Want to Spread The History?

Support the New Jersey History Trails App here!

Where to?

Somerset County, Morris County... even Cape May County!

No Place is too Small...

What may seem minute and insignificant is what makes history!

Redcoats!

Not only do I like to write about history - I love covering events too!

Spread the History!

Help bring awareness to the historic sites in your area.

From historic figures to historic places...

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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Weekend Historical Happenings: 11/1/14 - 11/2/14

WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an e-mail to let us know!
Be the first to find out about these events on Facebook!


Saturday, November 1 - Kenilworth, Union County
5th Annual Veterans Tribute & Militaria Exhibition
Children Friendly

On Saturday, there will be a salute to veterans exhibit at the Kenilworth Veterans Center presented by the New Jersey Arms Collectors Club, Inc. Outdoor exhibits will include an original Civil War cannon and vehicles from WWII and Vietnam. Military weapons and memorabilia from the French and Indian War through the Iraq-Afghanistan conflicts will be on display. Bring the children as most exhibitors will let them handle items, take their own pictures in military headgear, and pose by the cannon next to the uniformed crew. This event is free and open to the public but donations will be accepted to help defray cost of renting the hall. There will be food sold by the VFW ($1 hot dogs). Veterans who want to see and hold the equipment they used are always welcomed and appreciated. The Kenilworth Veterans Center is located at 33 South 21st Street, Kenilworth, NJ. For more information, call 973-762-0090 or visit http://njacc.info/2014/AllShootFlyers/MilitaryFlyer2014.pdf.

-----------------------------------
Saturday, November 1 - South Orange, Essex County
South Orange and Its Colorful History: A Symposium

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Weekend Estate Sales: 10/31/14 - 11/2/14

WEEKEND ESTATE SALES
Click on each link for more information on the estate sale!
Find something neat at an estate sale? Let us know!
Hosting an estate sale? Send me an e-mail to be featured in our weekly post!
Be the first to know about these sales on Facebook!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rethinking What History is Important: The Reinterpretation of the Israel Crane House

Rethinking What History is Important: The Reinterpretation of the Israel Crane House
Written by NJ Historian

Sometimes local historical societies need to take a step back and reassess their interpretation in order to incorporate new research and discoveries into their exhibitions. As the first and second generation of historical societies founded in the second half of the twentieth century pass the baton to the next generation, there is a shift to include women, minorities, and the recent past into museums. In Montclair, New Jersey, the 1796 Israel Crane House was recently reinterpreted to include the structure's twentieth century use as a YWCA. The newly renamed Crane House and Historic YWCA expands the museum's history to more fully encompass the building's usage and its impact on the local community as a gathering place for young women of mainly African American descent.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Organization of the Week: Montclair Historical Society

Every Monday, I highlight a non-profit related to history or the arts, a historical society, preservation group or friends group whose main objective is to promote the historical and artistic history of New Jersey.

This week, I am featuring the Montclair Historical Society. The Society was founded in 1965 to save the 1796 Israel Crane House from demolition. The grassroots effort was successful and the house was relocated from Glen Ridge Avenue to its current location on Orange Road. In 1973, the Society acquired the adjacent 1818 Nathaniel Crane House and moved it approximately 75 feet to the Society's property. Together, both buildings serve the Montclair Historical Society's mission of preservation, education, and sharing by serving as a historic house museum, museum shop, and space for demonstrations, lectures, and classes.

In 1984, the Society expanded by purchasing the adjacent 1896 Clark House to serve as library and administration space. In 1997, the Society acquired the former home of successful Montclair banker Charles Shultz on North Mountain Avenue. This stately home was donated to the Society by Shultz's granddaughter Molly. Known as Evergreens, the house has been virtually unaltered for 100 years and holds an important collection that reflects Charles Shultz’s keen personal interest in science, the arts, and world travel. The home is also host to various changing exhibitions throughout the year.

The Montclair Historical Society relies on memberships, fundraising, and countless volunteers to continue its mission. For more information on programs, special events, and exhibits hosted by the Montclair Historical Society or to become a member or volunteer, please call 973-744-1796 or visit www.montclairhistorical.org.

