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!

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What may seem minute and insignificant is what makes history!


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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!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Weekend Estate Sales: 11/1/13 - 11/3/13

Click on each link for more information on the estate sale!
Find something neat at an estate sale? Let us know!
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Victorian Furniture
Short Hills, NJ 07078

Pachinko Machines, Dolls, & More
Randolph, NJ 07869

Arrowheads, Ephemera, Vintage Gun Caps
Bridgewater, NJ 08807

Alexander Doll Company Collectibles
Essex Fells, NJ 07021

Vintage Clothing & Hats
Somerville, NJ 08876

Packed!!!! Kitschy Sale
Paramus, NJ 07652

Find more Estate Sales near you at estatesales.net

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Evolving Victorian Cemeteries of New Jersey

Evolving Victorian Cemeteries of New Jersey
Written by NJ Historian

The nineteenth century ushered in a new way to bury the dead. Previously, those who died were buried in churchyards or family plots located on one's property. But overcrowding and unsanitary conditions within these church burial grounds led cemetery planners to rethink the way we bury our loved ones. The new design took the cemetery out of the control of the church, using an attractive park built on a grander scale, using architectural design and careful planting, inspired by the English garden movement. These cemeteries were often built on the outskirts of a town, surrounded by a stone wall and featured natural rolling hills, curved pathways, landscaping, and trees.

Rural cemeteries, from their inception, were intended as civic institutions designed for public use. Before the widespread development of public parks, the rural cemetery provided a place for the general public to enjoy refined outdoor recreation amidst art and sculpture previously available only for the wealthy. These cemeteries often became the home of tall obelisks, spectacular mausoleums, and magnificent sculptures.

One of the first cemeteries in New Jersey to embrace this new movement was the Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery in the mid-nineteenth century. Formed in 1829, changes occurred in the 1850s to the cemetery property included landscaping of trees, plants and flowers, the addition of an iron gate, and the construction of a Victorian greenhouse. The cemetery transformed into more than just a burial ground. Families would spend the day at the cemetery, visiting the graves of loved ones and enjoying the well-manicured grounds and monuments. But not all cemeteries embraced the movement. Many changed slowly, embracing parts of the movement. Changes in grave marker design, one of the most prevalent items, can be observed in church cemeteries across New Jersey. Many of these early churchyards were limited in how they could physically change their property, so oftentimes the monuments and markers evolved, demonstrating a change in marker design and societal tastes. This article will briefly examine three cemeteries; two of which are associated with churches but embraced parts of the rural cemetery movement and one that was specifically designed as a large Victorian garden cemetery.

Westminster Cemetery
Westminster Cemetery is located at the corner of Westminster Place and Maplewood Avenue in Cranbury, New Jersey. The burial grounds were established in 1838 for the congregation of the Second Presbyterian Church of Cranbury. This church, formed in the same year, split from the First Presbyterian Church of Cranbury. A number of stones predate the establishment of the church, possibly indicating that those interred were moved from family cemeteries or from the First Presbyterian Church's cemetery. Although this was strictly a church burial ground, the cemetery is somewhat of a hybrid between that and a rural cemetery, as it embraced the changing stone styles of the Victorian era. The Second Presbyterian Church was torn down in 1935 when the congregation merged with the First Presbyterian Church. The stones located near the now-extant church building are thin vertical marble markers, typical of the early to mid-nineteenth century. As the grounds expanded in the mid to late-nineteenth century, larger obelisks and family plots begin to appear. Although not designed or laid out in the manner of a rural cemetery, as there is very little landscaping and the ground is flat, the cemetery demonstrates a transition between the standard church burial yards and the rural cemetery design of the Victorian era. The cemetery is still in use today, but markers are now more modest and conformed, representing yet another shift in cemetery aesthetics.

An overview of transitioning grave marker styles at Westminster Cemetery. 
Westminster Cemetery is host to two notable Civil War veterans. Joseph Miller McChesney, born September 25, 1838 in Trenton, New Jersey served as a Civil War Union Army Officer. He mustered as Captain of Company M, 9th New Jersey Volunteers on November 19, 1861. He was later transferred to Company A and promoted to Colonel of the 1st North Carolina (Union) Volunteers. He suffered a wound to his right knee at a skirmish in Washington, North Carolina. He resigned on May 13, 1865 and died at Beaufort, North Carolina on August 14, 1865 of complications from his wound. 

Edward B.P. Kelley, born July 4, 1835 served as surgeon in the 95th PA Volunteers and Medical Inspector for the United States Volunteers. He mustered out as Colonel of the U.S. Volunteers, Surgeon-in-Chief, 1st Division, 1st Corps Medical Division 6th Army Corps. He was also present at the surrender of General Lee and signing of the peace treaty at Appomattox Court House. He died November 25, 1891.

Stones from the late 1800s at Westminster Cemetery, Cranbury, NJ.

Allentown Presbyterian Church Cemetery
The Allentown Presbyterian Church Cemetery is located on High Street in Allentown, NJ. The congregation was founded in 1756. The current church was built in 1837 and enlarged in 1858. This is yet another church cemetery that expanded its burial grounds over time and adapted to changing times and tastes, showing a fine mix of stones from the eighteenth century through today. As expected, the earlier stones are situated around the church building. Further from the church, one can find a variety of markers documenting different periods. Although not laid out in the rural cemetery style, the rural nature of the area has lent itself to the cemetery. It is located alongside Connie's Millpond and has a gentle slope downhill toward the shores of the large pond that once supplied water-power to the Old Mill. Trees near the top and bottom of the hill provide a sense of enclosure and a handful of mature trees are located within the cemetery. The stones in this cemetery are spaced out with ample room between, creating a sense of openness, making it possible for families to come to the cemetery with a blanket and picnic basket for the afternoon as they reflect upon their loved ones. A number of obelisks and one large family plot with a wrought iron fence dating to 1861. The Allentown Presbyterian Church Cemetery evolved much like Westminster Cemetery in Cranbury, but its design and layout is inching closer to the rural cemetery style.

