Friday, December 7, 2012

Weekend Historical Happenings: 12/8/12 - 12/9/12

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Saturday, December 8 - Tuckerton, Ocean County
Christmas Party

The Tuckerton Historical Society is having its annual Christmas Party at Old Borough Hall. Christmas in Tuckerton is something to look forward to as part of our holidays. Clam chowder will be served after 6:00 pm. Lots of goodies to eat. The address to Little Borough Hall is 220 South Green Street in Tuckerton.

Saturday, December 8 - Atlantic City, Atlantic County
Light Up the Holdays

Absecon Lighthouse will "Light Up the Holidays" on Saturday from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. "Holiday Cheer," a professional caroling group, will sing acapella carols of the season and invite guests to sing along. And to tune up your singing voice, some holiday cheer of wine and beer and light refreshments will be served. A night climb to view the spectacular Atlantic City skyline at night is included. Guests will enjoy the official lighting of our Christmas tree and have a chance to do some holiday shopping in our charming gift shop. Tickets are just $20 per person to benefit Absecon Lighthouse and can be reserved by calling Absecon Lighthouse at 609-449-1360.

Absecon Lighthouse is a state-owned historic property administered by the non-profit Inlet Public/Private Association. Located at 31 South Rhode Island Avenue in Atlantic City, it is open to visitors Thursdays through Mondays, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Saturday, December 8 - Secaucus, Hudson County
County Clerk's Office Records Research Primer

Paul Paradise from the Hudson County Clerk's Office will talk about the holdings and resources of the Hudson County Clerk's office on Saturday from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm at the Secaucus Public Library, located at 1379 Paterson Plank Road, Secaucus.

Saturday, December 8 - Mount Laurel, Burlington County
Tour Paulsdale - Holiday Open House

Paulsdale is open to the public for Second Saturday Tours at 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm. Paulsdale is the birthplace of Quaker suffragist Alice Paul. Tours include a 15-minute presentation about Alice Paul's life and work and a guided tour of the first floor of the property where visitors learn about the Paul family's daily life in the house and its present day use as a girl's leadership center. Tours are $5.00. This weekend, enjoy the house decorated for the season in the Quaker style, cookies, and music.

Paulsdale is located at 128 Hooton Rd., Mt. Laurel. For information about group tours or future tour dates, contact the Alice Paul Institute at 856-231-1885, e-mail, or visit

Saturday, December 8 - Franklin Township, Somerset County
Christmas of Yesteryear

Visit the Blackwell Mills Canal House on Saturday between 1:00 and 4:00 pm for Christmas of Yesteryear! Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and sing along with the carolers from Six Mile Run Reformed Church. Gifts will be provided for the children and refreshments for all! The Blackwell Mills Canal House is located at 598 Canal Road, Franklin Township, NJ 08873.

Saturday, December 8 - Bordentown, Burlington County
Holiday House Tour

Attend a Holiday House Tour sponsored by the Bordentown Historical Society on Saturday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Come walk the same streets our Colonial heroes walked and visit private homes, historic properties, houses of worship, and a large model train display in Old City Hall. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased prior to the day at Shoppe 202 located at 202 Farnsworth Avenue or on the day of the tour at The Friends Meeting House, 302 Farnsworth Ave. For more information, please call 609-298-3779.

Saturday, December 8 - New Brunswick, Middlesex County
Genealogical Society of New Jersey Annual Meeting

The Genealogical Society of New Jersey will hold its Annual Meeting on Saturday. The meeting, rescheduled due to Hurricane Sandy, will take place in the Pane Room at  Alexander Library, Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ. More information on the meeting can be found at The meeting is free and open to the public. Registration (and refreshments) will begin at 10:30 am. A short business meeting will start at 11:00 am and will be followed by guest speaker Gayle Ann Livecchia. Her topic will be "Using Academic Resources in Genealogy." Special Collections and University Archives will be open after the meeting until 5:00 pm for use by meeting attendees. 

Parking is available free with no permit required in the College Avenue Parking Deck (adjacent to the Alexander Library). The entrance to the garage is from George Street. There is no entrance from College Avenue. Street parking is also available free on Saturday at any metered space. Please do NOT park in the lots listed in the original brochure. Please visit for more information. Registrations requested, please reply to If you have any questions please contact the society at or

Saturday, December 8, 15 - Union Township, Union County
Gingerbread House Workshop

Liberty Hall is hosting a gingerbread house workshop on Saturday, December 8 and Saturday, December 15. Two sessions will be held 10:00 - 11:30 am or 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm. Children will get into the holiday spirit when they decorate their own gingerbread house with candy canes, gumdrops, and more at this popular, annual Liberty Hall event. A tour of Liberty Hall decorated for holidays will follow the workshop. Program Fee: $20.00 for each child and adult, all additional adults $5.00. Reservations are required. Call 908-527-0400. Liberty Hall is located at 1003 Morris Ave, Union, NJ 07083. For more information, call 908-27-0400.

