 2014

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

WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
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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

On Saturday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, New Jersey World War I history buffs will gather at the annual display and competition sponsored by the New Jersey Arms Collectors Club, Inc. This event has been going on for over 14 years and it brings together reenactors and collectors, many in period uniforms, in a series of marksmanship events with WWI period items. There is even a tennis ball launching event using a British World War I cup discharger originally used to  launch grenades into opposite trenches. Great event for the kids and only costs $1 a launch. WWI period firearms are used in contests and observer/visitors are invited and welcomed. Persons who have inherited/obtained military items from the great war are invited to bring them or pictures for identification and preliminary appraisal. The event is held at the Shongum Sportsman's facility, 363 Jane's Chapel Road, Mansfield (Oxford), NJ. For more information, e-mail GurskiLTC@aol.com.

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Saturday, November 15 - Little Egg Harbor, Ocean County
The Battle of Gettysburg

On Saturday, the Tuckerton Historical Society presents "Gettysburg" presented by Jeff Brown. Learn about the circumstances leading up to this important three-day battle. This presentation will be held from 2:00 - 4:00 pm at the Giffordtown Schoolhouse Museum, 35 Leitz Blvd., Little Egg Harbor, NJ. For more information, call 609-294-1547.

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Saturday, November 15 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Bacon, Sausage & Scrapple Making
Children Friendly

If you work all week to bring home the bacon, sausage and scrapple, but don't really know from whence they come, visit Howell Living History Farm for their bacon, sausage and scrapple program on Saturday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. You will see these and other pork products made before your eyes. Farmers will demonstrate rendering lard, making pork products, and showing visitors the origins of different cuts of pork. Cracklin's and other delicacies will be free for the asking and pork sandwiches will be available for sale. 

Howell Living History 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. call 609-737-3299 or visit www.howellfarm.com.

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Saturday, November 15 - Cape May, Cape May County
Perspectives on the Vietnam War

Join the Friends of the World War II Lookout Tower on Saturday at 1:00 pm at the Cape May Lutheran Church, 509 Pittsburgh Avenue, Cape May, NJ, for their meeting which will focus on the Vietnam War. Featured will be a panel of Vietnam veterans, with a presentation by Tom Collins about the Forgotten Warriors Museum. Admission is $5 for members of the public; free for Friends of the World War II Lookout Tower.

Light refreshments will be served. An original watercolor painting valued at $500 of the World War II Lookout Tower by local artist Laurie Schiffelbein will be raffled. Tickets are $2 each or $5 for three and can be purchased at the event.

Become a Friend of the Tower and admission is free. Admission is $5 for  members of the public. Adults are asked to bring a young person with them so the group can advance one of its primary goals, which is developing in the younger generation an understanding and appreciation of not only Cape May's important role in World War II, but of the traits of patriotism, loyalty, and self-sacrifice so characteristic of the people of these war years.

The World War II Lookout Tower (Fire Control Tower No. 23), located on Sunset Boulevard, was used for spotting enemy ships during World War II and aiming guns for nearby coastal artillery fortifications. MAC restored the tower in 2008-2009 and opened it to the public in April, 2009.

Sponsored by the Friends of the World War II Tower, an affinity group of the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). MAC is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit www.capemaymac.org.

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Saturday, November 15 - Haldeon, Passaic County
Beyond the Silk Mills - Book Signing

On Saturday at 2:00 pm, the American Labor Museum/Botto House National Landmark proudly welcomes the general public to a book-signing event with author Leslie Rupley, a Paterson native. Ms. Rupley will discuss and read from her debut novel, Beyond the Silk Mills (Dameliam Books, 2014) and answer questions. Copies of Beyond the Silk Mills will be available for purchase. Light refreshments will be served.

In Beyond the Silk Mills, Ms. Rupley brings to life the saga of the Epstein family of Paterson, New Jersey in the early 20th century, and through their story, illuminates the roots of modern feminism and contemporary labor issues. Writes historian Steve Golin, "Rupley has carefully researched and imaginatively captured the dynamic of the Paterson strike. This is what historical fiction should look like."

