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.

The Jacobus Vanderveer House welcomes school groups and scout troops at its Bedminster location throughout the year, explained Mrs. Ray, but for some school districts, bussing costs and scheduling are an issue. The grant will help defray some of those costs as well as allow the Friends to take educational programs on the road and directly into elementary, middle school and high school classrooms.

In addition to having re-enactors give first-person presentations about historic figures, the Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House plan to offer materials culture presentations in local schools. The presentations would complement students’ traditional classroom learning with the hands-on practice of using artifacts and manmade objects to interpret and understand history.

Teachers and administrators interested in learning more about educational programming offered by the Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum, should contact Hillary Murtha, Ph.D., Program Coordinator, at 908-396-6053 or email hmurtha@jvanderveerhouse.org.


About The Jacobus Vanderveer House                                  
For more than two centuries, the Jacobus Vanderveer House, located in River Road Park, has been at the center of Bedminster Township’s rich and colorful history. It is situated on part of the 218 acres that make up River Road Park in Bedminster Township, Somerset County. 


Jacobus Vanderveer, Jr., son of Vanderveer, Sr., a wealthy Dutch miller, built a small Dutch frame-style farmhouse just west of the North Branch of the Raritan River on the northern outskirts of Pluckemin. In 1778, during the War of Independence, Vanderveer lent his home to General Henry Knox, who was to command a new artillery encampment and training academy being established by the Continental Army on a hillside above the village of Pluckemin. General Knox, along with his wife Lucy and family, occupied the house from the winter of 1778 through the summer of 1779.

The Vanderveer house is the only surviving building associated with the Pluckemin encampment, which is considered to be the first installation in America to train officers in engineering and artillery. General Knox established “The Academy” and subsequently created its successor, The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.  

The Jacobus Vanderveer House and property were purchased by Bedminster Township in 1989 with the help of Green Acres funding. The house was listed in 1995 on the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places. The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House is a nonprofit organization formed to restore and develop the historic site as an important educational and cultural resource. During the past decade, the Friends have restored the house, created historically accurate period room exhibitions, established historic collections, supported important research, and embarked on a program of education and interpretation to tell the stories of General Henry Knox, the Pluckemin military encampment and the community’s key role in the American Revolution.


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