Friday, January 2, 2015

Weekend Historical Happenings: 1/3/15 - 1/4/15

NJ WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
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Every Friday - Sunday through January 4, 2015 - West Orange, Essex County
Holidays at Glenmont - LAST WEEKEND
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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Saturday, January 3 - Princeton, Mercer County
Real-time Tour of the Battle of Princeton
Children Friendly

On Saturday morning beginning at 7:00 am, tour of the  Princeton Battlefield as the battle progressed in real time. Meet at the Clarke House. This year's event, marking the Battle's 238th anniversary, will feature a special living history demonstration. This event is a part of Patriots Week and the New Jersey First Day Hikes Program, kicks off the Princeton Battlefield Society's 2015 events.

British Army Historian William P. Tatum III, a reenactor and a former Society Trustee, will trace the steps of American and British units at the same time of day as the original battle. The Battle of Princeton, which took place on January 3, 1777, was the first battle won against the professional British Army and a crucial turning point in the American Revolution. Free-will donations to the Princeton Battlefield Society for the renovation of the Thomas Clarke House where General Mercer died will be accepted. Attendees should wear warm clothes and stout shoes or boots. Princeton Battlefield State Park is located at 500 Mercer Street, Princeton, NJ. For more information, visit www.theprincetonbattlefieldsociety.com. Please e-mail RSVP and any questions to Kip at princetonbattlefieldsocinfo@gmail.com.

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Saturday, January 3 - Princeton, Mercer County
Stony Brook Walking Tour & Open House

Celebrate the 238th anniversary of the Battle of Princeton with the Princeton Historical Society! Following a portion of the trail George Washington took from Trenton to the Battlefield, this 90 minute tour includes stops at the Stony Brook Meeting House and cemetery. The tour begins at Updike Farmstead, 354 Quaker Road, Princeton, NJ at 1:00 pm. The tour is included with museum admission - $4.00 per person. Registration is not required for the tour. The Farmstead will be open from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm.  For more information, call 609-921-6748 or visit www.princetonhistory.org.

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Saturday, January 3 - Princeton, Mercer County
Battle of Princeton Walking Tour
Children Friendly

On January 3, 1777, General George Washington launched a cunning attack on British troops in Princeton and dealt the enemy its first stinging defeat. To commemorate this pivotal moment during the Revolutionary War, participants will examine military artifacts, then walk to the Battle Monument, retracing part of the battle at Nassau Hall. Tour begins at 10:00 am at the Bainbridge House, 158 Nassau Street Princeton, NJ. This program, which runs for one hour, is recommended for families with children ages 8 and up. Registration is suggested, as space is limited. Tickets are $4 per person. To register, please contact Eve Mandel at eve@princetonhistory.org or call 609-921-6748 x102. For more information, visit www.princetonhistory.org.

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Saturday, January 3 - Barnegat Light, Ocean County
General Meade at Barnegat Lighthouse

Dr. Andy Waskie as General Meade returns to Barnegat Lighthouse on Saturday at 1:00 pm for his annual inspection of the structure. Dr. Waskie, of Temple University, will recreate the return of General Meade to his home following the end of the Civil War. Dr. Waskie will present a lecture  entitled, "General Meade Reflects on His Life & Career of Service to the Nation." General Meade's annual visit to Barnegat Lighthouse has become a tradition and is very popular with society members and the public.  

Dr. Waskie brings life to then-Lieutenant George Meade with insights into as well as his construction of Barnegat Light from 1858-1859. Admission is free. The lecture will take place in the Barnegat Lighthouse State Park Visitor Center, 208 Broadway, Barnegat Light, NJ. For more information, visit www.friendsofbarnegatlighthouse.org.

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Sunday, January 4 - Somerville, Somerset County
Twelfth Night Concert

On Sunday, Linda Russell will perform 18th-century songs and ballads of the season, during a candlelit musical concert at the historic Wallace House. Ms. Russell, well-known for her historic musical interpretation, sings and plays period instruments including hammered dulcimer, mountain dulcimer, guitar, and tin whistle. Seating begins at 7:00 pm. $15 per person. Advance reservations strongly recommended. Walk-ins: NO guaranteed seating - $20 per person at the door. The Wallace House is located at 71 Somerset Street, Somerville, NJ. For more information and to register, call 908-725-1015 or e-mail whouse3@verizon.net.

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Sunday, January 4 - River Edge, Bergen County
Annual Twelfth Night Party - Members Only

Finish your holiday season on a high note by joining the Bergen County Historical Society's celebration of Twelfth Night at Historic New Bridge Landing from 2:00 - 5:00 pm on Sunday. Members and guests are invited to bring an old family recipe, favorite food, dessert or drink to share in an afternoon of good fellowship and New Year cheer. Try and find the bean in your slice of King's cake.

