Exploring the History of New Jersey and Beyond!

Architecture, National Park Sites, Local Sites, and More!

Where to?

Somerset County, Morris County... even Cape May County!

No Place is too Small...

What may seem minute and insignificant is what makes history!

Redcoats!

Not only do I like to write about history - I love covering events too!

Spread the History!

Help bring awareness to the historic sites in your area.

From historic figures to historic places...

I want to teach America just how significant New Jersey is!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House Receive County Support to Save Historic Barn

The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House Receive County Support to Save Historic Barn

A decaying, but architecturally significant, early 19th century Dutch barn from Branchburg, NJ will soon become the centerpiece of a planned farmstead surrounding Bedminster’s historic Jacobus Vanderveer House. In June, The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House were awarded a $94,190 Historic Preservation Grant from the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders for the acquisition and relocation of the 33’ x 51’ barn from a private property on Old York Road to the grounds of the Jacobus Vanderveer House.

The existing framing is primarily oak and poplar.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Volunteers Needed for Lambert Castle Holiday Boutique

Volunteers Needed for Lambert Castle Holiday Boutique
Respond by September 7, 2016

The Passaic County Historical Society is currently seeking volunteers to assist with this year’s Lambert Castle Holiday Boutique, which is installed the week of October 10th and operates the entire month of November. Like many non-profit organizations, the Society’s efforts to preserve local history are fueled by a group of dedicated volunteers. Volunteers are needed to assist in all aspects of the show, including set-up and breakdown. Tasks include selling tickets, wrapping purchases, and heavy lifting. PCHS also happily partners with volunteer groups, such as Scouts, and service clubs.

Photo courtesy of the Passaic County Historical Society

Thursday, August 25, 2016

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 8/27/16 - 8/28/16

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


Saturday, August 27 - Morristown, Morris County
Discovering Morristown's Revolutionary Past

Meet by The Alliance statue group, which depicts Washington, Lafayette, and Hamilton on the Morristown Green for this ranger led hike. The hike ends at Washington's Headquarters Museum and the Ford Mansion at Morristown National Historical Park. Hike participants are encouraged to then visit the  museum or take a guided tour of the Ford Mansion.

This guided hike will weave together the stories of the Continental Army's winter encampments of 1777 and 1779-80 in and around Morristown. Stops will include the Presbyterian Cemetery, the Schuyler-Hamilton House, and the Ford Mansion. This is a great way to discover how historic sites hidden in plain sight all connect to a common story of Morristown's significance during the Revolutionary War. 

Meet at the Alliance Statue Group on the Morristown Green. The tour will start at 10:00 am and end at 11:30. This program is FREE and admission to the the Ford Mansion and Washington Headquater's Museum is FREE in honor of the National Park Service's 100th birthday. The Washington's Headquarters Museum/Ford Mansion is located at 30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ. For more information, call 973-539-2016 x210 or visit www.nps.gov/morr.

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Saturday, August 27 - Byram Township, Sussex County
Waterloo Canal Heritage Day
Children Friendly Event

Come visit Waterloo Village between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm for a day in this historic Morris Canal town. Enjoy boat rides on the Morris Canal, Smith's Store - a furnished canal-era store with hands-on activities, blacksmithing, see the operating gristmill, seamstress shop, carpenter's shop, take guided tours of 1859 Methodist Church, the Canal Museum - with exhibits and videos, and guided walking tours of the village. Admission is free but there is a $5 per car parking fee. Waterloo Village is located at 525 Waterloo Road, Byram, NJ. For more information, call 973-292-2755 or visit www.canalsocietynj.org.