Saturday and Sunday, December 8 & 9 - Morris Township, Morris County
1920s Farmhouse Christmas

Partake in a 1920s farmhouse Christmas at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm. Take a wagon ride on the farm, observe British baking, learn decorating traditions, and help with chores. Admission is $6 per adult and $4 for children ages 4 to 16. Fosterfields is located at 73 Kahdena Road, Morris Township, NJ 07960. For more information visit

Saturday and Sunday, December 8 & 9 - Tuckerton, Ocean County
10th Annual Christkindlmarkt

Enjoy two spectacular days of a holiday market and fair under a huge heated tent at the Tuckerton Seaport from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm each day. There will be horse-drawn cart rides, children's rides, family craft activities, Santa carving demos, Gluhwein ~ hot mulled wine, fabulous food, refreshments and entertainment. Wine tasting and sales by DiMatteo, Tomasello and Valenzano. Fee: $3.00 per person. The Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen's Museum is located at 120 West Main Street in Tuckerton. Fore more information, please call 609-296-8868. 

Saturday and Sunday, December 8 & 9 - Bedminster, Somerset County
Colonial Christmas Celebration

New Jersey's premiere colonial Christmas celebration will take place this weekend at the Jacobus Vanderveer House from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm each day. The house is decorated for the season. Enjoy house tours, colonial music, a colonial boutique for all your holiday shopping needs, refreshments, and entertainment. The Vanderveer House is located at 955 Route 202/206 South, Bedminster, NJ 07921. For more information visit 


Saturday - Sunday, December 8 - 9 & 15 - 16 - South Bound Brook, Somerset County
Home for the Holidays: Holiday at The Abraham Staats House

Visit the Abraham Staats House home for the holidays! The Abraham Staats House will be decked out in festive finery and hosting a number of musical programs for the two weekends of Holiday at the Abraham Staats House! Built c. 1740, the house was home to the Dutch Staats family for nearly two centuries and is now under the care of the Borough of South Bound Brook.

On Saturday and Sunday, from 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm, the public is invited for a holiday visit. Each room of the house is festively and individually decorated by South Bound Brook community organizations in celebration of the holiday season. Enjoy music of the season as well. On Saturday, December 8, members of the South Bound Brook Robert Morris School Band, directed by Mr. Frank Parente, will perform at 1:00 pm. On Sunday, December 9, the Franklin Township High School Madrigal Singers directed by Betty DeMonic will perform at 1:30 pm. They will be followed by a performance at 2:30 pm by members of the choir of the St. Thomas AME Church in Somerville, led by Dr. Beverly Murdock. And at 4:00 pm on Sunday, December 9 and again on Sunday, December 16, enjoy the sounds of the Somerville High School Jazz ensemble under the direction of Mr. Matt Krempasky.

Stroll through the many rooms, learn about the history of the home, and get in the holiday spirit as you enjoy the seasonal displays and exhibits, as well as the Christmas music of the 18th century played on the dulcimer, guitar and fiddle by Tom Harabin. Admission and parking are free, but donations are accepted. The Abraham Staats House is located at 17 Von Steuben Lane, South Bound Brook. For information call Tom at 732-469-3198, or visit

Sunday, December 9 - Rocky Hill, Somerset County
Holiday Candlelight House Tours

Rockingham Historic Site, the final Revolutionary War headquarters of General George Washington, will offer its annual holiday candlelight house tours on Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. This tour will have a special theme: George Washington's social training. In the 18th century, the holidays were a great time to socialize, especially in the southern colonies where George Washington grew up. Learning how to conduct oneself in these situations was very important in polite society and was instilled in the children of the more genteel families, such as the one of which Washington was a part. Around 1746, when George Washington was fourteen years old, he copied an English translation of a French book of 110 rules by which to conduct one's life. These adages dealt with etiquette in social interactions, moral virtues, manners, and self-control. Today they are called the Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. Visitors will learn about some of these rules as they are conducted from room to room in Rockingham.