Allentown Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Allentown, NJ.

Notable burials include William Augustus Newell, New Jersey's 25th Governor. Born September 5, 1817, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where he was trained as a physician. He was a two-term U.S. Congressman in the House of Representatives and served as Governor from 1857 to 1860. During the Civil War, his medical training was called upon, as he served as the superintending surgeon of Monmouth County Militia. In 1880, he was appointed Governor of the Territory of Washington by President Chester A. Arthur, and served from 1880 to 1884. He died in Allentown, New Jersey in 1901.

James Henderson Imlay of Allentown, born November 26, 1764, served in the New Jersey Militia during the Revolutionary War and in politics as a member of the New Jersey legislature and later as a U.S. Congressman in the House of Representatives. After the end of his term in the House, he practiced law and served as Postmaster of Allentown, where he died March 6, 1823.

Family plot and marker for New Jersey Governor William Augustus Newell.

Elmwood Cemetery
Elmwood Cemetery, located off George's Road in North Brunswick, borders with New Brunswick. The cemetery was established in 1868 by a special act of the New Jersey Legislature and originally named Cedar Lawn Cemetery. The name was changed to Elmwood Cemetery in 1873. This cemetery was designed as a Victorian garden cemetery by the prominent, New Brunswick architect, George Parsell. He and Elmwood’s founders had a vision to create a beautiful final resting place for the deceased and a tranquil place of reflection for the visitor. Unlike the two previous cemeteries, it was not associated with a congregation and specifically built as a public space. The original layout for the cemetery included a gatehouse, numerous winding pathways, a lake created by damming a portion of Mile Run, and a large public park. The original layout may not have fully been realized, but the paths and gatehouse were constructed. These natural rolling hills dotted with memorials on the outskirts of New Brunswick must have been a very tranquil scene in the late nineteenth century.

The gate house, now the cemetery office, is located just within the main entrance to the cemetery. It was built in the Queen Anne style during the late 1880s. It is a brick structure with a small corner tower made of wood and resembles a small chapel. Its architect is unknown but its style is similar to that of George Parsell. In 1917, a memorial chapel and receiving vault were built in the side of a hill near the center of the cemetery. The building, dedicated to Johnson Martin and Emma Ross by their children, was most likely designed by architect Alexander Merchant. Built of rusticated blocks of granite with arched windows and doors in the Gothic Revival style, it appears majestic and imposing.

The Queen Anne gatehouse at Elmwood Cemetery.
Along with family plots, mausoleums became popular for the wealthier during the rural cemetery movement. Unlike the two previous cemeteries, numerous mausoleums dot the far end of the property, including one very tall mausoleum for Christopher Meyer, a German immigrant who invented the first steam boiler for rubber processing. He helped start the New Brunswick Rubber Company, opened the Meyer Rubber Company in Milltown, New Jersey in 1843, and co-founded the North British Rubber Company, a forerunner of the Michelin Company.

Another notable family at rest in Elmwood is the Johnson family. James Wood Johnson, one of the founders of Johnson & Johnson, and Robert Wood Johnson, II, son of Robert Wood Johnson are laid to rest in a Greek Revival mausoleum. Completed in June 1911, it was designed by William Henry Deacy, a New York architect. Robert Wood Johnson, II started in family the business at the bottom, alongside the common workers and took over for his father at the age of sixteen. He served as President of Johnson & Johnson for six years, and chairman of the board from 1938 to 1963. Johnson served during World War II as Brigadier General in charge of the New York Ordnance District. This would earn him the name he would be known by for the rest of his life: "The General". He resigned his commission to accept the appointment of vice chairman of the War Production Board and chairman of the Smaller War Plants Corporation.

Article from the New Brunswick Daily Home News, October 17, 1911.
Notable Civil War veterans include Hugh Hartshorne Janeway. Janeway, born November 14, 1842, was a graduate of Princeton University and served as a Civil War Union Army Officer. He served as Colonel and commander of the 1st New Jersey Volunteer Cavalry. Janeway died April 5, 1865 at Amelia Springs, Virginia.

John T. Hill enlisted in the Union Army as Captain and commander of Company C, 11th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry on July 26, 1862. Captain Hill was transferred to the 12th NJ and promoted to Major. He led the 12th New Jersey through the Gettysburg campaign, and played a significant part in the fighting on July 2 and 3, 1863. On the third day of the battle, his regiment took part in the repulse of Pickett's Charge. Today two monuments stand in the Gettysburg National Military Park for the 12th New Jersey Infantry. Major Hill would survive the battle and lead his Jerseymen in the Mine Run Campaign. He resigned on February 24, 1864 due to poor health. He died March 1, 1891 at the age of fifty-three.

John Baillie McIntosh was a Civil War Union Brigadier General. Born in Florida in 1829, he joined the Union Army as a Second Lieutenant in the 2nd US Cavalry. He fought in the Peninsula and Maryland campaigns and was made Colonel of the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry. He commanded the 2nd Brigade Cavalry Corps at Kelly's Ford, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and was promoted Brigadier General in July, 1864. During the 3rd Battle of Winchester in September 1864, he was wounded, which resulted in the loss of a leg. Following the war, he remained in the military serving as governor of Soldier's Home in Washington DC and superintendent of Indian affairs. He retired as a Major General and died June 29, 1888 in New Brunswick.

