Friday, December 25, 2015

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings - 12/26/15 - 12/27/15

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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Saturday, December 26 - 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 26 Cape May, Cape May County
Lamplighter Christmas Tour
Children Friendly

Relive the memories of Christmas past on this self-guided evening tour of a selection of Cape May's finest Bed and Breakfast inns and private homes, specially decorated for the holidays, with a unique theme at each location. Innkeepers will share a presentation at each location. The tour also includes a visit to the Carroll Gallery at the Emlen Physick Estate where you can see "An Old-fashioned Christmas" exhibit, receive your souvenir gift, and enjoy warm beverages and holiday treats. Adults $20 and children (3-12) $15. 7:00 - 9:00 pm. 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 26 - Trenton, Mercer County
Saturday's Patriots Week Events
Children Friendly


In 1776, the tide turning Battles of the American Revolution were waged on the streets and in the fields of downtown Trenton. Join the salute to Trenton’s past, commemorate the passion of the patriots who fought for American Independence, and honor the spirit of revolution and patriotism that flourishes today. Concerts, tours, performances, presentations, exhibits, hands-on activities, and book signings bring Colonial history into the modern age and draw a dynamic mix of families, history buffs, reenactors and culture seekers to New Jersey’s Capital.

Patriots’ Week is produced by the Trenton Downtown Association, in partnership with the Old Barracks Museum, which has been staging the Battle of Trenton Reenactments for more than 20 years. A collaboration of both city and state cultural and history organizations, Patriots’ Week programming reflects the quality of the Capital’s resources and provides a public showcase and interactive opportunities to experience its many treasures. For information and additional details for all events, visit www.destinationtrenton.com.

Patriots Week Planetarium Shows - 12:00 noon, 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 pm
New Jersey State Museum Planetarium, 205 West State Street
Celebrate Patriot's Week with a visit to the New Jersey State Museum's state-of-the-art Planetarium. Our shows will include a live demonstration of the sky set to December 25, 1776. Learn about the constellations and planets that occupied the sky on the stormy evening when George Washington crossed the Delaware! Planetarium Admission: $7 adult; $5 child (twelve and under).

Lecture: "It's All About the Cannon" - 1:00 pm
The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie, 299 Parkside Avenue

A table-top presentation by David and Nick Bosted shows how American and Hessian infantry and artillery maneuvered in the town during the First Battle of Trenton.

Colonial Ball - 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Historic Masonic Temple, 100 Barrack Street

Enjoy an evening of 18th-century merriment! Learn the dances of our Founding Fathers while listening to live music and mingling with the soldiers of the Battles of Trenton. $17.76 advanced tickets; $20 at the door. Free for registered participants in the Battle of Trenton Reenactments. For tickets: www.barracks.org.

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Sunday December 27 - Trenton, Mercer County
Sunday's Patriots Week Events
Children Friendly


In 1776, the tide turning Battles of the American Revolution were waged on the streets and in the fields of downtown Trenton. Join the salute to Trenton’s past, commemorate the passion of the patriots who fought for American Independence, and honor the spirit of revolution and patriotism that flourishes today. Concerts, tours, performances, presentations, exhibits, hands-on activities, and book signings bring Colonial history into the modern age and draw a dynamic mix of families, history buffs, reenactors and culture seekers to New Jersey’s Capital.

Patriots’ Week is produced by the Trenton Downtown Association, in partnership with the Old Barracks Museum, which has been staging the Battle of Trenton Reenactments for more than 20 years. A collaboration of both city and state cultural and history organizations, Patriots’ Week programming reflects the quality of the Capital’s resources and provides a public showcase and interactive opportunities to experience its many treasures. For information and additional details for all events, visit www.destinationtrenton.com.

1st Battle of Trenton - 11:30 am
N. Warren St. Battle Monument Park to Mill Hill Park
After the crossing of the Delaware River and marching to Trenton, the American rebel forces-exhausted, dressed in rags, ill from the cold and lack of sleep and decent food had accomplished the impossible by inflicting a crippling blow to the world's greatest British army. Follow the action from the symbolic first cannon shot fired at the Battle Monument to Mill Hill Park. No admission fee.