In olden times, festivities surrounding Twelfth Night were the most lavish of the year, featuring a great feast with bonfires, plays, music, dancing, and wassailing. The ancient custom of wassailing involved making twelve fires of straw and drinking toasts of cider or ale. A mock king, called the King of Beans, or Lord of Misrule, was elected by lot: the guest who discovered a bean in his or her slice of Twelfth Night Cake was elected sovereign for the revelries. In some places, these kings and queens placed white crosses in the rafters to exclude hobgoblins, witches, and bugs for the remainder of the year.

This members and guests ONLY event takes place in Campbell-Christie House at New Bridge Landing, 1201 Main Street, River Edge, NJ. For more information, call 201-343-9492 or visit www.bergencountyhistory.org.

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Sunday, January 4 - Princeton, Mercer County
Historic Princeton Walking Tour
Children Friendly

Enjoy a 1.9 mile, two-hour walk around downtown Princeton and the University campus as you learn about historic sites in the area, including Bainbridge House, Nassau Hall, the University Chapel, and Palmer Square. The early history of Princeton, the founding of the University, and the American Revolution are just some of the stories from Princeton’s history that you will learn on your tour.

Admission: $7 per adult; $4 children ages 6 to 12; free for children age 5 and under. Tickets are sold at Bainbridge House, 158 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ justifying at 12:00 noon. Tour begins at 2:00 pm and ends at 4:00 pm. Space is limited. For more information, call 609-921-6748 or visit www.princetonhistory.org.

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Sunday, January 4 - South River, Middlesex County
Open House

Stop by the South River Historical & Preservation Society on Sunday from 1:30 - 3:30 pm and view exhibits on all aspects of Borough history including: schools; churches and houses of worship; local businesses and organizations; daily life; events and celebrations; and more. While you are there, see the cemetery located behind the building, ask questions, drop off donations, or exchange hometown stories with the docents. The museum is located at 64-66 Main Street, South River. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~njsrhps/museum.html

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Sunday, January 4 - Madison, Morris County
Harp Ensemble Concert

Join musician Odarka Stockert as she gathers several of her fellow harpists, known as Harpantics, in one unbelievable afternoon of music at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts on Sunday at 2:00 pm. Be swept away with the beauty of the ensemble's sound. Space is limited. Pre-registration is strongly recommended. Admission is $10 for non-members and $5.00 for members. The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts is located at 9 Main Street, Madison, NJ. For more information and to register, call 973-377-2982 x10 or visit www.metc.org.

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

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."

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. 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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Sundays through January 29 - Morristown, Morris County
Exhibits at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum

This January, there are three interesting exhibits at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum (MHHM) to enjoy Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday afternoons beginning Sunday, January 4, 2015.

There is still time to see the 2014 Christmas season exhibit "Another Stocking to Fill: Antique Christmas Toys and Decorations" which features toys and ornaments from a century ago. This was the seventh year this special exhibit have been created through generous object loans from "Sign of the Tymes Antiques" Lafayette NJ and objects from local collector Barbara Silverstein's collection. Enjoy this second floor exhibit during touring hours through January 29th.

Visitors can also view illustrator Thomas Nast's original Santa and Christmas images throughout the museum's galleries and period rooms. The Museum has the largest collection of Nast originals in the nation. 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 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. Nast's Civil War images of battlefront and home front were powerful tools for bringing the war into people's homes.

Visitors can explore more of Thomas Nast's work in the second floor gallery exhibit "The Civil War through the Eyes of 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), "The Civil War through the Eyes of Thomas Nast" will be on exhibit through August 2015.

In the main gallery exhibition "Thomas Nast: Unknown Works and American Icons" MHHM displays an important collection of rarely exhibited, virtually unknown works. Previously unpublished oil paintings and watercolors, rarely seen pencil sketches, pen and ink drawings, and original architectural elements from the artist's home are among the objects presented in the exhibition. In addition to these and several never-before-exhibited pieces, some of Thomas Nast's best-known characters will also be on display. Pencil sketches of Nast's family from his early years as well as paintings he created toward the end of his life around 1900 will be on display.  Nast worked with a variety of mediums as well as producing images not just of political life, but social as well.  He drew images of famous people of the time as well as his own family life and enjoyed putting his own image down on paper as can be seen by the variety of self-portraits exhibited.

The museum is open for house and exhibit tours on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The last tour ticket is sold at 3:00 pm. Adults $8; Seniors and Students $6; Children 6 - 12 $4. Members and children under 5 are free. Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is located at 45 Macculloch Avenue, Morristown, NJ. For more information, call 973-538-2404 ext. 15 or visit www.maccullochhall.org.

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

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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Sundays through January 25, 2015 - Cranbury, Middlesex 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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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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