Exploring the History of New Jersey and Beyond!

Architecture, National Park Sites, Local Sites, and More!

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Somerset County, Morris County... even Cape May County!

No Place is too Small...

What may seem minute and insignificant is what makes history!


Not only do I like to write about history - I love covering events too!

Spread the History!

Help bring awareness to the historic sites in your area.

From historic figures to historic places...

I want to teach America just how significant New Jersey is!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Monmouth Park Racetrack - Always a Safe Bet

Monmouth Park Racetrack - Always a Safe Bet
Written by NJ Historian

New Jersey is not usually a state associated with the excitement of high-energy horse racing. Even though New Jersey does not host any of the Triple Crown races, thoroughbred and harness racing can be found at one of the four tracks across the Garden State. Racing in New Jersey began as early as the 1850s, when the Monmouth County Agriculture Society was formed to hold an annual fair with harness racing in the Township of Freehold, although races may have been held there as early as the 1830s.

In the 1870s, racing emerged at the Jersey Shore. New York businessman John F. Chamberlain, New Jersey Senate President Amos Robbins, and Adams Express Company President John Hoey built a racetrack in Long Branch as a tourist attraction to increase summertime business under the name the Monmouth Park Association. Their idea of drawing in crowds with a racetrack was successful and the very first race was held on July 30, 1870. Their success only lasted for a few years and in 1873, the racetrack was forced to close due to financial difficulties.

In 1888, George L. Lorillard, D.D. Withers, G.P. Wetmore, and James Gordon Bennett devised a plan to reopen the track and once again bring racing to the Jersey shore. Over the next four years, the grounds were restored and the grandstand was rebuilt. The racetrack reopened to the public in 1882. A second racecourse was opened on 160 acres, adjacent to the original one, due to its increasing popularity in 1890. It was one of the finest facilities in the country and in some years offered the highest purse distribution of any track in North America.

Monmouth Park Racetrack, 1890.
But once again, the track's successes would not be long-lasting. Monmouth was forced to move its 1891 meeting to Jerome Park in New York because of continued repressive legislation against gambling in New Jersey. Monmouth reopened for its forty-six-day meetings in 1892 and 1893, but anti-gambling legislation passed on March 21, 1894 banned parimutuel betting on horses and forced the track to close its doors once again. In May of that same year, the Eatontown Township Committee ordered the seizure and sale of the Monmouth Park Association's grandstand and other property for the payment of back taxes and was sold on May 7 at a public auction. Between 1894 and 1946, horse racing was on hiatus in New Jersey.

In 1939, Amory L. Haskell of Red Bank, New Jersey successfully lobbied the New Jersey State Legislature to reverse the 1894 ban on parimutuel wagering for both the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industries. Upon its passage, Haskell immediately set out to build a new Monmouth Park Racetrack. The completion of the track was delayed by World War II and associated material shortages. The new Monmouth Park Racetrack, now located in Oceanport, opened to the public on June 19, 1946 before a crowd of 18,724. On July 25, 1950, 12,180 racing fans experienced the opening of the first turf race at Monmouth Park. In 1967, a one-eighth mile turf chute was installed diagonally across the infield allowing patrons a head-on view of the horses as they left the starting gate. Haskell served as president of Monmouth Park from opening day until he died on April 12, 1966 at the age of seventy-two.

The grandstand at Monmouth Park Racetrack, Oceanport, NJ.
Since then, New Jersey's horse racing industry has seen attendance continually swell and contract, largely due to economic conditions. Regardless, horses are a staple in New Jersey. There are more horses per square mile in New Jersey than in any other state and in 1977, became the official state animal. The legalization of parimutuel betting spurred the opening of other tracks in New Jersey. Garden State Park in Cherry Hill, opened July 7, 1942 (closed May 3, 2001), the Atlantic City Racetrack in Mays Landing opened July 22, 1946, and the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford in 1976. The only surviving racetrack on its original site from the nineteenth century is the Freehold Raceway, located in Freehold Township, which began operating in 1853.