The exhibit Border Angels by Sara Gurling and Pamela Calore will be on display at the Museum through December 31st, 2014. Tours of the Museum will be available and the Museum Store will also be open to the public.

The Botto House National Landmark, home of the American Labor Museum, is located at 83 Norwood Street, Haledon, NJ. It was the meeting place for over 20,000 silk mill workers during the 1913 Paterson Silk Strike. The Museum's hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Tours are offered Wednesday through Saturday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm or by appointment. For more information, call 973-595-7953 or visit www.labormuseum.net.

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Saturday, November 15 - East Millstone, Somerset County
Cemetery Tour
Children Friendly

On Saturday starting at 11:00 am, tour the Cedar Hill Cemetery Tour with guides Bob Mettler and Ray Hills. A $10.00 fee supports the East Millstone Historical Society. Kids 12 and under are free. Tour includes a stroll through East Millstone to Market Street. Enjoy an optional lunch at the Sunrise Creek Deli or the East Millstone Antiques & Cafe. Meet at the cemetery entrance on Wortman Street, East Millstone, NJ.

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Saturday - Sunday, November 15 - 16 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
A Currier & Ives Selfie
Children Friendly

Inspired by the Currier & Ives prints on exhibit, Historic Walnford will have a sleigh and some 19th century fashion accessories available for you to drop-in and shoot your own nostalgic photo from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Amateur photographers only. Admission and parking are free.

While there, visit the large, elegant Walnford home built in 1774, the 19th century gristmill and the farm buildings set in a beautiful landscape. Walnford is located at 62 Walnford Road, Upper Freehold, NJ. For more information, call 609-259-6275 or visit www.monmouthcountyparks.com.

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Sunday, November 16 - Morris Township, Morris County
Thanksgiving Harvest Home and Armistice Observance
Children Friendly

Step back in time and celebrate Thanksgiving and Armistice Day in 1918 at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm. Begin by following the enticing aromas to The Willows and Farmhouse kitchens where a Thanksgiving feast is being prepared. While the harvest has been gathered, there is still much to do on the farm. Help husk corn, saw the wood that is needed for winter heating and cooking, and make animal food with the one-cylinder gasoline engine operation. Be sure to take a horse-drawn wagon ride around the farm, watch a side-saddle riding demonstration, visit the farm animals, and assist with egg collection. The Armistice, or cease fire that officially stopped the carnage of WWI, went into effect in Europe on November 11, 1918, at 11:00 am. Over the years, Armistice Day, later named Veterans Day, has honored the men and women who served in the U.S. armed forces. At 2:00 pm, enjoy a special choral tribute to our veterans by the Picatinny Chorus.

Admission: $6/adult, $5/Senior (65+), $4/child (ages 4 to 16), and $2/child (ages 2 and 3) and free for children under 2 years of age and Friends members with a valid membership card. U.S. military personnel (past and present) admitted FREE. Fosterfields Living Historical Farm is located at 73 Kahdena Rd, Morristown, NJ. For more information, call 973-326-7645 or visit www.morrisparks.net.

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Sunday, November 16 - Montclair, Essex County
House Tours and Program
Family Friendly

Step back through over 200 years of American history at Montclair's historic properties at 108 Orange Road. Visit the newly reinterpreted Crane House to reflect the YWCA period from 1920 - 1965, check out the farm, and meet the chickens. The site is open from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Free-will donation. Free admission for members! 

On Sunday at 2:00 pm, Philip Jaeger presents a program entitled "Signs of the Past and Their Stories," which depicts signs of the past that still exist, though some have been hidden by modern day life. Some of these traces of the past date as far back as the 1800s. Written signs that have faded over time because of their exposure to the weather, but are still discernible, are sometimes called “ghost signs.” Originally they served as advertisements for a variety of products and services. Also included in the program are buildings and other relics that were changed or revealed when modern-day projects disturbed their resting place resulting in a new glimpse into the past. Program begins at 2:00 pm at 108 Orange Road, MOntclair, NJ in the lower level of the Crane House and Historic YWCA. Suggested donation $5.

