Friday, January 22, 2016

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings - 1/23/16 - 1/24/16

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


Saturday, January 23 - July 9, 2016 - Freehold, Monmouth County
19th Century New Jersey Chairmaking Exhibit Opening Reception
POSTPONED TO March 5, 2016 DUE TO SNOW


Monmouth County Historical Association newest exhibition Of the Best Materials and Good Workmanship: 19th Century New Jersey Chairmaking officially opens on Saturday, January 23 at the Museum at 70 Court Street. The exhibition will remain open through July 9, 2016.

The reception and formal opening of the exhibition will be held on Saturday, January, 23 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. Curator of Museum Collections Joseph W. Hammond will be available to point out highlights of the displays, explain the various woods used in chairmaking, and trace the interest of the craft in 18th  and 19th century America. The reception is open to the public and refreshments will be served. Hammond was the guest curator of a similar exhibition at the Morven Museum in Princeton, and is the curator for this exhibition, the last time it will be on display in its entirety.

This exhibition explores the diversity of products made by chairmakers in New Jersey from the late 18th century through 1900 and explores four different galleries: the craft of chairmaking, Windsor chairs, common chairs, and factory made chairs. It draws from chairmakers from throughout the Garden State, including a large collection of chairmaking tools, equipment, benches, patterns and stencils collected by William H. MacDonald of Trenton. MacDonald, who had one time worked in Freehold, donated the collection to the Association in the mid and late 20th century. The exhibition represents the first time the entire collection of tools, equipment and patterns have ever been displayed together.

Hammond explained that the name for the exhibition is taken from the language commonly used by New Jersey manufacturers in their newspaper advertisements promoting themselves against craftsmen from New York and Philadelphia.

Many of the items in the exhibition come from throughout the Garden State, from Bergen to Cumberland and Salem counties, and span the era from 1780 to 1900. Some of the items on display are on loan from several different historical societies as well as the Rutgers archives’ special collection and are representative of both local and regional chairmakers.

Of particular interest is one section devoted to the Ware family of Cumberland County, a family that represents a unique chapter in the history of American furniture production. Nineteen members of the family spanning four generations made traditional slat back, rush-seated chairs in the Delaware Valley tradition from the late 18th century to about 1940.

The gallery portraying factory made chairs includes perforated furniture made by Gardener and Company in 1872, a business in Glen Gardner, folding chairs popular on ocean liners dating back as far as 1868 and made by the Collignon Brothers in Closter, in Bergen County, using wood from the sawmill across the Hackensack River from the plant, and the Cooper Chair factory of Bergen, noted for its delicate chairmaking styles.

The Gallery devoted to Windsor chairs includes the earliest known marked Windsor chair, one made by Ezekiah Hughes in Salem County in the 1780s. The exhibition at the Museum displays one of the largest collections of Windsor chairs ever shown.

Monmouth County Historical Association is a private non-profit organization that has been working to preserve history and provide educational opportunities since its founding in 1898. The Historical Association’s Museum and Library is located at 70 Court Street in Freehold, NJ. Museum hours are: Tuesdays - Saturdays 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. The Library is open Wednesdays through Saturdays. For more information about the Association, call 732-462-1466 or visit www.monmouthhistory.org.

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Sunday, January 24 - Princeton, Mercer County
Virtual Historic Princeton Walking Tour

Take a slide show tour of downtown Princeton and the University campus, presented by one of HSP's walking tour guides. Participants can enjoy refreshments while learning about the early history of Princeton, the founding of the University, and the American Revolution. Included with $4 museum admission to the Updike Farmstead. Regular walking tours resume March 6.

Updike Farmstead is located at 354 Quaker Road, Princeton, NJ. The virtual tour begins at 2:00 pm and ends at 3:00 pm. For more information, call 609-921-6748 or visit www.princetonhistory.org.

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Sunday, January 24 - Montclair, Essex County
Historic House Tour: Crane House/YWCA
Family Friendly

Step back through over 200 years of American history at Montclair's historic properties at 108 Orange Road. Visit the reinterpreted Crane House to reflect the YWCA period from 1920 - 1965, check out the farm, and meet the chickens. The site is open from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Free-will donation. Free admission for members! 

For more information, call 973-744-1796, e-mail mail@montclairhistorical.org, or visit www.montclairhistorical.org.

