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!


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!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Weekend Historical Happenings: 9/1/12 - 9/2/12

Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an email to let us know!
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Saturday, September 1 - Lambertville, Mercer County
29th Annual Plowing Match

Howell Living History Farm will hold its 29th Annual Plowing Match on Saturday from 9:30 am until 4:00 pm. The public is invited to watch and participate in the event, which features old-fashioned plowing and log pulling competitions, crafts and pony rides for children, and lots of food, music and old fashioned fun. 

A dozen teams of draft animals from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York are entered in the match, which tests the performance of farmers, their horses and oxen, and their plows as they turn furrows.  Judging will take place from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon.  

Members of the general public aged 16 and older can try their hand at plowing in the Visitor Plowing Events at 11:00 am. Ox Plowing and Steam Engine Plowing will take place at 10:30 am.  Winners receive ribbons.

Children's activities will be offered from 11:00am-3:00pm, including pony rides and a craft program, "Fly Swatter": cost $3.

Beginning at noon, hungry plowers and visitors can lunch on roast pork sandwiches, a chicken BBQ, Kosher franks and Howell Farm potatoes and sweet corn. Noontime festivities will include music by the Jugtown Mountain String Band, door prizes, and plowing award presentations.

At 2:15 pm, visitors can watch as teamsters use their animals to navigate an obstacle course.

Howell Living Farm represents typical farm life between 1890 and 1910. The farm is operated by the Mercer County Parks Commission. Admission is free. It is located at 70 Wooden's Lane, Lambertville, NJ. http://www.howellfarm.org

Saturday, September 1 - Toms River, Ocean County
Olde Time Antiques & Collectibles Faire

This Saturday, browse hundreds of items at the Olde Time Antiques & Collectibles Faire, held from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. The Faire will be held at the Ocean County Parking Garage, Hadley and Madison Avenues, Toms River.

Saturday, September 1 - Morristown, Morris County
Explore the Farm on a Wagon

This Saturday at Fosterfield's Living Historical Farm, you can enjoy the "Explore the Farm Wagon Ride!" The ride will take place between  10:15 am and 12:00 noon. Call 973-326-7645 to register.

Saturday, September 1 - Browns Mills, Burlington County
September 2012 Moonlight Walk

The Whitesbog Preservation Trust (WPT) will host a moonlight walk at Historic Whitesbog on Saturday at 7 PM. By the soft glow of moonlight, walk through the dark, mysterious pines, along white sugar sand roads, to the shimmering cranberry bogs. Whipoorwills may offer their melodic calls. The leader will offer stories of the people who built Whitesbog, the local "Piney" folk, and the more recent American immigrants, all of whom worked here to make it one of the most successful agricultural enterprises in New Jersey.

Meet at the General Store at 7 PM. Guests should be prepared for a relatively vigorous walk, are encouraged to dress for the weather and bring anything that may be needed for your comfort (ie: sturdy shoes, bug spray, and a flashlight). Light refreshments will be served after the walk. Inclement weather cancels. Fee is $5 per person. Reservations by Friday, August 31 are required: leave name, telephone number and number of people attending on main voicemail, (609) 893-4646, or email to WhitesbogPreservationTrust@comcast.net

All proceeds benefit the Whitesbog Preservation Trust in its tireless efforts to restore and protect Historic Whitesbog Village and its surrounding lands. Whitesbog Village is located at mile marker 13 on County Route 530 in Browns Mills (Pemberton Township), NJ. To find out information and directions: telephone (609) 893-4646, email WhitesbogPreservationTrust@comcast.net or visit www.whitesbog.org.

Saturday - Sunday, September 1 - 2 - Paterson, Passaic County
Great Falls Arts Festival

This labor day weekend, come join us at the Great Falls for music, art, food, and great times! Bands will be performing outside at the Dolphin Mills, and, inside, art will be shown and sold by your favorite local artists! This is an ALL AGES event, so bring everyone you know!

Tickets are a $12 donation at the door, or $10 in advanced. Children are FREE. Proceeds go to benefiting the art programs at the Ivanhoe. 

The Great Falls Arts Festival is held from, from 12:00 noon to 11:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. The festival will be held at the Dolphin Mill, 70 Spruce Street, Paterson. Sponsored by the Paterson Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA).

As part of the festival, there will be three nights of music at Overlook Park on Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm, along with vendors and fireworks.