For more information, call 973-744-1796, e-mail mail@montclairhistorical.org, or visit www.montclairhistorical.org.

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Saturday, November 16 - Union Township, Union County
"History in Our Backyard" at the Caldwell Parsonage

On Sunday at 2:30 pm at the Caldwell Parsonage in Union, Maureen Wlodarczyk - author, columnist, genealogist, speaker, blogger (at www.past-forward.com) - will present "History in our Backyard: Discovering Lost & Forgotten Stories of NJ People and Events."

Though fitting and expected that we remember those whose accomplishments (or notoriety) are part of NJ history, most of us are descended from people who weren't famous . . . or infamous. The stories of "regular" people (including our ancestors) and the communities where they raised their families connect us more closely with those who made our own lives possible. Intriguing, poignant, inspirational, entertaining, quirky, or comical, they're stories worth retelling.

Ms. Wlodarczyk is an officer of the Flannery Clan of Dublin and a member of the Irish-American Writers & Artists organization and of the Genealogical Society of NJ. An admitted history addict, Maureen researches people and events lost to time, rediscovering and sharing their tales. These fascinating stories of 19th century immigrants, entrepreneurs, social activists, and ordinary people persevering in the face of challenges transport her audiences to days long ago. Maureen's latest book, Jersey! Then . . . Again, will be available at the meeting. It's a collection of 36 short stories about NJ historic people and their events: suffragettes, boxers, gangs, hot air balloonists, con artists, politicians, inventors, women in the war effort, military heroes, hurricane survivors, and more!

Her program will be part of the meeting of the Union Township Historical Society, which will begin at 2:00 pm at the Caldwell Parsonage, 909 Caldwell Avenue, Union Township, NJ. Non-members are cordially invited to attend. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free; donations are greatly appreciated. For more information, call Barbara at 908-687-0048 or visit www.uniontwphistoricalsociety.webs.com.

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Sunday, November 16 - Bridgewater, Somerset County
President Harding and the Teapot Dome Scandal


Second only to the  Watergate crisis, the infamous 1920s oil scandal known as Teapot Dome rattled American politics for almost ten long years. Running through the tenure of three Presidents, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover, the congressional investigations and courtroom dramas ended in 1929, just before the start of the Great Depression.

Bypassing the normal and legal bidding process, government owned oil reserves were sold to private interests. Albert Fall, Secretary of the Interior, lined his pockets while the American public lost a fortune in uncollected royalties. Behind the scandal were two major oil magnates, Harry Sinclair and Edward Doheny.

Based on his years of research of the Harding administration and his recent book, Anaerobe, Gary will discuss the Teapot Dome scandal and that very interesting period of American History. Gary Kraidman is a retired microbiologist turned historian, writer, and lecturer.

This free program, presented by the Somerset County Historical Society, will be held at 2:00 pm at the Van Veghten House located at 9 Van Veghten Drive, Bridgewater, NJ. For more information, call 908-218-1281 or visit www.schsnj.com.

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Sunday, November 16 - Morristown, Morris County
Officer's Lot
Children Friendly

Washington referred to the officers who were his aide-de-camps as his "military family." These men were volunteers who, unlike enlisted men, personally paid for their food and equipment during military service. Learn more about the business of the Continental Army's headquarters and the men who worked most closely with George Washington through examination of objects they would have used. 

Program runs continuously from 11:00 am - 12:00 noon and 1:30 - 4:00 pm at the Wick House in Jockey Hollow, within Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, NJ. Cost: Free. For more information, call 973-543-4030 or visit www.nps.gov/morr.

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Sunday, November 16 - Andover, Sussex County
Open House

The Historical Society of Andover Borough cordially invites you to visit the Andover Museum on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm.

Come experience Andover's important historic significance. A wide array of artifacts and other historic memorabilia highlighting Andover's rich diversified history are visually displayed in the museum. These displays include Andover's history of iron ore mining and processing, the railroad, dairy farming production, and the everyday life and people of this significant community and Andover's important contributions to the growth of Sussex County, Northern New Jersey, and America. This month's theme is "Election Day/Political figures and a Christmas display."