The tours, conducted by Montgomery Township High School's Live Historians in period dress, are scheduled every half-hour (last tour at 3:30). There will be 18th-century music on English flute, provided by the Practitioners of Musick, in one of the rooms. Hot cider and cookies will be available, and the Museum Store will be open for shopping.

This event is sponsored by the Rockingham Association, the Montgomery High School Live Historians, and the Stony Brook Garden Club. A donation of $5 is suggested. Reservations, which are required for admittance to the tour, are available by calling 609-683-7132 or 609-683-7136. Rockingham is located on Laurel Avenue/Kingston-Rocky Hill Road (Route 603) between Route 518 in Rocky Hill and Route 27 in Kingston. For further information or directions, call 609-683-7132 or visit

Sunday, December 9 - Union Township, Union County
Christmas Tree Ornament Workshop

Liberty Hall is hosting a Christmas tree ornament workshop on Sunday from 10:00 am - 12:00 noon. Children will create old-fashioned ornaments to decorate their Christmas tree at home! A tour of Liberty Hall decorated for holidays will follow the workshop. Program Fee: $20.00 for each child and adult, all additional adults $5.00. Reservations are required. Call 908-527-0400 (Recommended for ages 7 to 12). Liberty Hall is located at 1003 Morris Ave, Union, NJ 07083. For more information, call 908-27-0400.

Sunday, December 9 - Paterson, Passaic County
Storytelling with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Give your children or grandchildren a special holiday treat with storytelling at Lambert Castle! A fun-filled experience, they'll remember for years. Recommended for children under 10. Two program times: 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Admission is $15 for one adult and one child; additional adults and children, $5 each. Refreshments will be served. Reservations required (space is limited to 50 children per session). Lambert Castle, the lavish Victorian estate built at Garrett Mountain in Paterson, New Jersey by silk magnate Catholina Lambert, is proud to announce its holiday programming schedule. The month of December will be the perfect time and the Castle will be the perfect place for food, fun and celebration this holiday season. Information and reservation forms for all of the events at Lambert Castle are available at

Sunday, December 9 - Perth Amboy, Middlesex County
Christmas Tree Lighting

Make sure to come visit the Proprietary House on Sunday for their first annual Christmas Tree lighting and open house! Festivities start at 1:00 pm, which will include refreshments, history tours, storytelling, and Christmas caroling with a choir from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm! The lighting will be outside at around 5:30 pm. Admission is FREE!

Sunday, December 9 - Hammonton, Burlington County
A Holiday Celebration: Batsto Through the Years

On Sunday Batsto Village will present A Holiday Celebration: "Batsto Through the Years." Robert Mouland will perform music of the 18th century in  the Batsto Visitor Center auditorium from 12:30 - 1:30 pm. Mouland's program, "Drive the Cold Winter Away," will feature instruments of the period including English guitar, violin, wire harp, shuttle pipes, flageolet, and flute. This holiday performance will include seasonal songs, melodies and tales of the 18th century. This music may be reminiscent of the tales and tunes heard by the Irish immigrants working in Batsto's glassworks during the mid 1800s.

Admission is $5. Seating begins at 12:00 noon and the performance will begin promptly at 12:30 pm. For additional information, please call 609-561-0024 or e-mail:

Batsto's Holiday Celebration continues from 1:30 until 4:00 pm. Visit the stately Victorian style Mansion dressed in the splendor of the holiday season. Listen to holiday music in the parlor. Tours are available for $3.00 and tickets are sold at the Visitor Center.

Visitors on Sunday, December 9, 2012 can bring their holiday cards, already stamped and addressed, and have them hand cancelled by a volunteer postmaster. Due to the age and historical significance of the Batsto Post Office (1852), a zip code is not required to be part of the hand postmark cancellation.

Anthony Melita and Revolution Tours Inc. will meet you in the General Store to present "I'll be Home for Christmas: Letters from the Battlefront." He will share letters sent home by colonists during the Revolutionary War years. Stop by the exhibit room and enjoy some tasty refreshments! Find several displays for adults as well as children. Toby Kroll, owner of Three Cedars Forge Blacksmithing, will demonstrate some of the techniques and tools of his trade using the Batsto Blacksmith Shop. Batsto Village is located at 31 Batsto Village Road, Hammonton, NJ 08037.

