Friday, April 5, 2013

Weekend Historical Happenings: 4/6/13 - 4/7/13

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Saturdays, April 6 - 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 cafĂ©, 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, April 6 - 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, April 6 - Little Egg Harbor, Ocean County
Battles of Trenton and Princeton Discussion

On Saturday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm, the Tuckerton Historical Society presents Reverend Norman Goos, President of the Col. Richard Somers SAR Chapter, as he speaks about the Battles of Trenton and Princeton. Hear about these battles in our ancestors own words. This event will be held at the Giffordtown Schoolhouse Museum, 35 Leitz Boulevard, Little Egg Harbor, NJ. For more information, call  609-294-1547.

Saturday, April 6 - South Amboy, Middlesex County
Historical Society of South Amboy Open House

Come meet with neighbors and friends on Saturday from 1:00 - 3:00 pm to learn about historic South Amboy. Explore local South Amboy history, old photographs, genealogy requests, historic landmarks, artifacts, a raffle, and more! Guest speaker and author Randal Gabrielan will discuss his book Explosion at Morgan. Gabrielan's talk begins at 2:00 pm followed by book sales. Bring your old photographs to have them scanned on-site to be featured on their Facebook page and web site, as well as being archived for the future! Free refreshments will be served. This open house will be held at the South Amboy Senior Center, 108 South Stevens Avenue, South Amboy, NJ.

Saturday, April 6 - Morristown, Morris County
Morristown's Other Army

During the Great Depression of the 1930s another army camped in Morristown. Join a Ranger at the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center for a 45-minute PowerPoint slideshow to discover the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps and how these ‘Soil Soldiers’ transformed Morristown NHP and other public lands. Programs at 10:00 am, 12:00 noon, and 2:00 pm at the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center, within Morristown National Historical Park. Free admission.

Saturday, April 6 - Morristown, Morris County
Mrs. Hamilton Returns!

Join Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, wife of Alexander Hamilton, on a tour of the Ford Mansion! Find out who concocted a plan to bring them together in Morristown and how they conducted their courtship. Explore Hamilton’s incredible and lasting contributions to the American Revolution and to the fledgling republic! Program at 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm, and 4:00 pm at the Ford Mansion, within Morristown National Historical Park. Cost: $4.00 per adult.

Saturday, April 6 - Franklin Township, Somerset County
The Story of the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels

The Franklin Township Cultural Arts Council is proud to host New York Times bestselling author Angus Kress Gillespie on Saturday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm to talk about his latest book, Crossing under the Hudson, The Story of the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels. The event will be held at the historic 1875 Van Liew-Suydam house, 280 South Middlebush Road in Franklin Township, NJ. Violinists Anjali Patil and Philippe Donaus will precede the program. Doors will open at 1:45 pm.

Angus Gillespie's presentation takes a fresh look at the planning and construction of two key links in the transportation infrastructure of New York and New Jersey - the Holland and Lincoln tunnels. An entertaining and lively speaker, Gillespie explores the historical accounts about these two monumental works of civil engineering and the public who embraced them. He describes and analyzes the building of the tunnels and introduces us to the people who worked there - then and now. He places these structures into a meaningful cultural context with the music, art, literature, and motion pictures that these engineering marvels of their day have inspired over the years.

Angus Kress Gillespie, a Yale graduate, is a Fulbright professor and teaches American Studies at Rutgers University. Gillespie is also the New York Times bestselling author of Twin Towers: The Life of New York City's Trade Center and the co-author of Looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike.

The Franklin Township Cultural Arts Commission is delighted to have books by the author available for sale and will be serving light refreshments. Admission is limited to 50 participants: $7 per person; $5 for seniors over 65 and students. Reserve your tickets online by e-mailing; please state "Angus Gillespie" in the subject line. Tickets can also be purchased 15 minutes prior to the event at the door.