Despite the widespread popularity of the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup, horse racing in New Jersey, and across the country, has seen a decline in attendance over the past few years. In an attempt to restore and reinvigorate the allure of racing for the next generation, America's Best Racing was initiated by the Jockey Club to attract a new, younger fan-base. The initiative is employing six young horse racing enthusiasts to travel across the country in a tour bus, to seventeen events at ten tracks. They are hosting celebrations in the cities with the best racing events, which included the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park Racetrack. The Haskell Invitational was conceived in 1968 when the Board of Directors of Monmouth Park Racetrack decided to honor its former President and Chairman Amory L. Haskell with the Amory L. Haskell Handicap, a race for older horses. In 1981, the race was made an invitation-only stakes for three-year-olds. This yearly event regularly draws crowds ranging from 35,000 - 40,000.

The paddock at Monmouth Park Racetrack, Oceanport, NJ.
Just as a day at the races drew crowds to the Jersey shore in the 1890s, Monmouth Park continues to draw large crowds today. A day at Monmouth is affordable, family-friendly, and steeped in tradition. Even if you are not into betting on the races, you can look at the horses, meet the jockeys, and picnic on the grounds. The park-like atmosphere, complete with fountains, terraces, and landscaping, is reminiscent of the expansive parks and gardens built during the Victorian era. Between races, I enjoyed a few visits to the paddock, where the horses are prepped and saddled before entering the track.

Although I am not a betting woman, I was given the opportunity to try betting on a few races thanks to the helpful racing ambassadors, who explained how to read the official program and determine the odds. Although it is not an exact science and purely luck, it is fun to see if you can determine the winner solely based on their past performances. The type of betting allowed at the tracks is called parimutuel, which is the French term for amongst ourselves, as in betting against one another. Betting at the racetrack, means betting against everyone else who has made the same wager in any race and not against the racetrack. The racetrack does not gain or lose any money in correlation to who wins or loses. Instead the racetrack takes a percentage from each dollar waged. Win, place, and show are typical wages someone may make. Placing a "win" bet means winning if the horse chosen makes first place. A "place" bet means winning if the horse chosen makes first or second place. A "show" bet means winning if the horse finishes first, second, or, third. Placing a bet is not difficult in itself, but determining which horse has the best chance of winning is more difficult! Although it may seem daunting for someone who has never tried it before, a day at the races can be a fun social affair with your family and friends. Imagine our Victorian ancestors in their formal attire placing a bet on "Old Bessy"!

Additional photos of my trip to Monmouth Park Racetrack on Pinterest

Monmouth Park Racetrack - July 27, 2013

For More Information

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mysteries of History: The Otis Elevator

Mysteries of History: The Otis Elevator
Written by Scott M. Cooper

On August 3, 1811, one of the most famous inventors was born. This man did not become famous for creating something from scratch, unlike other inventors of the era; he took a piece of technology and made it operate more safely and efficiently. He came from a small community near Halifax, Vermont, and was the youngest of six siblings. The product that he improved upon was none other than the elevator; its concept dates back to the Roman architect Vitruvius (287 BC – 212 BC), and through the years has evolved to the modern-day lifts that we use in everyday life. This man did not start his career by improving on the elevator; he had many other inventions that changed different industries - the railway safety break, rail turns for speeding, rails for the four poster bed, and he also improved on the turbine wheel; he is none other than Elisha Graves Otis.

Elisha was working for the Maize and Burns Company of New York in 1852 as a machinist. He took on a project that Mr. Maize asked him to come up with a solution for. The company’s problem was that it needed to store supplies on the second floor of the plant - Elisha designed a lift to do just that. The Safety-Hoist Elevator design was so successful that in 1854 he demonstrated the lift with the break system he designed, at the Crystal Palace Exposition in New York City. He was so confident in his new Safety-Hoist Elevator that he stepped onto the lift and raised it to its highest point. He then instructed his assistant to take an axe and cut the thick rope that held the platform in place. The assistant took a forceful swing and chopped the cordage in half. The Safety-Hoist break held, and at that point the elevator industry began a new era.

Testing the Safety-Hoist Elevator.

