Friday, January 1, 2016

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings - 1/2/16 - 1/3/16

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, January 2 Cape May, Cape May County
Physick Family Christmas House Tours
Children Friendly

Take a guided, daytime, living history tour of the magnificent 1879 Physick Estate, Cape May's only Victorian house museum, decorated in authentic Victorian style for Christmas, presented through the eyes of a member of the Physick family in the early 1900s. The tour also includes a visit to the Carroll Gallery at the Emlen Physick Estate where you can see "An Old-fashioned Christmas" exhibit. Adults $12, children (3-12) $8. Tours on Saturday are at 11:45 am, 1:00 pm, and 2:15 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, January 2 Cape May, Cape May County
Combination Trolley/Physick Family Christmas House Tours
Children Friendly

Enjoy a guided trolley tour of Cape May' Historic District, followed by a guided tour of Cape May's only Victorian house museum, the Emlen Physick Estate, decorated in true Victorian style for Christmas, presented through the eyes of a member of the Physick family in the early 1900s. Tours on Saturday are at 11:00 am, 12:15 pm, and 1:30 pm. $22 for adults, $14 for children (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, January 2 Cape May, Cape May County
Evening Physick Estate Tour
Children Friendly

Take a 30-minute guided tour of Cape May's 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, decorated in authentic style for a Victorian Christmas. See how the Physick family would have entertained for the holidays. Afterwards, visit the Carriage House for holiday refreshments and a visit to "An Old-Fashioned Christmas" exhibit. Adults $12; children (3-12) $8. Tour on Saturday evening at 7:00 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, January 2 - Morristown, Morris County
Myth-Informed: Debunking Myths of 18th Century Life
Children Friendly

Over time guides at historic sites have told all sorts of interesting stories that turn out to be false. Unfortunately those are the stories that visitors love. Stories such as: people were shorter in the 18th century, H & L shaped hinges help ward off witches, and George Washington had wooden teeth. Join the park historian for a guided tour of the Ford Mansion and discover the truth behind many popular old myths.

The Ford Mansion and Washington's Headquarters Museum is located at 30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ. Cost: $7 per person 16 and older. For more information, call 973-539-2016 ext. 210 or visit www.nps.gov/morr.

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Saturday, January 2 - 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 $5 per person. Appropriate for ages 8 and up. Click here to purchase tickets online. Walk up ticket sales are cash only; guides cannot provide change. For more information, visit www.princetonhistory.org.

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Sunday, January 3 - 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 3 - Princeton, Mercer County
Real-time Tour of the Battle of Princeton
Children Friendly

On Sunday 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 239th 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 2016 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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Sunday, January 3 - 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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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 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 10, 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 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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