Saturday - Sunday, April 6 - 7 - Clinton, Hunterdon County
Annual Civil War Days

The Red Mill Museum Village in Clinton, NJ will host its Annual Civil War Days Reenactment on Saturday and Sunday. The event will be held each day from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Filled with fun for all ages, this living history event will feature Navy, artillery, infantry, medical units, civilians, first-person portrayals, countless artifacts, skirmishes and more!

For the 2013 reenactment, the Museum will implement new programing elements including some surprises that even the seasoned Civil War Days visitor has yet to see! To spoil one surprise, the USS Lehigh Navy reenactors will bring a replica gig boat.  Gig boats were used in landing parties to bring sailors and Marines ashore from larger vessels. They were used also as life boats. Rowed by multiple men, this sizable boat was integral to Navy operations. During Civil War Days, the USS Lehigh will lead demonstrations in the river in front of the Museum.

That's not all that is in store for visitors. Sailors beware! The Sixth New York Independent Battery (6th NY) will be back in action firing their cannon! The 6th NY, led by Jeffery Cohen, will be firing their original Napoleon cannon over the river. Not to worry, despite the nearly-deafening boom, Jeffery's highly trained gun crew will fire using only powder.

Confederate Units including the 44th Georgia and the 7th Virginia Cavalry, Co. A, a dismounted cavalry, will be in attendance, along with Union Units such as the 3rd NJ Volunteer Infantry Company, the USS Lehigh, the 7th NJ Field Hospital, the Historical Impressions of America, and the 6th NY. With all the ingredients necessary for a great reenactment, this year's Civil War Days is bound to impress.

To add to the mix, a number of additional reenactors will do first-person portrayals of notable characters in the Civil War including Admirals, Generals, Privates, Marines, warship Captains, female Doctors, and even Major Raphael Moses! Topping it off, there will be 19th Century baseball displays and demos as well as numerous artifact displays from the collections of infantries, heritage foundations and private collectors.

For those who can still hear after the exhilarating blast of the cannon, there will be period music and a solemn parade to General Taylor's burial site. Children's activities such as Navy rope tying, infantry drills, scavenger hunts, and a 19th Century schooling experience will be available.

Additional demonstrations in blacksmithing, open fire cooking, and arms use will entice living history enthusiasts. Each day will conclude with a riveting skirmish; it's not to be missed!

For more information, please contact: Amy Boyce, Curator of Public Programming by phone at 908.735.4101 x102. Admission is $9/Adults, 7$ Seniors, active military, and veterans, $5/children (6-12), Free for Museum Members and children under 6.

Saturday - Sunday, April 6 - 7 - Princeton, Mercer County
The Battle of Princeton

The Princeton Battlefield Society will offer a tactical reenactment of the Battle of Princeton showing General Mercer's portion of the battle on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm each day at the Battlefield. Attending units will participate in a reenactment of General Hugh Mercer’s Brigade’s attack on, and defeat by, the British 4th Brigade, along with the subsequent rallying and counterattack of the American forces led by Washington. There will be a special tour of the battlefield, militia drills, and games and stories for children. Refreshments will be available for purchase throughout the event.

Sunday, April 7 - Across New Jersey
Museum Openings

*The Whippany Railway Museum will reopen this Sunday and most Sundays until October. from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm. The museum is located at 1 Railroad Plaza, Whippany, NJ.

*The Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum will reopen this Sunday and be open Sundays 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm through May 19, 2013. The museum is located in Hopatcong State Park.

*The National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey will reopen to the public at 10:00 am on Sunday. Located at the historic National Guard Training Center in Sea Girt, the museum, which closed as a result of damage sustained during Hurricane Sandy, will once again offer visitors a chronological history of the Garden State through the eyes of the militia and National Guard. The museum will be open seven days a week from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Admission is free.

Sunday, April 7 - Chatham, Morris County
The Gilded Age: Millionaires, Mansions, and Maids

Morristown's "Millionaires  Row" was the scene in the 19th century of Morris County's own brand of the "Downton Abbey" lifestyle. The people who lived in these opulent mansions, the domestic help who kept them running smoothly, and the laborers who made the money for the robber barons, come to life in the Morris County Historical Society's program entitled, "The Gilded Age: Millionaires, Mansions, and Maids."

