Friday, February 15, 2013

Weekend Historical Happenings: 2/16/13 - 2/17/13

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Saturday, February 16 - Piscataway, Middlesex County
John and Abigail Adams

In celebration of Valentine's Day, the Metlar-Bodine House Museum presents "John & Abigail Adams: A Love Story" on Saturday. Set against the backdrop of The American Revolution, political intrigue and the building of a new, fragile and fractious government, the enduring love and abiding friendship between John and Abigail Adams is one of the great love stories of American history.

Historian Glenn W. LeBoeuf, will talk about their courtship, marriage, family life and the friendship that persevered through many trials on February 16th, at 2pm (rescheduled from February 9th due to the snowstorm). Mr. LeBoeuf received his degree in history from Monmouth University, taught social studies for many years, and for over 25 years has been a sought-after lecturer for historical societies, civic groups, library associations and colleges. In addition, he was active in Civil War Reenacting, having participated in the films Glory and Gettysburg. He is a life-long resident of New Jersey.

Seating is limited. Reservations must be received by February 14th. Refreshments will be served after the program and the museum's gift shop will be open. Cost $15 per person. For reservations and directions, call 732-463-8363. The Metlar-Bodine House Museum is located at 1281 River Road, Piscataway, NJ.

Saturdays, Feburary 16 - February 23 - Port Norris, Cumberland County
Winter Enrichment Series

A winter learning experience for ages 6 - 12 held each Saturday from 9:00 am - 12:00 noon at the Bivalve Shipping Sheds at 2800 High Street, Port Norris, NJ. Explore winter on the Delaware Bay: discover the bay's winter inhabitants and environment with hands on activities, wetland walks, critter observations, art and crafts. This program runs every Saturday until February 23. For more information or to register, contact Laura S. Johnson,; 856-785-2060 ext. 102.

Saturday, February 16 - Westfield, Union County
Black Soldiers and Sailors in the Civil War

In celebration of Black History month and the nation's commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, the Westfield Historical Society will be hosting an exhibit presented by Ethel M. Washington entitled "Union County - Black Soldiers and Sailors in the Civil War." On Saturday at 1:00 pm, an introductory gallery talk will be given by Ms. Washington to kick off the exhibit, which will run through March 2013. April 12, 2011 marked the beginning of the nation's four-year (2011-2015) commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War and the Emancipation of enslaved Americans. The exhibit will showcase people of African American descent (Blacks and Mulatttos) from the "West Fields" and surrounding Union county who were actively engaged in the Civil War and the fight for their freedom. On display are portraits of Union County Black and Mulatto soldiers and sailors that enlisted in the regiments of the United States Colored Troops (USCT), as well as in white regiments raised in Union County.

Ms. Washington has spent most of her career in various cultural institutions, including the Newark Museum, Montclair Art Museum and the Cooper-Hewitt, as well as the National Design Museum, and Smithsonian Institution in New York City. Ethel served for many years as commissioner on the Plainfield Cultural and Heritage Commission. She was involved in a one-year oral history project funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in order to get oral histories from 1,750 African-American families which have since been archived in the Library of Congress. She is a trustee on several boards including founding Vice Chair of the New Jersey African-American Cultural Heritage Foundation, The Old First Historic Trust Board- First Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth, The New Jersey State Historical Records Advisory Board, and the Advocates for New Jersey History Board. Ethel currently serves as History Programs Coordinator, Union County Office of Cultural Heritage Affairs, Department of Parks and Community Renewal.

Space is limited for the gallery talk and early reservations are encouraged. For more information on this program or for reservations, please contact the Westfield Historical Society at 908-654-1794. This program will be held at the Reeve History and Cultural Resource Center, 314 Mountain Avenue Westfield, NJ.