On March 30, 1857, the first elevator was installed in the E.V. Haughwout and Company department store in New York City. The cost of the wonderful piece of technology was $300.00, and only rose forty feet per minute. People from all around the city flocked to the store just to watch in awe as the elevator made its journey up and down. 

Three major events occurred in 1861. First, Elisha received the patent from the United States Patent Office, for the breaking system of the Safety-Hoist Elevator. Second, on April 8, Elisha Graves Otis passed away of diphtheria (an upper respiratory tract illness), and third, shortly after their father’s death, sons Charles and Norton formed Otis Brothers and Company, by purchasing fourteen competitor companies. By 1873, there were over 2,000 steam powered Otis elevators in use in office buildings, hotels, and department stores around the United States. Each elevator employed an operator. In 1880, the Otis Brothers were hired to install their elevator systems in the White House and at the Washington Monument, bringing the nation's capital up to the times of technological evolution.

By the turn of the twentieth century, the Otis brothers were becoming the leaders of their industry, but it was in 1903, when they introduced the Gearless Traction Electric Elevator. This new marvel of technology became the backbone to their everlasting success. Then, in 1931, the brothers installed their elevator in the tallest building in the world at that time, The Empire State Building.

Today, Otis Brothers and Company is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, which is the world’s leader in building systems. There are 1.7 million Otis elevators in operation around the world. If you have ever spent any time in an elevator, chances are you spent it in an Otis.

Otis Elevator advertisement, 1935.

About the Author
Scott M. Cooper, the author of "Mysteries of History," is a Massachusetts native, now living in Florida. Cooper, a freelance writer, is the owner of The Elegant Quill, which offers ghost writing, fiction, non-fiction, editing, and proofreading services. He may be contacted at smcooper5289@gmail.com.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

eBay Items of the Week: 7/28/13 - 8/4/13

eBay Items of the Week!
Click on each link for the eBay page!
More items always going up.
Stay updated about new items on Facebook.

 Vintage Walgreens Matches
Aspirin Advertising

Flemington, NJ

 Hill's Cold Tablets
Tiny Vintage Tin

 Perth Amboy Savings Institution
1968 Pocket Calendar and 2 Shoe Horns

Vintage Triple-S Blue Stamp Saver Book
Stop and Save Stamp Corporation

World's Fair Ashtray

Published 1904

Printed 1906

Check out more Antique BooksBottlesEphemera, & Tins.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Weekend Historical Happenings: 7/27/13 - 7/28/13

Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an e-mail to let us know!
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Friday - Sunday, July 26 - 28 - Wantage, Sussex County
Christmas in July

The Chinkchewunska Chapter of the DAR is a nonprofit historical group that has presented an Annual Christmas in July event for more than sixteen years - education an fun for the whole family! 

Christmas in July is an annual event to make history come alive in Sussex County at the Elias VanBunschooten Museum, a little-known treasure in Sussex County! This event is an annual "open house" and also the Chinkchewunska Chapter of the DAR's main fundraiser to help maintain the museum. This historic house, listed on both the State and National Registers, will be decorated for Christmas by the Chapter's members and open for complimentary tours by period-costumed docents. The house is a wonderful example of a Dutch Colonial style home circa 1787, filled with original pieces from the VanBunschooten and Cooper families, as well as many items of local historical interest. This is the Chinkchewunska Chapter's 42nd year of owning the Elias VanBunschooten Museum!

The weekend features:
* A complimentary tour
* Period costumes and uniforms
* Attic treasures for sale
* Silent auction
* Demonstrations
* Reenactors
* Various Vendors
* Crafters
* Food ...and MORE!

EVERYDAY EVENTS! Complimentary tours of the Elias VanBunschooten Museum. CAR (Children of the American Revolution) will be present to give tours of the historic Ice House/Milk Room and Privy! Lunch will be available for purchase from the Chapter's "Café Elias"; hotdogs, hamburgers/cheeseburgers, various side salads, chips, drinks, etc. Attic treasures sale will offer bargains galore! Silent auction with many great items to bid on every day! The Museum Gift shop will be open each day to purchase memorabilia, books, and crafts. 