Additional photos of my trips to Westminster Cemetery
the Allentown Presbyterian Church Cemetery, and Elmwood Cemetery on Pinterest

Evolving Victorian Cemeteries Podcast (right click and choose "save target/link as" to save to your hard drive)

For More Information
Elmwood Cemetery
For more information about New Jersey cemeteries, gravestones and carvers, read New Jersey Cemeteries and Tombstones: History in the Landscape, a well-researched book by Dr. Richard Veit and Mark Nonestied.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mysteries of History: King Kong, America’s Monster, Turns 80

Mysteries of History: King Kong, America’s Monster, Turns 80
Written by Scott M. Cooper

In 1929, Merian C. Cooper spent a few days talking with W. Douglas Burden, a well known naturalist and explorer of the American Museum of Natural History. Burden spoke of the exploration he just returned from, in the Far East, where he was studying the largest lizard known to man at that time, the Komodo dragon.  While the story unfolded from Burden’s voice, Cooper changed the dragon to a 40 to 50 foot tall ape, which came from an isolated island (Skull Island) and would later terrorize New York City.

Merian Cooper, 1893 - 1973
Merian Cooper was very fond of strong hard sounding words that started with the letter "K". Some of his favorite words were Komodo, Kodiak, and Kodak. When Cooper was envisioning his giant terror gorilla idea, he wanted to capture a real gorilla from the Congo and have it fight a real Komodo Dragon on Komodo Island. (This scenario would eventually evolve into Kong's battle with the Tyrannosaur on Skull Island when the film was produced a few years later at RKO). It was this phrase along with Komodo and C(K)ongo (and his overall love for hard sounding K words) that gave him the idea to name the giant ape Kong. He loved the name as it had a "mysterious sound" to it.

When Cooper arrived at RKO and wrote the first draft of the story, it was simply referred to as "The Beast." RKO executives were unimpressed with the bland title. David O. Selznick, the famous movie producer and director, suggested "Jungle Beast" as the film's new title. This time Cooper was unimpressed and wanted to name the film after the main character. He stated he liked the mysterious word of Kong's name and that the film should carry the name of the leading mysterious, romantic, savage creature of the story, as with Dracula and Frankenstein. RKO sent a memo to Cooper suggesting the titles "Kong: King of Beasts," "Kong: The Jungle King," and "Kong: The Jungle Beast," which combined his and Selznick's proposed title. As time went on, Cooper would eventually name the story simply "Kong" while James Ashmore Creelman and  Ruth Rose, two of Cooper’s staff writers, was writing the final draft of the screenplay, featuring Fay Wray as Ann Darrow, Bruce Cabot as Jack Driscoll and Robert Armstrong as Carl Denham, and then on March 2, 1933 King Kong opened in the Big Apple with spirited reviews. Mr. Selznick thought that audiences would think that the film, with the one word title of Kong, would be mistaken as a documentary like Grass and Chang, which were one-word titled films that Cooper had earlier produced, he added the King to Kong's name to differentiate. RKO filed the copyright for the name "King Kong" on February 24, 1933.

In Kong’s first appearance in the motion picture King Kong (1933), he was a gigantic prehistoric ape, or as RKO’s publicity materials described him, “A prehistoric type of ape.”  While gorilla-like, he also had a vaguely humanoid appearance and at times walked upright in an anthropomorphic manner. Indeed, Carl Denham describes him as being “neither beast nor man”. Like most simians, Kong possesses semi-human intelligence and great physical strength. The ape’s size changes drastically throughout the course of the film. While creator Merian C. Cooper envisioned Kong as being 40 to 50 feet tall, animator Willis O’Brien and his crew built the models and sets scaling Kong to be only 18 feet tall on Skull Island, and rescaled to be 24 feet tall in New York. This did not deter Cooper from playing with the ape’s size as he directed the special effect sequences; by manipulating the sizes of the miniatures and the camera angles, he made Kong appear a lot larger than O’Brien wanted, even as large as 60 feet in some scenes. Concurrently, the Kong bust made for the film was built in scale with a 40-foot ape, while the full sized hand of Kong was built in scale with a 70 foot ape. Meanwhile, RKO's promotional materials listed King Kong’s official height as 50 feet. 

1933 King Kong Movie Poster
In the 1933 film, Kong was only eighteen inches tall, with a pose-able body. The model was covered in rabbit hair and was filmed one frame at a time, by stop-motion photography artist Willis O’Brien and his crew. This technique was used on miniature sets of a jungle and New York City. By the time Kong was filmed, stop-motion photography had been around for many years; combined with other techniques, such as rear projection and miniature projection, to place the actors in the shots with the ape, it was filmed in such a way not seen before in film.

Rear projection had been used before, but this was the first time a cellulose-acetate screen was used. Earlier efforts had used sand-blasted glass to achieve the effect, but this limited the size of the surface of the screen. The glass screen also had noticeable hot spots in the center of the projection and was a danger should it break during production. The cellulose screen was flexible and stretched over a frame like canvas. It also reduced the hot spot by fifty percent while giving better white highlights and intense blacks. Sidney Saunders, who invented the new screen, earned a special award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the scenes shot in Kong with this process.

One great example of miniature projection was the technique of allowing full-sized actors to appear on the miniature set. Jack Driscoll (Bruce Cabot) hides in a cave just below the top of a cliff. Then Kong reaches over the edge of the cliff to grope for him in the cave. Cabot was actually filmed earlier in a full sized cave, and then projected from the rear onto a small screen just beyond the mouth of the cave on the miniature set. As the modelers photographed each frame of Kong’s actions as they moved the film of Cabot ahead one frame at a time, giving the illusion of a small man hiding from an enormous ape. 

In addition to this technique, a number of full-sized props were used including an articulated eight foot long ape hand in which Ann Darrow (Fay Wray), was photographed and a gigantic head and chest which was used to show actors being crunched in Kong’s jaws. This footage was deleted from the film before its release in 1933 due to its graphic nature. 