Saturday-Sunday, September 1 -2 - Cape May, Cape May County
Family FunFest at Historic Cold Spring Village

Celebrate Family FunFest and the history of the Jersey Cape at Historic Cold Spring Village, Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00 am - 4:30 pm. Bring the kids for some hands-on fun - they can churn butter, write with quill pens, help the potter, woodsmith, and bookbinder too! There will be a face painter, toy train rides around the Village, and fun tunes from Jim the Banjo Man!

Historic Cold Spring Village is located on Route 9, three miles north of Victorian Cape May and a mile and a half west of the southern terminus of the Garden State Parkway. Admission during the season is $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 3 to 12. Children under 3 are admitted free. For more information on events, membership, volunteering, or booking private affairs, please call (609) 898-2300, ext. 10, or visit www.hcsv.org.

Sunday, September 2 - Haledon/Paterson, Passaic County
21st Annual Labor Day Parade 

The parade is co-sponsored by the American Labor Museum/Botto House National Landmark and the Borough of Haledon, and is scheduled for Sunday. Step-off will take place at 1:30 pm at the Botto House in Haledon. The parade will finish at the Great Falls Historic District in the City of Paterson.

This year's Labor Day Parade will be lead by Grand Marshal Larry Hamm, Chair of the People's Organization for Progress (POP), an independent, grass roots, political organization that is active in Newark and Northern New Jersey area. 

All community organizations, unions, businesses, cultural groups, and individuals interested in joining this historic march can contact the museum at 973-595-7953 or by e-mail at labormuseum@aol.com

The Botto House National Landmark, home of the American Labor Museum, is located at 83 Norwood Street in Haledon, NJ. It was the meeting place for over 20,000 silk mill workers during the 1913 Paterson Silk Strike. The museum offers a free lending library, restored period rooms, changing exhibits, museum store, Old World Gardens, educational programs, and special events. The museum's hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Tours are offered Wednesday through Saturday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm or by appointment.

"The Shirts Off Our Backs: Union T-shirt Quilts" exhibit will be on display at the museum through December 31st, 2012. The museum store will also be open to the public before the parade.

Some event listings courtesy of the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Weekend Estate Sales: 8/31/12 - 9/2/12

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 email to be featured in our weekly post!
Be the first to know about these sales on Facebook!

Untouched accumulation..
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604

 Vintage hats and furs
East Brunswick, NJ 08816

 Antique Clocks & Rugs
Dunellen, NJ 08812

 Vintage Baseball Cards
Stockton, NJ 08559

Find more Estate Sales near you at estatesales.net

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Reinventing the Old Mill: Allentown, NJ

Reinventing the Old Mill: Allentown, NJ
Written by NJ Historian

Owners of historic buildings are often faced with the question of how their structure can be utilized. Some may decide to tear it down and start new, others may decide to gut it, a select few will try to donate it to a historic group to be preserved in perpetuity, and the truly dedicated will preserve it on their own. Preserving a historic structure, while adapting it for modern uses and making it profitable, is not an easy task. Historic buildings require more maintenance, custom materials, and specialized treatments than your typical building. Yet if you can reinvent your structure and attract sensitive, yet desirable tenants, there is a good chance that the building will persevere. Since the original structure was built in 1706, the Old Mill in Allentown, New Jersey has been continually reinventing itself, adapting to its circumstances and the needs of an ever-changing world.

Corky Danch bought the Old Mill in Allentown in 1975, planned on restoring it, and then selling it after a few years. Almost forty years later, he is still restoring this magnificent structure, adapting it for modern uses while preserving the beauty of its utility and architecture.

The history of the Allentown Mill begins in 1706, when Nathan Allen purchased 638 acres of land from Robert Burnett. That same year, he constructed a mill on Doctors Creek. The area became known as Allens Town. The area around the mill slowly developed as a trading community for the surrounding farm areas.

The mill site, which also contained a cloth-fulling mill, served as a quartermaster depot during the Revolutionary War. There are accounts of interrogations of notorious Pine Robbers, loyalist sympathizers who preyed on patriotic citizens and businesses.

