Friday, March 22, 2013

Weekend Historical Happenings: 3/23/13 - 3/24/13

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Saturdays, March 23 - 30 - Port Norris, Cumberland County
Volunteer Training

Learn to sail the historic 1928 oyster schooner A. J. Meerwald, and a myriad of other volunteer opportunities from education to waitressing in our café, cooking, working in the office, mailings, you name it: if you have a skill or if you have none, we can use you! Discover your hidden talents at this series of learning Saturdays, from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. For more information or to register, contact Laura S. Johnson,; 856-785-2060 ext. 102.

Saturday, March 23 - Hancock's Bridge, Salem County
Massacre Commemoration

The Friends of the Hancock House have worked hard reminding those of the fallen Militia who died in a massacre fighting for our freedom. This year being the 35th year brings back some new and some old for the commemoration on Saturday. The New Jersey Regiment will open the activities by having a memorial service for those militiamen who died that day  when bayonetted by the Queen's Rangers, and will end the day, along with several living history troops showing off their skills in military tacticals and cannon firing.

Anthony Melita of Revolution Tours Inc., and the Salem County Militia will give a presentation at 10:30 am entitled; "Salem County During the Revolution," detailing events leading up the  massacre at Hancock's Bridge including the Battle at Quinton's Bridge.

At 12:30 pm, Dr. Joseph Wroblewski will give a presentation entitled; "Queen's Rangers; Britain's First American Regiment." During the American War of Independence, 1775-1783, the British Army authorized the raising of a number of regiments from the colonial population who remained loyal to the Crown. Colonel Robert Rogers, a celebrated officer in the earlier French-Indian War, formed the Queen's Rangers in New York in August 1776. It was named in honor of Queen Charlotte the wife of King George the Third. Rogers, due to personal problems, resigned and eventually the Regiment came under the command of an Englishman, Major John Simcoe. The Queen's Rangers fought in the pitched battles of Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth and continued to be engaged in patrols, skirmishes and raids throughout the Delaware Valley from Philadelphia and Bucks County to across the river from Salem in southern New Jersey on to Perth Amboy and Springfield in Northern New Jersey.

In 1780, the Rangers were transferred to the Southern Theater of Operations and were present at the British surrender at Yorktown. Following the surrender at Yorktown, the Regiment eventually took up land grants in New Brunswick (Canada) and were later reconstituted to help build what is now Toronto. The Regiment survives today as part of the Canadian military as the Queen's York Rangers, and still practicing their original function as a reconnaissance unit. 

Other activities for the day include colonial cooking demonstrations and a child's chance to "Join the Militia" and participate in musket drills. Seek your cures for ailments from our house doctor who requires no co-pay. See Ben Franklin and learn about his battery and his battery powered rotisserie. There will be tours of the Hancock House and Swedish Plank Cabin, spinning demonstrations, visits to the militia encampments, food and fun for everyone.

The day's events will begin at 10:00 am and end at 4:00 pm. For more information contact Jim Schulte at 856-217-0420 or by e-mail at

Saturday, March 23 - Bedminster, Somerset County
Outwater's Militia

On Saturday the Jacobus Vanderveer House will be hosting a drill by Outwater's Militia, a Revolutionary War reenacting group. The house will also be open for tours. Join them for this free event between 10:00 am  and 3:00 pm. The Vanderveer House is located in River Road Park, off Route 202/206 in Bedminster, NJ.

Friday - Sunday, March 22 - 24 - Montclair, Essex County
Archaeological Dig

Weather-permitting,  students from Montclair State University will be conducting an archeological dig at the Montclair Historical Society's headquarters located at 108 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ 07042 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Call 973-744-1796 for more information and times for attending or e-mail

Saturday, March 23 - Lebanon Township, Hunterdon County
Cemetery Cleanup

On Saturday beginning at 9:00 am, The Friends of Old Swack Church and cemetery grounds in Lebanon Township are sponsoring a cleanup of the grounds. Originally built in 1844, the church closed in 1894 and the grounds have been neglected, abandoned, and overgrown for years. The Old Swackhammer Church and Cemetery is located at 108 Anthony Road, Lebanon, NJ. Please bring rakes, shovels, gloves, clippers, chainsaws, and any other tools that you think may be helpful in clearing the grounds. Tell your friends and family about this opportunity to preserve a New Jersey historic site!

Saturday, March 23 - Madison, Morris County
How to Research Buildings in Morris County

Join local history librarian Carolyn Dorsey, and architectural historian Janet W. Foster, for a workshop on how to research a building in Morris County and learn its story.

The richness of our community derives in part from the beauty of the structures that shape it - the detail of a cornice, the weather-worn pattern of old siding, the surprise of an intricate pattern on something as humble as a downspout. The story of the buildings - who built them, and when - enriches our understanding of the built environment.