Saturday, Feburary 16 - Trenton, Mercer County
Trenton's Education Legacy

The Trenton Museum Society and the Trenton City Museum present a new exhibit entitled "Trenton's Educational Legacy: The New Lincoln School." The exhibit, curated by Elizabeth Carter Lacy, examines the relationship between the New Lincoln School under segregation and after and Trenton's black community between the years 1924 and 1946. It will be on display on the second floor of the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park from February 9 through May 25, 2013.

The exhibit's opening reception will be held on Saturday from 2:00 until 4:00 pm and is open to the public. New Lincoln School alumni and friends from the 1930s and 1940s as well as area history buffs will attend the opening. Located on North Montgomery Street, the New Lincoln School opened in 1924 as a segregated school for Trenton's "Negro" students. Containing both elementary and junior high schools, it consolidated students from several other schools in the city where African-American children were educated. Many graduates of New Lincoln School went on to distinguished careers in fields such as education, law, public service, medicine, sports and the fine and performing arts. Many more became the firsts to hold Municipal, County, and State jobs that were once not open to African-Americans. In later years, a few held significant positions in Trenton's private businesses.

In 1946, as a result of the Hedgepeth-Williams lawsuit, Trenton's schools were desegregated. Mr. Patton J. Hill, the African-American principal of New Lincoln School from 1933-1958, continued as principal in the newly desegregated school until his retirement. After desegregation, the junior high school was renamed Junior High School No. 5 and is now known as the Rivera School. The exhibit will cover the period from the opening of the New Lincoln School in 1924 until the end of segregation in 1946. The exhibit will address why there was a need for a state-of-the-art school to replace substandard schools serving African-Americans. It will also highlight the teachers, principals, curriculum, sports, and health services of the new school, photos of graduation classes, leaders of various professions who visited the school, and achievements of alumni.

The exhibit will also focus on the important relationship among the school, the black family, the black church, and the black community. It will highlight the role of the Reverend John A. White of Shiloh Baptist Church, 1904-1946, a quiet strength working through various organizations to link the races in Trenton for the good of all.

The exhibit has been guest curated by Elizabeth Carter Lacy, founder of the Bettwansuela Museum Collection. Mrs. Lacy is an alumnus of New Lincoln School and long-time teacher in the Trenton Public School system. She graduated from Cheyney State Teacher's College (now Cheyney University) with a Bachelor's degree in education, and received the Reading Teacher's certification from Trenton State Teachers College (now The College of New Jersey). She has received many honors from Cheyney University and from civic and educational organizations including the NAACP. She is also founder and curator of the Geraldine Carter-Bethel Library Museum at Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact the Trenton Museum Society at 609-989-1191 or Ellarslie Mansion is located in Cadwalader Park in Trenton.

Saturday - Sunday, February 16 - 17 - Cape May, Cape May County
Weekend Events

Crafts and Antiques in Winter: The region's most sought-after antique dealers and craftspeople come together for a two-day show featuring an array of handmade items, country antiques, glassware, silver, furniture and more. Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue in Cape May. Admission $2. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information or to purchase tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour: Take this spine-tingling, 45-minute evening trolley ride through the streets of Cape May with a guide who relates the paranormal findings of Ghost Writer Craig McManus. Offered Saturday at 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm and Sunday at 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm. Admission: $10 for adults, $7 for children (ages 3-12). Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Panel Discussion on the Carriage House Gallery Exhibit: "Celebrating Community Service: Black Fraternal, Social and Civic Organizations of Cape May County." Join representatives from the Center for Community Arts (CCA) and the local community to discuss the current Carriage House Gallery exhibit, which explores the significance of black fraternal, social and civic organizations in African-American social life and focus on those relevant to Cape May County. Sunday at 4:00 pm. Co-sponsored by the Center for Community Arts (CCA) and the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Sunday, Feburary 17 - Park Ridge, Bergen County
Learn to Speak Antique

The Pascack Historical Society (PHS) hopes to expand the knowledge of amateur antique furniture fans when it presents the first of a series of displays and lectures called "How to Speak Antique" on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, at its barrier free museum, 19 Ridge Avenue, Park Ridge. Free admission.