Between 1706 and 1845 the ownership of the mill changed hands a number of times. In 1845, Abel Cafferty purchased the mill. In the early 1850s, most likely 1854, the mill suffered a fire according to notes that were written and preserved on the office wall of the mill. The notes state, “300,000 bricks were burnt up in the fire and put in this mill…and the first grinding on October 20, 1855.” Cafferty built what was considered state-of-the-art, using the most modern designs for “automated grist mills.” The circumstances surrounding the fire are unknown, but were not uncommon in mills. The fire gave Cafferty the chance to redesign the mill, since the original mill was heavily outdated by this time.

The Old Mill, Allentown, NJ, circa 1905. Courtesy Corky Danch. 
The design of the newly constructed mill was modeled after Oliver Evans’ patent for “automated grist mills.” Oliver Evans was a young millwright from Delaware who perfected the milling process in 1780 by building a completely automatic grist mill in New Castle County. Powered by a water wheel, the mill was the first continuous flow, production line mill in the world. An English book of the day described the mill: “Mr. Oliver Evans, an ingenious American, has invented ... a flour mill upon a curious construction which, without the assistance of manual labor, first conveys the grain ... to the upper floor, where it is cleaned. Thence it descends to the hopper, and after being ground in the usual way, the flour is conveyed to the upper floor, where, by a simple and ingenious contrivance, it is spread, cooled, and gradually made to pass to the boulting hopper.” The product was not touched by human hands from the time the grain was dumped into the receiving hopper until the finished flour flowed into a bin ready for packing into barrels or bags. Evans submitted a proposal for his design to the newly-formed United States Patent Office in 1790. Evans received the third patent issued by the United States government.

Oliver Evans design of a mill from his book The Young Mill-wright and Miller's Guide, 1848.
The mill operated continuously until about 1950, when the owner sold the building to someone who no longer wanted to grind flour for human consumption and began mixing feed for animals. Although it was to remain a mill, it would no longer serve its original customers, signifying the end of small, community-based grist mills.

By the early 1970s, competition from large industrial feed mills in the Midwest put many small, waterwheel driven mills out of business, as they could no longer compete with the output and pricing from the more efficient mills. Slowly, small hometown feed mills closed one by one. What would happen to the old mill in Allentown? Would it be able to adapt once again?

In 1975, Corky Danch purchased the deteriorating, vacant mill building. Danch envisioned a community of local craftspeople coming together and teaching their skills.  Danch spent two years restoring the mill, making it usable once again. Many of the original pieces, including the grindstones, had been lost over time. The restoration included using materials from other historic structures such as old homes and barns which were not going to be preserved. Some original mill equipment that was left behind was restored and put on display. One unique feature constructed was an interior partition wall consisting of old shutters. The old chutes that carried grains from one floor to another were converted into conduits for lighting.

The Old Mill, Allentown, NJ, circa 1975. Courtesy Corky Danch
Danch established The Allentown Feed Company in 1977 and nominated the mill to the National Register of Historic Places. The building was listed on February 14, 1978.

Danch’s new plan for the mill succeeded. For thirty years, the building found a new use as office space, gallery space, and restaurants. Businesses included The Black Forest Restaurant which was located on the mill’s first floor, the Off the Wall Craft Gallery, which enjoyed a 30-year run, and Spiders CafĂ©, a coffee house run by the Danch and his wife. In 2008, the mill received its next challenge.  Monmouth County shut down the mill and its numerous businesses with temporary eminent domain while the replacement of the Allentown Pond Dam and County Bridge U-12, which carries Route 524/Main Street over Doctor’s Creek, was being carried out.

While the bridge replacement project was progressing, Hurricane Irene hit New Jersey on August 28, 2011. Flooding took its toll on Allentown and the mill pond rushed over its banks, bringing torrents of water to the Mill and nearby homes. The mill’s basement was immersed in almost five feet of water and a fifteen foot drop in the driveway occurred due to soil being washed away.

Despite these challenges, the Old Mill is not giving up the fight. In another burst of renewal, Danch is reinventing the mill once again. The building is being brought up to code, a new central air conditioning system has been installed, and Danch hopes to restore the 1904 waterwheel. As part of the County’s bridge replacement, the sluiceway, or water channel, which carries water from the mill pond to the waterwheel, has been restored. The waterwheel itself needs to be restored, but once it is, it will be used to generate power for the building. New businesses have shown interest in calling the Old Mill their new home, a positive sign that the historic building can still be used for modern purposes.

