Thursday, February 2, 2017

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 2/4/17 - 2/5/17

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


Saturday, February 4 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Sugar Maple Tapping
Children Friendly Event


Sugaring season is upon us. Join Howell Living History Farm's crew working the 150-tree sugar bush operation. Enjoy the work, fun, and rewards of helping tap maple trees, hang sap buckets, and cut firewood for the use in syrup making.

The sugar maple is first choice for making maple syrup as there is more sugar in the sap compared to other species, meaning it will take less sap to produce a gallon of syrup. Those of you interested in making syrup at home can get pointers and hands-on experience during our tree tapping workshops. How to identify the sugar maple, and when to tap will be discussed. Taps and buckets needed for backyard sugaring operations will be available for sale in the farm's Visitors Center.

Farmers Jim and Bobby will demonstrate the tools and equipment used in both traditional and modern production systems in the sugarhouse where sap is made into syrup. Visitors to the sugarhouse can sample maple syrup and try their hand at making a homemade tap. A tree tapping workshop will be held at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Howell Living Farm represents typical farm life between 1890 and 1910. The farm is operated by the Mercer County Parks Commission. It is located at 70 Wooden's Lane, Lambertville, NJ. For more information. call 609-737-3299 or visit www.howellfarm.org.

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Saturday, February 4 - Harrison Township, Gloucester County
Annual Groundhog Day Dinner
Family Friendly

The Harrison Township Historical Society’s Annual Groundhog Day Dinner and Silent Auction is set for Saturday at 6:00 pm at Ewan Fire Hall, 312 Ewan Road, in the village of Ewan near Mullica Hill, NJ. This annual event features “Down Jersey” sausage, sausage gravy and biscuits, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, candied yams, fried apples, green beans, and a dessert buffet. Now in its eleventh year, the supper is a revival of a century-old Richwood tradition.

The first local groundhog day dinners took place in the early 1900s. Farmers belonging to the Richwood Men’s Bible Class made the sausage and prepared supper for the entire congregation of Richwood Methodist Church.

The event is a fun-filled evening for the entire family. In addition to the home-cooked menu, the program includes a popular silent auction and perhaps the only opportunity in South Jersey to sing Groundhog Day songs. Tickets for the event are $15 and available at the Amazing Grace Resource Center, 33 South Main Street, Mullica Hill, NJ (856-478-9800), or online. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Advance purchase is recommended since seating is limited.

All proceeds benefit the Society’s exhibitions and educational programs at the Society's Old Town Hall Museum, located at the intersection of South Main Street and Woodstown Road. For more information, visit www.harrisonhistorical.com.

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Saturday, February 4 - Plainfield, Union County
Local Colonial African-Americans' Contributions to America
Family Friendly Event



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Saturday - Sunday, February 4 - 5 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
Black and White and Read All Over
Children Friendly Event

Pull up a chair, sit back, and read all the news fit to print from 1820s-1860s. We’ll have some of the newspapers and magazines stored across generations in the attic at Historic Walnford, out for you to enjoy during this free program from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Ages 8 and up, with adult.

While there, visit the 19th century gristmill and the farm buildings set in a beautiful landscape. Walnford is located at 62 Walnford Road, 08501. For more information, call 609-259-6275 or visit www.monmouthcountyparks.com.

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Sunday, February 5 - Princeton, Mercer County
Historic Princeton Walking Tour
Children Friendly Tour

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 begin in front of the Bainbridge House, 158 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ. Tour begins at 2:00 pm and ends at 4:00 pm. Walk up ticket sales are cash only; guides cannot provide change. Space is limited. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-921-6748 or visit www.princetonhistory.org.

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Sunday, February 5 - Morris Township, Morris County
Winter on the Farm
Children Friendly

Enjoy a day of discovery as Fosterfields Living Historical Farm takes you back to the lives of farm families on a typical 1920s winter day! On Sunday from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm, you’ll be able to climb aboard the open-air, tractor-pulled wagon and meet the resident farm animals. Weather permitting, watch the farmers harvest blocks of ice from the pond using special ice-cutting tools. Then see Calvin and Hobbes, the Belgian draft horse team, haul the ice up to the ice house by horse-drawn sleds. Assist with farm chores, such as cracking corn, collecting eggs, churning butter, and sawing wood.