PHS Trustee Robert Mathez, an expert on the restoration and conservation of antique furniture, will speak at 1:30 pm. His presentation will focus on the techniques used to identify various "styles of furniture" from The Seventeenth Century ("Pilgrim Country"- 1630-1690) through Modern (1940-1970). A Westwood resident, Mathez is president of Robert Mathez Interiors, and the Curator of Furniture at the not-for-profit museum. Future lectures in the series with include furniture "forms" and "woods."

Visitors will be able to view six pieces of furniture that represents various styles and periods, including: "In the Style of the Seventeenth Century" ladderback chair a American Queen Anne Style tilt top candlestand, a Georgian Style washstand, a Federal Style "Fancy" chair, an American Empire Style washstand commode and a Victorian Style upholstered armchair.

Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of a brand new sixteen page antique furniture guide booklet, published by the Pascack Historical Society, highlighting the furniture on display and containing information about different periods of furniture styles. An in depth question and answer period will follow the talk. Attendees are encouraged to bring small pieces of furniture, or photographs of their personal furniture, for identification and discussion. No values or formal written appraisals will be given. Complimentary coffee and cake will be served. Children are welcome if accompanied by an adult. For further information, questions or directions call 201-573-0307 or visit

Sunday, Feburary 17 - Burlington, Burlington County
Burlington County Trivia

Join the Burlington County Historian Joe Laufer on Sunday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm for "Burlington County Trivia." Learn about the fun facts and oddities that Joe Laufer has uncovered in his years of research on historical topics. Q and A and light refreshments follow the program.

The cost is $5 per person. The program will be held at the Corson Poley Center at the Burlington County Historical Society, 454 Lawrence Street, Burlington, NJ 08016. For more information please call 609-386-4773 or e-mail

Sunday, February 17 - Morristown, Morris County
From Masters to Manufacturers: The Silver Industry & Early American Life

On Sunday, Macculloch Hall Historical Museum welcomes museum member and decorative arts collector Ken Miller for a brief examination of the early silver industry in the Colonies and newly born United States, focused on the significant changes within this one craft. It was not just taste and technique that changed during this period, nor was the American political revolution the only upheaval -- in fact social and commercial life went through its own revolution during these years and can be witnessed through the stories of early America's silversmiths.

Ken Miller served as a Naval flight officer, and then pursued a career in finance before retiring in 2003. He is currently focused on volunteerism. He is a gubernatorial appointee to the Board of the New Jersey Historic Trust, serves as chair of Morristown New Jersey's Historic Preservation Commission, is a trustee and treasurer of the Theta Xi foundation, and treasurer of the Morristown Library Foundation and his local church. Ken's passion for history, architectural design, and the decorative arts have been expressed through collecting, study, and preservation. His collecting interest is focused on early American silver, maritime, and automotive related subjects. Ken is also actively working on the restoration of his National Historic Landmark residence.

Tickets for Sunday's program will go on sale at 1:00 pm on the day of the program, no advance sales. The presentation begins at 4:30 pm. House tours (regular admission applies) take place throughout the afternoon and the last tour leaves at 3:00 pm. The upstairs galleries will remain open until 4:30 pm, with the "A Fine Collection" exhibit closing at 3:00 pm in preparation for the program. Tickets to hear the speaker are Adults $8; Seniors & Students $6; Children 6 - 12 $4. Members and children under 5 are free. Speaker tickets include admission to take part in a house tour through the period rooms of the Museum for visitors who sign up for a tour during the afternoon. Visitors can also enjoy the upstairs gallery exhibit "Thomas Nast: President Maker and Campaign Breaker," with more than 20 examples of presidential campaign images from the late 19th century. The exhibit illustrates the six presidential campaigns from 1864 through 1884.