Over the years the rear projection technique improved with the form of optical processing, using a blue screen behind actors to allow them to be matted into other footage that was used with Kong. Variations on these techniques were used in almost every monster film until the invention of computerized image processing in the 1990s.
1976 King Kong Movie Poster
In 1975, Producer Dino De Laurentiis paid RKO for the remake rights to King Kong. This resulted in the 1976 version of King Kong. This Kong was an upright walking anthropomorphic ape, appearing even more human-like than the original. Also like the original, this Kong had semi-human intelligence and vast strength. In the 1976 film, Kong was scaled to be 42 feet tall on Skull Island and rescaled to be 55 feet tall in New York. 10 years later, Dino De Laurentiis received permission from Universal Studios to do a sequel, King Kong Lives. Kong more or less had the same appearance and abilities; only he walked on his knuckles more often and was enlarged, being scaled to be 60 feet.

Universal Studios had planned to film a King Kong remake as far back as 1976. They finally followed through almost 30 years later, with a three-hour film directed by Peter Jackson. Jackson opted to make the ape a gigantic silverback gorilla without any anthropomorphic features. Kong looked and behaved more like a real gorilla: he had a large herbivore's belly, walked on his knuckles without any upright posture, and even beat his chest with his palms as opposed to clenched fists. In order to ground his Kong in realism, Jackson and the Weta Digital crew gave a name to his fictitious species, Megaprimatus Kong, which was said to have evolved from the Gigantopithecus. Kong was the last of his kind. He was portrayed in the film as being quite old with graying fur, and battle-worn with scars, wounds, and a crooked jaw from his many fights against rival creatures. He is the most dominant being on the island; the king of his world. Like his predecessors, he possesses considerable intelligence and great physical strength; he also appears far more nimble and agile. This ape was scaled to be only 25 feet tall on both Skull Island and in New York. Jackson describes the Kong character:
 "We assumed that Kong is the last surviving member of his species. He had a mother and a father and maybe brothers and sisters, but they’re dead. He’s the last of the huge gorillas that live on Skull Island and the last one when he goes...there will be no more. He’s a very lonely creature, absolutely solitary. It must be one of the loneliest existences you could ever possibly imagine. Every day, he has to battle for his survival against very formidable dinosaurs on the island, and it’s not easy for him. He’s carrying the scars of many former encounters with dinosaurs. I’m imagining he’s probably 100 to 120 years old by the time our story begins. And he has never felt a single bit of empathy for another living creature in his long life; it has been a brutal life that he’s lived."
Several differences exist in the novel from the completed film, as it reflects an earlier draft of the script that became the final shooting script. The novelization includes scenes from the screenplay that were cut from the completed movie, or were never shot altogether. These include the spider pit sequence, as well as a Styracosaurus attack, and Kong battling three-Triceratops. It also does not feature the character of Charlie, the ship's Chinese cook, but instead a different one named Lumpy, subsequently used in both the 1991 comic book version and the 2005 big-screen remake.

In 1933, Mystery magazine published a King Kong serial under the byline of Edgar Wallace. This is unrelated to the 1932 novel. The story was serialized into two parts that were published in the February 1933 and March 1933 issues of the magazine. That fall King Kong was serialized in the pulp magazine 'Boys Magazine'. 

King Kong's intellectual property status has been in question since his birth, featuring in numerous allegations and court battles. The rights to the character, Kong, have been split with not one single exclusive rights holder. Numerous parties have contested that various aspects are public domain material and therefore ineligible for trademark or copyright status.

When Cooper created King Kong, he assumed that he owned the character, which he had conceived in 1929. Cooper maintained that he had only licensed the character to RKO for the initial film and sequel but had otherwise owned his own creation. In 1935, Cooper began to feel something was wrong, when he was trying to get a Tarzan vs. King Kong project started for Pioneer Pictures. After David Selznick suggested the project to Cooper, a flurry of legal activity for over using the character followed. Pioneer Pictures became an independent company by the time to access the intellectual property that RKO felt were theirs was no longer automatic. This made Cooper pause as he realized, he might not have full control over the creation from his own imagination.

In 1962, Cooper had found out that RKO was licensing the character through John Beck to Toho studios in Japan for a film project called King Kong vs. Godzilla. Cooper had assumed the rights were indisputable and completely opposed to the project. In 1963 he filed a lawsuit to enjoin distribution of the movie against John Beck as well as Toho and Universal. Cooper discovered that RKO had also profited from licensed products featuring the King Kong character such as model kits produced by Aurora Plastics Corporation. Cooper's executive assistant, Charles B FitzSimons, stated that these companies should be negotiating through him and Cooper for such licensed products and not RKO.

In a letter Cooper wrote to Robert Bendick, he stated: "My hassle is about King Kong. I created the character long before I came to RKO and have always believed I retained subsequent picture rights and other rights. I sold to RKO the right to make the one original picture King Kong and also, later, Son of Kong, but that was all."

Cooper and his legal team offered up various documents to bolster the case that Cooper had owned King Kong and only licensed the character to RKO for two films, rather than selling him outright. Many people vouched for Cooper's claims including David O. Selznick(who had written a letter to Mr. A. Loewenthal of the Famous Artists Syndicate in Chicago in 1932 stating, The rights of this are owned by Mr. Merian C. Cooper. But Cooper lost the key documents through the years such as a key informal yet binding letter from Mr. Ayelsworth, former president of the RKO Studio, and a formal binding letter from Mr. B. B. Kahane, the current president of RKO Studio, confirming that Cooper had only licensed the rights to the character for the two RKO pictures and nothing more.

Unfortunately without these letters it seemed Cooper's rights were relegated to the Lovelace novelization that he had copyrighted. 

Cooper's lawyer received a letter from John Beck's lawyer, Gordon E Youngman, that stated: "For the sake of the record, I wish to state that I am not in negotiation with you or Mr. Cooper or anyone else to define Mr. Cooper's rights in respect of King Kong. His rights are well defined, and they are non-existent, except for certain limited publication rights."

