Friday, February 22, 2013

Weekend Historical Happenings: 2/23/13 - 2/24/13

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Saturday, February 23 - Morristown, Morris County
What is it Henry?

The Wick Family owned some curious tools, with some odd names. Could you use a beetle or a stylyard around your house? Come discover these and other items Mr. Wick used everyday at his home in Morristown. The program will run from 1:30 -  3:30 pm at the Wick House in Jockey Hollow, located within Morristown National Historical Park. Free admission.

Saturday, 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 23 - Southampton, Burlington County
Winter Botany in the Pines

Russell Juelg of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation will lead an indoor winter botany workshop at the Pinelands Preservation Alliance Headquarters in Southampton.

After lunch head out to the Franklin Parker Preserve for some field studies. Cost is $20 per person. For more information or to register online, visit The Pinelands Preservation Alliance is located at 17 Pemberton Rd, Southampton, NJ. Call 609-859-8860 or visit

Saturday, February 23 - Rutherford, Bergen County
Chocolate Tasting and Tour

The Meadowlands Museum invites you to a Chocolate Tasting and Tour on Saturday evening between 7:00 and 9:30 pm. For a $25 (adults) donation to the museum, you can have a glass of champagne (or water or sparkling juice) and then wander from room to room to see the progress of the museum, its current and upcoming exhibits, and best of all EAT CHOCOLATE! You do not need to call or make reservations. Just come to the museum that evening and enter at the lower level. The Meadowlands Museum is located at 91 Crane Avenue, Rutherford, NJ. For more information call 201-935 1175 or visit

Saturday, February 23 - Fort Lee, Bergen County
Voices of the Revolution

On Saturday afternoon the New Jersey Section of the Palisades Interstate Park will host an illustrated lecture and book signing with two authors who have made a specialty of uncovering the hidden history of the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of the common soldiers who lived and fought through that tumultuous time. The program, called “Voices of the Revolution,” will be co-sponsored with the Fort Lee Historical Society and held at the Visitor Center of the Interstate Park’s Fort Lee Historic Park facility. The program is free. The Historical Society will provide donuts and coffee for the event, which will take place from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. For more information about the program as well as directions to Fort Lee Historic Park, please call Fort Lee Historic Park at 201-461-1776.

Saturday - Sunday, February 23 - 24 - Trenton, Mercer County
3 Centuries of African American Soldiers 

America We Served! Black History comes to life at the Old Barracks Museum! Experience the living history of America's Black Warriors by the veterans themselves and dedicated re-enactors. View displays of photos, literature and artifacts from wars past. Talk to the storytellers of America's black men and women at war.

Join the Old Barracks Museum on Saturday to meet James M. Paradis, author of Strike the Blow for Freedom: The 6th United States Colored Infantry in the Civil War and African Americans and the Gettysburg Campaign. Mr. Paradis will have a book signing of African Americans and the Gettysburg Campaign. The book may be purchased in the Barracks gift shop.

On Sunday meet Joseph Seliga, author of The Search for Camp Olden, Hamilton Township. He will share his knowledge of the African American soldier in the Civil War. Don't miss this wonderful educational experience for the entire family! The Revolutionary War will be represented by the predominately African American Rhode Island Regiment. The Civil War will be represented by the 6th Regiment United States Colored Troops. World War II will be represented by The 5th Platoon. Other authentically kitted out re-enactors will represent the War of 1812, the Buffalo Soldiers of the American West, and the Harlem Hellfighters of World War I fame.

Admission: Adults $4, Seniors $2, Children $2, under 6 years-free, Family Rate $8. Old Barracks Association Members are free. The event runs from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm each day. All African American history/studies books are 10% off in the Barracks Gift Shop. Three Centuries of African American Soldiers is presented by the Trenton Historical Society and the Old Barracks Museum.