The Lost Art Lacers of North Jersey will be making beautiful, intricate designs of bobbin lacing, tatting and more! Woodcarvers will be on hand all weekend carving and selling. Portrait Artist Laurie Harden will be doing a demonstration and selling "10 minute portraits" on Sunday. The Elias VanBunschooten Museum is located at 1097 Route 23, Wantage, NJ. Elias VanBunschooten Museum Web Site

Saturday, July 27 - Paterson, Passaic County
Rendezvous with Treason at Lambert Castle

General Washington described Benedict Arnold as "more unfortunate than criminal." Nevertheless, Arnold, more than anyone else in our history, came to embody traitorousness. Arnold, ostensibly a General in the Continental Army, conspired with British Major John André to surrender West Point to the British before the plan was exposed. André was captured and executed; Arnold managed to live out his live in the service of the Crown. 

Reenactors Gary Petagine and Sean Grady know the tale well. Respectively, they perform as Arnold and André, and on Saturday at 2:00 pm, they will be bringing their talents and expertise to Paterson's Lambert Castle in a program entitled "Rendezvous with Treason." "Anti-heroes" such as Arnold and André are indeed unique subjects for re-enactment, considering the American fascination with heroes such as Washington and Lincoln. This unusual program presents the embittered General Arnold and the doomed Major André in all their unabashed glory. For more information, call 973-247-0085 or www.lambertcastle.org.

Saturdays, July 27 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Horse-drawn Hayrides
Children Friendly

The Mercer County Park Commission will offer free Saturday evening hayrides at Howell Living History Farm on Saturday from 5:00 - 8:00 pm. The horse-drawn rides last 20 minutes, carrying visitors over the lanes of the 130 acre working farm, located in Hopewell Township.

During the program, visitors can also take self-guided tours, picnic in the picnic area and join a marshmallow roast.   

Rides will leave the barnyard area every 25 minutes beginning at 5:10 pm, with the last ride departing at 8:00 pm.  Rides will be given on a first come, first serve basis to the first 200 visitors. Rides are intended for individual and family participation; groups cannot be accommodated.

A wheelchair accessible wagon is also available. Individuals who would like to ride on this wagon should call 609-737-3299 in advance and ask for Kathy. The wagon is horse-drawn. On the dates when evening hayrides are offered, the Farm will be closed during the day.

Howell Living Farm represents typical farm life between 1890 and 1910. The farm is operated by the Mercer County Parks Commission. Admission is free. It is located at 70 Wooden's Lane, Lambertville, NJ. For more information or to register for the program, call 609-737-3299. www.howellfarm.org

Saturday, July 27 - Morris Township, Morris County
Threshing Wheat
Children Friendly

Wheat is an important grain that is ground into flour. See stalks threshed and flailed to separate the seed grains from the plant at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm from 1:00 - 3:00 pm on Saturday. Cost: $6 Adults, $5 Seniors (65 and up), $4 Children 4-16, $2 Children (2 and 3), under 2 are free. Fosterfields is open Saturday from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm. The farm is located at 73 Kahdena Road, Morristown, NJ. www.morrisparks.net

Saturday, July 27 - Roebling, Burlington County
4th Annual Car Show
Children Friendly

In keeping with the tradition of the Roebling Company and fine automobile manufacturing, the Roebling Museum will host its Fourth Annual Car Show on Saturday, from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. It is open to all cars and trucks. It will be a day full of food and fun for the whole family! Rain date is Sunday, July 28, 2013. Spectator admission: $5.00; Children Under 12 Free. For more information, call 609-499-7200 or visit www.roeblingmuseum.org.

Saturday, July 27 - Morristown, Morris County
Restoring the Wick House
Children Friendly

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. Programs at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 pm at the Wick House in Jockey Hollow, within Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, NJ. Cost: Free. http://nps.gov/morr

Saturday, July 27 - Morristown, Morris County
Early American Money
Children Friendly

Do you have an interest in money? Join a Park Ranger and discover the history of finance during the colonial period, and the troubles that Washington and the army faced during the Revolution. View the park's collection of coins and currency from the 18th and 19th centuries. Program at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 pm at the Washington’s Headquarters Museum, within Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, NJ. Cost: $4 per adult. http://nps.gov/morr

Saturday - Sunday, July 27 - 28 - Cape May, Cape May County
Railroad Days
Children Friendly

All aboard! Historic Cold Spring Village's Annual Railroad Days will be held on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am - 4:30 pm. Sponsored by the Marsh & McLennan Agency, Railroad Days is the perfect outing for folks interested in railroad memorabilia, model and toy trains, or just enjoying a unique collection in a unique historical setting.