Sunday, December 9 - Matawan, Monmouth County
Christmas Musicale

The Matawan Historical Society will hold its annual Christmas Musicale on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm at the Burrowes Mansion located at 94 Main Street in Matawan. The free musicale will feature members of the Jersey Shore-based Irish band Trinity, performing Irish and English Christmas music. Refreshments will be available throughout the afternoon. For more information call 732-492-6069.

Sunday, December 9 - Hamilton, Mercer County
Wassail Party and Open House

On Sunday attend a holiday open house and Wassail party at the John Abbott II House from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. Wassail is a traditional drink that was served at Christmas holiday gatherings. The Abbot II House is decorated for the holidays with period-appropriate decorations. The John Abbott II House is located at 2200 Kuser Road, Hamilton 08690. Sponsored by the Hamilton Township Historical Society. For more details, call 609-585-5435.

Saturday - Sunday, December 8 - 9 and 15 - 16 - Whippany, Morris County
21st Annual Santa Claus Special

New Jersey's Original Santa Claus Special celebrates its 21st continuous year of operation in 2012.  Celebrate the wonderful Christmastime spirit and joy with a ride on the Whippany Railway Museum's Santa Claus Special! Tickets for this annual Christmas tradition make great gifts for the kids and the entire family. The 10-mile, 45-minute round trip excursion from Whippany to Roseland and return allows passengers time to enjoy the festivities of the season and the merriment on the train.  All of our past trips over the last 20 years have been complete sell-outs, and seeing the excited faces of the children as they climb aboard the Christmas holiday-decorated trains, ensures an afternoon for family fun. During each excursion, Santa makes his way through the train and visits with the children on-board. Santa's helpers follow along, giving the kids a special gift from Santa. Be sure to bring your camera and take pictures of the kids with Santa, so they can always remember their day on-board the train!

In addition to the regular coaches that make up the train, make your day extra special by purchasing limited tickets for a nostalgic Christmas ride aboard the museum's elegant 1927-era Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ) Club Car, Jersey Coast. Specially decorated for the Christmas holidays in a pre-World War II style, the car has the warm look and feel of a private club with individual leather chairs, mahogany interior accented with stained glass, built-in tables and period ceiling fans. The Jersey Coast, recalls the 1930s when the CNJ operated its deluxe coach train, The Blue Comet, between Jersey City and Atlantic City, NJ. The striking, authentic exterior paint scheme of cream and blue reminds one of a comet streaking through space. It is the only car of its type operating in New Jersey.

So round up your family and friends and climb aboard for some great Christmastime fun and laughter! Ordering tickets is fast and easy! Trains depart at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00 pm each day, rain or shine. The Whippany Railroad is located at 1 Railroad Plaza, at the Intersection of Route 10 West & Whippany Road in Whippany, NJ. Train fare: Adults: $13.00, Children (under 12): $8.00, Infants (1 year and under): Free.

To order tickets and for more information, visit or call 973-887-8177. The Whippany Railway Museum, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit Operating Heritage Railroad that is staffed by volunteers. Donations from the public help to keep the museum operational, but funds are still required to support this unique New Jersey treasure. Proceeds from the train rides further enhance the Museum's mission and its historic preservation efforts.

Saturday - Sunday, December 8, 9, 15, 16 - Flemington, Hunterdon County
Holiday Open House

Holiday greenery, ribbons, hydrangeas, magnolia leaves and lots of clever decorating ideas will greet visitors at the 1845 Doric House at 114 Main Street in Flemington. The museum, open at no charge by the Hunterdon County Historical Society, will welcome guests for tours on the following two weekends, December 8-9 and 15-16. Hours each day are 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

Festive decorations designed by the Community Garden Club of Hunterdon County and the Hunterdon Hills Garden Club make the first floor of the high-style Greek Revival house particularly appealing. Working with the theme Celebrating the Season, the Community Garden Club has swagged the elegantly curved staircase banister in the foyer with pinecones, oranges, hydrangea, pepper berries, nut balls, and golden bows. Gifts are piled on the Windsor settee and a trio of nut topiary trees decorates a table. Continuing into the dining room, a formally set table glows with ribbons that stream from the crystal chandelier to gifts at each place setting. Windows are dressed with swags and doors with holiday wreaths.

In the high-style parlor, the Hunterdon Hills Garden Club's theme, Waiting for Christmas, uses magnolia leaves and hydrangeas, burgundy ribbon and white accents of chandelier crystals and crocheted snowflakes on the tree and around the room. Old-fashioned tree candles also decorate the tree and toys from the mid-1800s lay under it. Stockings hang from the marble mantle.