The workshop will provide an overview of the maps, newspapers, and books in the North Jersey History & Genealogy Center (a department within the Morristown & Morris Township Library) that can help the curious researcher get started. A review of the public records available through Morris County will add more information on research possibilities. The workshop will also include a short lecture on the role of pattern books in setting styles in American architecture and providing the researcher with clues as to age and design intent for many houses. The workshop will go through the basic steps to get started in local building research.

You are invited to bring a photograph of a building, and other materials you may have related to local history building research, for a question-and-answer session following the talks. The presentation will take place between 10:00 am and 12:00 noon in the meeting room in the lower level of the library.

Participants should register in advance by calling 973-538-3473, or by e-mailing

Saturday, March 23 - Atlantic City, Atlantic County
Murder Mystery at Absecon Lighthouse

Historic Absecon Lighthouse is presenting a murder mystery performance, "Lit With a Dim Bulb," on Saturday at 7:00 pm. The year is 1909, and the light-keeper has reported seeing the Jersey Devil at the top of the lighthouse, a true lighthouse legend, as reported in the Atlantic City Sunday Gazette. Three light-keepers race to the top in pursuit, but only two come down...why? And what do the light-keepers' wives have to do with it? Attend this deadly affair and see what happens in the dark shadows of the light. This killer event costs $25 per person. Tony Boloney's pizza, beer, wine, and soft drinks will be served, beginning at 6:30 pm, and the performance begins at 7:00 pm. A tower climb is included with the price of admission. Reservations may be made by calling the lighthouse at 609-449-1360. All proceeds benefit the Absecon Lighthouse educational programs. 

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 Thursday through Monday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information about Absecon Lighthouse and its programs call 609-449-1360 or visit

Saturday, March 23 - Mount Laurel, Burlington County
Alice Paul in Mount Laurel

On Saturday at 2:00 pm, suffragist Alice Paul will be portrayed by Taylor Williams of the American Historical Theatre, co-sponsored by the Mount Laurel Library and the Alice Paul Institute. This program will be held at the Mount Laurel Library, 100 Walt Whitman Ave, Mount Laurel, NJ. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Alice Paul Institute at 856-231-1885 or visit

Sunday, March 24 - Madison, Morris County
Exhibit Lecture

Attend "Livingston's Library and Gardens: Where Work Meets Leisure," presented by Elizabeth Hyde, PhD, Kean University on Sunday at 2:00 pm at the Museum of Earl Trades & Crafts. Learn about William Livingston, his gardens and botanical library. Advance registration recommended. Call 973-377-2982 x13. Regular museum admission applies: $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 10:00 am - 4:00 pm and Sunday 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm. The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts is located at 9 Main Street in Madison, NJ. For information, call 973-377-2982 x10 or visit

Sunday, March 24 - Montclair, Essex County
Our History in Homes Bus Tour

On Sunday, Montclair Town Historian Mike Farrelly and Montclair Architect John Way lead a unique 2.5-hour bus tour discovering the architectural and social history of Montclair through its domestic architecture. We'll begin with the houses of the earliest settlers and work our way forward in history, discussing the architectural hallmarks as well as the people who lived in the houses. The bus tour includes light refreshments served upon return to the Israel Crane house and a tour of the home. The bus leaves from the Israel Crane House parking lot at 108 Orange Road at 1:00 pm and returns at 3:30 pm. Cost: $25 for members and $30 for non-members. Call 973-744-1796 or send a note to to place a reservation, as space is limited.

Sunday, March 24 - Freehold, Monmouth County
A History of the Garden State

As part of its "Historically Speaking" lecture series, Monmouth County Historical Association is  pleased to welcome Dr. Maxine Lurie who will speak on Sunday from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. She will present a lecture entitled, "New Jersey: A History of the Garden State." The lecture will be held at the Monmouth County Historical Association Headquarters at 70 Court Street, Freehold.

In the fall of 2012, Rutgers University Press published New Jersey: A History of the Garden State, co-edited by Dr. Lurie and Dr. Richard Veit. It is the first overview of the state in nearly thirty-five years. During the lecture, Professor Lurie will discuss why and how the book was produced, its major themes, and how it can help us understand the fascinating and complex place where we live. Dr. Lurie has taught at Marquette University, Rutgers University, and Seton Hall from which she retired in 2010. An early American historian, she has taught and written about New Jersey history for twenty-five years. She is also the author of a number of scholarly articles published in magazines such as "New Jersey History" and the "Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography." Dr. Lurie remains active in state history groups and is chair of the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance, vice chair of the New Jersey Historical Commission, and a member of the State Historic Records Advisory Board. Dr. Lurie's lecture is open to the public and admission is free.  Her most recent book will be available for sale. Refreshments will be served. Please call 732-462-1466 for further information or to confirm your attendance.