In the Village Welcome Center, under the Friends' Pavilion and along the Village's shady lanes, visitors will find presentations and displays from a variety of groups. On display in the Welcome Center will be the South Jersey Garden Railroad Society's fifteen-foot G scale railroad as well as the Strasburg Model Railroad Club's display of the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines HO scale layout. Near the Ice Cream Parlor, guests can see the South Jersey Garden Railroad Society's display honoring every child's favorite tank engine. Additional groups, including the 4-H Club and Just for Fun, will exhibit a variety of models and landscapes. Railroad ephemera and memorabilia will be on display and available for purchase near the Welcome Center.  At 1:30 pm in the Welcome Center on both Saturday and Sunday, Jim Stephens, HCSV Education Director, will present a talk on Richard Trevithick, the little known inventor of the modern steam engine.   
Children can enjoy free toy train rides around the Village, Saturday 11:00 am - 3:00 pm and Sunday 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm, departing behind the Welcome Center. The Family Activity Area will feature special event-themed children's take-home crafts.

Historic Cold Spring Village is located at 720 Route 9, three miles north of Cape May City and four miles south of Rio Grande. Admission during the season is $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 3 to 12. Children under 3 are admitted free. Unlimited free admission is available with Village membership. As a member of the national Blue Star Museums program, Historic Cold Spring Village is proud to offer free admission to active duty military personnel and up to 5 family members. The Village Nature Trail at Bradner's Run is open to the public for free self-guided tours. For more information, call 609-898-2300, ext. 18 or visit www.hcsv.org.

Sunday, July 28 - Ho-Ho-Kus, Bergen County
Play Day at the Hermitage
Children Friendly

On Sunday, the Hermitage National Landmark will be hosting "Play Day at the Hermitage" from 1:00 - 5:00 pm. The event will allow children of all ages to play some games that are not necessarily played by children today. These games include: badminton, croquet, rounders, sack and spoon races, scavenger hunts, etc.  There will also be a sing-along and children can make some crafts to bring home. Refreshments will be served. This event will be held rain or shine.  Admissions is $3 for children twelve and under and $7 for adults thirteen and up. The Hermitage is located at 335 North Franklin Turnpike in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ.  For more information, call 201-445-8311 ext. 33 or visit www.thehermitage.org

Sunday, July 28 - Freehold, Monmouth County
Micah Williams: Portrait Artist Gallery Talk

Join Museum Curator Bernadette Rogoff on Sunday at 1:00 or 3:00 pm at the Monmouth County Historical Association museum in Freehold for special Gallery Talks about the Micah Williams: Portrait Artist exhibition.  Over the last 20 years, Ms. Rogoff has completed a comprehensive study of the artist's life and work and will share her extensive knowledge with guests while touring the exhibition.

Traveling portrait artist and New Jersey resident Micah Williams (1782-1837) was a prolific artist who has 272 known existing works. His works are represented in many major museums and are highly sought after by folk art collectors.  Yet, there has never before been an exhibition dedicated solely to the work of Micah Williams. The Micah Williams: Portrait Artist exhibition brings together sixty-seven of Williams' pastel and oil portraits when seen together, tell a story about the new America of the nineteenth century. Monmouth County Historical Association has embraced Williams' work since the 1950s when a Monmouth County resident published the first of four scholarly articles based on the museum's collection of portraits. Now, over 60 years later, the Association still holds the largest public collection (23 works) of Micah Williams' work. 

The first floor of the museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.  Anyone unable to visit the second floor of the exhibition will be given a seated presentation by Ms. Rogoff using images of the portraits located on the second floor following the main tour.