Join the Chatham Historical Society and the Historical Society of Chatham Township on Sunday at 2:00 pm as Susan Orr, the Morris County Historical Society curator, takes us back to the time known as the Gilded Age, between the end of the Civil War and around the time of the turn of the 19th century; a time of "ostentatious display, crass manners, political corruption, and shoddy ethics." This program will be held at the Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township, 240 Southern Boulevard, Chatham, NJ.

It was during the Gilded Age that Morris County became a popular location for the barons of industry and finance. With regular train service, the wealthy had access to business on Wall Street or the theatre on Broadway, while being able to enjoy the area's water, hills, and healthful climate. In 1896 there were 54 millionaires listed in the Morristown Social Directory, with a combined wealth of $289 million dollars.

Sunday, April 7 - South River, Middlesex County
Open House

Stop by the South River Historical & Preservation Society on Sunday from 1:30 - 3:30 pm and view exhibits on all aspects of Borough history including: schools; churches and houses of worship; local businesses and organizations; daily life; events and celebrations; and more. While you are there, see the cemetery located behind the building, ask questions, drop off donations, or exchange hometown stories with the docents. The museum is located at 64-66 Main Street, South River.

Sunday, April 7 - Morristown, Morris County
Restoring the Wick House

Did you know people lived in the Wick House until 1933? Thanks to the Civilian Conservation Corps, the house has been transformed to an original appearance. Join a Park Ranger at the Wick House to discover the ways in which the C.C.C. restored the Wick House and farm. Tours from 1:30 - 4:00 pm at the Wick House, within Morristown National Historical Park. Free admission.

Sunday, April 7 - Morristown, Morris County
Mural Talk

Take a tour of the entire Jockey Hollow encampment without leaving the comfort of the Visitor Center. Relax on comfy cushions as a Park Ranger, using the encampment mural, describes the various people, farms and huts that made up the “Log Hut City” of the winter encampment of 1779-1780.  Programs at 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:00 pm at the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center, within Morristown National Historical Park. Free admission.

Sunday, April 7 - Madison, Morris County
18th and 19th Century Classical Music

Inspired by the current exhibit in the main gallery at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, the Dolce Trio present "Macculloch's Parlour - 18th & 19thc. Classical Music from Scotland and Other European Countries."The Dolce Trio will perform a sampler of the music likely to have been heard in the Macculloch family home in 19th century Morristown. On Sunday at 4:30 p.m. enjoy a rich repertoire of sounds, from Scottish jigs, airs and dances to "continental" European classics.

Featuring violin, cello and flute/recorder/whistle, this versatile trio has been sharing its music with audiences since 1994. Dr. Lynn Siebert (violin), a Juilliard-trained violinist, graduated magna cum laude from Vassar College, studied with Nadia Boulanger at Fontainebleau, France and holds an MA in Musicology (Rutgers) and a Ph.D. in Music/Musicology (C.U.N.Y.). Ilizabeth Cabrera (cello, viola da gamba) has a Bachelors in Music from Hartt School of Music (Hartford, CT) and a Master of Music Degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts of Rutgers University. Kris Lamb (flute, recorder, Irish whistle) earned a B. Mus. magna cum laude from Susquehanna University and has attended numerous workshops and master classes on recorder and flute with such noted performers as Kees Otten, Edgar Hunt, Walter Bergman and James Galway.

The exhibit "A Fine Collection: Treasures from the Vault" is showcasing vivid examples of the antique Oriental rug collection, complemented by textbook examples of fine porcelain, silver, glass and furniture collected by Museum founder, W. Parsons Todd. "A Fine Collection" has a perimeter layout in the first floor gallery, which leaves the center of the room open for a series of speakers and musical programming. Musical programs take place on the first Sunday of the month at 4:30 pm and speakers on the third Sunday of the month, February through June 2013.