Sunday, February 24 - Bordentown, Burlington County
Meet George Washington

General Washington has never been to Bordentown...until now, of course. On Sunday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm, first-person interpreter Sam Davis of Chesterfield will bring George Washington to the 1740 Friends Meeting House at 302 Farnsworth Avenue to greet the good citizens and patriots of Bordentown and to answer any questions about his personal life and, more importantly, about the Battles of Trenton which the General successfully led when he was only 44 years old. Visitors of any age are welcome to sit with His Excellency and talk over the "times that try men's souls" as Thomas Paine put it. This is a free program and a good photo opportunity for the kids sponsored by the Bordentown Historical Society as part of its 2013 educational series. For more information call 609 298-3779.

Sunday, February 24 - Rocky Hill, Somerset County
Washington's Birthday Celebration

Do you know where George Washington was born? Or what his first job was? Or even what political party he belonged to What important innovation did he introduce into American farming? Rockingham Historic Site will celebrate Washington's 281st birthday on Sunday from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm. Using the various rooms of the historic house to set the scenes, the tours will move through the stages of Washington's life with trivia questions added in for those partaking of the tours. You will even get to "meet" the general in the form of a life-size mannequin in an exact, hand-sewn replica of his last uniform as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. Washington stayed at Rockingham, the farm property of the late Judge John Berrien, from late August to early November in 1783, and it became his final wartime headquarters when the Treaty of Paris was formally signed while he was in residence there.

The special-event tours, which emphasize details of Washington's life and are not the regular history tour of the house, will be offered between 12:00 noon and 4:00 pm (last tour at 3:00) with refreshments served after each tour. Tour size is limited, and reservations are required.  Please call 609-683-7132 for reservations.

Rockingham is located on Rte. 603 (Laurel Ave./Kingston-Rocky Hill Rd.), one mile north of Rte. 27 in Kingston and one mile south of Rte. 518 in Rocky Hill.

Sunday, February 24 - Freehold, Monmouth County
How the Suburbs Ended the Civil Rights Movement in New Jersey

As part of its "Historically Speaking" lecture series, the Monmouth County Historical Association is pleased to welcome back Dr. Walter Greason who will speak on Sunday from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm. The lecture, entitled "Suburban Erasure: How the Suburbs Ended the Civil Rights Movement in New Jersey," will be held at the Court Street School at 140 Court Street in Freehold at the corner of Rhea (parking lot entrance on Avenue A).

Dr. Greason is the executive director of the International Center for Metropolitan Growth. For the last twenty years, he has established himself as the world's leading authority on the economics of race and metropolitan growth and has advised hundreds of businesses and organizations on fiscal management, investment, and development strategies. He also currently serves as the treasurer of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History ( and is an officer on the Membership Committee of the Organization of American Historians. Recently, Dr. Greason won recognition as a Visiting Scholar at James Madison University in Virginia and his new book "Suburban Erasure" is available now and will on hand for purchase and signing at the lecture. Dr. Greason is Assistant Professor of History and Coordinator of the African American and Africana Studies Program at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. He is also the author of "The Path to Freedom - Black Families in New Jersey."

The Court Street School is one of the principal structures associated with the segregated history of early 20th century education in Freehold. The original school was organized in 1915 in a one-room wooden building, exclusively for the education of African American children. The existing brick building was constructed in two phases in 1920 and 1926. All African-American children in Freehold were educated here from kindergarten through 8th grade until WWII when it was used as an air raid shelter and ration station. It was reopened as an integrated school for kindergarten through 3rd grade in 1949, until it closed in 1974. It became a community education and historical center in 1990 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites in 1995.

The lecture is presented in partnership with the Court Street School and is part of a weekend long celebration entitled Africa to America hosted by the Court Street School Education Community Center.

