Friday, January 11, 2013

Weekend Historical Happenings: 1/12/13 - 1/13/13

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Saturday, January 12 - Plainfield, Union County
Civil War Currency and Inflation

On Saturday the Friends of the Plainfield Public Library (FOPPL) will present educator, author and Plainfield resident, Thomas H. Brown Ph. D. who will discuss"Southern Currency, Inflation and the Civil War." Dr. Brown's presentation will take place in the Anne Louise Davis Room of the Plainfield Public Library at 2:00 pm. Audience participation will be encouraged through the use of civil war crossword puzzles. Samples of Southern currency and other Civil War items will be available for viewing. Winslow Homer engravings of the Civil War will be on display from the Local History Department of the Plainfield Public Library.

Dr. Brown is President Emeritus of Union County College and a resident of Plainfield, NJ. He has written George S. Boutwell, Human Rights Advocate and several articles on the Civil War including "Eyewitness to War" and "Lincoln, Boutwell and the creation of the Internal Revenue Department."

For more information about the Plainfield Public Library or to inquire about membership to FOPPL, call 908-757-1111 x136 or visit the Library's website The Library is located at 800 Park Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060.

Saturday, January 12 - Bayonne, Hudson County
Jersey City Politician Denny McLaughlin

Dr. Hermann Platt will present at the Hudson County Genealogical & Historical Society meeting on Saturday from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm about his recently completed research on Denny McLaughlin, a 19th Century Jersey City politician from the Horseshoe district. Denny McLaughlin was a mentor and predecessor of Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague.

Hermann K. Platt is Professor Emeritus of History at St. Peter's College and has done extensive research on many Hudson County historical personalities. He previously spoke to The Hudson County Genealogical & Historical Society in January 2012 about Edward F.C. Young, Jersey City's wealthiest resident, preeminent financial leader and most influential political power broker at the end of the nineteenth century. The event will be held at the Post 226 VFW Hall at 16-18 West 9th Street in Bayonne. There is a small parking lot with street parking available so car-pooling is recommended.

Sunday, January 13 - Madison, Morris County
Industrialization: The Changing Story of Child Labor

Meet Dr. Lara Vapnek on Sunday at 2:00 pm at the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts as she discusses how the fall of indentures is tied to the rise of industrialization and the Child Saving Movement. This presentation was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Advance registration recommended; call 973-377-2982 x13. This presentation is included with regular museum admission: $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, students & children (ages 6 and up) and FREE for Members & children (ages 5 and under). Family maximum admission $13.00.  The museum is open Tuesday - Saturday 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm. Closed Mondays and Major Holidays. The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts is located at 9 Main Street in the heart of downtown Madison. For information, please call 973-377-2982 x10 or visit

Sunday, January 13 - Atlantic City, Atlantic County
Absecon Lighthouse Birthday Celebration

Absecon Lighthouse, New Jersey's tallest, will host a birthday celebration to honor the 156th birthday of the lighthouse, beginning Sunday, January 13th.  Using "Abby" as inspiration, Atlantic City students have submitted poems, paintings, photographs, and drawings. Cash prize winners will be announced at 1:00 pm and kids can climb free all day, 11:00 am to 3:30 pm. The celebration continues Monday, January 14th with "Buy One Get One" admissions all day. Then, Tuesday, January 15th is the actual birthday with FREE climbs for all and birthday cake from The Bake Works in Northfield following the annual Happy Birthday sing-along. If you truly want to "DO AC," then don't miss this opportunity to experience a 360-degree view of Atlantic City's sparkling skyline, and wish a Happy Birthday to Atlantic City's oldest historic structure, as well as the country's third tallest lighthouse.

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. For more information about Absecon Lighthouse and its programs call 609-449-1360 or visit

Sunday, January 13 - Westfield, Union County
Winter Chores

In early America, seasons were based on such factors as changes in the weather, the phases of the moon, and the growing habits of local crops. There was a season, or a time, for all important activities, from maple sugaring to broom making to pickling and brining. Even in the most severe weather, there were endless tasks to be taken care of. Stop by the Miller-Cory House Museum in Westfield for their program titled "Snowed In!" on Sunday from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. This program provides a glimpse of an early American farm family's busy routine during the cold winter months.