Tickets for Sunday's program go on sale at 1:00 pm on the day of the program; no advance sales. A separate ticket ($12) is required for the musical programs; discounted ($10) for members, seniors, students and those who purchased a Museum tour ticket that afternoon. House tours (regular admission applies) take place throughout the afternoon. The last tour leaves at 3:00 pm. The upstairs galleries will remain open until 4:30 pm and the "A Fine Collection" exhibit will close at 3:00 pm in preparation for the program.

For more information, call 973-538-2404 ext. 10 or visit The Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is located at 45 Macculloch Avenue, Morristown, NJ.

Sunday, April 7 - Park Ridge, Bergen County
Civil War Medicine

On Sunday at 2:00 pm, the Pascack Historical Society welcomes speaker/reenactor Bill Gent who will present a program on Civil War medicine. This event is free and open to the public. Children are welcome when accompanied by an adult. After the program, a question and answer session will follow. Complimentary homemade Civil War fruitcake and coffee will be served. This event will be held at the Pascack Historical Society, 19 Ridge Avenue, Park Ridge NJ.

Sunday, April 7 - Ocean, Ocean County
Firefighting Exhibit Opening

A new exhibit celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Oakhurst Fire Department opens on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm at the Township of Ocean Historical Museum. For the occasion, and to show how much firefighting has changed, the department is bringing along its original hand-drawn hose cart from 1913 and an up-to-date fire truck from its current fleet. Inside the museum, a multi-media exhibit traces the history of firefighting and the local fire company through photos and artifacts. Firemen will be on hand to answer questions and show off the equipment. 

Admission is free, children are welcome, and homemade refreshments will be served. The exhibit remains through the summer. The Township of Ocean Historical Museum is located in the Eden Woolley House at 703 Deal Road, Ocean, NJ.

Sunday, April 7 - Jefferson Township, Morris County
Open House

The Jefferson Township Museum, also known as the George Chamberlin House, will  have an open house on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Costumed docents will give tours of the museum. The theme of this month's exhibit will be "Put on your Easter Bonnet" with vintage accessories such as hats, gloves, artificial floral corsages, feathers, shoes, scarves, fans, and more on display. Admission is free. The Jefferson Township Museum is located at 315 Dover-Milton Road in Jefferson Township.  Be sure to visit Miss Elizabeth's Shoppe located in the original kitchen of the museum, where small antiques, collectibles, handmade and handcrafted items, and seasonal items will be offered for sale.

Sunday, April 7 - Trenton, Mercer County
Chinese Painting Lecture and Discussion

On Sunday at 2:00, join the Trenton Museum Society and Professor Grace Ju Miller to learn about the fundamentals of Chinese brush painting, including its media, materials, philosophy and training. Miller will share insights her master teachers taught her and discuss the "four gentlemen" of Chinese painting:  bamboo, orchid, chrysanthemum and plum and why they are the fundamental, first lessons for each painter. To illustrate this topic, she will demonstrate painting bamboo and also demonstrate painting a peony to show the use of color in brush painting. This program is free for members of the Trenton Museum Society and $10 for non-members. The lecture will be held at The Trenton City Museum, located at Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park in Trenton.

Grace Ju Miller studied Chinese painting with her father, I-Hsiung Ju, as well as with Yao Mung Kuo and Shao You Shien, two Taipei masters. In addition to painting, she teaches at Indiana Wesleyan University, where she is Professor of Biology. Professor Ju holds a B.A. from Duke University, where she double majored in Botany and Art, and a Ph.D. from Purdue University in Plant Physiology. She has had two one-person shows of her paintings and attended a masters' workshop in Taiwan in 2007.

The late I-Hsiung Ju worked in the tradition of hanging scroll paintings bordered in silk of his native China.  Central to this tradition is the fusion of painting, philosophy, and poetry evident in the contemplative stance of the artist toward nature, including the flora, fauna, and landscapes of both China and America. Ju is unusual among Chinese artists in having successfully melded traditional and modern styles, techniques, and subjects. Though representational, the paintings are imaginative rather than literal depictions of scenes that often suggest a story.