The Trouble with Trenton Puppet Show - 12:30 and 2:00 pm
Warren Street Plaza, Trenton, North Warren and West Hanover Streets
A "mini" historical look at an amazing piece of our history presented with marionettes & rod puppets - and lots of help from the audience! Watch the battle unfold before your eyes, and see the action as it has never been seen before. Show includes live music, large puppets and props, and plenty of "revolting" action. No admission fee.

Hogmanay Celebration - 1:00 pm
Trent House, 15 Market Street
What is Hogmanay? Hogmanay is a celebration of the new year in Scotland, celebrated at the Trent House because of William Trent's Scottish heritage. Traditionally, friends and neighbors cross the threshold and receive food and drink, and good luck, too. At the Trent House, guests may participate in carol singing, led by a special ensemble of the Trenton Capital Singers. Also featured will be Patty Downey on the bagpipes. Complimentary hot mulled cider and cookies. No reservations required, donations accepted.

Walking tour of Revolutionary Trenton, 1776 - 2:00 pm
Starts at St. Michael's Church, 140 N. Warren Street
Ends at the Meeting House
A 30-minute guided historical walking tour of original Trenton streets, (King, Queen, Second, and Third) introducing the people who lived and worked here at the time of the Revolution. No admission fee.

2nd Battle of Trenton - 3:00 pm
East State Street to North Warren Street to Mill Hill Park
After a commemorative ceremony at First Presbyterian Church (at 120 East State street), the action commences at 3:00 pm at East State Street and heads to Mill Hill Park for the second Battle, which pits the American forces against General Cornwallis and his numerous attempts to take the Assunpink Creek Bridge. After slipping away, Washington’s troops were able to head north to Princeton, sealing the fate of the 10 Crucial Days. No admission fee.

Capital Singers of Trenton in Concert - 4:00 pm 
Old Barracks Museum, 101 Barrack Street
Come hear a 40-minute program of choral songs featuring some 50 singers and some historical narrations between music sets. The capital singers was organized in 2006 as a semi-professional mixed chorus. Their artistic Director and conductor is Trentonian Richard Loatman. No admission fee.

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Sunday, December 27 - Trenton, Mercer County
Hogmanay at the Trent House
Children Friendly

Celebrate Hogmanay during Patriots Week at the Trent House Museum on Sunday beginning at 1:00 pm. What is Hogmanay? Hogmanay is a celebration of the new year in Scotland, celebrated at the Trent House because of William Trent's Scottish heritage. Traditionally, friends and neighbors cross the threshold and receive food and drink, and good luck, too. At the Trent House, guests will hear a special program of winter and Scottish music performed Mostly Motets, a talented vocal ensemble group from the Trenton/Princeton/Yardley area who specialize in a cappella secular and sacred music from the 1200s to the present day. Patty Downey on the bagpipes will also be featured. Helping to host will be Trenton Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson. Complimentary refreshments. No reservations required - donations accepted.

Ample free parking. The Trent House Museum is located at 15 Market Street in Trenton, NJ adjacent to the Hughes Justice Complex. For more information, call 609-989-0087 or visit www.williamtrenthouse.org.

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Sunday, December 27 - Barnegat, Ocean County
The Affair at Cedar Bridge

Watch the annual reenactment of the Affair at Cedar Bridge in Barnegat, NJ on Sunday afternoon, beginning at 2:00 pm. Join dignitaries, members of the public, and fellow history buffs for the celebration and 1782 reenactment of the last documented land engagement of the Revolutionary War.  This event is free. Festivities take place at the Cedar Bridge Tavern, 200 Old Halfway Road, Barnegat, NJ. For more information, contact the Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen's Museum at 609-296-8868 or visit www.tuckertonseaport.org.

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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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