The Andover Museum is open to visitors from 1:00 - 4:00 pm on 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 16 - Morristown, Morris County
Owning New Jersey


On Sunday at 2:00 pm, author Joseph Grabas will present "Owning New Jersey: Historic Tales of War, Property Disputes & the Pursuit of Happiness" at the Morristown & Morris Township Library.

New Jersey's land records and deeds are unlikely sources for a thrilling tale but reveal some little-known and fascinating history. A detailed story of the founding of the Garden State 350 years ago is preserved in these papers, as is the area that included Morris County. The state's boundaries were drawn in such documents centuries ago, even if the authors never stepped foot in North America. The archives hide heroes, like the freed African Americans who fought for their right to own their piece of the state. Of course, there are the bizarre and mysterious tales, like the silk baron's castle and the assault against a sixteen-year-old maiden during the throes of the American Revolution. Join land title expert Joseph Grabas as he combs through these all-but-forgotten stories of the pursuit of happiness and property in early New Jersey with special emphasis on land conveyances in Morris County.

Refreshments will be served. Admission is free. This program is supported by the Friends of the Morristown & Morris Township Library and will be held at the library at 1 Miller Road, Morristown, NJ. For more information, call 973-538-6161 or visit www.jfpl.org.

Joseph Grabas is an expert in Land Title Research, having examined over 100,000 land titles in five States and all 21 Counties in New Jersey since 1978. He has been recognized by the NJLTA as a Certified Title Professional and by the ALTA as a National Title Professional. Joseph is a Commissioner on the Monmouth County Historical Commission, a visiting lecturer at Monmouth University, and serves on the N.J. Tidelands Resource Council. His historical research focuses on Historic Land Titles, the history of the NJ Land Recording System, Free African American communities in Monmouth County, NJ, Colonial & State Boundary development, and the Colonial and Antebellum history of New Jersey. Joe is the author of Owning New Jersey: Historic Tales of War, Property Disputes & the Pursuit of Happiness, published by History Press.

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Sunday, November 16 - Mendham, Morris County
New Jersey: 350 at 350 Concert

On Sunday, celebrate New Jersey's 350th birthday with music and stories presented by Gordon Thomas Ward! Audiences adore this evocative presentation of original songs and their inspiring stories celebrating the rich histories, life events, and secreted tales of our shared past from the Lenape indians to the railroads of Robert Frost. Many of the songs Gordon performs are from his CD "Welcome to the Past." Presented in brilliant detail, Mr. Ward uses a "behind the music" format combining enchanting anecdotes, vocals, and a multi-instrumental accompaniment to transport listeners on a captivating journey through time. The concert will be held from 2:00 - 3:30 pm at Assumption College for Sisters, 350 Bernardsville Road, Mendham, NJ. Admission is free but a good-will offering will be collected to fund scholarships for sisters from developing nations. For more information, e-mail acs@acs350.org or call 973-543-6528 ext. 230.

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Sunday, November 16 - Westfield, Union County
Native American Medicine Pouches
Children Friendly

On Sunday, the museum will present a program that will focus on the beliefs of the Lenape, who inhabited New Jersey at the time the first European settlers arrived. The presenters will explain the significance of medicine pouches and the special items put inside by the wearer. Children will make their own pouches, decorate them with beads and a symbol from one of the Lenape clans, and choose an item to put inside.

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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Sunday, November 16 - SouthamptonBurlington County
Pinelands Dulcimer Society Music & Open House
Children Friendly

On Sunday from 1:00 - 3:30 pm, join the Greater Pinelands Dulcimer Society for an afternoon of music at the Bishop Farmstead in Southampton, NJ. The Greater Pinelands Dulcimer Society members desire to preserve folk instruments, among which the Appalachian mountain and hammered dulcimers stand out. The extended dulcimer family also includes other well-known instruments, like autoharp, banjo, bozouki, bass fiddle, folk harp, mandolin, and penny whistle. Stop by and you'll hear a variety of playing styles, from old-time mountain music to Irish jigs and airs. All are welcome! Come to play, sing, dance or listen, but come mostly to have fun!