The museum is open to tour the house and view exhibits on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Adults $8; Seniors & Students $6; Children 6 - 12 $4. Members and children under 5 are free. The last tickets for admission are sold at 3:00 pm. Call 973-538-2404 ext. 10 or visit Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is located at 45 Macculloch Avenue, Morristown. 

Sunday, February 17 - Morristown, Morris County
The Making of an American Icon

We remember George Washington as the father of our country and arguably the greatest American to ever live. On Sunday,  join a Park Ranger to discover the early years of Washington's life and see how he became the man Americans love and idealize. Programs at 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm at the Washington Headquarter's Msuseum located within Morristown National Historical Park. Cost: $4 per Adult.

Sunday, February 17 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
George Washington's Birthday Celebration

On Sunday, the Historic Village at Allaire kicks off its first event of the year with George Washington’s Birthday Celebration from 1:00 - 4:00 pm! Join the Allaire Villagers for a day of celebration! At 1:00 p.m., the villagers of James P. Allaire's Howell Iron Works Company invite you to join them in the Historic Chapel for an 1830s-style Patriotic and Commemorative service in honor of General Washington!

Featuring patriotic orations, speeches, and commemorative poetry of the period, the service pays tribute to the young nation's beloved first president. The service will be followed by a procession through the village led by the Howell Iron Works Militia. Upon arriving at Mr. Allaire's mansion, visitors may take a tour of the building and sample a piece of birthday cake in honor of George Washington.

This event is FREE. The Historic Village at Allaire is located in Allaire State Park at 4263 Atlantic Avenue, Farmingdale, New Jersey 07727. Call 732-919-3500 for more information or visit

Sunday, February 17 - Bedminster, Somerset County
Open House

The Jacobus Vanderveer House will be open for tours from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. The day will feature a reenactor of General Henry Knox, who will explain his role in the history of the American Revolution and the Pluckemin Academy. At 3:30 pm, there will be a presentation on the Pluckemin Cantonment and a preview of the Digital Virtual Cantonment. The cantonment was located where the Hills of Bedminster residential community is sited today. Dr. John Seidel and Dr. Stewart Bruce, professors at Washington College, are creating a virtual 3D model of the cantonment, which they will preview in this presentation. The Jacobus Vanderveer House is located at 955 Route 202/206 South, Bedminster, NJ 07921. For more information visit

Sundays through April 14, 2013 - Cranbury, Middlesex County
Bunting Doll House on Display

The Bunting Doll House is on display at the Cranbury Museum on Sundays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm  through April 14, 2013. The house is a hand-made replica of an 1890's house and veterinarian's office in Burlington, N.J. When Lavada Bunting needed to relax after her long days as a private duty nurse in the 1950s, she turned to an all-consuming hobby, creating a dollhouse and the miniature furniture for it. The endeavor was nine years in the making. Thanks to Lavada Bunting's efforts, her descendants have a family heirloom: an elaborately furnished, nine-room, two-story replica of a Colonial house. The creator's nephew Bill Bunting, a Cranbury resident and Princeton lawyer, said, "It's an idealized version of the house in Burlington, NJ where my aunt grew up. No one has ever played with it.  It's not that kind of house." He has loaned the Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society this family treasure. The Cranbury Museum is located at 4 Park Place East, Cranbury.

Through April 28, 2013 - Paterson, Passaic County
New Exhibit at Lambert Castle

Lambert Castle, the Victorian-era mansion located on the Garrett Mountain Reservation on the border between Paterson and Clifton, will be home to an exciting new art exhibit now through April 28, 2013. The exhibit, entitled "Message in a Bottle: The Bottleworks of Dr. Etta Ehrlich," will feature Dr. Ehrlich's unique and thought-provoking take on society and culture, using carefully-arranged antique bottles and other found objects. The exhibit will be open until April 28 during regular museum hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Lambert Castle is located at 3 Valley Road, Paterson. For more information, call 973-247-0085 or visit

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


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