At the end of the tour, guests have the choice of voting which club's decorations they like best. The winning club will receive an award. Besides the holiday decorations, guests will see new appointments in the parlor, including an 1845 Argand-style whale oil chandelier created by Charles Tiffany of New Hope, an 1830 portrait of Anna Hope Foster of Clinton (hanging over a Chippendale-style desk made by her father in 1790), and new 19th-century-style lace panels at the windows. In the foyer, the Society has added a collection of nine walking sticks dating from 1722 to 1917.

The Doric House was built by Mahlon Fisher, a country carpenter of ability and taste, for his private residence. He also erected several other Flemington residences in the same style that are considered some of the best of their type in the U.S. but the Doric House is the only one remaining in non-commercial use.

Sundays, December 9, 16, and 23 - Montclair, Essex County
Holiday House Tours

Tours at the Montclair Historical Society, 108 Orange Road and the Charles Shultz House-Evergreens, 30 North Mountain Avenue between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm for four Sundays in December. See the houses bedecked in their holiday finery. These special tours incorporate the holiday traditions as well as the stories of the houses and the people who lived there. Begin at the Nathaniel Crane house where the less "foppery" reigned; then see the Israel Crane house decorated by the Garden Club of Montclair; then move forward in history to the Charles Shultz House, featuring Molly Shultz's own collection of Christmas decorations and antique toys. Tours are $8 for adults, $5 for children, with special holiday pricing of a max of $25 per family.  Members are free. Call 973-744-1796 for information or e-mail

Saturday - Sunday, December 8 - 9 - Montague, Sussex County
Annual Old-Fashioned Holiday Weekends

"Christmas Past at the Armstrong House" is this year's theme for the Annual Old-Fashioned Holiday Weekends offered by the Montague Association for the Restoration of Community History (M.A.R.C.H.). All events will be held at the circa 1790 Foster-Armstrong House, located at 320 River Road, in Montague.

The historical society will open this museum on three consecutive weekends for the public to enjoy the special holiday displays. Costumed docents will lead visitors through five decorated rooms on the first floor of the house. The house will open from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturday, December 8th and Sunday, December 9th. The last tour will be conducted 30 minutes before closing on each of the six days.  All openings are held weather-permitting.

Each room will have a decorated tree and stockings hung on all the fireplaces.  Baking items for the holidays will be featured in one room, a train display in another, and a holiday dinner table with all the finery in another room, with pine cones and garland throughout all the rooms. The special displays will include antique rolling pins, cookie cutters, butter molds, iron-cast stag animals, Swedish tomtens, a running Christmas train set, pinecone wreaths, and antique ornaments.

Come and enjoy the holiday decorations, select wonderful handmade crafts made by the historical society members, buy a book for a family or friend, and experience a warm welcome as you tour the museum. Cookies and hot cider will be served. There is no admission fee charged. Donations are welcomed and are used towards maintenance of the two buildings cared for by M.A.R.C.H.

The Foster-Armstrong House is located at 320 River Road / C.R. 521 in Montague, NJ, about 1 mile north of the Milford-Montague Bridge. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area of the National Park System. For further information visit or call 973-293-3106.

Sunday, December 9 - Washington's Crossing, Pennsylvania
Washington's Crossing Reenactment Rehearsal

You are invited to the 60th annual reenactment dress rehearsal of Washington's Crossing on Sunday from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. The crossing to New Jersey will occur at 1:00 pm! The Christmas Crossing, which General Washington and his brave troops performed, will occur on Christmas Day at 1:00 pm. Cost to attend the dress rehearsal is $8 for adults, $4 for children age 5 – 11, and free for children under age 5. Proceeds support future crossings.

During the dress rehearsal, the troops cross the river in uniform just as they do on Christmas Day, plus additional activities and demonstrations take place throughout the historic village. Washington Crossing Historic Park commemorates the site of General George Washington’s famous Delaware River crossing on Christmas Day 1776. The 500 acre park also includes the Thompson-Neely House, an 18th century farmhouse used as a hospital to care for sick and wounded Continental soldiers, and Bowman’s Hill Tower, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Recreational areas of the Park are available for picnicking, hiking and wildlife-watching.

Washington Crossing Historic Park is located at the intersection of Routes 32 and 532 over the bridge in Pennsylvania. For additional information, please call 215-493-4076. This program is sponsored by the non-profit Friends of Washington Crossing Park in partnership with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Sunday, December 2 - 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


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