In its 306 year history, the Old Mill site in Allentown has faced a number of challenges and has adapted to each one. The mill is proof that old buildings can be reinvented for modern purposes and serve beyond their original use. As this next chapter in the Old Mill’s history unfolds, the future looks bright for a grand reopening thanks to the hard work, enthusiasm, and dedication of its longtime owner, Corky Danch.

Additional photos of my trip to the Old Mill on Pinterest

For More Information:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Historical Organization of the Week: Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage Commission

Every Monday, I will now 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. 

This week, I am featuring the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission. The mission of the Cultural and Heritage Commission is to develop county wide programs and promote public interest in local and county history, in the arts, and in the cultural values, goals, traditions of the community, the State and the Nation. The Commission undertakes the restoration, operation, maintenance and preservation of the Cornelius Low House and East Jersey Olde Towne Village in Piscataway.

The Commission is authorized to establish museum and cultural programs, exhibits and displays including the fine and performing arts, engage in archaeological, genealogical and historic research, publish reports and engage in such related activities to promote and develop public interest and understanding of historic and cultural matters.

For information on events hosted by the Commission and for the locations and operating hours of their museum sites, please visit http://co.middlesex.nj.us/culturalheritage.

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.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

eBay Items of the Week: 8/26/12 - 9/2/12

Items up on eBay this week!
Click on each link for the eBay page!
More items always going up.
Stay updated about new items on Facebook.

Nickel-plated Needles

California and Vesuvius! 1906 Book

A story of the Days of Napoleon

Poetry - 1896

WWI Memorabilia

1897 Antique Novel

Branchburg, NJ

Between Midland-Ross Corporation and Middlesex Lodge

Vintage Pamphlet

Black & Decker Sander Booklet
Deluxe Dual Action Finishing Sander

A&P Coffee Services

Manufactured in PA!

Tin Collectors Delight

Postmarked 1938

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Vintage Toastmaster Automatic Pop-up Toaster

Vintage Toastmaster Automatic Pop-up Toaster

Nice Chrome!
Toastmaster Products, McGraw Electric Company, Elgin ILL

Made in USA

Serial # A0315988 - Manufactured between July 1947 and September 1948
Model 1B14
1200 Watts
Curved Bakelite Handles, Chrome
Darker/Lighter Dial
Toaster is in very good cosmetic condition consistent with normal wear and age (scratches, no dents or dings, please see photos)
Cloth cord is very clean with no burns 
No signs of abuse

Video of toaster: http://youtu.be/YAO_8sIhqss

This toaster has been SOLD! Thanks for looking!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Weekend Historical Happenings: 8/25/12 - 8/27/12

Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an email to let us know!
Be the first to find out about these events on Facebook!

Saturday, August 25 - Byram Township, Sussex County
Canal Heritage Days at Waterloo

Come visit Waterloo Village between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm for a day in this historic Morris Canal town. First-person interpreter Richard Pawling will portray canal boat captain John Hummel. Other events include: Boat rides on the Morris Canal, Smith's Store - a furnished canal-era store with hands-on activities, blacksmithing, see the operating gristmill, the Canal Museum - with exhibits and videos, featured exhibit: Canal Era in America, and guided walking tours of the village.

Saturday, August 25 - Hoboken, Hudson County
Vintage Baseball in Hoboken

This Saturday, the Hoboken Nine vintage baseball club returns to Dobbelaar Field on the Stevens Institute Campus at 2:00 pm to play the Jersey City Skeeters in a rematch. Come out and root for your favorite team! This event is free!

Saturday, August 25 - Montague, Sussex County
NJ State Parks' History

The Montague Association for the Restoration of Community History (MARCH) presents speaker Kevin Woyce who will present a talked entitled "New Jersey State Parks" at the circa 1790 Foster-Armstrong House on Saturday at 1:00 pm. Kevin will share some of New Jersey's most exciting history that is found within more than two dozen State Parks. His slide show includes photographs, vintage maps, and images of historic people, events, and places.

The Foster-Armstrong House, located at 320 River Road, Montague, is situated within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Montague, NJ and was originally part of the Tocks Island Dam acquisition. The site is utilized by MARCH and portray the area's heritage.  www.montaguehistory.org

Saturday-Sunday, August 25-26 - Cape May, Cape May County
Pirates Invade Historic Cold Spring Village

Celebrate the maritime culture and history of the Jersey Cape at Historic Cold Spring Village, Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00 am - 4:30 pm. Seafarers' Weekend will feature pirates, maritime music, family fun, and a variety of displays and demonstrations of all things nautical. The Village buildings will also be open, presenting historical interpreters in period clothing who demonstrate the trades, crafts and lifestyles of Early America. 