In a letter addressed to Douglas Burden, Cooper lamented: "It seems my hassle over King Kong is destined to be a protracted one. They'd make me sorry I ever invented the beast, if I weren't so fond of him! Makes me feel like Macbeth: "Bloody instructions which being taught return to plague the inventor."

The rights over the character, Kong, did not burst to light again until 1975, when Universal Studios and Dino De Laurentiis were fighting over who would be able to do a King Kong remake for release the following year. De Laurentiis came up with $200,000 to buy the remake rights from RKO. When Universal got wind of this, they filed a lawsuit against RKO claiming they had a verbal agreement from them in regards to the remake. During the legal battles that followed, which eventually included RKO counter-suing Universal, as well as De Laurentiis filing a lawsuit claiming interference, Colonel Richard Cooper, Merian's son and now head of the Cooper estate, jumped into the conflict.

During the court battles, Universal Studios discovered that the copyright of the Lovelace novelization had expired without renewal, thus making the King Kong story public domain property. Universal argued that they should be able to make a movie based on the novel without infringing on any copyright, because the characters in the story were a public domain story. Richard Cooper then filed a cross-claim against RKO, claiming while the publishing rights to the novel had not been renewed, his estate still held control of the plot and story of King Kong.

During a four-day bench trial in Los Angeles, Judge Manuel Real made the final decision and gave his verdict on November 24, 1976, affirming that the King Kong novelization and serialization were indeed in the public domain, and Universal Studios could make its movie as long as it did not infringe on the original elements of the 1933 RKO film, which had not yet passed into public domain. Universal postponed their plans to film a King Kong movie, called The Legend of King Kong, for at least 18 months, after cutting a deal with Dino De Laurentiis that included a percentage of box office profits from his remake.

However, on December 6, 1976, Judge Real made a subsequent ruling, which held that all the rights in the name, character, and story of King Kong, outside of the original film and its sequel, belonged to Merian C. Cooper's estate. This ruling, which became known as the "Cooper Judgment", expressly stated that it would not change the previous ruling that publishing rights of the novel and serialization were in the public domain. It was a huge victory that affirmed the position Merian C. Cooper had maintained for years. Shortly thereafter, Richard Cooper sold all his rights, excluding worldwide book and periodical publishing rights, to Universal Studios in December of 1976. In 1980 Judge Real dismissed the claims that were brought forth by RKO and Universal four years earlier and reinstated the Cooper judgement. 

In 1982 Universal Studios filed a lawsuit against Nintendo, which had created an impish ape character called Donkey Kong in 1981 and was reaping huge profits over the video game machines. Universal claimed that Nintendo was infringing on its copyright because Donkey Kong was a blatant rip-off of King Kong. During the court battle and subsequent appeal, the courts ruled that Universal did not have exclusive trademark rights to the King Kong character. The courts ruled that trademark was not among the rights Cooper had sold to Universal, indicating that Cooper plainly did not obtain any trademark rights in his judgment against RKO, since the California district court specifically found that King Kong had no secondary meaning. While they had a majority of the rights, they did not own the King Kong name and character. The courts ruling noted that the name, title, and character of Kong no longer signified a single source of origin.

The courts also pointed out that the Kong rights were held by three parties:
  • RKO owned the rights to the original film and its sequel.
  • The Dino De Laurentiis company owned the rights to the 1976 remake.
  • Richard Cooper owned worldwide book and periodical publishing rights.
The judge then ruled that Universal owns only those rights in the King Kong name and character that RKO, Cooper, or DDL do not own.

The court of appeals would also note:
First, Universal Studios knew that it did not have trademark rights to King Kong, yet it proceeded to broadly assert such rights anyway. This amounted to a wanton and reckless disregard of Nintendo's rights.

Second, Universal Studios did not stop after it asserted its rights to Nintendo. It embarked on a deliberate, systematic campaign to coerce all of Nintendo's third party licensees to either stop marketing Donkey Kong products or pay Universal royalties.

Finally, Universal Studios’ conduct amounted to an abuse of judicial process, and in that sense caused a longer harm to the public as a whole. Depending on the commercial results, Universal alternatively argued to the courts, first, that King Kong was a part of the public domain, and then second, that King Kong was not part of the public domain, and that Universal possessed exclusive trademark rights in it. Universal’s assertions in court were based not on any good faith belief in their truth, but on the mistaken belief that it could use the courts to turn a profit. 

Because Universal misrepresented their degree of ownership of King Kong and tried to have it both ways in court regarding the “public domain” claims, the courts ruled that Universal Studios’ acted in bad faith. They were ordered to pay fines and all of Nintendo's legal costs from the lawsuit. That, along with the fact that the courts ruled that there was simply no likelihood of people confusing Donkey Kong with King Kong, caused Universal Studios to lose the case along with its appeal.

1933 Movie Scene
Since the court case, Universal Studios still retains the majority of the character rights. In 1986, they opened a King Kong ride called King Kong Encounter at their Universal Studios Tour theme park in Hollywood, and followed it up with the Kong ride at their Orlando park in 1990. They also finally made a King Kong film of their own, King Kong (2005). In the summer of 2010, Universal Studios opened a new 3D King Kong ride called King Kong: 360 3-D at their Hollywood park replacing the destroyed King Kong Encounter. 

The Cooper estate retains publishing rights for the content they claim. In 1990 they licensed a six-issue comic book adaptation of the story to Monster Comics, and commissioned an illustrated novel in 1994 called Anthony Browne's King Kong. In 2004 and 2005, they commissioned a new novelization to be written by Joe Devito called Merian C. Cooper's King Kong to replace the original Lovelace novelization and Kong: King of Skull Island, a prequel/sequel novel that ties into the original story. They are also involved in a musical stage play based on the story, called King Kong The Eighth Wonder of the World which premiered in June 2013.