If you are a member of a non-profit organization or know of one that you would like to see featured on this site, please let us know in the comments or send an e-mail to kelly@thehistorygirl.com.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Weekend Historical Happenings: 10/25/14 - 10/26/14

WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an e-mail to let us know!
Be the first to find out about these events on Facebook!


Friday, October 24 - Ringoes, Hunterdon County
Spine-Tingling Ghost Stories
Children Friendly

When Jim Davidson purchased his historic home in the 1970s, he had no idea what he was getting into. Never mind the usual repairs that come with buying a house. Something else - far more frightening - was going on. The East Amwell Historical Society president wasn’t "afraid of no ghosts" when he moved into the old house on the edge of town. But flying paint cans, screaming voices, and much more changed all that. And had him packing his bags quickly.

What happened? What compelled him to saw a hole through his dining room floor? And what did he find below? To learn the answers and hear other spine-tingling tales, come to the East Amwell Historical Society’s “Ghosts of East Amwell” program on Friday at 7:00 pm in the town’s municipal building, located at 1070 Route 202, Ringoes, NJ. This free event will be an audience participation program, so everyone is encouraged to share their own ghost stories.

No reservations are required, but space is limited. It’s strongly encouraged you arrive early to ensure getting a seat. Attending the meeting will be representatives of PARS - the Paranormal Activity Research Society - who will listen to the stories and select one or two homes to investigate. The group will return to East Amwell and report its findings at a program next year.

-----------------------------------
Friday - Saturday, October 24 - 25 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Haunted Hayride at Allaire Village
Children Friendly

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Weekend Estate Sales: 10/24/14 - 10/26/14

WEEKEND ESTATE SALES
Click on each link for more information on the estate sale!
Find something neat at an estate sale? Let us know!
Hosting an estate sale? Send me an e-mail to be featured in our weekly post!
Be the first to know about these sales on Facebook!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Ghostly Haunts of Williamsburg, Virginia

The Ghostly Haunts of Williamsburg, Virginia
Written by Bonnie Florek

Williamsburg, Virginia is believed to be one of the most haunted towns in America. Some people believe in ghosts, some do not. There have been many skeptics who have become believers after attending a Spooks and Legends Haunted Tour, however.

The George Wythe House, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Victorian Cameos Lecture at Acorn Hall - October 26, 2014

The Morris County Historical Society Presents:
Victorian Cameos Lecture

Victorian cameos have a timeless quality that distinguishes them from other jewelry. The Morris County Historical Society offers insight into Victorian cameos and their allure during a special lecture on Sunday, October 26 starting at 1:30 pm at Acorn Hall. During the lecture, guest speaker Nancy Cooper, a MCHS volunteer and former Board member, shares her extensive knowledge of Victorian cameos, and will display examples of cameos from her personal collection. Tours of Acorn Hall will be available after the lecture.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Get Ready for Halloween with This Spine-Tingling East Amwell Historical Society Program - October 24, 2014

Get Ready for Halloween with This Spine-Tingling East Amwell Historical Society Program
Friday, October 24, 2014

When Jim Davidson purchased his historic home in the 1970s, he had no idea what he was getting into. Never mind the usual repairs that come with buying a house. Something else - far more frightening - was going on.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekend Historical Happenings: 10/18/14 - 10/19/14

WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an e-mail to let us know!
Be the first to find out about these events on Facebook!


Friday - Saturday, October 17 - 18 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Haunted Hayride at Allaire Village
Children Friendly

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Weekend Estate Sales: 10/17/14 - 10/19/14

WEEKEND ESTATE SALES
Click on each link for more information on the estate sale!
Find something neat at an estate sale? Let us know!
Hosting an estate sale? Send me an e-mail to be featured in our weekly post!
Be the first to know about these sales on Facebook!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Another White House Once Existed in America

Another White House Once Existed in America
Written by NJ Historian

Surrounded by the imposing seventeen-story VCU Medical Center on three sides in Richmond, Virginia is what appears to be a diminutive three story building. But this building, considered a mansion at the time it was erected, served as the what would later become known as the White House of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Batsto Village Country Living Fair - October 19, 2014

Batsto Village Country Living Fair
October 19, 2014

The Batsto Citizens Committee, Inc. will hold its annual Country Living Fair at Historic Batsto Village in Wharton State Forest on Sunday, October 19, 2014. The hours are from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. There will be no admission and no parking fee.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Organization of the Week: The Museum of the Confederacy

Every Monday, I highlight a non-profit related to history or the arts, a historical society, preservation group or friends group whose main objective is to promote the historical and artistic history of New Jersey and beyond.