At the Farmhouse kitchen, discover what seasonal foods are being prepared on the antique wooden stove. Stop by the Visitor Center and marvel at the Transportation Exhibit. See Mr. Foster’s Rockaway carriage and Caroline Foster’s Model “T” Ford!


Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (65+), $6 for children ages 4 - 16, and $4 for children ages 2 and 3. FREE for children under age 2 and Friends members with a valid membership card. Fosterfields is located at 73 Kahdena Road, Morris Township, NJ 07960. For more information, call 973-326-7645 or visit www.morrisparks.net.

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Sunday, February 5 - Westampton, Burlington County
First Sunday at Peachfield - Mrs. Woodrow Wilson

Ellen Axson Wilson was a professionally trained artist, a volunteer Sunday school teacher of African-American children, and the first wife of President Woodrow Wilson. She was a progressive, free thinking woman who often broke with the tradition of polite society. Along with being a social activist and First Lady, Ellen was also a member of The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.

Historic Interpreter Alisa Dupuy portrays Mrs. Wilson and relates the life story of this most fascinating woman.

Program begins at 2:00 pm. Admission is $10 per person; Friends of Peachfield admitted free of charge. Prepaid reservations are required to guarantee seating. Peachfield is located at 180 Burrs Road, Westampton, NJ. For more information and to register, call 609-267-6996, e-mail colonialdamesnj@comcast.net, or visit www.colonialdamesnj.org.

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Sunday, February 5 - Eatontown, Monmouth County
February Open House and Vintage Valentine Craft
Children Friendly

On Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, join members of the Eatontown Historical Committee at the Eatontown Museum, 75 Broad Street, to create Valentines using vintage  designs dating from the early 1900s. Materials will be provided. Children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 732-542-4026.

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Sunday, February 5 - 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, held from 1:00 - 2:00 pm and 3:00 - 4:00 pm, 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, February 5 - 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. For more information, visit http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~njsrhps/museum.html.

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Through Sunday, February 5 - Morristown, Morris County
Fashion for the Far East: Collecting Chinoiserie at Macculloch Hall

Like many collectors at the time, W. Parsons Todd (1877 - 1976) delighted in objects made in China and Japan and those created in Europe inspired by Asian design during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This exhibition traces the popularity among early twentieth century collectors for decorative objects made in or inspired by the East through a selection of carpets and porcelain in the Museum's collection. Objects on display will include the fine antique carpets woven in China, the Rose Medallion china made in China for export to the West, a pair of monumental Satsuma Vases urns made in Japan, and a pair of monumental vases created in an Asian style in Dresden, Germany.

Admission is $8, Adults; $6, Seniors and Students; $4, Children 6-12; and free for Members and children under 5. Macullouch Hall is located at 45 MacCulloch Avenue, Morristown, NJ. For more information, call 973-538-2404 or visit www.maccullochhall.org.

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Through March 12, 2017- Trenton, Mercer County
Furniture as Art at Ellarslie, the Trenton City Museum

The Trenton City Museum hosts "Furniture as Art," four exhibits-in-one that highlight the items that bring comfort and beauty to our lives - furniture. How many of us take our daily surroundings for granted? This exhibit helps us to see the everyday with fresh eyes.

On the museum's second floor, Furniture from the Permanent Collection features furniture from the collection of the Trenton Museum Society - antique furniture made in and associated with Trenton. Many of these reminders of Trenton's past manufacturing heyday have never before been seen by the public. Rustic Regional Windsor Chairs includes a collection of early Windsor chairs loaned by private collectors. According to TMS trustee and curator of the exhibit David Bosted, "The first American Windsor chair is believed to have been made here in the Delaware Valley in 1730. About a dozen pre-1850 Windsor Chairs will be on view along with a half-dozen colonial-revival reproductions, to illustrate the various forms and artistic features of rustic regional Windsor chairs."

On Sunday, February 26, 2017, Robert Whitley talks about furniture restoration during his 50+ year career. 

The Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie is located in the middle of the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Cadwalader Park, with an entrance on Parkside Avenue, in Trenton, New Jersey. There is no fee for admission although donations are accepted. There is abundant free parking including handicap accessible parking.  The museum is handicapped accessible. 
For more information, call 609-989-3632 or visit www.ellarslie.org.

