Friday, December 19, 2014

Weekend Historical Happenings: 12/20/14 - 12/21/14

NJ WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
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Every Friday - Sunday through January 4, 2015 - West Orange, Essex County
Holidays at Glenmont
Children Friendly

The sights and sounds of the season will greet visitors when they come to Thomas Edison's home in Llewellyn Park during "Holidays at Glenmont." Glenmont will be decorated much as it was while the Edison family lived there. Greenery and red poinsettias will deck the mantles above the fireplaces. Staircases will be ringed with boughs and red ribbon bows and wreaths will hang in every window. In the den, the majestic ten foot tree will be set and the presents underneath will be waiting as if the Edison children Madeleine, Theodore, and Charles, will soon come running down the stairs from their rooms - after they've checked their stockings in the upstairs living room! Family china will be displayed on the dining room table and the scene will be completed with holiday cards that were received by the family.

The Edison home, Glenmont, is located on a fifteen-acre estate in Llewellyn Park, the country's first private residential community. Built in 1880, the twenty-nine room mansion contains the original furnishings and family items used by the Edisons. The estate grounds include gardens, a greenhouse, barn, and the poured concrete garage containing the family's automobiles. Thomas and Mina Edison are buried on the grounds of the estate.


Car passes and tour tickets must be purchased at the Laboratory Complex Visitor Center at 211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ. Admission is $7.00 and includes the Glenmont Estate and the Laboratory Complex. Children 15 and under are free. For more information, call 973-736-0550 x11 or visit www.nps.gov/edis.

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Friday - Saturday, December 19 - 20 - Union Township, Union County
Deck the Halls: Fifty Years of Christmas Decorations
Children Friendly

Liberty Hall Museum will be open for tours on Friday and Saturday! Opening on Friday will be the Christmas tour "Deck the Halls: Fifty Years of Christmas Decorations," when Liberty Hall will transform the first floor of the museum into a time machine where visitors will journey through five rooms to discover the decorative styles of bygone eras, the 1910’s through the 1950’s! Tours justify at 10:00 am and leave every hour with the last tour of the day leaving at 3:00 pm. Adults: $10.00; Kean Alumni: $8.00; Seniors, College Students, Children: $6.00; Under Three: Free. Liberty Hall Museum is located at 1003 Morris Ave, Union, NJ 07083. For more information, call 908-527-0400 or visit www.kean.edu/libertyhall.

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Saturday, December 20 - Titusville, Mercer County
Christmas Night Crossing Lecture
Family Friendly

On Saturday, Clay Craighead, Resource Interpretive Specialist at Washington Crossing State Park, will be using diaries and letters of soldiers to talk about the significance of the Christmas Night Crossing and the Battle of Trenton beginning at 2:00 pm. The lecture, open to all ages, will be held at the Visitor Center Museum in Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville, NJ.

This event is free and open to the public. Washington Crossing State Park is located at 355 Washington Crossing - Pennington Road, Titusville, NJ. For more information, call 609-737-0623.

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Saturday, December 20 - Union Township, Union County
Gingerbread House Workshop
Children Friendly

Liberty Hall is hosting a gingerbread house workshop on Saturday, December 13 and Saturday, December 20. Two sessions will be held from 10:00 - 11:30 am or 12:00 noon - 1:30 pm. Children will get into the holiday spirit when they decorate their own gingerbread house with candy canes, gumdrops, and more at this popular, annual Liberty Hall event. A tour of Liberty Hall decorated for holidays will follow the workshop. Program Fee: $20.00 for each child and adult, all additional adults $5.00. Reservations are required. Call 908-527-0400. Liberty Hall is located at 1003 Morris Avenue, Union, NJ. For more information, call 908-27-0400 or visit www.kean.edu/libertyhall.

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Saturday, December 20 - Cape May, Cape May County
Homespun Holiday Weekends
Children Friendly

Stop by Historic Cold Spring Village this holiday season for holiday merriment and shopping! The Country Store is open Saturdays from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm through December 20. Browse a unique line of heritage goods, hand-crafted artisan wares, jams and jellies, jewelry, hand-knit scarves and hats, books, and much more!

On Saturdays in December, visitors can meet Father Christmas in the Country Store from 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride throughout the festively decorated Village grounds.


And don’t forget - the Village Welcome Center is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am - 4:30 pm with free admission. Guests can enjoy Cape May County and maritime history exhibits, as well as an interactive virtual tour of HCSV.


Historic Cold Spring Village is located on Route 9, three miles north of Victorian Cape May and a mile and a half west of the southern end of the Garden State Parkway. For more information, call 609-898-2300, ext. 10 or visit the Village www.hcsv.org.