The Pinelands Visitor Center will also be open, offering more than 150 books about the Pine Barrens, South Jersey, ecology and history, including the brand new book Batsto Village: Jewel of the Pines by Barbara Solem. This is also a great chance to see the photography exhibit, Centralia and Beyond: Yesterday in the Pines by Michael Neuhaus. The Pinelands Visitor Center is located at 17 Pemberton Road, Southampton, NJ. For more information, call 609-859-8860 or visit www.pinelandsalliance.org.

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Through November 2014 - Ocean Township, Monmouth County
New Exhibit - The Story of the Morro Castle
Children Friendly

On Saturday, September 8, 1934, the burning hulk of the disabled luxury liner Morro Castle broke free of its towline and drifted dangerously near Convention Hall to run aground just yards off the Asbury Park beachfront.  The tragedy (at the time the worst in U.S. merchant marine history) made national headlines. It turned local lifesavers into heroes and Asbury into a sightseeing mecca for the next six months.

Eighty years later, the Township of Ocean Historical Museum, located in the Eden Woolley House at the Ocean Township Library complex on Deal Road, opens a mini-exhibit remembering  the Morro Castle.  The highlight of the September 7 opening is a dramatization of a radio interview with fictional Morro Castle survivor Ellen Van Brunt. Imagining a WCAP ("City of Asbury Park") broadcast from Convention Hall, the performance, scheduled for 1:30 pm and repeated at 3:00 pm, brings events to life.

Visit the Eden Woolley House through November to learn the full story of this tragedy. The exhibit will be up through the end of November.

The Township of Ocean Historical Museum is located in the Eden Woolley House, one of the few 18th century structures still in existence in Ocean Township and is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (1:00 - 4:00 pm), Thursday evenings (7:00 - 9:00 pm), and the first and second Sundays of each month (1:00 pm - 4:00 pm). The Museum is located at 703 Deal Road, Ocean, NJ. For more information, call 732-531-2136 or visit www.oceanmuseum.org.

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Through December 29, 2014 - Woodbury, Gloucester County
Be Prepared:  Scouts of Yesteryear
Children Friendly

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have been a tradition in America for over a century. The Gloucester County Historical Society Museum is presenting a remarkable exhibit with scouting artifacts from over the decades. Numerous uniforms, merit badges, equipment, manuals, and accessories from the 1930s on are on display.

The Gloucester County Historical Society Museum hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm and the last Sunday of the month from 2:00 - 5:00 pm. Adult admission $5; children 6-18 years $1; children under 6 free. The Gloucester County Historical Society Museum is located at 58 North Broad Street, Woodbury, NJ. For more information, call 856-848-8531 or visit www.rootsweb.com/~njgchs.

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Sundays through January 25, 2015 - Trenton, Mercer County
Form, Function and Fine: Two Hundred Years of American Ceramics

From teacups to chamber sets, New Jersey to California, the Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society presents a new exhibit, providing a sample of American ceramics from the 19th and 20th century. Redware, yellowware, spongeware, and salt glazed crocks will be displayed along with early Lenox and Trenton pottery. Roseville, Stangl, Pfaltzgraff and Homer Laughlin pieces are some of the other American ceramics featured. The exhibit will continue through January 25, 2015. Come to the table and join us on a Sunday afternoon from 1:00 - 4:00 pm to view this exhibit! The Cranbury Museum is located at 4 Park Place East, Cranbury, NJ. For more information, call 609-409-1289 or visit www.cranburyhistory.org.

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Saturdays through December 31, 2014 - Freehold, Monmouth County
Farm: Agriculture in Monmouth County 1600 - 2013 

Monmouth County Historical Association's newest exhibition, "Farm: Agriculture in Monmouth County 1600-2013," is open to the public at the museum in Freehold and will be on display through December 31, 2014. The history of agriculture and farming in Monmouth County has long roots deep in the past, as does New Jersey itself, from earliest days of pre-European settlement, when Lenape Indians harvested corn, squash, and beans to the modern reintroduction  of organic agricultural practices.