Valhalla's Pirates will join the event, bringing thrilling fight scenes both days at 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm. Captain Black and his crew will also meet with guests throughout the day to take pictures and tell tales of the sea. The New Jersey Blacksmith Association will team up with the Village's resident blacksmith to forge nautical ironware. Other highlights include afternoon musical performances by the Sea Dogs, a display from the Cape May Maritime Museum, antique boats, decoy carving, face painting and more! The Friends of HCSV will host a traditional South Jersey corn roast at the Village Pavilion from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. 

Historic Cold Spring Village is located on Route 9, three miles north of Victorian Cape May and a mile and a half west of the southern terminus of the Garden State Parkway. Admission during the season is $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 3 to 12. Children under 3 are admitted free. For more information on events, membership, volunteering, or booking private affairs, please call (609) 898-2300, ext. 10, or visit www.hcsv.org.

Sunday, August 26 - Morristown, Morris County
Garden Party at Acorn Hall

The Morris County Historical Society's annual Garden Party is scheduled for Sunday, at Acorn Hall. Members and the public are invited to stroll the grounds and explore the beautiful gardens maintained by the Home Garden Club of Morristown. The Garden Party will take place from 1:00 to 4:00  p.m. 

Visitors are invited to bring a picnic lunch; beverages and desserts will be served. Throughout the afternoon, guests can tour Acorn Hall and its ongoing World War II exhibit. The focus, however, is on the gardens. This year, approximately 500 annuals were planted. In the spirit of the Victorian taste for what were then exotic plants, the Home Garden Club of Morristown has planted banana plants, elephant ears, and cannas to enhance the Italianate feel of the existing gardens. Coleus and other foliage and blooming plants add splashes of color throughout. The Garden Party is free for MCHS members, children under 12, veterans, and active military families as part of the Blue Star Museum initiative. Admission for all others is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $3 for students.

Acorn Hall, the headquarters of the Morris County Historical Society, is an 1853 house remodeled into the Italianate Villa style in 1860. It is open to the public on Mondays and Thursdays from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Sundays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Acorn Hall is located at 68 Morris Avenue, Morristown. For additional information call 973-267-3465 or visit www.acornhall.org.

Sunday, August 26 - Titusville, Mercer County
Foods of the 1830s

Attend the "1830s Foodways Demonstration" presented by Mercy Ingraham, Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at the Nelson House, Washington Crossing State Park. She will prepare recipes from the 1830s on the open hearth located at the Nelson House. This event is open and free to all!

Sunday, August 26 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
Turn of the Century Music

Join music man Rich Marzec as he performs songs from the turn of the century at Longstreet Farm on Sunday between 1:00 and 3:00 pm. Longstreet Farm is located at 44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, New Jersey 07733.

Sunday, August 26 - Chester, Morris County
National Milling Day

Celebrate Oliver Evans' 257th birthday on Sunday between 1:00 and 4:00 pm at the Cooper Grist Mill! Evans was a famous inventor of the 1780s who created the first automatic flour mill, the first high pressure steam engine, an amphibious vehicle, and more. See Cooper Gristmill's operational rendition of his gristmill, a collection of pictures of other mills, and antique printed flour bags.

The Cooper Grist Mill is located at 74 County Highway 513, Chester, New Jersey 07930. 

Sunday, August 26 - Morristown, Morris County
Historic Civil War Era Music in the Macculloch Hall Garden

Join Macculloch Hall on Sunday at 4:00 pm for a performance by the Libby Prison Minstrels. This fun group brings the songs of the Civil War to life in an entertaining and historically accurate way. The Minstrels have been performing the since the early 1990s with their guitar, mandolin, banjo, percussion, bass and three part vocal harmonies. The music is kept to the original styles with careful attention to a connection to the history and sounds of the period. Their moving 1861 version of the National Anthem has been performed in prestigious locations such as the New Jersey State House, Ford's Theater and the U.S. Capitol. After a fantastic performance to open the Civil War exhibit at the Museum last fall, Macuculloch Hall welcomes the Minstrels back to entertain an even bigger audience in the garden.

