Exploring the History of New Jersey and Beyond!

Architecture, National Park Sites, Local Sites, and More!

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, February 27, 2015

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 2/28/15 - 3/1/15

NJ 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, February 28 - Morristown, Morris County
Meet the Local Author: James Gigantino

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NJ Weekend Estate Sales: 2/27/15 - 3/1/15

NEW JERSEY 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, February 25, 2015

Dinner and a Lighthouse: Concord Point, Maryland

Dinner and a Lighthouse: Concord Point, Maryland

In July 2014, Mr. History Girl and I were driving back to New Jersey from our summer trip which included visits to Historic Jamestowne, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Mount Vernon, the Pope-Leighey House, and a few other sites. One last unexpected stop came mere hours before crossing the border back to New Jersey in Havre de Grace, Maryland. In what was just a normal stop at a diner for dinner turned into dinner and a lighthouse! Driving into town, Mr. History Girl saw signs for a lighthouse. He is a huge fan of lighthouses and since were were in the neighborhood, he said we might as well take the opportunity before us and at least stop by. So always up for visiting a new site, I agreed!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Donation to Federici Conservation Project - Passaic County Historical Society

Donation to Federici Conservation Project
Passaic County Historical Society

The Passaic County Historical Society is happy to announce that it is a step closer to achieving the goal of restoring its collection of original works by Paterson sculptor Gaetano Federici. At an assembly held at the Academy of Health Science (HARP) on February 11, 2015 Paterson art teacher Kathy Benevento made a donation to the project in the name of her (HARP) students. Benevento’s contribution will be used in conjunction with funds provided by the Passaic County Cultural and Heritage Council at Passaic County Community College (through a general operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State) to restore two small statuettes of Federici’s Nathan Barnert.

Teacher Kathy Benevento (right), with curator Heather Garside  (center) and one of Benevento's students, Mahmoud Hammad. Photograph courtesy of the Passaic County Historical Society.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Organization of the Week: The Friends of Concord Point Lighthouse

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 Friends of Concord Point Lighthouse. Founded in 1979, the organization dedicated itself to the preservation and promotion of the historic Concord Point Lighthouse and Keeper's Dwelling in Havre de Grace, Maryland. The lighthouse had been decommissioned in 1977 and given to the city of Havre de Grace. It fell into disrepair and was subject to vandalism and theft prior to the organization taking over. Since 1979, the Friends have worked to restore and maintain the lighthouse, the surrounding grounds, and the two-story keeper's dwelling across the street. The restored keeper's dwelling houses exhibits and meeting/office space for the organization which opens the lighthouse seasonally from April through October.

The Friends of Concord Point Lighthouse rely on memberships, fundraising, and countless volunteers to continue its mission. For more information on programs and special events hosted by the Friends of Concord Point Lighthouse or to become a member or volunteer, please call 410-939-3213 or visit www.concordpointlighthouse.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, February 20, 2015

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 2/21/15 - 2/22/15

NJ WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an e-mail to let us know!
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Saturday, February 21 - Erma (Lower Township), Cape May County
Forgotten Warriors Vietnam Museum
Children Friendly

Join the Friends of the World War II Lookout Tower on Saturday at 12:00 noon for a guided tour of the Forgotten Warriors Vietnam Museum on Forrestal Road at the Cape May Airport, Erma (Lower Township), NJ.

Museum staff will give a tour of the museum, weather permitting. Rain/snow date is Saturday, February 28. Parking is available at the airport and admission is free. Adults are asked to bring a young person with them so the group can advance one of its primary goals, which is developing in the younger generation an understanding and appreciation of not only Cape May's important role in World War II, but of the traits of patriotism, loyalty, and self-sacrifice so characteristic of the people of these war years.

The World War II Lookout Tower (Fire Control Tower No. 23), located on Sunset Boulevard, was used for spotting enemy ships during World War II and aiming guns for nearby coastal artillery fortifications. MAC restored the tower in 2008-09 and opened it to the public in April, 2009. Family members can honor loved ones through memorial plaques mounted permanently at the site. An All Veterans Memorial was dedicated at the Tower on May 19, 2012 and is open throughout the year for quiet contemplation.

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

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Saturday, February 21 - Paterson, Passaic County
Images of America: Prospect Park

Thursday, February 19, 2015

NJ Weekend Estate Sales: 2/20/15 - 2/22/15

NEW JERSEY 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!

George and Martha Washington Return to Morristown - February 22, 2015

George and Martha Washington Return to Morristown
Sunday, February 22, 2015



America's founding couple, George and Martha Washington, will return to Morristown, NJ, 235 years after they spent the hard winter of 1779-1780 at the Theodosia Ford mansion.

Re-enactors portraying George and Martha Washington will reminisce about that challenging time in American history during a presentation Sunday, February 22 from 3:00 - 4:00 pm at the Morristown National Historic Park Museum Auditorium, 30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ. The free program, hosted by the Morristown National Historic Park (NHP) in cooperation with the Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum in Bedminster, is funded by a grant from The Ann L. and George H. Clapp Charitable and Educational Trust.

"It is widely acknowledged that George Washington slept just about everywhere during the Revolution. Most people don't realize, however, that his wife, Martha, also spent many a night away from Mount Vernon with her husband at winter encampments," observed Jude Pfister, D. Litt., Chief of Cultural Resources, Morristown National Historic Park Museum. "That was, indeed, the case at the Morristown 1779-1780 encampment."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Birth and Death of a Ski Area: Craigmeur

The Birth and Death of a Ski Area: Craigmeur
Written by Elizabeth Holste

By the 1930s skiing was already becoming a popular sport in the United States. Major department stores like Bamberger’s, Gimbel’s, Sak’s and Wanamaker’s were even selling ski equipment. Some even gave ski lessons inside their stores on ski slides. In 1935, the first winter sports show was held inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Close Encounters with Birds of Prey - February 22, 2015

Close Encounters with Birds of Prey - Durand-Hedden House & Garden
February 22, 2015

Would you like to see a real, live golden eagle, a peregrine falcon or, perhaps, a saw-whet owl? If so, join Durand-Hedden House & Garden on Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 1:30 pm as Bill Streeter, director of the Delaware Valley Raptor Center of Milford, Pennsylvania, presents Close Encounters with Birds of Prey. You’ll view six live raptors and spend a magical hour gaining a greater knowledge and appreciation of the remarkable raptors of the northeast, a number of which visit the yards and open spaces right here in Maplewood.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Come Celebrate George Washington’s 283rd Birthday - February 22, 2015

Come Celebrate George Washington’s 283rd Birthday
February 22, 2015

Come celebrate George Washington’s 283rd birthday on Sunday, February 22, 2015 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm at Washington Crossing Historic Park in Pennsylvania. Admission is $1.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

"Skiing in New Jersey?" February 2015 Book Giveaway

Friday, February 13, 2015

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 2/14/15 - 2/15/15

NJ WEEKEND HISTORICAL HAPPENINGS
Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an e-mail to let us know!
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Saturday, February 14 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue...
Children Friendly

Thursday, February 12, 2015

NJ Weekend Estate Sales: 2/13/15 - 2/15/15

NEW JERSEY 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!
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Portrait of Captain Thomas Dowdeswell by Joseph Blackburn

Portrait of Captain Thomas Dowdeswell by Joseph Blackburn
an excerpt from Eyewitness Images from the American Revolution
Written by Arthur Lefkowitz
Michael Spingeld, Digital Graphics Editor


Editor's Note: This week, author and friend Arthur Lefkowitz has shared a chapter from his forthcoming book entitled Eyewitness Images from the American Revolution. The book is scheduled to be published in March 2016 by Savas Beatie. The book will examine Revolutionary War period artwork, artists, and their relevant context.


The British Army and its hired German auxiliaries (Hessians) gathered on Staten Island throughout the summer of 1776 in preparation for their campaign to seize New York City. Among the detachments poised to attack the city was the British Army’s newly established Brigade of Guards. Captain Thomas Dowdeswell was an officer in Brigade. Dowdeswell had his portrait painted when he returned to England wearing his uniform and carrying the weapons he used to fight the rebels.

Portrait of Captain Thomas Dowdeswell by Joseph Blackburn, 1777.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum Receives $10,000 Grant From Investors Bank Foundation

Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum Receives $10,000 Grant From Investors Bank Foundation

The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum have received a $10,000 grant from Investors Bank Foundation to support educational programming for children.

“This grant will enable us to reach a broader range of school children through educational programs held at the Jacobus Vanderveer House as well as in classrooms at area schools,” commented Robin Ray, President of the Board of Trustees of the Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum. “We’d like to build upon the success of our programs featuring re-enactors portraying historic figures such as George and Martha Washington, John Adams, and others who bring history to life.”

Investing in Education - Antonella Celli [left], Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager of Investors, Pluckemin, presents a check to trustees of the Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum, including [left to right] Nancy Schechter, of Warren; former  Board President Sean Blinn, of Bedminster; current Board President Robin Ray, of Bedminster; Craig Sutherland, of Bedminster; Nancy Weeks, of Summit; Joseph Oszust, of Lebanon; Bernard Payne, III, of Bedminster; and JVH Program Coordinator Hillary Murtha.

Father-Son Duo Release First Title in American Revolutionary War Adventures Series

Father-Son Duo Release First Title in American Rev. War Adventures Series
Children’s author Robert J. Skead writes with his father, Robert A. Skead

How father-son-duo Robert J. and Robert A. Skead’s Patriots, Redcoats and Spies came together was by a mix of chance and serendipity, or, as Robert J. Skead would say, “Looking back, all I can say is that it was meant to be that I write this story with my dad.”

Friday, February 6, 2015

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 2/7/15 - 2/8/15

NJ 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, February 7 - South Bound Brook, Somerset County
Tory Jack Day 2015

Thursday, February 5, 2015

New Jersey Weekend Estate Sales: 2/6/15 - 2/8/15

NEW JERSEY 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, February 4, 2015

Somerset County's Last One-Room Schoolhouse: South Branch

Somerset County's Last One-Room Schoolhouse: South Branch

Schoolhouses built prior to the twentieth century came in many shapes and sizes in New Jersey. Some were square, others rectangular, while some for a short period were octagonal. In 1848, Henry Barnard published School Architecture, which offered designs and ideas for model schoolhouses. If readers followed his advice, schools would be built with rectangular plans on raised foundations, the gable end would serve as the front, the longer side walls would feature multiple double-sash windows, and the classrooms would offer high ceilings. Up until shortly after the Civil War, their style and manner of construction mirrored churches and meetinghouses. Painted red and set back from the road featuring a belvidere, the South Branch Schoolhouse in Branchburg, New Jersey fits the description of what Barnard recommended, but with an architecturally vernacular twist.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Somerset County Five Generals Narrated Bus Tour: February 15, 2015

Somerset County Five Generals Narrated Bus Tour
Sunday, February 15, 2015

Discover five of the original Somerset County houses that served as general staff headquarters during the Revolutionary War. The historic houses are the Van Horne House in Bridgewater, the Van Veghten House in Finderne, the Abraham Staats House in South Bound Brook, the Jacobus Vanderveer House in Bedminster, and the Wallace House in Somerville.

Abraham Staat's House, South Bound Brook, NJ.