Monmouth County Historical Association's exhibition, "Farm: Agriculture in Monmouth County 1660 - 2013," explores and celebrates Monmouth County's vibrant agricultural past, present, and future. The exhibit examines the means by which Monmouth men and women worked with their surroundings to feed themselves, their families, the community, and the rest of America as well. Through artifacts, diaries, letters, maps, paintings, prints, and photographs, Farm will bring Monmouth's rich agricultural history alive. Visitors will appreciate the innovation and diversity of Monmouth farmers, horticulturalists, gardeners, and livestock breeders who overcame challenges and secured the county's reputation as a source of high-quality produce and livestock for more than two hundred years.

The Monmouth County Historical Association's museum is located at 70 Court Street, Freehold NJ. Regular admission to the museum is $5 and $2.50 for students and seniors. Admission is free for members. Museum hours are Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. For more information, call 732-462-1466 or visit www.monmouthhistory.org.

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Through February 13, 2015 - Madison, Morris County
The American Revolution in New Jersey
Children Friendly

New Jersey spent much of the American Revolution as a theater of war. A new exhibit at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, "The American Revolution in New Jersey: Where the Battlefront Meets the Homefront," explores the rarely told story of New Jersey's farmers, women, and tradesmen and their actions during the war. Topics discussed include the local civil wars that erupted between revolutionaries and loyalists, the multiple roles that women took on as their men went off to war, and how civilian life was affected by the regular presence of troops. The exhibit will be open until February 13, 2015.

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

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Through March 1, 2015 - Trenton, Mercer County
Ties That Bind: The Aprons of Trenton

The Trenton City Museum transports you to a time when apron strings tied the lives of the people of Trenton. "Ties that Bind: The Aprons of Trenton" runs from November 1, 2014 through March 1, 2014. The exhibit features aprons associated with church picnics, classroom art projects, the industrial workers who kept the city in business, and the homemakers who made holiday meals and memories for generations. The Trenton City Museum, Ellarslie, is located in Cadwalader Park, Trenton, NJ. For more information, call 609-989-3632 or visit www.ellarslie.org.

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Through March 1, 2015 - Trenton, Mercer County
Trenton Central High School: A Remembrance

On October 14, 2014, the Trenton Public Schools Board of Education voted to demolish Trenton Central High School. The New Jersey Schools Development Authority will fund the construction of a new $130 million high school for Trenton.

The Trenton Museum Society celebrates the soon-to-be-demolished building in an exhibit at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie through Sunday, March 1, 2015. The former high school building, opened in 1932, was an iconic structure that inspired and nurtured thousands of Trenton students over the past 82 years.

Designed by architect Ernest K. Sibley, construction of the school began in 1929 with the first classes occupying the building in January 1932.  It was built as a larger version of Trenton High School West, formerly Junior No. 3, out of red brick and composition stone trim in the colonial revival style, inspired by the historic background of the city. 

Many of the features that contributed to the unique beauty of the school were made in Trenton. The porcelain shades in the light fixtures in the auditorium were made by Lenox in Trenton. The brown faience tile lining the hallways was made by the Mueller Mosaic Tile Company of Trenton. Even the sanitary ware, such as sinks and toilets, were made by the Trenton-based Maddock pottery company.

The exhibit shows iconic artifacts from the school - a Maddock toilet, pedestal sink and water fountain, an original student desk that seats two students, one of the caged clocks from the gymnasium, wooden chairs used by students and teachers, and hallway light fixtures. The school board is loaning two large portraits of the first two principals of the school - William A. Wetzel and Paul R. Spencer, and a large aerial picture of the school.

Early yearbooks from the 1930s and 1940s show the school façade and interior. Artifacts used in the school are on display, such as scientific instruments, silverware, china, kitchen utensils, and a display cabinet with partial skeleton used in science classes.

The two cornerstones of the building from 1929 and 1956 were opened at Trenton High School's Homecoming football game on October 25. No one knew what was inside. The contents of the cornerstones will be lent to the museum and displayed in the exhibit.