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Saturday, December 20 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Christmas Lantern Tours
Children Friendly

Get in the spirit of the season with a Christmas-inspired Lantern Tour through Allaire’s Historic Village on Saturday between 5:00 and 8:00 pm. Experience traditional 19th century activities, such as baking gingerbread and musical performances. Join villagers singing Christmas carols by the fire. Each tour is 90 minutes long, leaving every 15 minutes. Admission is $12.50 per person. The Historic Village at Allaire is located in Allaire State Park at 4263 Atlantic Avenue, Farmingdale, NJ. Tickets are available at the gate or can be purchased through their web site. For more information, call 732-919-3500 or visit www.allairevillage.org.

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Saturday - Sunday, December 20 - 21 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
Gingerbread
Children Friendly

Come and inhale the rich aromas and sample the sweet spiciness of a variety of gingerbreads at Historic Walnford on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm each day; all prepared from historical recipes. Learn about the ingredients and the evolution of this wonderful winter food from colonial hearth to decorated house. 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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Saturday-Sunday, December 20 - 21 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
A Visit with Santa
Children Friendly

Come to Longstreet Farm and enjoy an old-fashioned Victorian Christmas on Saturday and Sunday. Children can visit with Santa, then take a walk to the farmhouse and have a cup of cider. Be sure to bring your camera. The event runs Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm.

Historic Longstreet Farm is located at 44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, NJ. For more information, call 732-946-3758 or visit www.monmouthcountyparks.com.

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Saturday - Sunday, December 20 - 21 - River Edge, Bergen County
31st Annual Colonial Christmas Concerts and Tavern Fare - SOLD OUT

The Bergen County Historical Society celebrates their 31st Colonial Christmas Concerts, at the Steuben House. You must make reservations. Tickets are already selling fast, as many people make it part of their holiday celebration every year. There will be two concerts each night: Saturday night at 7:00 and 8:30 pm and Sunday at 6:00 and 7:30 pm. The gift shop, out-kitchen, and Demarest House will be open. 

The Black Horse Tavern in the Campbell-Christie House will be open for light tavern fare. Choose from soup and herb biscuit from the Rolling Pin Cafe in Westwood, ploughman plate, bread pudding, hot mulled cider, and more. Additional cost. The tavern will be open before and after the first concert and before only - for the second concert.

Tickets for the concert are $30 per person (BCHS members, $25). Seating is limited. Also this weekend see open-hearth cooking in the Dutch out kitchen, browse the gift shop, and tour the Demarest House. Concerts in the Steuben House are a separate admission. No refunds or exchanges. Parking can be found in parking area at the corner of Main Street and Hackensack Avenue, River Edge. A new ADA compliant stonedust path connects the three houses and parking area! No parking will be available at the Steuben House. Historic New Bridge Landing is located at 1201 Main Street, River Edge, NJ. For more information, call 201-343-9492 or visit www.bergencountyhistory.org.

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Sunday, December 21 - Union Township, Union County
Breakfast with Santa!
Children Friendly

Naughty or nice, all are welcome when Liberty Hall hosts Breakfast with Santa on Sunday from 9:00 - 11:00 am or 11:30 am - 1:30 pm. A hot breakfast buffet will fill you with Christmas cheer and put you in the holiday spirit. Then take a photo with the jolly old man himself in Santa's sleigh. Program Fee: $23.00 per child, $28.00 per adult.  Reservations are required. Call 908-527-0400 (Recommended for ages 7 to 12). Liberty Hall is located 1003 Morris Ave, Union, NJ 07083. For more information, call 908-527-0400 or visit www.kean.edu/libertyhall.

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Sunday, December  21 - Montclair, Essex County
Holiday House Tours

Tours at the Montclair Historical Society, 108 Orange Road and the Charles Shultz House-Evergreens, 30 North Mountain Avenue, Montclair, NJ between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm on Sunday. See the houses bedecked in their holiday finery. These special tours incorporate the holiday traditions as well as the stories of the houses and the people who lived there. Begin at the Nathaniel Crane house where the less "foppery" reigned; then see the Crane House and Historic YWCA decorated by the Garden Club of Montclair spanning decorations from 1796 to 1965stop in the exterior kitchen where food historian Carolina Capehart demonstrates 1800s hearth cooking on a real fire. Then move forward in history to the Charles Shultz House, featuring Molly Shultz's own collection of Christmas decorations and antique toys. Free-will donation. Admission is free for Montclair Historical Society members. For more information, call 973-744-1796 or visit www.montclairhistorical.org.