RKO, whose rights consisted of only the original film and its sequel, had its film library acquired by Ted Turner in 1986 through his company, Turner Entertainment. Turner merged his company into Time Warner in 1995, which is how they own the rights to those two films today.

Dino De Laurentiis, whose rights were limited to only their 1976 remake, filmed a sequel in 1986 called King Kong Lives, but they still needed Universal's permission to produce a film. Today most of Dino De Laurentiis’ film library is owned by Studio Canal, which includes the rights to those two films. The North American rights to King Kong though, still remain with the film's original distributor Paramount Pictures, with Trifecta Entertainment and Media handling television rights to the film via their licence with Paramount.

The success of the movie King Kong was not purely based on technique. The motion picture’s story was just as strong as its special effects. O’Brien was able to give the mechanical puppet a personality with which audiences were able to identify. The giant ape’s gentle fascination with Ann Darrow provides the centerpiece to the picture; a tragic, at least for Kong, retelling of Beauty and the Beast. As one character at the end of the film relates, as he stands next to the body of the creature which has just been blasted from the top of the Empire State Building, “It wasn’t the planes that got him, it was Beauty who killed the Beast.” 

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, October 27, 2013

eBay Items of the Week: 10/27/13 - 11/3/13

eBay Items of the Week!
Click on each link for the eBay page!
More items always going up.
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New Low Price!

Wee Winkles & Wideawake
Published 1905
Read my review of this antique novel!

Book Sale!

More Great Items!

Rhone-Poulenc Set of 5 Collectible Mugs
"I had a bad idea"

Modified 1929 Atwater Kent Radio Table (Coffee Table)
Great Piece of Furniture!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Weekend Historical Happenings: 10/26/13 - 10/27/13

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Friday, October 25 - Bedminster, Somerset County
Halloween Tales and Tunes
Children Friendly

Children and parents are invited to join balladeer Linda Russell, who will present songs and stories for Halloween on Friday evening at 6:00 pm. Playing hammered and mountain dulcimers, guitar, and limberjack, she'll present ghostly ballads, songs of fairy folk, and harvest tunes as well as the tale of the first jack-o-lantern. Children will be able to play rhythm instruments as part of the Goblin Band!

Linda Russell explores history through music. Having served for many years as a balladeer for the National Park Service at Federal Hall on Wall Street, the site of Washington's inauguration, Ms. Russell now takes her music to historic sites, schools and festivals throughout the country. New York appearances have included Avery Fisher Hall, the Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival, and the Carnegie Hall Folk Festival. She has recorded eight albums of traditional and popular music of the 18th and 19th centuries.

The program is free, but registration is suggested. The Jacobus Vanderveer House is located at 955 Route 202/206, Bedminster, NJ, behind River Road Park. The entrance to the house is via River Road Park. For more information and to register, call 908-396-6053 or visit www.jvanderveerhouse.org.

Friday - Saturday, October 25 - 26 - Denville, Morris County
Haunted Denville Walking Tours

Experience haunted Denville walking tours with Vito Bianco. Tours will be given at 7 pm beginning at the Denville Museum. Join Society Vice-President and author, Vito Bianco on a journey into the unknown, the bazaar, and the unexplained history of Denville. Local legends, curses, angry spirits, unresolved disappearances, and lonely gravesites will be revealed. This is a walking tour on relatively flat terrain that will take about two hours. The tour is not suitable for children under the age of 16.  Participants should bring a flashlight. The museum is located at 113 Diamond Spring Road, Denville, NJ. 

Call the museum at 973-625-1165 by 5:00 pm on the night of the tour in case of inclement weather for an updated message. Admission to the tour is by donation (minimum $5 suggested per person). For more information, call the Denville Historical Society & Museum at 973-625-1165. 

Friday - Saturday, October 25 - 26 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Haunted Hayride at Allaire Village
Children Friendly

Historic Allaire Village, presents Halloween Hayrides on Friday, and Saturday from 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm. The Halloween Hayride starts in front of the General Store and enters the foreboding woods for a trip into Halloween horror. Hayrides are approximately twenty minutes in length and wagons leave every fifteen minutes from the General Store. If you make it through the Hayride alive, take a stroll through our Haunted Village. Scary story-telling will be held in the Carriage House and special Halloween performances will be held in the Allaire Mansion. All are welcome...if you dare! Stop by the Allaire Bakery for hot cider and spooky snacks or visit the General Store and Museum Gift Shop for limited edition Halloween souvenirs and merchandise.

The cost for the hayride is $10 for child under 12 and $15 for adults. Tickets are limited so advance purchase is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Tickets are for sale by calling 732-919-3500 - please have your credit card ready. You can also purchase tickets via PayPal at www.allairevillage.org/tickets.

Historic Allaire Village is located in Allaire State Park at 4263 Atlantic Ave. in Farmingdale. For more information, contact Allaire Village during business hours, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at 732-919-3500 or visit www.allairevillage.org.

Friday - Saturday, October 25 - 26 - Haddonfield, Camden County
Haunted Haddonfield Walking Tours

On Friday and Saturday, please join local author Bill Meehan as regales us with ghost stories and legends from his popular paperback, Haunted Haddonfield. The tour begins at 7:00 pm at Greenfield Hall (343 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ) and winds past the cemetery and familiar houses along the way. The tour lasts about 90 minutes and can be enjoyed by everyone - couples, groups, and families! Adults are $10 and children (3-12) are $5. Tickets can be purchased at the door (cash only) or ahead of time at Greenfield Hall, the public library, or the Haddonfield Visitor Center. There are no rain dates but tickets can be used on any of the tour dates. Please remember to wear comfortable shoes, bring a flashlight and wear somewhat reflective clothing as a safety precaution.