NJ Weekend Estate Sales: 8/26/16 - 8/28/16

NEW JERSEY WEEKEND ESTATE SALES
Click on each link for more information on the estate sale!
Find something neat at an estate sale? Let us know!
Hosting an estate sale? Send me an e-mail to be featured in our weekly post!
Be the first to know about these sales on Facebook!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Colonial Philadelphia's Powel House

Colonial Philadelphia's Powel House

A few weeks ago we ventured across the Delaware River to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to visit two beautifully restored historic homes maintained by the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks. Within walking distance of one another, each tells the story of upper class colonial Philadelphia but from a very different perspective. Dr. Philip Syng Physick's house tells of the medical innovations developed in Philadelphia while the Powel House, the subject of this week's article, tells the story of its political side prior to and after the American Revolution.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Rutgers-Camden Fall 2016 Historic Preservation Classes - Register Now

Rutgers-Camden Historic Preservation Classes - Register Now
Fall 2016 Registration Now Open!

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the National Historical Preservation Act. There is no better time to learn the processes and techniques of historic preservation. Now history enthusiasts and scholars, practitioners, and other interested members of the public can do just that using the living classroom of Camden, New Jersey and nearby Philadelphia, as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH) at Rutgers University–Camden launches its new Historic Preservation Continuing Education Program in September.

The non-degree, non-credit program is designed for anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the vocabulary and discipline of historic preservation. The program will offer an array of classes, as well as full- and half-day workshops. Experienced, working professionals will lead all of the classes and workshops, providing a realistic perspective on how the tangible remains of the past can be integrated within current environments.

Organization of the Week: The Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks

Every Monday, I highlight a non-profit related to history or the arts, a historical society, preservation group or friends group whose main objective is to promote the historical and artistic history of New Jersey and beyond.

This week, I am featuring the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks. This organization, founded in 1931 by Frances Anne Wister and others, maintains four properties in the Philadelphia area: Powel House, Physick House, and Grumblethorpe in Philadelphia and Historic Waynesborough in Paoli. Their mission is to "inspire people to engage with history by preserving our unique historic sites and by providing related historical, educational and cultural programming."

The Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks relies on donations and members to continue its mission. For more information on tours, events, and exhibits hosted by the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks or to volunteer, please visit www.philalandmarks.org.

If you are a member of a non-profit organization or know of one that you would like to see featured on this site, please let us know in the comments or send an e-mail to kelly@thehistorygirl.com.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 8/20/16 - 8/21/16

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


Saturday, August 20 - Wharton, Morris County
Wharton Canal Day Music & Craft Festival
Children Friendly Event

The Wharton Canal Day Music & Craft Festival is an old-time country fair that celebrates the Morris Canal and its contributions to the development of the communities along its banks. The festival is now in its 40th year. Come to a day of free family fun featuring unique craft and fine art items from 150 vendors. Learn about local history by taking a guided Morris Canal walking tour provided by the Canal Society of NJ and view the newly restored Lock 2 East of the Morris Canal. Visit a Civil War encampment or learn the art of blacksmithing. Experience life on the canal first-hand on a free boat or kayak ride. Take a hayride on the canal towpath or enjoy a free pony ride. The Wallaby Tales Traveling Zoo will delight children of all ages. View the high energy of Roller Derby competition or lay back and enjoy listening to 10 of New Jersey's best musical performers on two stages. The festival is held at Hugh Force Canal Park, 170 West Central Avenue, Wharton NJ from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, rain or shine. For more information, visit www.canalday.org.

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Saturday, August 20 - Ocean Grove, Monmouth County
Ocean Grove Postcard Show

The Historical Society of Ocean Grove invites you to its 25th Annual Ocean Grove Summer Postcards, Antiques, Collectibles, and Jersey Shore Memorabilia Show on Saturday at the Auditorium Pavilion and surrounding grounds directly across from the Great Auditorium. Show hours will be 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Admission is free.

This popular summer event is one of a number of annual fund-raising events to benefit and support the public programs and ongoing research projects of the very active Historical Society of Ocean Grove.

A variety of quality dealers will be set up to provide lots of buying opportunities for the beginning collector or the advanced collector. At this show there is always something for everyone at affordable prices. Postcard collecting is one of America's fastest growing hobbies and is, in fact, the third most popular of all hobbies trailing only stamps and coins. For more information, call 732-774-1869 or visit www.oceangrovehistory.org.