This week, I am featuring the Museum of the Confederacy based in Richmond, Virginia. The museum was originally located in the Confederate White House, originally built in 1818 as the residence of Dr. John Brockenbrough, It served as the executive mansion for the Confederate States of America, 1861–1865 and was home to President Jefferson Davis and his family. After the Civil War, the mansion became a school and in 1890, the Confederate Memorial Literary Society saved the mansion from demolition. After extensive renovation, it became the Confederate Museum in 1896. In 1976, the museum moved to a new building and the house reopened furnished as it would have been during the Civil War.

The museum contains the world’s most comprehensive collection of artifacts and documents of the Confederate States of America, numbering 15,000 and includes: 5,000 domestic items, 3,000 military accouterments, 1,000 military buttons, 510 wartime flags, 300 edged weapons, 250 uniform pieces, and 250 firearms. The museum has three floors of exhibit space and hosts programming throughout the year.

The Museum of the Confederacy relies on memberships, fundraising, and countless volunteers to continue its mission. For more information on programs, exhibits, and special events hosted by the Museum of the Confederacy or to become a member or volunteer, please call 804-649-1861 or visit www.moc.org.

If you are a member of a non-profit organization or know of one that you would like to see featured on this site, please let us know in the comments or send an e-mail to kelly@thehistorygirl.com.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Weekend Historical Happenings: 10/11/14 - 10/12/14

WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an e-mail to let us know!
Be the first to find out about these events on Facebook!


Friday - Saturday, October 10 - 11 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
The Chilling Re-Telling of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Allaire Village is presenting a dramatic rendition of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"written by Washington Irving and performed by Neill Hartley. The performance takes place in the Allaire Village Chapel on Friday and Saturday, at 7:30 pm.

In an exciting performance, Neill Hartley, brings to life the tale of the Headless Horseman, within the candle-lit Allaire Village Chapel. You will be transported back to a time before television, radio, CDs, and electricity. The seating is limited to 100 for each performance, so advanced purchase is recommended. Only ticket-holders will be admitted to the performances. Ticket cost is $15 per person. To purchase tickets or for information, call 732-919-3500 and have your credit card ready. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.allairevillage.org/tickets.

The Historic Village at Allaire is located in Allaire State Park, 4265 Atlantic Avenue, Farmingdale, NJ. For more information, contact the Allaire Village office during business hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, at 732-919-3500 or visit www.allairevillage.org.

-----------------------------------
Saturday, October 11 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Corn Harvest
Children Friendly

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Weekend Estate Sales: 10/10/14 - 10/12/14

WEEKEND ESTATE SALES
Click on each link for more information on the estate sale!
Find something neat at an estate sale? Let us know!
Hosting an estate sale? Send me an e-mail to be featured in our weekly post!
Be the first to know about these sales on Facebook!

Stroll Through Flemington Historic House Tour - October 25, 2014

Stroll Through Flemington Historic House Tour
Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Borough of Flemington and its Historic Preservation Commission is proud to announce 'Stroll Through Flemington', An Historic House Tour slated for Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm, rain or shine. Meander the streets of our Historic District and visit six privately-owned historic homes and four iconic public buildings in self-guided fashion. Allow your imagination to picture the historic events that have shaped our Borough and embrace the charm and unique character of the District, and the warmth of our town.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Autumn Book Event: Revisit Historic Hudson Valley - October 12, 2014

Autumn Book Event: Revisit Historic Hudson Valley
Sunday, October 12, 2014

On Sunday, October 12, 2014 from 2:00 - 5:00 pm, meet authors Vernon Benjamin, The History of the Hudson River Valley, Ellen Gullo, Audacious, and Robert and Johanna Titus, The Hudson Valley in the Ice Age, who will discuss their latest work on Historic Hudson Valley and take your questions at Oak Hill Estate in Hudson, New York.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Meet John and Abigail Adams - October 12, 2014

Meet John and Abigail Adams at Bedminster’s Jacobus Vanderveer House and Museum
Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Jacobus Vanderveer House, once the headquarters of General Henry Knox during the American Revolution, will be open for tours on Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm and Sunday, October 12, 2014 from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm during Somerset County’s 9th Annual Weekend Journey Through the Past. Sunday will include include guest appearances by John and Abigail Adams from 2:00 - 3:00 pm.