Friday - Saturday, October 25 - 26 / Nov. 1 - 2 - Perth Amboy, Middlesex County
Proprietary House Ghost Tours

Does the ghost of a little boy remain to play around with visitors at the Proprietary House in Perth Amboy, NJ? Does a lady in white solemnly walk the hallways, waiting for her long-lost love to return? Just how many ghosts are there at the Proprietary House? Stop in for the annual ghost tours featuring world-renown psychic Jane Doherty, just in time for the spookiness of Halloween! Tours are approximately one hour long and each tour leaves precisely on the hour. See where the past and present collide, the hauntings that have been experienced, and the history behind them! Admission is a $10 donation per person. Reservations not required unless you have a group of 8 or more. 

Tours will be held on Friday, October 25 from 7:00 - 11:00 pm and Saturday, October 26 from 6:00 - 10:00 pm and Friday, November 1 from 7:00 - 11:00 pm and Saturday, November 2 from 6:00 - 10:00 pm.

The Proprietary House is located at 149 Kearny Avenue, Perth Amboy, NJ. For more information, call 732-826-5527, e-mail info@theproprietaryhouse.org, or visit www.theproprietaryhouse.org.

Friday - Saturday, October 25 - 26 - Tuckerton, Ocean County
Haunted Seaport
Children Friendly Areas/Activities

Pirates and sea captains long lost at sea stroll the boardwalk for a night of screams at the Tuckerton Seaport. Stop in on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:00 - 9:00 pm. Tour the haunted Tucker's Island Lighthouse, hayrides, phragmites maze, food, refreshments, entertainment, and a non-scary pumpkin patch for the little ones. Fun for the whole family! Admission is $8 for adults, members $5, hayrides $2 with paid admission, hayrides free for members. The Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen's Museum, is located at 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ. For more information, call 609-296-8868 or visit www.tuckertonseaport.org.

Saturday, October 26 - Jersey City, Hudson County
The Ghost of Uncle Joe's Halloween Fundraiser

On Saturday beginning at 2:00 pm, get your costume ready for this year's spooky fundraiser for The Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery, located at 435 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ.

Enjoy music all day and night. Food from Cal's Hot Dogs and Honey Bakery. 

The day's line-up :
2:00 Gates 
2:22 Elvis Costello & the Attractions Otis Ball
3:30 Rancid : They Live 
4:20 Cream : Aminal 
5:10 Fugazi
6:00 B-52's Papermaker
6:50 Joy Division
7:40 The Doors 
8:20 Roxy Music WFMU Hoof and Mouth Slimfonia
9:10 The Who - the Milwaukees
9:45 End of Show 
10:00 Death March to the Lamp Post 

With Special Guest DJ Gorgio - Motor Funker

Beginning at 10:30, the celebration moves to The Lamp Post Bar & Grille in Jersey City for an "After-life party."

10:30 Weezer - Jaguar Shark
11:20 Sly & the Family Stone - The Defending Champions
12:10 The Pixies 
1:00 The Violent Femmes 

Suggested donation of $10 per person at the entrance gate. For more information, call 201-707-0738 or visit www.jerseycitycemetery.org.

Saturday, October 26 - Union, Union County
Pumpkin Patch Day at Liberty Hall
Children Friendly

On Saturday, enjoy Pumpkin Patch Day from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm at Liberty Hall. The day features its traditional menu of activities, including pumpkin picking, hayrides, house tours, and Halloween crafts, including carving or decorating your pumpkin. An exciting new activity this year is a corn maze! Program Fee: Adults: $6.00, Children: $10.00, Under Three: Free. Additional charge for pumpkins and lunch will be available from a vendor. Reservations suggested, call 908-527-0400. Rain date is Sunday, October 27. Liberty Hall Museum is located at 1003 Morris Ave, Union, NJ 07083. For more information, call 908-527-0400 or visit www.kean.edu/libertyhall.

Saturday, October 26 - Harmony Township, Warren County
Historic House and Barn Tours
Children Friendly

The Harmony Township Historical Society and the Historic Preservation Commission of Harmony Township invite the public to attend their annual Fall Open House at the historic Hoff-Vannatta Farmstead on Saturday, from 10:00 am to dusk. Admission is free. The farmstead is located at 3026 Belvidere Road, Route 519, just north of the Municipal Building in Harmony Township.

Come see the progress being made at the farmstead, including the two recently-relocated and restored wagon houses. The event will include tours of the circa 1750s main house, the restored wagon house, and the one of a kind Dutch style barn, and war reenactors, live demonstrations, and hearth cooking in the summer kitchen.

For more information, contact Ruth at historicalcomm@aol.com or visit www.hoffvannattafarm.org

Saturday, October 26 - Bridgeton, Cumberland County
Old-Fashioned Baseball
Children Friendly

The 150th Anniversary of Bridgeton Base Ball is in October, so to commemorate this anniversary, on Saturday, the Minerva Base Ball Club of Bridgeton will take on the Philadelphia Athletics at Alden Field in Bridgeton at 2:00 pm. There will be a meet and greet at the Sports Hall Of Fame near Alden Field at 12:30 pm, practice will start at 1:00 pm, and the game starts at 2:00 pm. Skip Akers will be the announcer for the game and Edward Foreman will be running the scoreboard.

Stop by the Sports Hall Of Fame before the game and check out the Base Ball display that has been set up, as well as the collection of the Hall of Fame. There will be Base Ball trivia and a drawing. There is no charge for the game, so bring the whole family and see just how much the game of base ball has changed. The first official game of base ball in Bridgeton was played on Oct. 29, 1863. The game was between the Bridgeton Base Ball Club and the Athletic Club of Philadelphia (aka the Philadelphia Athletics) so this game is the 150th anniversary of Bridgeton Base Ball, 150th anniversary of Bridgeton playing Philadelphia, and the 150th anniversary of Cumberland County Base Ball. All that history at one game. Alden Field is located at 4 Burt Street, Bridgeton, NJ.