NJ Weekend Estate Sales: 8/19/16 - 8/21/16

NEW JERSEY WEEKEND ESTATE SALES
Click on each link for more information on the estate sale!
Find something neat at an estate sale? Let us know!
Hosting an estate sale? Send me an e-mail to be featured in our weekly post!
Be the first to know about these sales on Facebook!


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Exploring the History of High Bridge, NJ

Exploring the History of High Bridge, NJ
Written by William Honachefsky Jr.

The relatively small borough of High Bridge, located in the foothills of Hunterdon County, New Jersey, would, on its face, appear little different or unique from any other 30,000-plus municipalities nationwide. However, beneath the town's bucolic features lies a history that has helped shape the destiny of the United States—if not the world.

The saga began as early as 1664, when James, Duke of York conveyed the portion of the land that eventually became New Jersey to Sir George Carteret and Lord John Berkeley, friends and advisors to the king of England and the court of Charles II. Lord Berkeley eventually sold his half to Quakers Edward Byllynge and John Fenwick in 1674, hence dividing the territory into West Jersey and East Jersey.
Thomas Street Bridge over C.R.R., High Bridge, NJ.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

"High Bridge" August 2016 Book Giveaway

Thursday, August 11, 2016

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 8/13/16 - 8/14/16

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


Out of State, but Close Enough!
Friday, August 12 - Saturday, August 13 - Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania
50th Annual Goschenhoppen Folk Festival
Children Friendly Event

The Goschenhoppen Historians will be hosting their annual folk festival this Friday and Saturday. Learn about the Antes Plantation on Friday between 12:00 noon and 8:00 pm and Saturday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. Enjoy the authentic interpretation of the Pennsylvania German folk culture. Become a part of and learn the traditions, skills and trades of the Pennsylvania Germans. Eat some old fashioned Pennsylvania Dutch foods and listen to the folk music as well at this family oriented event! The Henry Antes Plantation is located at 318 Colonial Road, Perkiomenville, PA. For more information, visit http://goschenhoppenevents.com.

NJ Weekend Estate Sales: 8/12/16 - 8/14/16

NEW JERSEY WEEKEND ESTATE SALES
Click on each link for more information on the estate sale!
Find something neat at an estate sale? Let us know!
Hosting an estate sale? Send me an e-mail to be featured in our weekly post!
Be the first to know about these sales on Facebook!


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

"From Pavonia to the Garden State: New Jersey's Dutch Past" - September 22 - 24, 2016

"From Pavonia to the Garden State: New Jersey's Dutch Past"
Thursday, September 22 - Saturday, 24, 2016

The 39th Annual Conference of the New Netherland Institute will take place for the first time in the state of New Jersey. Located between the Hudson and Delaware Rivers, New Jersey has often been neglected in favor of more dramatic developments to the east and west. However, as the site of Pavonia, an early patroonship with major agricultural potential, and as the geographic connection between New Amsterdam and the Delaware River settlements, the Garden State’s seventeenth-century origins well deserve our attention.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Great Jefferson-Dickinson Debate at Peachfield - September 18, 2016

The Great Jefferson-Dickinson Debate at Peachfield
Sunday, September 18, 2016

On Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 2:00 pm, the National Society of the Colonial Dames in the State of New Jersey is sponsoring a reenactment of the debate between the two great statesmen, John Dickinson and Thomas Jefferson. They will debate whether America should declare their independence from Great Britain. They will present their arguments regarding independence as they did before the Congress in July, 1776. This debate will occur under the tent on the front lawn of the Colonial Farmstead, Peachfield, in Westampton, New Jersey.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Monmouth County Historical Association Art Exhibition Reception at Taylor-Butler House - August 17, 2016

Monmouth County Historical Association Art Exhibition Reception at Taylor-Butler House
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Monmouth County Historical Association will celebrate its newest exhibition Faces From Our Past: Portraits From the Permanent Collection on Wednesday, August 17 at Taylor-Butler House at 127 Kings Highway, Middletown, NJ. This is the first major exhibition at Taylor-Butler House since the Association acquired the home in 1999. Visitors can view the exhibition Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between 1:00 and 4:00 pm.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 8/6/16 - 8/7/16