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Sunday, January 24 - Moorestown, Burlington County
Alice Paul's 131st Birthday Celebration
POSTPONED to February 21, 2016 DUE TO SNOW

On Sunday, Alice Paul's birthday celebration will be held from 2:00 - 4:00 pm at the Moorestown Community House, 16 East Main Street, Moorestown NJ featuring a performance of Hear My Voice.

Hear My Voice is a multimedia dramatic performance set in the city of Washington in 1913. Young Jessie is swept up in Alice Paul’s thrilling campaign for the vote, but her father’s objections and then family tragedy may keep her from realizing her dreams.

There will also be a birthday cake and light refreshments. Admission is $10 per person. Please register by Friday, January 23. For more information, contact the Alice Paul Institute at 856-231-1185, e-mail events@alicepaul.org, or visit www.alicepaul.org.

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Sunday, January 24 - River Edge, Bergen County
Brigit’s Day and Candlemas
Children Friendly
CANCELLED DUE TO IMPENDING SNOWSTORM

On Sunday, the Bergen County Historical Society celebrates Brigit’s Day and Candlemas at Historic New Bridge Landing. Welcome the lengthening days and learn more about the back-to-back mid-winter feasts.

1:30 pm: Historian Kevin Wright will give an illustrated talk on “18th Country Taverns, a practical guide to Early American Hospitality” at the Zabriskie-Steuben House.


3:00 pm: Ardis Cavin will give 45-minute performance on Celtic harp with story and song in the Steuben House.


There will be a demonstration of the 18th century craft of candle-making using authentic materials including lard in the Outkitchen.


Brigit’s Day and Candlemas come midway between the winter solstice and spring equinox, when snowdrops, the first flower of spring, make their appearance, signaling nature’s awakening from winter’s sleep. Candlemas is named for the blessing of candles, used to protect homes and for procession through farm field and orchard. As evidenced by Groundhog’s Day, weather prognostication was commonly practiced in anticipation of spring sowing. Good weather at Candlemas is taken to indicate severe winter weather later. Hence, the saying, “If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year. Another old English proverb proclaimed, “If Candlemas be fair and bright, winter has another flight. If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, winter will not come again.” Rush crosses, woven for Brigid’s Day, were believed to protect house and livestock from adversity.



Some of the Society’s treasure of Revolutionary War artifacts will be on display. All three Jersey-Dutch Houses will be open. Admission: $10 adult, $7 children, BCHS members free. Historic New Bridge Landing is located at 1201-1209 Main Street, River Edge, NJ. For more information, call 201-343-9492 or visit www.bergencountyhistory.org.

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Sunday, January 24 - Maplewood, Essex County
A Taste of History: Cooking at the Open Hearth
Children Friendly
POSTPONED TO March 5, 2016 DUE TO SNOW

Each year, visitors look forward to gathering around Durand-Hedden’s 18th century open hearth and experiencing how Maplewood residents of long ago cooked, ate, and kept warm during these long winter months. This year, Durand-Hedden is pleased to welcome a new cook to its kitchen on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. 

Deborah Peterson has demonstrated 18th century open-hearth cooking at a multitude of historic sites and reenactments, and she looks forward to working at our fire. Away from the hearth, Deborah enjoys researching the material culture, economics, and social aspects of people of the 18th century, primarily those of English descent in Southeastern Pennsylvania.


On the menu this year will be Manchet bread and a chocolate tart baked in the beehive oven, as well as a boiled pudding and savory sausages cooked over the fire. Watch how it’s done, breath in the wonderful aromas in our historic house, and sample a few centuries-old treats. Children can try their hands at old-fashioned cooking chores like kneading dough, churning butter, and spinning.


An Annual Tribute

Durand-Hedden’s mid-winter open-hearth cooking demonstration has become an annual tradition to honor late longtime trustee, Irene Kosinski. Irene, a gifted educator and lover of living history, oversaw the restoration of Durand-Hedden’s beehive oven in 1981. She went on to establish our perpetually popular open-hearth cooking program, which for thirty years has drawn visitors ‘hungry’ for history. Join us on Sunday and see why many visitors return for this wonderful tradition year after year.

The Durand-Hedden House is dedicated to telling the history of the development of Maplewood and the surrounding area in new and engaging ways. It is located in Grasmere Park at 523 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood, NJ. For more information, call 973-763-7712 or visit www.durandhedden.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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