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Through Sunday, April 9 - Cape May, Cape May County
Moore History: The Story of William J. Moore of Cape May

The Center for Community Arts (CCA) once again presents an exhibit in association with the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) that highlights and illuminates African-American life and history in Cape May and the surrounding region. This year's exhibit, in the Carroll Gallery of the Emlen Physick Estate, is entitled "Moore History: The Life and Works of William J. Moore."

The CCA History Committee has selected important original documents, objects, and photographs of Mr. Moore's long and honored life. William J. Moore was principal of the segregated West Cape May Elementary Annex school for 52 years, inspiring many of his students to go on to college and careers. He served as the executive of Cape May Golf Club and then the pro at Cape May Tennis Club, which was named in his honor at his 100th birthday. He raised nine children with his wife, Susie (Smothers) Moore, and founded the William J. Moore Scholarship Fund.

Many of his students and friends remember him to this day. Their testimonies and recollections accompany Mr. Moore's own words and those of his children. The exhibit will be open to the public on Saturday, January 14 with an official opening ceremony on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 16 at 4:00 pm at the Carroll Gallery in the Carriage House at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street. The exhibit opening is free and open to the public; light refreshments will be served.

The exhibit is open to the public as follows: Saturdays, January 14 - February 4, 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm; Saturday, February 18, 11:00 am - 3:30 pm, Sunday, Feb. 19, 11:00 am - 2:30 pm, Monday, February 20, 1:00 - 3:00 pm, Saturday, February 25, 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm, Saturday, March 4, 11:00 am - 2:30 pm, Saturday, March 11, 11:00 am - 2:30 pm. The exhibit is open daily, March 18 - April 19. Hours vary.

The Emlen Physick Estate is located at 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. Admission is free. Sponsored by the Center for Community Arts (CCA) in association with the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For information on the exhibit, call 609-884-7525 or see www.CenterforCommunityArts.org. For gallery hours call 609-884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org.

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Through Friday, April 28, 2017 - Trenton, Mercer County
Toy World Exhibit
Children Friendly

Bring the whole family to enjoy this fun new exhibition spotlighting the little-known history of toy manufacturing in New Jersey. Step back to another era and enjoy a bit of nostalgia with more than 100 toys made in New Jersey between 1880 and the late 1960s, during New Jersey's golden era of manufacturing. See how world events helped shape the toys produced here, from tin toys, porcelain dolls, and model trains, through the development of plastics, which ushered in little green army men, Colorforms, Suzy Homemaker ovens and more. Innovations such as the first "talking" doll, created by Thomas Edison, will also be featured.

The exhibition features a play area for children and a spot to share your favorite childhood toy memories. Randomly selected memories will be featured on the Museum's Facebook page throughout the exhibition. "Toy World" will be on view from through April 28, 2017. 

“Toy World” will be on view in the Riverside Gallery on the New Jersey State Museum's second floor. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9:00 am to 4:45 pm and closed on all State holidays. The Museum is located at 205 W State St, Trenton, NJ. For more information, visit www.statemuseum.nj.gov.

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Through Sunday, May 21, 2017 - Princeton, Mercer County
Bruce Springsteen: A Photographic Journey

Like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Bob Dylan before him, Bruce Springsteen is a pillar of American music. Springsteen has turned his guitar into an instrument of change, using it to tap into the American psyche and connect with the blue-collar man and woman through his melodies and lyrics. From his humble beginnings of rehearsing in New Jersey garages to selling out arenas around the world, Springsteen's career has spanned decades and crossed genres-and has never wavered from its upward trajectory.

This fall, Morven Museum & Garden presents Bruce Springsteen: A Photographic Journey. Traveling from the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, this exhibition features forty photographs of the rock legend and video interviews with five of the six noted photographers: Danny Clinch, Ed Gallucci, Eric Meola, Barry Schneier, Pamela Springsteen, and Frank Stefanko. Together they revisit Springsteen's career as a frontman and songwriter, capturing his charisma and off-stage vulnerability.

The exhibition is on view from November 18, 2016 through May 21, 2017 at Morven Museum & Garden, 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ. Hours: Wednesday - Sunday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. For more information, call 609-924-8144 or visit www.morven.org.

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Through June 2017 - Ocean Township, Monmouth County
Presidents at the Monmouth County Shore Exhibit

One hundred years ago this September, 25,000 people gathered on the grounds of what is today Monmouth University—then a private estate called Shadow Lawn—to see Woodrow Wilson officially accept the nomination of the Democratic Party for a second Presidential run. Wilson was following a popular tradition among American Presidents to retreat to our slice of the Jersey Shore to escape the heat and hubbub of Washington. At the Eden Woolley House, this major exhibit tells the wide-ranging stories of eleven Presidents who spent time here, at the Monmouth County shore.