 Abigail and John Adams, portrayed by Kim Hanley and Peyton Dixon of the American Historical Theatre, Philadelphia.  Photo courtesy of The American Historical Theatre.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Weekend Historical Happenings: 10/4/14 - 10/5/14

WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an e-mail to let us know!
Be the first to find out about these events on Facebook!


Friday - Saturday, October 3 - 4 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe at Allaire Village



Thursday, October 2, 2014

Weekend Estate Sales: 10/3/14 - 10/5/14

WEEKEND ESTATE SALES
Click on each link for more information on the estate sale!
Find something neat at an estate sale? Let us know!
Hosting an estate sale? Send me an e-mail to be featured in our weekly post!
Be the first to know about these sales on Facebook!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mounting a Revolution to Preserve the Revolutionary War Fiskhill Supply Depot

Mounting a Revolution to Preserve the Revolutionary War Fiskhill Supply Depot
Written by NJ Historian

Largely forgotten and almost considered a myth until the first couple years of the twenty-first century, the Revolutionary War burial ground at the Fishkill Supply Depot in Fishkill, New York has recently seen a resurgence in interest from historians, archaeologists, and the general public. Once part of the Continental Army's logistical center in the northern states, Fishkill became an important site for the assembling, storage and distribution of supplies. Today threatened by private commercial development, the Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot are mounting their own revolution to preserve and interpret one of America's last unprotected Revolutionary War sites and the largest Continental burial ground in existence.

Members of the 5th NY Regiment pay respect to the unknown dead at Fishkill.
Early during the war in 1776, it was determined that Fishkill, New York would be a good place to build a supply depot because of its proximity to the Hudson River. It was also far enough inland, which would make it difficult to attack from the water. The surrounding mountains also offered extra protection and its location along the Albany Post Road provided direct access to all of the eastern states. General George Washington ordered ten barracks to be built to hold approximately 2,000 soldiers. It was modeled after Roman encampments. The complex, totaling roughly seventy acres, was active for seven years and Washington acknowledged he couldn't have defeated the British without it. In addition to the barracks, the site contained a guard house and palisade, a medical complex, a prison facility, powder magazines, blacksmith shops, stables, store houses, an artillery park, and numerous artisan workshops.

Despite being under constant surveillance by the British, no battles took place at Fishkill. However, hundreds of Continental Army soldiers died at the encampment from war wounds, hypothermia, and smallpox. Roughly three-eighths of a mile south of the Van Wyck Homestead along what is now Route 9, a burial ground was established. No formal stone grave markers were ever placed. Most likely, wooden crosses marked the graves of the soldiers.

Document dated October 11, 1777: On order from Gen. Putnam dated 9th inst., Michael Hubbard acknowledges receipt from “James Richardson, twenty-four hides, which are Continental Property and have to be accounted for agreeable to orders.” 
A monument memorializing the Fishkill burial ground was erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution and dedicated on October 14, 1897. The monument was placed along Route 9 marking the adjacent field where the soldiers were buried. There was much fanfare and Major General Daniel Butterfield who served during the Civil War spoke at the dedication. In the mid-twentieth century, the marker was relocated to the Van Wyck Homestead in an attempt to "save" it from the widening of Route 9. However, with the relocation of the marker, the location of burial ground was lost with it.

In the 1960s and 1970s, archaeological excavations took place at the former Supply Depot property and a number of features were identified, including a blacksmith shop, barracks, and possible bake ovens. However, the missing burial ground was not located. Despite the setback, the work helped bring attention to the Fishkill Supply Depot property.