In the lobby were four spectacular murals created and installed in the high school in 1941 by an artist who worked for the WPA Federal Arts Project, Monty Lewis, entitled Youth Carrying the Heritage of Arts from the Past into the Future. The Trenton School Board has pledged to save these priceless pieces of art. Photographs of them are included in the exhibit.

The Trenton Museum Society invites graduates, teachers and administrators from the school, historic preservationists, and those interested in Trenton's history to attend the exhibit. The Trenton City Museum, Ellarslie, is located in Cadwalader Park, Trenton, NJ. For more information, call 609-989-3632 or visit www.ellarslie.org.

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Through March 29, 2015 - Princeton, Mercer County
Hail Specimen of Female Art! New Jersey Schoolgirl Needlework, 1726-1860

This landmark exhibition will be the first to focus on the important contribution of New Jersey in the creation of schoolgirl needlework in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. With over 150 works on view, this exhibition will undertake the first survey of schoolgirl needlework completed in the state or by New Jersey girls prior to 1860. This exhibition and accompanying catalogue will create a lasting record of the best known examples. As part of the museum’s mission to showcase the cultural heritage of the Garden State, the curators will bring new light to the needlework done in New Jersey during this important period of American history.

Organized geographically, the exhibition will feature works from every region of the state. Although many elaborate and important examples of New Jersey needlework will be featured in the exhibition, the curators have also included more modest examples that highlight other aspects of the educational environment, social class and familial situation experienced by young girls in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In some cases, the exhibit will reunite, for the first time, needlework created by the same girl; sisters; cousins; schoolmates and other close relations.

The exhibition will feature loans from across the country including needlework completed in every New Jersey County (accounting for the numerous re-organizations of New Jersey counties in the nineteenth century). In presenting examples from every part of the state, the exhibition will distill the educational environment that existed in New Jersey from Cape May to Sussex. The exhibition will also compile an accurate picture of girls academies and the instructresses who taught at them.

The exhibition will occupy 1,709 square feet in five galleries within the second floor of the Morven mansion. This exhibition also coincides with the 350th anniversary of New Jersey and extensive state-wide celebration and programming.

The title of the exhibition is borrowed from a needlework stitched by Trenton-born Anne Rickey (1783-1846) “Hail Specimen of Female Art” was stitched onto her sampler in 1798. Anne Rickey was the daughter of Quaker merchant, John Rickey (1751-1829) and his wife Amey Olden (1757-1849).

Morven Museum and Garden is located at 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ. For more information, call 609-924-8144 or visit www.morven.org.

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Through May 1, 2015 - Toms River, Ocean County
Fishing in the Good Old Days

The Ocean County Historical Society, invites you to view their new exhibit entitled, "Hook, Line and Sinker: History of Fishing in Ocean County up to 1950", which features the collections of members Richard Updike and Ferd Klebold. The exhibit takes visitors back to the days of pound fishing, frost fishing, clamming, eeling, and whaling with photos and artifacts used in the fishing industry along the Jersey Coast. A hand-forged clam rake, the white oak eel pot that used horseshoe crabs for bait, a whale vertebra found in the surf in Ocean County, early reels, and photos galore of fishermen and their catches are just some of the treasures you will find in this exhibit. Winter or summer, Ocean County fishermen braved the elements to harvest nature's bounty from the Atlantic Ocean, Barnegat Bay, and numerous rivers. Visit OCHS Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 am - 3:30 pm and the first Saturday of each month from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The Ocean County Historical Society is located at 26 Hadley Avenue, Toms River, NJ. For more information, visit www.oceancountyhistory.org or call 732-341-1880.

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1st and 2nd Sundays through June 2015 - Ocean Township, Monmouth County
The History of Houses and the Things That Make Them Home

Since prehistoric times, where we live has been about much more than shelter (think of those cave paintings). A new exhibit explores just how our human instinct to nest has played out in the structures we inhabit and the stuff we put in them. "The History of Houses and the Things that Make Them Home" is on display in the Richmond Gallery of the Eden Woolley House / Township of Ocean Historical Museum.