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Sunday, December 21 - Somerville, Somerset County
"Four Nights Before Christmas" Colonial  Christmas Tours

On Sunday from 6:00 - 800 pm, visit Somerville, NJ for a special Christmas event featuring candlelight tours of the Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage. Guides in period clothing explain how Christmas was celebrated in the American colonies. Enjoy the holiday atmosphere of these Colonial-era homes, decorated authentically in the 18th century manner to celebrate the season. Tours available at 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 pm. Invite friends, family and others to enjoy this unique holiday event. Refreshments will be served. Admission: $10 per person. Advance reservations need to be called or e-mail by Friday, December 19. You can reserve your spot by contacting the site at 908-725-1015 or e-mail whouse3@verizon.net. Walk-ins are not guaranteed a tour time and admission is $15 at the door. Parking is available at 71 Somerset Street Somerville, NJ.

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Sunday, December 21 Andover Borough, Sussex County
Historical Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Historical Society of Andover Borough cordially invites you to attend the Andover Museum's Historic Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Sunday at 2:00 pm during the museum's Holiday Open House, from 1:00 - 4:00 pm.

Col. Ardolph Loges Kline was born in 1858, to Anthony Kline and Margaret Busby Kline of the Springdale section of Andover and attended school in Andover and Newton, NJ. In 1877, he started working for a men's clothing company in New York City and joined the New York National Guard as a private. When the Spanish-American War of 1898 began, he was named a Lieutenant-Colonel, and in 1901 a Brevet Brigadier-General. He was a senior officer of the New York National Guard and a Republican politician who became the acting Mayor of New York City on September 10, 1913 upon the death of Mayor William Jay Gaynor, serving for the rest of the year. Mr. Kline later became a United States Representative from Brooklyn (1921-1923). He married Francis A. Phalon and they had one daughter. Ardolph Kline died in 1930 in Brooklyn, NY and is buried with his wife Francis in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.

During Mr. Kline's short period as the acting Mayor of New York City, he initiated the annual New York City Hall Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 24, 1913, by inviting a young boy to help him light the first Christmas tree at City Hall. This small gesture started a tradition which still continues to this day at the New York City Hall.

So, today in honor of a boy from Andover, who carried his political dedication and personal vision to the steps of New York City Hall, we continue with this historic tree lighting tradition in his hometown, nearly a hundred years later.

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, December 21 - Pennsville, Salem County
Annual Christmas Open House
Children Friendly

The Pennsville Township Historical Society will hold its Annual Christmas Open House on Sundays, December 14, and 21 from 1:00 - 5:00 pm, at the Church Landing Farm House Museum in Pennsville. The 1850 Farm House, the outbuildings , and property have been decorated for Christmas and there will be special displays and entertainment.

A Victorian Christmas tree, a tree adorned with 1940s era decorations, and a tree bedecked with traditional Swedish Christmas ornaments will be on display in the Farm House. Don't miss the exquisitely painted and decorated ostrich, goose, and quail eggs that have been handcrafted by Pauline Gant Webb. Stop by the parlor to hear Nancy Brubek play Christmas Carols on our recently restored antique organ and interact with our junior historians as they perform vignettes from Louisa May Alcott's novel, Little Women.

Visit the Townsend Annex to see a display of “Christy" Dickens Carolers, a 1920 Lionel train set, Victorian Christmas postcards, and our collection of handcrafted miniature carriages. While there, talk with Annette Devitt and Marcia Walton who will be demonstrating loom weaving on an authentic, handmade 1910 Finnish loom. Docents will be on hand to answer questions.

Visitors are welcome to linger in the relaxing atmosphere of a Victorian era Christmas and enjoy refreshments which include traditional Swedish Christmas Glogg (Wassail) and Swedish Pepparkakor (spice cookies). The Church Landing Farm Museum is located at 86 Church Landing Road, Pennsville, NJ. Admission is Free. Donations are always welcome and gratefully accepted. For more information call Don at 856-381-2510 or Donna at 856-678-6435.

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Sundays through January 4, 2015 - Morristown, Morris County
Victorian Christmas at Acorn Hall

Celebrate the holiday season with a visit to Acorn Hall, the beautiful Italianate Victorian mansion once home to Mary Crane Hone, and now headquarters to the Morris County Historical Society. Come for a tour of the house museum, and enjoy Acorn Hall's first-floor decorations, which include sparkling Christmas trees and garlands highlighted by bright ornaments. Charming hand-crafted ornaments are also featured. Decorations will be up through January 4, 2015. Due to interior construction on all of Acorn Hall's 63 windows, decorations this year are more conservative. Included in your tour is the MCHS's new exhibit "Treasures from the Collection."