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


Saturday, August 6 - Morristown, Morris County
Morristown National Historical Park’s Curator’s Tour

A rare opportunity for members of the public to explore the unique treasures of park's archival and rare book collection. This behind-the-ropes, curator-led tour of the library and archives is a once-a-year-only opportunity to experience the depth and breath of the Morristown collection. In partnership with the Morris County Tourism Bureau, this program will introduce those attending to the wide world of the Morristown NHP Collection.

Tour size is limited to 30. Cost: $20.00, which includes admission to the park for the day. Reservations are required. The Washington's Headquarters Museum is located at 30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ. For reservations, contact the Morris County Tourism Bureau at www.morristourism.org or 973-631-5151. For more information about Morristown National Historical Park, call 973-539-2016 x210 or visit www.nps.gov/morr.

NJ Weekend Estate Sales: 8/5/16 - 8/7/16

NEW JERSEY WEEKEND ESTATE SALES
Click on each link for more information on the estate sale!
Find something neat at an estate sale? Let us know!
Hosting an estate sale? Send me an e-mail to be featured in our weekly post!
Be the first to know about these sales on Facebook!


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Cape May Lighthouse Celebrates National Lighthouse Day - August 7, 2016

Cape May Lighthouse Celebrates National Lighthouse Day
Sunday, August 7, 2016

Celebrate the majestic beacons that are America's maritime treasures - lighthouses - during National Lighthouse Day on Sunday, August 7 and enjoy special family friendly activities at the Cape May Lighthouse from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

An aid to navigation since 1859 and one of the oldest continually operating lighthouses in the United States, the historic Cape May Lighthouse is hosting a day of family activities and a crafts show at the base of the lighthouse, sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). Hands-on, kid-friendly activities include pirate-hat making, sing-alongs and games. Meet the Cape May Lighthouse Keepers and browse among crafts vendors who are setting up shop on the grounds and selling one-of-a-kind handmade goods including jewelry, photography, original artwork, nautical and nature-themed merchandise.

A Tour of the Military Technology Museum of New Jersey

A Tour of the Military Technology Museum of New Jersey

Tucked away on the campus of historic Camp Evans in Wall Township, New Jersey is a military museum virtually unheard of to even the most well-informed museum enthusiasts. In a little less than a year, the Military Technology Museum of New Jersey has transformed a portion of a 1940s era government building into an inviting space full of rare military vehicles, weapons, and uniforms.

However, the collection began about 35 years ago by museum founder Dan Janquitto. He, his son, Luke, who is the museum curator, and a number of volunteers have refurbished the building, which was left in ruins by the Army when it was vacated in 1997, and filled it with interesting machinery, informative signs, and fantastic displays. They have privately amassed one of the largest and rarest collections of both static and operating military vehicles and equipment in the world.

The mission of the Military Technology Museum of New Jersey is to, "Educate school children and the general public, through both static and interactive displays depicting past military technological changes and inventions that affect our daily lives today." As I toured the building, I learned various tidbits of information, such as the wartime origins of M&Ms and words and phrases that we use in everyday life that originated on the battlefield.

Here's a very small sampling of the museum's large and varied collection:


Since the 1940s, Jeeps have been used by U.S. Army. The original Jeep was the prototype Bantam BRC. Willys MB Jeeps went into production in 1941, specifically for the military. The Jeep became the primary light 4-wheel-drive vehicle of the United States Army and the Allies during World War II, as well as the postwar period. The Military Technology Museum of New Jersey has a number of early Willys Jeeps and one of only two Chevrolet prototype jeeps in existence. On display in the museum is a 1943 Chevrolet Cel, serial number 2. The U.S. Army always wanted jeeps to weight less than 1,000 pounds. This was Chevrolet's prototype of a lightweight jeep, having a net weight of 1,062 pounds.