1897 monument memorializing the Fishkill burial ground at its original location along Route 9.
Image credit: Friends of Fishkill Supply Depot.
Today, the original seventy acres of the Fishkill Supply Depot is intersected by Route 9 and Interstate 84. Much of the property opposite the burial ground is now home to the Dutchess Mall, built in the early 1970s. A Hess gas station was built in the 1990s at the corner of Route 9 and Snook Road. Today, there is a remaining eight acres of land owned by a developer behind the Hess gas station and between the Van Wyck House and the burial ground. These eight acres not only hold the bodies of hundreds of soldiers, but also archaeological ruins and artifacts buried underground. But the remains were not discovered until 2007, after plans for commercial development for the remaining eight acre parcel became public knowledge. The Friends of Fishkill Supply Depot were organized that year to pressure local and state officials to review old archaeological surveys and take a fresh look at parts of the site that cultural resource groups previously claimed did not hold much historical value.

During this new phase of archaeology work, the remains of soldiers began to appear in the woods at the corner of Route 9 and Van Wyck Lake Road. Disturbed ground in a pattern of neat rows signaled that an important discovery had been made! A few artifacts identifying these men were found buried alongside them. To date, eighty-five men of what may be up to one-thousand, have been named. It is believed to be the largest Revolutionary War burial ground in the United States. However, the road to preservation is not over. The land is still privately owned and finding the funding to purchase the site is holding back preservationists from claiming a victory.

Flags marking the graves of Revolutionary War soldiers at the Fishkill Supply Depot.
In 1991, the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) was initially created by the Secretary of the Interior. In 1996 Congress signed into law the American Battlefield Protection Act, which officially authorized the ABPP. However, this important piece of legislation mainly protects battlefields and does not extend to gravesites of Revolutionary War soldiers. The Friends of Fishkill Supply Depot have been pressuring members of Congress to amend the legislation to include sites from the Revolutionary War and War of 1812, which are excluded from the current law and prohibited from receiving funds to acquire and protect these truly amazing and essential cultural resources.

There is some hope on the horizon for the site. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers, in July 2014, the Friends of Fishkill Supply Depot received a $24,600 grant from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program to create maps that depict archeological features of the Fishkill Supply Depot, highlighting its historical overview, archeological inventory, and topographic features.


The Van Wyck Homestead
The Van Wyck Homestead is the only intact structure remaining from the Fishkill Supply Depot. The home served as the Depot's headquarters and remains vital to telling the story of Fishkill.


In 1732, Cornelius Van Wyck purchased 959 acres of land from Catheryna Rombout Brett, the daughter of Francis Rombouts, who was one of the grantees of the original patent to the land in the area issued by King James II of England. Cornelius built a three room house, which is the present east wing (left side of the structure). Prior to 1757, the larger, more formal west wing was added. The west wing is a five bay wide center hall plan with symmetrical double-pile rooms on each side of the center hall. The property contained many outbuildings throughout its history, including barns, a spring house, cistern, and wells. Many archaeological remains of these structures are still visible on the property today.

During the Fishkill Supply Depot era, it served as headquarters to General Israel Putnam and was visited by leaders such as George Washington, Marquis de Lafayette, Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, Alexander McDougall, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay. Various court-martials were held in the home's parlor, including the mock trial of Enoch Crosby, who had infiltrated a loyalist group and is considered as the first secret agent of the United States. In the seven years that the Fishkill Supply Depot existed, the house also served as the Quartermaster Department.

Kitchen of the 1757 wing of the Van Wyck House, Fishkill, New York.
After the war, the house was given back to the Van Wyck family and remained in the family until Sidney Van Wyck hanged himself in the barn on the property in 1882. The house then passed to the Hustis family and later the Snook family.

During the Snook family's ownership, plans to build a cloverleaf at the intersection of Interstate 84 and Route 9 were proposed. The cloverleaf would have obliterated the Van Wyck Homestead. In 1962, the Fishkill Historical Society was formed and one member in particular, Willa Skinner, was vocal about saving the homestead. Willa, on her own accord, camped at the property and refused to move until authorities agreed to save the site. Finally, public pressured prompted changes to the original plans and the house was saved. But not all was saved; during construction of the ramps across from the homestead, the remains of the Revolutionary War era blacksmith shop were found. The Snook family continued to live in the house until it and one acre of land was sold to the Fishkill Historical Society in the 1970s for a nominal $1.00.



Additional photos of my trip to the Fishkill Supply Depot on Pinterest

For More Information
Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot
Fishkill Historical Society
FindAGrave - Fishkill Supply Depot Burial Ground


Do you enjoy the articles and features that The History Girl produces each week? 
If so, consider a donation to keep the movement going!