Space is limited so please call 732-462-1466 to reserve your spot on the tour. A color catalogue produced for the exhibition will be available for purchase at the talks. The catalogue is $45 and $40 for Association members.

Monmouth County Historical Association is a private non-profit organization that has been working to preserve Monmouth County history and provide educational opportunities since its founding in 1898. The Association's Museum and Library is located at 70 Court Street, Freehold, NJ. Museum hours are: Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. The Library is open Wednesday through Saturday. For membership or admission fees and further information, please call 732-462-1466 or visit www.monmouthhistory.org.

Sunday, July 28 - Morristown, Morris County
Soldier's Knapsack
Children Friendly

Have you always wondered what types of things soldiers carried throughout the war? Join a Park Ranger at the Wick House to discover what would have been inside a soldier’s knapsack. Programs at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 pm at the Wick House in Jockey Hollow, within Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, NJ. Cost: Free. http://nps.gov/morr

Sunday, July 28 - Flemington, Hunterdon County
Reading Old Houses

On Sunday from 10:00 am - 12:00 noon, the Hunterdon Land Trust presents, "How to Look at Old Houses and 'Read' the Stories They Tell" at the Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers' Market, at the Dvoor farm house. Jeffrey Marshall, president of the Heritage Conservancy, will lead the discussion during the Hunterdon Land Trust's Farmers' Market. Admission is $5 and reservations are suggested. The Dvoor Farmstead is located at 111 Mine Street, Flemington, NJ. For more information and to reserve a space, call the Land Trust at 908-237-4582 or e-mail arleen@hunterdonlandtrust.orgwww.hunterdonlandtrust.org

Marshall will return to the market next month to discuss "How to Look at Old Barns and 'Read' the Stories They Tell," on August 25, from 10:00 am - 12:00 noon. Marshall has more than 25 years of experience with land protection and historic preservation, and has played a role documenting, researching and photographing more than 10,000 old barns and has written numerous books.

Sunday, July 28 - Morristown, Morris County
21st-Century Songs with Roots in the 1960s and 70s

This July, Macculloch Hall Historical Museum presents its "Summer Series" of live music in the historic gardens. Programs take place at 4:00 pm each Sunday in July. The gardens were restored in the 1950s by the Garden Club of Morristown and visitors will have the opportunity to explore through a variety of summer blooms in the gardens and relax on the large lawn during the program. Guests may bring picnics, and are encouraged to bring blankets or chairs and settle back for a late afternoon of great music in a lovely setting.

On Sunday, Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is proud to present a fun, family-friendly summer's afternoon performance by singer-songwriter and guitarist Gary Reed. Mr. Reed has reemerged as an accomplished and contemporary voice - with lyrics that resonate from that earlier time. An outstanding guitar player and performer, he is a premier fingerstyle guitar player and guitar champion winner who writes and plays unique solo guitar arrangements ranging from Joplin to the Beatles, New Age to Yazoo and "Finger Popping" original tunes. His style comes out of the 1960's revival of the black blues guitar players and performed with guitar guys from New York City and San Francisco. Gary started his performing career in the Village in the late sixties and early seventies being a regular player at the Bitter End, Folk City, Café Wah, Max's Kansas City, The Village Gate and most of the clubs in the Village at that time. He had the opportunity to open for some great players such as: Jerry Jeff Walker, Billy Joel, Randy Newman, Joe Walsh and Jeremy Steig.

The "Summer Series" programs will begin each Sunday in July at 4:00 pm. Tickets can be purchased beginning at 1:00 pm on the day of the program. No advance sales.  After 4:00 pm, tickets for the performance will still be available to purchase. Program tickets are $12; $10 for members, seniors, students, and those who purchased a Museum tour ticket that day. Free for children under 12. Please, no dogs during programs in the garden. In the case of inclement weather the performance will be moved indoors. The announcement will be made on the Museum's main phone message on performance day. Tours of the museum's period rooms and galleries take place throughout the afternoon (separate admission). Last tour of the period rooms leaves at 3:00 pm. The Museum will remain open until 4:00 pm, when the performance begins. 