Dr. Greason's lecture is open to the public and admission is free. Refreshments will be served.  Please call 732-462-1466 for further information or to let us know you will attend. For more information, call 732-462-1466 x16 or visit

Sunday, February 24 - Morristown, Morris County
Annual Membership Tea

The Morris County Historical Society will hold its annual  President's Membership Tea on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm at Acorn Hall in Morristown. The day's admission fee ($6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for students) includes a tour of the 19th century house museum; the exhibit "Inspiring Woman: Celebrating Women Artists of Morris County," and a delicious afternoon tea buffet with light tea sandwiches and desserts served in Acorn Hall's dining room. The event is free for society members, and the admission fee can be applied towards an annual membership in MCHS. No advance reservation is required.

The President's Membership Tea is held each year to provide the public with the opportunity to learn more about the Morris County Historical Society and the benefits of society membership. It also gives current members a chance to meet one another, as well as MCHS president, board, and staff. Current members are encouraged to bring a friend who may be interested in joining the society.

The Morris County Historical Society, founded in 1946, is a member-supported, 501 (c) 3non-profit organization. Its headquarters, Acorn Hall, 68 Morris Avenue in Morristown, is an 1853 Italianate Villa mansion open to the public on Mondays and Thursdays (11:00 am - 4:00 pm), and Sundays (1:00 pm - 4:00 pm). For more information, call 973-267-3465 or visit

Sunday, February 24 - Kenilworth, Union County
"What is Soul Food?"

The history and significance of "Soul Food," the variety of cuisine traditionally popular in African-American culture, will be the focus of a Black History Month Celebration being hosted by the Kenilworth Historical Society on Sunday afternoon. The general public is invited to attend the event, which will take place at the Kenilworth Seniors' Center located at 526 Boulevard, Kenilworth, NJ. Light refreshments will be served starting at 1:30 pm, and the program will begin at 2:30 pm. Admission is free. In case of snow, the celebration will be held on March 3, 2013.

The featured presentation, "What is Soul Food?" is appropriate for all age groups. It will be given by Dr. Fannie L. Gordon, an instructor for the "Today's Table Classes for Contemporary Cooks" culinary program at Middlesex County College in Edison. Dr. Gordon will discuss how "soul food" evolved from African-American cultural influences, traditions and necessity. She also will relate the various ways in which African-Americans view food, its preparation, its health aspects and its significant value in bringing families together.

Some participants in the program will be wearing traditional African attire in celebration of their African-American heritage. Any other attendees wishing to enhance the event in that manner are welcome to do so.

Parking and the entrance to the Kenilworth Seniors' Center are located at the rear of the building. For additional information, please call 908-709-0434. The Kenilworth Historical Society is an independent, non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to the research, preservation and interpretation of the historic Oswald J. Nitschke House, local history and culture.

Sunday, February 24 - Cranford, Union County
"Scherenschnitte: The Art of Paper Cutting"

Come stop by the Crane-Phillips House Museum on Sunday to learn about "Scherenschnitte, the Art of Paper Cutting." The museum opens at 2:00 pm. The program will begin at 2:15 pm. Scherenschnitte, which means "scissor cuts" in German, is the art of paper cutting. The artwork often has symmetry within the design, and common forms include silhouettes, valentines, and love letters. The art tradition was founded in Switzerland and Germany in the 16th century and was brought to Colonial America in the 18th century by immigrants who settled primarily in Pennsylvania. This program is appropriate for families.

Admission is free but reservations are required. The Crane-Phillips House is located at 124 North Union Avenue in Cranford. For further information, please call 908-276-0082 or e-mail

Sunday, February 24 - Lawrenceville, Mercer County
Annual Meeting of the Lawrence Historical Society 

Join the Lawrence Historical Society for their annual meeting at Lawrence High School at 2:00 pm on Sunday. Dennis Waters and Michael Siegel will use maps, site plans, and related materials to illustrate how Lawrence underwent a profound transformation from sleepy farming community to suburb during the 20th century in their presentation entitled "The Street Where You Live: How Lawrence Became a Suburb 1900-2000." Refreshments will be served after the meeting. The Lawrence High School is located at 2525 Princeton Pike, Lawrenceville, NJ.

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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