Mrs. Lincoln got the ball rolling
There’s a case to be made that it all started with Mary Todd Lincoln. Mrs. Lincoln travelled to Long Branch in the summer of 1861, probably at the invitation of William Newell, family friend and then supervisor of the life-saving services in New Jersey. Long Branch was already a popular resort, and national coverage of the First Lady’s visit added immeasurably to its fame and appeal.

That fame and appeal continued to draw the wealthy and influential—including the seven presidents who vacationed in resort city, starting with Ulysses Grant.

Seven Presidents in Long Branch
In 1870, a group of wealthy businessmen who summered in the Elberon section of Long Branch presented President Grant with an oceanfront cottage where he vacationed for the next 15 years. When Grant died in 1885, city officials feared the resort might lose its cachet. They needn’t have worried. Six of the next ten Presidents--Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Harrison, McKinley, and Wilson--chose to spend time in Long Branch.

The most tragic of these Presidential visits was James Garfield’s last. Mrs. Garfield was in Long Branch recuperating from illness, when, on July 2, 1881, Garfield was shot by an assassin in the Washington train station. He was taken to the White House, where his condition worsened. In hope the sea air might help, Garfield was taken to Elberon. Famously, locals worked through the night to build the spur to carry the President’s railroad car from Elberon Station to the ocean side cottage. He died there 12 days later, September 19.

Beyond Long Branch
Long Branch was not the only Monmouth County destination of Presidents. Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and Richard Nixon visited our area, if only, in some cases, for a political rally. And then, of course, there’s Warren Harding, whose local connection was a bit less public and a good deal more scandalous. Join us June 26 to learn the full story. The new exhibit is on view through June 2017.

The Township of Ocean Historical Museum offers exhibits on the history of coastal Monmouth County and a full calendar of events. The Museum also houses a library and archive of local history. It is open, free of charge, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday, 7:00 - 9:00 pm Thursday evenings, and 1:00 - 4:00 pm the first and second Sundays of each month. The Township of Ocean Historical Museum is located at 703 Deal Road, Ocean, NJ. For more information, visit www.oceanmuseum.org.

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Sundays through June 30, 2017 - Piscataway, Middlesex County
A Revolutionary Legacy: the Cornelius Low House 275 Exhibit

The newest exhibit to open at the Middlesex County Museum exhibit delves into the history of the Low family and the role they played in the shaping of the United States. A Revolutionary Legacy: the Cornelius Low House 275 exhibit is housed inside the County’s Historic Cornelius Low House/Middlesex County Museum. 

This seven-room exhibit contains artifacts that date to the 1700s and includes handcrafted furniture from New Brunswick, paintings by artist Micah Williams, a document signed by Cornelius Low and his wife Johanna, portrait miniatures of several Low family members, and a chair that George Washington used on a visit to the New Brunswick area. These items are on loan from the DAR Jersey Blue Chapter Buccleuch Mansion, the Suffolk County Historical Society and private collections.

The Cornelius Low House/Middlesex County Museum is open on Sundays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm and is located at 1225 River Road, Piscataway, NJ. For more information, call 732-745-4177 or visit www.middlesexcountynj.gov.

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Last Sunday of the month through Fall 2017 - Woodbury, Gloucester County
White Lace and Promises: Two Centuries of Weddings Exhibit

White Lace and Promises: Two Centuries of Weddings, is the Gloucester County Historical Society Museum's most comprehensive wedding exhibit to date! This gorgeous exhibit features over 50 wedding gowns from the museum’s collection, representing the time period from the 1810’s through most of the 20th century. From the hooped dresses and bustles of the 19th century, to the many variations of gowns during the 20th century, nearly every popular wedding gown style is represented. Also showcased are bridal accessories including headpieces, veils, shoes, fans, lingerie, and jewelry. Documentation such as invitations and wedding certificates, along with beautiful photographs from many of these weddings, are also on display. This extensive exhibit will be up until fall of 2017 – do not miss it!

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. If interested in scheduling a private tour during non-public hours to see this exhibit, this may be organized for you and/or your group with advance. 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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Some event listings courtesy of the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey

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