The exhibit examines the influences on the design and content of the American home - from the traditions early settlers brought with them, to the availability of materials, to the transforming power of technology. It takes guests on a virtual house tour, revealing room by room how things have changed and how those changes have shaped our lives.

What is home? It's where the heart is and there's no place like it. Beyond shelter, our homes express our tastes, values, and social status. Our neighborhoods abound with homes that illustrate the point, and the new exhibit asks us to see our familiar surroundings in a new light. It reveals the lineage of familiar house styles--colonial, neoclassical, Victorian, and modern, for example. It explains that the colonists of the new world built houses in the style of the old. That the founding fathers, all men of the Enlightenment, adapted the designs of Greeks and Romans whose rationality they admired. That the clutter and ornamentation of the Victorians expressed their fascination with goods made possible by the Industrial Revolution and made available by the railroads. And that twentieth century architects rejected Victorian fussiness in favor of designs that challenged old assumptions and took advantage of new technologies and building techniques.

House design is just the beginning. The exhibit takes us inside, room by room. For all but the rich, our earliest homes were one-room dwellings. The very concept of a single-purpose room (living, dining, bathing, etc.) is relatively new. And even in early multiple-room houses, people moved from room to room more in pursuit of sunlight and warmth than specific activity. In effect, all rooms were "living rooms."

Revolutionary new technologies - indoor plumbing, central heating, and electric light, in particular - made room specialization practical. The bathroom, bedchamber, dining room, library, and parlor emerged as distinct spaces in ways that both reflect and influence life style.

Take the living room (aka parlor, drawing room, sitting room, and salon). It has come full circle. As parlor, it was a room often reserved to receive visitors. In time, it became the place where the family "withdrew" to gather around the piano - later the radio and then television. Today, the "great room" has assumed that role and in many homes, the living room is again a more formal space reserved for entertaining guests.

The exhibit makes that case that every house has a story, every room has a history. "The History of Houses and the Things that Make Them Home" will be up through June 2015. The Township of Ocean Historical Museum is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (1:00 - 4:00 pm), Thursday evenings (7:00 - 9:00 pm) and the first and second Sundays of each month (1:00 - 4:00 pm). The Township of Ocean Historical Museum is located at 703 Deal Road, Ocean, NJ. For more information, please call 732-531-2136 or visit www.oceanmuseum.org.

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Through July 2015 - Morristown, Morris County
The Civil War through the Eyes of Thomas Nast

Before radio, TV, or the Internet, there was political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Nast illustrated battles, Union and Confederate troop movements, and their activities throughout the Civil War. He also captured the poignancy of those back home, who worried about their family members in combat. Nast covered both the home and battle fronts; his work was the main source of information about the war for many people. His illustrations in publications like "Harper's Weekly" brought the information about what was happening into the homes of the American public, the way mass media does today. Like all media agents, he not only depicted what was happening by reporting on the events taking place, but also created propaganda by trying to stir emotions and support for the Union side. Mounted to commemorate the final year of the Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011-2015), this second floor exhibit will include a number of these stirring images. "The Civil War through the Eyes of Thomas Nast" opens September 7, 2014­ and will be on exhibit through 2015.

Thomas Nast (1840-1902) is one of the most recognized names in the world of political cartoons.  Often called the father of American political cartooning, Nast's images remain popular today.  His well-known depictions of the Democratic donkey and Republican elephant, conceived more than 100 years ago, continue to represent both parties.  Uncle Sam and Columbia, two of his favorite figures to draw, are still recognized as symbols for the United States of America.  His spirit lives on through his iconic representations of Santa Claus. The classic images which Nast popularized of the jolly old elf still appear on a variety of surfaces each year during the holiday season, and Nast's Civil War images of battlefront and home front were powerful tools for bringing the war into people's homes.

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. Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, 45 Macculloch Avenue, Morristown, NJ. For more information, call 973-538-2404 ext. 10 or visit www.maccullochhall.org.

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

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