Macculloch Hall Historical Museum preserves the history of the Macculloch-Miller families, the Morris area community, and the legacy of its founder W. Parsons Todd through its historic site, collections, exhibits, and educational and cultural programs. The Museum is open for house and exhibit tours on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The last tour leaves at 3:00 pm. Adults $8; Seniors & Students $6; Children 6 - 12 $4. Members and children under 5 are free. The gardens are open (free of charge) during Museum hours. For more information, call 973-538-2404 ext. 10 or visit www.maccullochhall.org. Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is located at 45 Macculloch Avenue, Morristown, NJ.

Sunday, July 28 - Montague, Sussex County
Chair Caning Demonstration

The Montague Association for the Restoration of Community History (MARCH) will open the circa 1790 Foster-Armstrong House on River Road and the Nelden-Roberts Stonehouse, at 501 Route 206 for Sunday afternoon tours between 1:00 and 4:00 pm. Both are situated within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in Montague, NJ and were originally part of the Tocks Island Dam acquisitions. These two sites are utilized by MARCH and portray the area's heritage. Tours will be conducted by docents at each house every Sunday through August from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. See the new display of hunting, fishing, and food preservation, ferry and lime kilns, a tavern room, an Indian exhibit, items from the Brick House Hotel, a special display of the Rock View Resort, a quilt collection, antique christening and baby clothes, hand-made covered bridges from around the United States, a Victorian bedroom, a school-room display, a military room with artifacts from five war periods, and old school books from Montague schools. There is no charge for either museum, but donations for house maintenance are welcomed.

On Sunday, watch a chair caning demonstration by Richard Jones on the porch of the Foster-Armstrong House. Questions about all types of chair seat repairs are welcomed. He will bring many caning examples to see. For more information, visit www.montaguehistory.org.

Sunday, July 28 Through August 31, 2013 - Plainfield, Union County
Forty Years on the National Register: The Drake House Museum

The Nathaniel Drake House in Plainfield, New Jersey, was registered on June 19, 1973, by Charles H. Detwiller, Jr., who  was an architect and former president of the Historical Society of Plainfield. The photographer was Harold Morse, who was a local photographer and also a former president of the Historical Society of Plainfield. Since the Drake House was placed on the National Register in 1973, there are now nine individual sites and seven districts in the City of Plainfield. The City of Plainfield has a Historic Preservation Commission, and there are an additional twelve individual sites and three districts designated as historic within the City limits.

A reception for the exhibit will take place on Sunday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. All are welcome to attend. The exhibit is dedicated to all who have preserved Plainfield in the past, present, and future. Photographs of the National Register sites and Historic Districts are on display in the second floor ballroom through the end of August. www.drakehouseplainfieldnj.org

Sunday, July 28 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Temperance Rally

Allaire Village, Inc. presents an 1830s Temperance Rally at The Historic Allaire Village located in Allaire State Park on Sunday at 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm. This special event focuses on the villagers of the Howell Iron Works Company of the 1830's and their crusade against the evils of "Demon Rum" and immoderation. It also features a Ladies' Temperance Social to celebrate the advantages of sobriety. There will be a $5/car parking fee to the State Park; admission to the event is free and there is a charge to enter the historic buildings. The Historic Village opens at 12:00 noon and closes at 4:00 pm.

The Temperance movement grew up with the Industrial Revolution. Increasing use of machines for manufacturing led to a greater concern for competent and sober workers in America's factories. But the movement, whose original purpose as to shape and more responsible society through moderation of life's pleasures, soon grew many branches and encompassed many other social causes. The fight to rid the land of the dangers of alcohol was becoming more prominent and women began to play a greater role in the crusade by the 1830's.

The event begins with a meeting and rally of the Howell Work's Temperance Society in the Historic Village and will feature inspiring speeches rallying against the horrors of "Demon Rum." Villagers will encourage visitors in the taking of the Temperance oath. Visitors are also welcome to participate in 19th century games and amusements with the villagers. It's a great day of history and family fun. The Bakery and General Store will be open for shopping and refreshments.