Now at the Trenton City Museum through Friday, April 19th, "More Than a Rug" showcases an international variety of works by four area artists of distinction, including the paintings of I-Hsiung Ju, as well as African textiles and jewelry from the collection of Trenton Museum Society trustee David Bosted.

Sunday, April 7 - Cranford, Union County
100 Years of Vintage Costume Jewelry

The Cranford Historical Society presents, "To Dazzle You...100 Years of Vintage  Costume Jewelry" with Costume Jewelry Expert Joyce Simmons on Sunday from 2:15 - 4:00 pm at the Hanson House, 38 Springfield Avenue, Cranford, NJ. Vintage costume jewelry is not only affordable, glamorous, and well made but it evokes memories and a sense of nostalgia, particularly if you lived during that period. Listen to a historic presentation of costume jewelry by Joyce Simmons, founder/coordinator of NJ/METRO Chapter of VFCJ, Vintage Fashion and Costume Jewelry, author, lecturer and avid collector of vintage costume and collectible jewelry. Her jewelry articles have appeared in antique magazines and she exhibits at the Hamburg Antique Center in Hamburg, NJ. Learn how to start a collection, identify, care for and properly wear vintage jewelry.

This is a fundraising event. Bring or wear your vintage costume jewelry or heirloom to the presentation. Ms. Simmons will be able to tell audience members the design history, age and verbally appraise their jewelry. The fee for Ms. Simmons to discuss your jewelry is three pieces of jewelry for $10 or one piece of jewelry for $5.

Reservations are required for this program. Please call the historical society's office at 908-276-0082 or e-mail 

Sunday, April 7 - River Edge, Bergen County
The People of New Netherland

Historian and writer Firth H. Fabend will present an illustrated lecture "The People of New Netherland: Roughnecks, Multi-taskers, Grandees, or All of the Above" on Sunday at 2:00 pm. Dr. Fabend has recently published a new book, New Netherland in a Nutshell. This event is sponsored by the Bergen County Historical Society. While attending the program, view the Bergen County Historical Society's collections of the Bergen Dutch. Visit the Revolutionary War battleground at "The Bridge That Saved A Nation" and tour the Zabriskie-Steuben House, Demarest House, Campbell-Christie House and Jersey Dutch Out Kitchen.

This event will be held at Historic New Bridge Landing, 1201 Main St, River Edge, NJ. All 3 Bergen-Dutch houses will be open. Suggested donation: $7 adult, $5 children, BCHS members free.

Sunday, April 7 - Oradell, Bergen County
A Victorian Afternoon

Join the Water Works Conservancy for a buffet, book talk and book signing, at the the Hiram Blauvelt Mansion in Oradell on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Guest speaker, author Richard Polton, will speak about his new book on the architect of the Blauvelt Mansion, Fred Wesley Wentworth. Polton's book is entitled The Life and Times of Fred Wesley Wentworth: The Architect Who Shaped Paterson, NJ and Its People. Mr. Polton will have copies of his book for purchase and signing at a discounted event price. The afternoon includes a Victorian afternoon buffet with a delightful four-course Victorian menu catered by The Market Basket. This event will be held at 699 Kinderkamack Road, Oradell, NJ.

Tickets for this event are $35 per person and $30 for members of the Water Works Conservancy (WWC). For more information, visit

Sunday, April 7 - Westfield, Union County
The Wild Edibles of Spring

Dandelions, fiddleheads, milkweed, nettles...early American settlers looked forward to foraging for wild greens that appeared under melting snow during the first days of spring. Fresh spring greens were not only healthy, but also a welcome treat after a long winter of pickled, salted and dried foodstuffs. On Sunday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm, the Miller-Cory House Museum presents a program featuring the wild edibles of spring.

In the Frazee Building, members of the Cooking Committee will talk about the different greens the colonists picked and the ways they were used in tonics, as vegetables, and in other dishes. Seasonal plants will be included in open hearth cooking demonstrations or displayed. Tours of the fully furnished 18th century farmhouse will also be available.

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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