Another one-of-a-kind vehicle on display at the museum is the 1940 AquaCheetah Model XAC-1 amphibious automobile. The vehicle was conceived by Buffalo, New York entrepreneur Roger Hoffeins. He figured that the United States could not avoid World War II and looking at a map of Europe, noticed the large amounts of water and lakes. He conceived and built this amphibious vehicle out of a 1939 Ford Convertible. It was featured in newsreels and photos from the period, but never put into production. The vehicle was found in a backyard in Buffalo in 2012 and rescued. It is now proudly displayed and is being preserved in the condition it was found in.


Vehicles with a story are always more interesting. At the rear corner of the museum is the front half of a 1952 General Motors Cargo Truck. It was the first Army truck produced with an automatic transmission and was capable of fording deep water. What's interesting about this truck is that it made it all the way to Broadway! At one point it was modified and the rear section of it was removed so it could be used as a prop on the revival of the Broadway production of South Pacific.


A  1940s Dodge VC-6 Carryall and other vehicles from the period.


Another rare and odd vehicle at the museum is 1942 Stoewer Kettenkrad Motorcycle. German soldiers were trained to ride motorcycles, therefore it made sense to design a vehicle that looked like one. Steering the Kettenkrad was accomplished by turning the handlebars. First designed and patented in June 1939, it was first used in the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. The vehicle was also used in the North African theater and on the Western Front. In total, 8,411 were produced but very few exist today and this is the only known Stoewer in the United States.


The museum shows the full evolution of the Jeep from a military vehicle to farm vehicle, and eventually a sports vehicle. On display are two sporty Jeeps, one of which is the 1965 Kaiser-Willys model CJ5, "Tuxedo Park" Mark IV. From 1964-1969. 7.400 of these Jeeps were produced. Prior to this model, most Jeeps for civilians were considered farm vehicles. This Jeep featured hubcaps, chrome accessories, a spare tire cover, an overhead interior light, and radio among other upgrades. This introduction of this vehicle signaled the emergence of the modern SUV market.

The museum is part of the Information Age Science History Museum and Learning Center (InfoAge), which is a sprawling campus of non-profit groups and individuals dedicated to science, technology, history, and the military. In addition to the Military Technology Museum of New Jersey, the site is also home to the Atlantic Surfing Museum, the MARCH Vintage Computer Museum, the Garden State Central Model Railroad Club, the Institute for Exploratory Research (IXR), National Broadcasters Hall of Fame, New Jersey Shipwreck Museum, Ocean Monmouth Amateur Radio Club, and Radio Technology Museum. There is also a World War II miniatures room, fallout shelter and exhibit, and rooms with different radar and radio equipment in the original 1914 Marconi hotel building. Over the past ten years, volunteers have donated thousands of hours to restore this site (although the work done only scratches the surface) and maintain each museum for future generations to enjoy.


Additional photos of my trip to The Military Technology Museum of New Jersey on Pinterest


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Monday, August 1, 2016

Organization of the Week: Military Technology Museum of New Jersey

Every Monday, I highlight a non-profit related to history or the arts, a historical society, preservation group or friends group whose main objective is to promote the historical and artistic history of New Jersey and beyond.

This week, I am featuring the volunteers of the Military Technology Museum of New Jersey. The museum is located at historic Camp Evans in Wall Township, New Jersey and has only been open to the public for about a year. But over the past 35 years, members have privately amassed one of the largest and rarest collections of both static and operating military vehicles and equipment in the world, which is now on display! The mission of the Military Technology Museum of New Jersey is to, "Educate school children and the general public, through both static and interactive displays depicting past military technological changes and inventions that affect our daily lives today."

The Military Technology Museum of New Jersey relies on donations and volunteers to continue its mission. For more information on events and exhibits hosted by the Military Technology Museum of New Jersey or to volunteer, please visit http://militarytechnj.wix.com/main or their Facebook page.

If you are a member of a non-profit organization or know of one that you would like to see featured on this site, please let us know in the comments or send an e-mail to kelly@thehistorygirl.com.