Allaire Village, Incorporated is licensed by the State of New Jersey to operate the 40-acre, Historic Village at Allaire, the site of James P. Allaire's Howell Iron Works Company in the 1830s. Allaire Village, Inc. receives no state funding towards the educational programming presented throughout the year, but is strongly supported through private donations, membership fees, fund-raising events, and patronage of their retail stores. 

The Historic Village at Allaire is located in Allaire State Park, 4265 Atlantic Avenue, Farmingdale, NJ. For more information, contact the Allaire Village office during business hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, at 732-919-3500 or visit www.allairevillage.org.

Tuesdays - Saturdays Through Sept. 15, 2013 - Cape May, Cape May County
Windsor Hotel Exhibit

The Greater Cape May Historical Society presents an exhibit on the Windsor Hotel, Tuesdays - Saturdays, 1:00 - 4:00 pm at the Colonial House Gallery in the Colonial House Museum, 653½ Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. www.capemayhistory.org

Saturdays and Sundays Through October 27, 2013 - Ringwood, Passaic County
Grounds and Garden Tour

Did you ever wonder what all that “stuff” is placed around the grounds at Ringwood Manor? What about all those other buildings on the property? What were they used for? If you have ever been curious about the estate at Ringwood Manor, this tour is for you! The 2-1/2 hour guided walking tour will take visitors around the main property at Ringwood Manor, discussing the historic objects, the planned gardens & landscape features, the out-buildings, and the cemetery. Historic photographs of the property will also be shown. These free tours meet at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 2:00 pm in front of Ringwood Manor every Saturday and Sunday from May 25 - October 27, 2013. It is advised that participants wear walking or hiking shoes, dress appropriately for the weather, and bring bug spray and sun block. Steady Rain cancels. No reservations necessary. For more information and to call ahead to confirm a tour, call 973-962-2240. Ringwood Manor is located at 1304 Sloatsburg Road, Ringwood, NJ, within Ringwood State Park.

Through June 30, 2014 - Piscataway, Middlesex County
Got Work? Exhibit

View the exhibit "Got Work? New Deal/WPA in New Jersey" at the 1741 Cornelius Low House Museum in Piscataway. The museum is open Tuesday - Friday, 8:30 - 4:00 pm and Sunday afternoons from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The exhibit will run through June 30, 2014.

The Cornelius Low House, built in 1741, was the home to its namesake and is only one of two remaining buildings from historic Raritan Landing. This high-style Georgian mansion is listed on the National Register and operated by the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission. Admission to the museum is FREE. The museum is located at 1225 River Road, Piscataway, NJ . For more information, visit

Through October 6, 2013 - Paterson, Passaic County
Remembering the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913

Lambert Castle, the Victorian-era mansion located on the Garrett Mountain Reservation on the border between Paterson and Clifton, will be home to an exhibit highlighting the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913 now through October 6, 2013. The exhibit, entitled "We Had to be Rebels: Remembering the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913." This year marks the centennial of the landmark 1913 Paterson Silk Strike, which would forever change the face of labor relations in the Silk City. Thousands of workers walked away from their looms to be herded into court rooms and jail cells in a strike that took months to resolve. The exhibit will be open 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 www.lambertcastle.org.

Sundays through July 28, 2013 - Cranbury, Middlesex County

The Cranbury Historical and Preservation Society's temporary exhibit entitled "The Look of Love - Bridal Fashions of the Twentieth Century" features wedding gowns, dresses and accessories from 1901 though the 1990s. A large collection of photographs, cards, wedding gifts, and assorted ephemera that span the century will also be on display. The Cranbury Museum is located at 4 Park Place East, Cranbury. www.cranburyhistory.org

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

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Weekend Estate Sales: 7/26/13 - 7/28/13

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Antique Items - Bottles, Furniture, Sleighs
Mendham, NJ 07945

Beautiful Antique Books, Furniture, and Silverware
Chatham, NJ 07928

Memorabilia & Collectibles
Stirling, NJ 07980

Exquisite Antiques & Collectibles
Madison, NJ 07940

Jukebox & Much More!
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Find more Estate Sales near you at estatesales.net