The Minstrels will perform in the garden at 4:00 pm. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore through a variety of summer blooms in the garden and relax on the large lawn during the program. Guests may bring picnics, blankets or chairs and settle back for a late afternoon of great music in a beautiful setting. We are delighted to welcome the Delicious Ice Cream Company with its fully restored 1950 custom truck and authentic ice cream man dressed in that same old fashioned outfit you remember as a kid. A variety of treats will be on sale throughout the performance.

In keeping with the performance, enjoy the current exhibit The Other Side of War: The Civil War on the Home Front. Life on the home front was not easy for loved ones whom the soldiers left behind. Women played an important role in the Union war effort; starting the U.S. Sanitary Commission, serving as nurses, gathering goods and raising money for the soldiers all contributed to the Union victory. The exhibit features letters to loved ones back home, Lincoln memorabilia from the museum's collection including a plate from his White House china, and a document signed by Lincoln as President and the Secretary of War. 

Tickets can be purchased beginning at 1:00 pm on the performance day and will give guests an opportunity to experience Macculloch Hall Historical Museum before heading out to the garden for the concert. The museum is open for tours of the home and galleries from 1pm, with the last house tour leaving at 3pm. The museum will remain open until 4:00 pm, when the performance begins. Admission is Adults $8; Seniors & Students $6; Children 6 - 12 $4. Members and children under 5 are free. Please no dogs during programs in the garden. In the case of inclement weather the performance will be moved indoors. 

For information, call the Museum weekdays at 973-538-2404 or visit www.maccullochhall.org. Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, 45 Macculloch Ave., Morristown, NJ 07960.

Sunday, August 26 - Vernon, Sussex County
Private Hercules McGraw: Poems of the American Civil War

The Vernon Township Historical Society will present “Private Hercules McGraw: Poems of the American Civil War” by teacher and historian S. Thomas Summers.

Summers, an English teacher at Wayne Hills High School and adjunct professor at Passaic County Community College, will share through poetry the journey of Private Hercules McGraw, a Confederate soldier and racist in the American Civil War. The poetry characterizes McGraw as he steps into the War to assure that slavery will exist long enough for him to purchase a slave with hopes to impress his love, Martha. As McGraw treks through the blood and mire, experiencing both triumph and tragedy, he begins to transform into a man of peace and compassion – a man who no longer sees a black man or a white man; he simply sees a man – a fellow, a brother.

Summers’s poems have been published in various journals and reviews, including The Atlantic, Loch Raven Review, Literary Bohemian. Most recently, Summers contributed his poetry to an anthology commemorating New Jersey’s involvement in the Civil War, entitled New Jersey’s Civil War Odyssey. His book, Private Hercules McGraw: Poems of the American Civil War, is published by Anaphora Literary Press.

The presentation by Summers is open to the public and is free admission. The event will be held in the Senior Citizens Center in the Vernon Municipal Building on Church Street. Free refreshments. For information about this event, call Jessi Paladini at 973-764-6545.

Sunday, August 26 - Montague, Sussex County
Quilting Demonstration

The Montague Association for the Restoration of Community History (MARCH) will open the circa 1790 Foster-Armstrong House and the Nelden-Roberts Stonehouse, at 501 Route 206 for Sunday afternoon tours between 1:00 and 4:00 pm. Both are situated within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Montague, NJ and were originally part of the Tocks Island Dam acquisitions. These two sites are utilized by MARCH and portray the area's heritage.

This weekend, view a quilt demonstration, see sample quilts on display, and MARCH's own vintage quilt collection.  www.montaguehistory.org

Sunday, August 26 - Piscataway, Middlesex County
History of Film: 1890-1960

View the exhibit "Lights! Camera! Action! History of Film: 1890-1960" at the 1741 Cornelius Low House Museum in Piscataway. The museum is open Sunday afternoons from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The exhibit will run through December 31, 2012. 

The Cornelius Low House, built in 1741, was the home to its namesake and is only one of two remaining buildings from historic Raritan Landing. This high-style Georgian mansion is listed on the National Register and operated by the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission. Admission to the museum is FREE. The museum is located at 1225 River Road, Piscataway, NJ . For more information, visit

Some event listings courtesy of the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey