Friday, December 18, 2015

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings - 12/19/15 - 12/20/15

New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings
A Weekly Feature on www.thehistorygirl.com
Want to submit an event? Use our event submission form.


Every Friday - Sunday through January 10, 2016 - 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 $10.00 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 18 - 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 19 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Christmas Lantern Tours - SOLD OUT
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, December 19 - Cape May, Cape May County
Homespun Holiday Weekends Historic Cold Spring Village
Children Friendly


Stop by Historic Cold Spring Village this holiday season for holiday merriment and shopping! The Village paths come alive with the sounds and smells of wintertime at this free event. Select buildings will also be open where guests can enjoy hot beverages and treats served by historical interpreters in period clothing. Visitors can meet Father Christmas at the Dennisville Inn from 1:00 - 3:00 pm and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride throughout the festively decorated Village grounds for a small donation. Guests can also enjoy children's holiday crafts in the Welcome Center. This Saturday, you can decorate gingerbread cookies.

Holiday traditions continue each Saturday in December through the 19th. The Country Store will be open from 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm and stocked with unique holiday gift ideas including traditionally-processed wool, artisan crafts for the home, books, hand-knit caps, wooden toys and old fashioned candy.

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 19 Cape May, Cape May County
42nd Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour
Children Friendly

This self-guided walking tour, the main attraction of Cape May's festive holiday season, features homes, inns, hotels, and churches decorated for the holidays, plus caroling, strolling musicians and good old-fashioned cheer. Hospitality centers offer warm beverages and traditional treats. Includes admission to the Physick Estate and An Old-fashioned Christmas exhibit in the Carroll Gallery. Limited shuttle service. Tour is from 5:30 - 8:30 pm on Saturday. Adults $28, children $20 (ages 3-12). The Emlen Physick Estate is located at 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit www.capemaymac.org.

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Saturday, December 19 - Union Township, Union County
Gingerbread House Workshop
Children Friendly

Liberty Hall is hosting a gingerbread house workshop on Saturday. 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 - Sunday, December 19 - 20 - River Edge, Bergen County
32nd Annual Colonial Christmas Concerts and Tavern Fare

The Bergen County Historical Society celebrates their 32nd 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, ploughman plate, fruit pie, hot mulled cider, and more. Additional cost. The tavern will be open before and after the concerts - seating is limited.

Tickets for the concert are $32 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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Saturday-Sunday, December 19 - 20 - 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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Sunday, December 20 - 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. Tours start outside the Bainbridge House, 158 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ. 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, December 20 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
Christmas Pudding
Children Friendly

Steamed puddings are a delicious dessert. Learn the how and why of this traditional alternative to a baked cake. See period recipes and taste a bit of holiday history at Walnford on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. 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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Sunday, December 20 - West Orange, Essex County
Harry's Magical Invention Bag
Children Friendly


Learn about invention and the important role Edison played in taking invention from a cottage/hobby activity to a full commercial activity - practiced by all major corporations. Hear Harry Roman, a Thomas Edison National Historical Park volunteer, retired engineer, as well as inventor and patent holder, as he discusses the major role NJ plays in the national invention scene-and all the great inventions NJ inventors have brought into our world.

The program runs from 1:00 - 2:00 pm and 3:00 - 4:00 pm and is included with regular admission. Tickets must be purchased at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park Laboratory Complex Visitor Center at 211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ. Admission is $10.00, and includes the Glenmont Estate and the Laboratory Complex. Children under age 16 are free. For more information, call 973-736-0550 x11 or visit www.nps.gov/edis.

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Sunday, December 20 - 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: $25.00 per child, $30.00 per adult.  Reservations are required. Call 908-527-0400 (Recommended for ages 7 to 12). Liberty Hall is located 1003 Morris Avenue, Union, NJ. For more information, call 908-527-0400 or visit www.kean.edu/libertyhall.

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Sunday, December 20 - Montclair, Essex County
Holiday House Tours
Children Friendly

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 1965; stop 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. 

Tours at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 pm. Free-will donation. For more information, call 973-744-1796 or visit www.montclairhistorical.org.

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Sunday, December 20 - Pennsville, Salem County
Annual Christmas Open House
Children Friendly

The Pennsville Township Historical Society will hold its Annual Christmas Open House on Sunday, December 21 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, at the Church Landing Farm House Museum in Pennsville.

The 1850 Farm House will be beautifully decorated, inside and out, with Victorian Christmas trimmings and decorated trees. Each Sunday from 2:00 - 3:00 pm, join us in the parlor to hear one of our organists play traditional Christmas songs on our vintage pump organ which was restored by Lyle Hyland. Be sure to visit with Pauline Webb to see her demonstration and display of unique handcrafts.

Visit the second floor to see our Junior Historians reenacting a Christmas Tea Party reminiscent of the early 1900's, and our rendition of Santka Lucia with her crown of candles. Aleasa Hogate will be present to portray a Swedish "time traveler" from the early 1600's. She will talk with visitors about the arrival of the Swedes and Finns in Lower Penn's Neck as well as the Swedish tradition and the legend of Sankta Lucia.

Our Townsend Building Annex will also be open and feature displays of “Christy" Dickens Carolers, Victorian Christmas Postcards, and our collection of miniature carriages handcrafted by Tom Githens. While you're there, visit with Annette Devitt who will be demonstrating the use of a small spinning wheel, Marcia Walton who will be demonstrating weaving on our full-sized 1910 Finnish Loom. Tom Githens will be available to tell visitors about the miniature carriages and the Christmas model train set he'll be operating.

Visitors are welcome to linger in the relaxing atmosphere of a Victorian era Christmas and enjoy refreshments. 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 e-mail historyofpennsville@gmail.com.

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Through Wednesday, December 30, 2015 - 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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Saturdays and Sundays through January 3, 2016 - 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 museum decorators include: Arts Council of Princeton, Contemporary Garden Club of Princeton, Dogwood Garden Club of Princeton, Garden Club of Princeton, Jim Davidge, Keris Tree Farm & Christmas Shop, Labyrinth Books, McCarter Theatre Center, Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Princeton Public Library, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Stony Brook Garden Club, Vicki Trainer, and the West Trenton Garden Club.

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 $10, $8 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 December 31, 2015 - Ridgewood, Bergen County
"Hemlines" Exhibit

The Ridgewood Historical Society and the Schoolhouse Museum are pleased to announce their new exhibit, Hemlines, open through December 2015. This exhibit features women's hats, shoes, handbags, jewelry, furs, wedding attire, and fabulous dresses from 1900 to 1969. Hemlines will run through the end of July. The Schoolhouse Museum is open Thursdays and Saturdays from 1:00 - 3:00 pm and Sundays from 2:00 - 4:0 pm. Hemlines is a "must see" exhibit for anyone interested in fashion! The Schoolhouse Museum is located at 650 East Glen Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ. For more information, call 201-447-3242 or visit www.ridgewoodhistoricalsociety.org.

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Through December 31, 2015 - Morristown, Morris County
Morristown: 1865-2015: Identity, Tradition and Enterprise

Morristown once comprised territory stretching from Mendham to Chatham until 1865 when, amidst the chaos of the Civil War, mysterious forces acted to separate it from Morris Township.

The Morristown & Morris Township Library invites you to explore an exhibit that details the lives of those who came to Morristown seeking wealth, redemption, conflict, or a new beginning. Utilizing rare and previously unseen archival materials, visitors will witness the development of the Green as the center of commerce, public affairs, and leisure, and how nearby houses of worship focused residents' spiritual and social lives.

Long a center of commerce and trade, early settlers struggled with the limitations of dirt roads until residents developed interstate canals, rail and trolley lines, and sophisticated highway systems. Changes in criminal behavior and law enforcement will be explored, as well as efforts to educate productive upstanding citizens through forward-thinking private and public schools.

In addition to the generations of innovators and immigrants who built Morristown's many businesses and infrastructure, we will take a look at those who celebrated cultural and religious events, grieved over shared disaster and commemorated war dead, and fought to make Morristown a place where everyone could gather in peace.

The exhibit will be on display through December 31 and is sponsored by a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission and by funding from the Friends of the Library. The Morristown and Morris Township Library is located at 1 Miller Road, Morristown, NJ. For more information, call the Library’s North Jersey History & Genealogy Center at 973-538-3473 or visit www.jfpl.org/NJHistoryHome.cfm.

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Through December 31, 2015 - Ocean Township, Monmouth County
Ocean Township High School at 50

Early in September 1965, the doors of Ocean Township High School (OTHS) opened for the first time. It was a momentous day - the culmination of an impassioned campaign and a turning point for both Ocean Township and Asbury Park, the district that up to then had educated most of the township's teens.

Fifty years later, almost to the day, a mini-exhibit opened at the Eden Woolley House commemorating the milestone. "OTHS at 50," uses photographs, press clippings, and artifacts to demonstrate how the school's history mirrors five decades of social and political change.

The campaign for a high school:
Ocean Township's commitment to education is long standing. Between 1784 and 1960, it built at least nine schools. None was a high school.

Graduating eighth graders had a choice:
Asbury Park or Long Branch. Most chose Asbury. By 1962 Ocean students at Asbury High outnumbered city students 713 to 558. Ocean was booming and more than 1,000 high school-age students were projected by 1966. Asbury High, on split session since 1959, was already overcrowded. Something had to be done.

Asbury asked Ocean to sign a 20-year contract with the city as a condition for its undertaking a building expansion. Ocean refused. There was talk of regionalization, at first rejected and later revisited by the city. But it was too late. A full-blown campaign for an Ocean Township high school, spearheaded by the PTAs, was underway. On June 12, 1962, by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, the voters of Ocean approved a $2,969,000 bond to built their own school.

OTHS changes with the times:
Ocean High opened in 1965 without a senior class. Ocean seniors had returned to Asbury to graduate with their class. The next year, OTHS held its first graduation and published its first yearbook, The Sandpiper.

A look through almost a half century of yearbooks reveals more than changing hair styles and hemlines. Here's a sample:
* In the 1960s, Industrial Arts were just for boys, Home Economics, just for girls (who also have a "Homemaking Club").
* Title IX (prohibiting discrimination in federally funded programs) shaped the 1970s: for the first time girls had golf, tennis, and soccer teams; girls fixed cars, boys baked cakes.
* The technology revolution is evident. Keypunch machines of the 1970s give way to desktops in the late 1980s and electronics redefine the classroom in the new millennium.

Proof of the pudding:
In recent years, OTHS has made its share of "best high school" lists. Its own list of notable alums is impressive: Academy Award, Emmy, and Pulitzer Prize winners; distinguished educators, journalists, authors, and scientists; a fashion designer, a network news anchor, innovative entrepreneurs, and more.

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 January 6, 2016 - Woodbury, Gloucester County
Gloucester Abbey: Downton Style Fashions Exhibit

Gloucester Abbey: Downton Style Fashions is currently on display at the exhibit at the Gloucester County Historical Society Museum in Woodbury, New Jersey. The exhibit will conclude on January 6, 2016. This remarkable exhibit features ladies’ fashions from the society's collection from the time period covered by the popular PBS Masterpiece Theater series Downton Abbey. Over 100 vintage dresses/ensembles from the museum’s collection dating from 1910 through the 1930s are showcased, including period wedding gowns. Also on display are ladies accessories, including hats, shoes, purses, jewelry, and lingerie. Don’t miss this fantastic exhibit!

The Gloucester County Historical Society Museum hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, and the last Sunday of the month from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. Private tours may be booked for days/times other than our regular public hours. Adult admission $5; children 6-18 years $1; children under 6 free. The Gloucester County Historical Society Museum is located at 58 N. Broad Street, Woodbury, NJ 08096. For more information, call 856-848-8531 or visit www.rootsweb.com/~njgchs.

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Through March 4, 2016 - Toms River, Ocean County
All Aboard, Ocean County!

Don't miss the newest exhibition at the Ocean County Historical Society, 26 Hadley Avenue, Toms River, NJ. "All Aboard! A Brief History of Ocean County Railroads and Stations" will be on display through March 4, 2016, 10:00 am - 3:30 pm, Tuesday through Friday and the first Saturday of each month, 1:00 - 4:00 pm.

Learn about the golden years from the 1880s to the 1920s, when six railroads were established and thrived, dotting Ocean County towns with stations, turntables, wyes, and roundhouses. View replicas of trains of the Central RR of NJ, Pennsylvania RR, The Blue Comet, the Tuckerton RR, and the Doodle Bug Car on the New Egypt line. Authentic artifacts and historic photographs of stations that were centers for community activities, as well as transportation of passengers and freight, make this exhibit a must-see! For more information, visit www.oceancountyhistory.org.

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Through June 26, 2016 - Piscataway, Middlesex County
The Icons of American Culture: History of New Jersey Diners Exhibit
Children Friendly

When was the last time you ate at a diner? If you are like millions of New Jerseyans, the answer is not too long ago. Dubbed “the land of diners,” New Jersey has forged a unique relationship with these casual eateries. Stainless steel, neon, and menus that go on for days are part of the Garden State landscape. Come explore their rich history with us! This seven-room exhibit tells the story of some of the of the Garden State’s most iconic eateries. This exhibit runs from April 12, 2015 - June 26, 2016 and is free of charge.

The exhibit is open Tuesday – Friday from 1:00 – 4:00 pm and Sundays from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Closed Mondays, Saturdays, and Holidays. The Cornelius Low House Museum is located at 1225 River Road, Piscataway, NJ. For more information, call 732-745-4177 or visit www.co.middlesex.nj.us.

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

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