The Oakleaf Gallery Gift Shop at Acorn Hall offers many unique and perfect solutions to fulfill all of your holiday gift-giving needs. Vintage clothing and jewelry, one-of-a-kind hand-crafted accessories, refurbished Victorian-era hooks and hardware, distinctive books on Morris County history, and adorable items sure to make any child smile, await visitors stopping by the shop. The gift shop is open Monday - Friday, from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Sunday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm through Sunday, December 21.

Acorn Hall was built in 1853 and remodeled in the Italianate Villa-style in 1860. It is open for tours on Sundays, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, and by appointment.

Tours of the house and exhibit are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $3 for students. Children under 12 and members are free. To see the exhibit only, it is one-half of the admission. Please note: Acorn Hall will be closed from December 24 through January 1. There is no admission fee for those who are only visiting the gift shop. Acorn Hall is located at 68 Morris Avenue, Morristown, NJ. For more information, call 973-267-3465 or visit www.acornhall.org.

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Saturdays and Sundays through January 4, 2015 - Princeton, Mercer County
Festival of Trees

Morven Museum and Garden's annual Festival of Trees has become a must-see Princeton holiday tradition. Enjoy the museum’s elegant galleries decorated for the holidays and adorned with trees artfully decorated by local businesses, garden clubs, and non-profit organizations.

This year’s Festival of Trees exhibitors include: Arts Council of Princeton, Barbara L. Mulea, Contemporary Garden Club, D & R Greenway Land Trust, Dogwood Garden Club of Princeton, Farmhouse Store, Garden Club of Princeton, Keris Tree Farm & Christmas Shop, LMG Design, McCarter Theatre Center, Stony Brook Garden Club, and Vicki Trainer.

No reservations necessary. Morven is open to the public on Wednesdays through Fridays from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm and Saturdays through Sundays from 12:00 noon – 4:00 pm.

Admission $6, $5 for Seniors, and special pricing for families during Festival of Trees, $15 per group. Friends of Morven, free. Please note that during the Festival of Trees in December and early January, no formal tours are given, but docents are available to answer any questions. 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 Wednesday, January 7, 2014 - Tuckerton, Ocean County
Festival of Trees
Children Friendly Site

Roll out the holly and sharing in some holiday cheer at Tuckerton Seaport's Festival of Trees. The Festival of Trees will feature dozens of trees, each one decorated for a local nonprofit organization with a unique theme. Open 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. General admission: adults $8, seniors $6, ages 5-12 $5, under five free and Seaport members free. The Tuckerton Seaport and Baymen's Museum is located at 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ. For more information, call 609-296-8868 or visit www.tuckertonseaport.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 - Paterson, Passaic County
A Closer Look at our Community: The Fine Art of Mark Oberndorf

A new exhibit entitled A Closer Look at our Community: The Fine Art of Mark Oberndorf is open through March 29, 2015 in Lambert Castle (home of the Passaic County Historical Society) at 3 Valley Road, Paterson, NJ. This exhibit focuses on the sights of our local community, as shown in the paintings of Bergen County resident and artist Mark Oberndorf.

Oberndorf’s work focuses on the views of local buildings and features within our neighborhoods. Many pieces included in A Closer Look at our Community feature Passaic County, while others portray subjects from a wider geographic area. Some subjects include restaurant signs, barber shops, private homes, and fire stations. Through his work, Oberndorf demonstrates what is beautiful, interesting and quirky in our communities. Through this exhibition visitors will be able to see their environment in a different perspective. Visitors can access the exhibition during regular museum hours (Wednesday - Sunday). General museum admissions apply. Meet the artist at the exhibit reception held at Lambert Castle on Wednesday January 14, 2015 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm. The reception is free for members; for all others regular admission applies. For more information, call 973-247-0085 or visit www.lambertcastle.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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Through August 2015 - Lyndhurst, Bergen County
Lyndhurst Business: Building a Community

From a ship's horn manufactured by Leslie Company to photos of steel and heat-treating plant Benedict-Miller, Inc., the Lyndhurst Historical Society is showcasing just a sampling of the many businesses that contributed to the community and beyond in its latest exhibit, "Lyndhurst Business: Building a Community," which runs from now until August 2015.

"It's New Jersey's 350th birthday and, in addition to celebrating the state as a whole, we wanted to give a nod to our local community," said Doris Bergquist, who, along with members Dale Jankowski and Doris Ludwig, curated the exhibit. "There have been and continue to be many highly regarded businesses in Lyndhurst. The Leslie Company, for example, was once in Lyndhurst and built one of the horns used on the Queen Mary."


The exhibit is free and open to the public, though a small donation to the society would be appreciated. The Little Red Schoolhouse Museum, located at 400 RIverside Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ is open on the second and fourth Sundays of every month from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. For more information, call 201-804-2513 or visit www.lyndhursthistoricalsociety.org.


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

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