Saturday, March 24 - Plainfield, Union County
Parks and Gardens in Plainfield History

The Historical Society of Plainfield announces its spring exhibit, "Parks and Gardens in Plainfield History," which will run through the months of March, April, and May in the second floor ballroom at the Drake House Museum. This exhibit will focus on the contributions of the many female residents of Plainfield who have beautified the city through the years. It features the 1924 Olmsted plan and the 1961 Plainfield Garden Club plan for the landscaping of the Drake House grounds, as well as information about the Union County Park System, Green Brook Park, and Cedar Brook Park, both located in Plainfield. Photos and illustrations from the Local History Collection of the Plainfield Public Library, NJ, Historical Society of Plainfield, Plainfield Garden Club, and private collections of Plainfield parks and gardens both current and lost will be displayed. Biographies of some of the women who championed parks and gardens in Plainfield will be included.

"The Olmsted Historic Landscape Legacy in New Jersey," a gallery talk by Kathleen Galop, Historic Preservation Consultant, will be held on Sunday at 2:30 pm. This gallery talk is free and open to the public and includes time for audience discussion. All are welcome. Regular tour hours are 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. on Sundays or by appointment. The Drake House Museum is located at 602 West Front Street, Plainfield, NJ. For more information contact the Historical Society of Plainfield at 908-755-5831 or visit

Sunday, March 24 - Ridgewood, Bergen County
Preserving your Precious Heirlooms and Antiques

Have you ever wondered how best to care for and preserve that precious heirloom given to you by a relative? Do you have an antique piece that you want to preserve for future generations? Join Bari Falese, an expert conservator with 30 years of experience, who will speak about the care, cleaning, and storage of heirlooms and antiques on Sunday from 1:30 - 4:00 pm. She will help the audience understand the importance of preservation, how to use archival materials for care and storage, and how to select which items require special treatment. After this basic introduction, Bari will examine heirloom or antique items from the audience and make recommendations for treatment and preservation. No monetary appraisals will be offered.

Fee to listen and learn: $5. No registration required. Heirloom Preservation Assessment Fee: $5. Registration required. Please e-mail to reserve your place. Reserve early as registration is limited. One item per person, please. This program is sponsored by the Ridgewood Historical Society and the Ridgewood Public Library. Proceeds raised will help support the Schoolhouse Museum and their preservation efforts. This event will be held at the Ridgewood Public Library Auditorium, 125 North Maple Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450. For more information, visit www.ridgewoodhistoricalsociety or e-mail

Sunday, March 24 - Ridgewood, Burlington County
Life at an Edwardian Manor

The Burlington County Historical Society is pleased to present Judith Krall-Russo and her program "Life at an Edwardian Manor" on Sunday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. The program is inspired by PBS's "Downton Abbey." There will be a display of Edwardian-era artifacts from the BCHS collection.

Cost is $10 per person. The program will be held at the Corson Poley Center at the Burlington County Historical Society, 454 Lawrence Street, Burlington, NJ. Program includes a Q&A session after the lecture with light refreshments. To RSVP call 609-386-4773 or e-mail

Sunday, March 24 - Hoboken, Hudson County
History of Sybil's Cave

Ever wonder about the history of Hoboken's Sybil's Cave? On Sunday at 4:00 pm, professional archaeologist Lauren Cook will share historical research into one of Hoboken's earliest tourist attractions that attracted thousands of New Yorkers in the mid-1800s. This program will be held at the Hoboken Historical Museum, located at 1301 Hudson Street, Hoboken, NJ. For more information, call 201-565-2240 or visit

Sunday, March 24 - Westfield, Union County
Celebrate the Season with Spring Cookie Decorating!

Even though it's still cold as of this moment, birds are singing and flowers are poking their greenery above the ground – spring must be coming! Visit the Miller-Cory House Museum on Sunday from 2:00 – 4:00 pm to “Celebrate the Season with Spring Cookie Decorating.” The program includes storytelling as well as two crafts. Children will be able to make a spring basket to take home and also to decorate cookies in the shapes of traditional spring symbols, such as butterflies, eggs and bunnies. The museum will also celebrate the 60th anniversary of the marshmallow peep!

In the Frazee Building, members of the Cooking Committee will demonstrate 18th century open hearth cooking with authentic recipes and seasonal ingredients. The museum’s gift shop will be open, offering a variety of colonial toys, crafts, books and educational materials. Admission: Adults/Children age 13 and older: $3.00; Children age 3 to 12: $2.00; Under age 3: free. The Miller-Cory House Museum is located at 614 Mountain Avenue in Westfield. For more information, call 908-232-1776 or 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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