The program, which is appropriate for young children, includes demonstrations of colonial-era chores, a craft, storytelling, and light refreshments. Admission is $3.00 for adults and children 13 and older; $2.00 for children ages 3 to 12; and free for children under age 3. The Miller-Cory House Museum is located at 614 Mountain Avenue in Westfield. For more information, call 908-232-1776 or visit

Sunday, January 13 - Trenton, Mercer County
Painting Conservation

For owners and lovers of fine art, the Trenton Museum Society presents Christyl Cusworth, a professional associate of The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works with 20 years of experience in the field. Ms. Cusworth will discuss the delicate art of painting conservation at 2:00 pm on Sunday at the Trenton City Museum, Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park in Trenton.

Ms. Cusworth will explain the techniques involved in the painstaking transformation of a dirty or damaged work of art into the treasure it was meant to be. She will discuss the role of a conservator, the difference between conservation and restoration and its relation to value, and the importance of proper conservation treatment. Using before and after examples of cleaned and treated paintings, she will demonstrate the damage that the passage of time and inadequate climate control can create in a work of art and discuss options for prevention and treatment. At the end of her presentation, Ms Cusworth will entertain questions from the audience.

A graduate of The College of New Jersey, Ms. Cusworth maintains a conservation studio in Lambertville, New Jersey where, using the best contemporary practices, she preserves works of art brought to her by museums, antique and fine art dealers, and private collectors. Recent examples of her work are on display in the museum. Refreshments will be served. General admission: $10 at the door. Free for members of the Trenton Museum Society. For more information, contact the Trenton Museum Society at 609-989-1191 or e-mail

Sunday, January 13 - Lower Alloways Creek, Salem County
Hancock's Bridge Discussion

Despite the exhaustive investigations done by numerous scholars over the years, many details of the British attack on Hancock's Bridge in the early morning hours of March 21, 1778 have eluded researchers. How exactly did Major John Graves Simcoe get over two-hundred of his Queens Rangers from the port of Salem to Hancock's Bridge that night undetected? What time did he depart Salem? What was, according to his Journal, the "strange error in the Naval Department" that forced him to change strategy in the middle of the operation? Where had he originally figured to land, and what avenue of attack was he forced to abandon? Exactly when and where did he actually come ashore and what route did he end up taking into Hancock's Bridge? Supplementing Simcoe's Journal with meteorological records kept at the time, along with knowledge of solar and lunar cycles, and Delaware Bay tide tables from March 1778, has shed new light on the strategies and operations that guided the British soldiers to Hancock's Bridge on that fateful night. Salem County native Chuck Coblentz will share his investigation into the massacre at the January 13th meeting of the Friends of the Hancock House. The meeting will be held at the Lower Alloways Township Municipal Building, Hancock's Bridge, NJ at 2:20 pm.

Sunday, January 13 - North Plainfield, Somerset County
Photography Exhibition

The Fleetwood Museum of Art and Photographica is pleased to present an exhibition, "Dependent on Chance: The Magic of Smoke Trails" by Vivian S. Bedoya. The exhibition features abstract photographs created by photographing smoke. The images, ethereal formations rendered  in both color and black and  white, are stunning examples of this arduous photographic process. This unique exhibition is on view through the end of January.

Ms. Bedoya is a writer and photographer residing in  Somerset  County. She currently has four works of art in the Gallery 27/7 Art on Traffic Control Boxes throughout  Somerset  County.

The Fleetwood  Museum of Art and Photographica is located inside the Vermeule  Mansion located at 614 Greenbrook Road, North Plainfield, New Jersey  07060. The Museum is open Saturdays from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm and the second Sunday of  every month, 1:30 - 4:00 pm. 

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


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