Saturday, October 26 - Trenton, Mercer County
Colonial Trades Day
Children Friendly

Experience colonial trades and crafts at the historic Trent House museum: 18th century blacksmithing and apple pressing; spinning and weaving, and dip your own beeswax candle to take home. Learn about these essential household skills that preceded the invention of electricity and grocery stores. Plus colonial toys and games; pumpkin painting and tours of the restored house and kitchen garden. Donations welcome. 

The 1719 William Trent House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a National Historic Landmark, is the oldest building in our state capital. A Georgian-style manor house restored to its former glory and carefully furnished as it would have been in the early 18th century. It is located at 15 Market Street, Trenton, NJ adjacent to the Hughes Justice Complex. Ample free parking. For more information call 609-989-0087 or visit www.williamtrenthouse.org.

Saturday, October 26 - Chester, Morris County
A Miller's Halloween
Children Friendly

Visit the Cooper Grist Mill for a Miller's Hallween celebration! Come in costume, if you like, for a fun-filled afternoon! Enjoy spooky story telling at 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm, create corn husk dolls, color pumpkins, and play old-time games. In the Gristmill, be alert for spooks, spiders, skeletons, and surprises! The Cooper Grist Mill is located at 66 New Jersey 24, Chester, NJ.

Saturday, October 26 - Atlantic City, Atlantic County
Haunted Lighthouse Tours

Do you want to discover if Absecon Lighthouse is home to ghostly keepers that still watch over the shore in Atlantic City? Did the Jersey Devil pay a visit in 1909? Come visit the Absecon Lighthouse to hear the true ghost stories that prompted a visit from SyFy's Ghost Hunters! The New Jersey Researchers of Paranormal Evidence (NJ ROPE) will be on property to help you hunt for ghosts. Plus, hear their eerie recordings taken during a paranormal investigation. Guided tours of our grounds and tower will let you explore our rich history and experience some spooky tales. Beer, wine, & refreshments will be provided. 

Reservations are required; call 609-449-1360. Tour times are 5:00, 6:00, 7:00 and 8:00 pm, and include a tower climb. Tickets are $20.00, and must be reserved or else we'll send a ghost to follow you home!

Since The Inlet Public Private Association renovated the lighthouse tower, rebuilt the Keeper's Cottage and re-opened to visitors, several staff and volunteers have shared stories of being alone on the property but hearing footsteps & voices, smelling smoke and even seeing a few ghostly apparitions. Now is your chance to experience the Absecon Lighthouse as you've never experienced it before. 

Absecon Lighthouse is located at 31 South Rhode Island Avenue in Atlantic City, NJ. It is open to visitors Thursdays through Mondays, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. For more information, call 609-449-1360 or visit www.abseconlighthouse.org.

Saturday, October 26 - Morristown, Morris County
Winter of 1777
Children Friendly

January of 1777 was an interesting time in Washington’s army. They just won battles at Trenton and Princeton and wintered in Morristown. Join a Park Ranger at Fort Nonsense to discover what the army was doing in Morristown at that time and why Fort Nonsense got its name. Programs at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 pm at Fort Nonsense, within Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, NJ. Cost: Free. http://nps.gov/morr

Saturday, October 26 - Trenton, Mercer County
Halloween Spooktacular at the State Museum
Children Friendly

Celebrate Halloween with a day of fun activities at the New Jersey State Museum. From 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, visit the Riverview Court to make and take crafts inspired by New Jersey's spooky history. Stop in at 1:00 pm in the auditorium for the FREE performance of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by TSF Productions, a part of Encore Performing Arts, Inc. Don't forget to come in costume and sign up for the costume contest! The contest will be held immediately following the show in the Museum auditorium. Every child will have the opportunity to parade across the stage and show off their costume creations. Prizes will be awarded in 3 age categories. Plan to stay for a FREE showing of Sea Monsters in the Planetarium at 3:00 pm. 

The New Jersey State Museum is located at 205 West State Street in Trenton, NJ. On weekends, free parking is available in lots adjacent to and behind the Museum. For more information, visit www.statemuseum.nj.gov or call the recorded information line at 609-292-6464.

Saturday, October 26 - Chesterfield Township, Burlington County
Chesterfield Township's 325th Anniversary
Children Friendly

A bucolic corner of New Jersey celebrates its unique heritage on Saturday, when the Chesterfield Township Historical Society marks the township’s 325th anniversary. Visitors to the town of Crosswicks, one of three still-rural villages in the township, will be transported to earlier centuries as they tour an exhibit of antique farm equipment, participate in traditional crafts, hear music from the era and sample delicacies that were once locally made. Lectures by three area scholars on the history of the Quakers, the Lenni Lenape tribe, and the Underground Railroad will be given in the afternoon, between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm.

The celebration begins at 10:00 am with a ceremony at the Ward Avenue museum, where a recently-acquired majestic, 38-star American flag purchased by local residents in 1884 will be unveiled. The Old Barracks Fife and Drum Corps will lead a parade down Main Street, once a Lenni Lenape trail, to the historic Crosswicks Friends Meeting House, where the lectures will take place. Local dignitaries will be on hand to take part in the festivities. The Malcolm Knowles Memorial Research Library, on the second floor of the Historical Society’s headquarters on Front Street, will have its official opening and dedication.

Children can get in on the fun with Colonial games and an art contest. They can investigate the antique farm equipment, including a steam traction engine and a cranberry sorter. Traditional crafts to be demonstrated during the day include spinning, quilting, pen-writing, basket-making, blacksmithing, pottery-making, and needlework. Some of the artworks will be for sale, including a commemorative piece of pottery. George Washington and Ben Franklin will also be on hand to meet with inquisitive children and adults alike!

And then there is the food. The aromas of open-hearth cooking are sure to stimulate the senses, along with some traditional food served by the local Chesterfield Inn.  The day’s menu will include Crosswicks Community Association Chicken Salad, Brick’s Mincemeat, from a recipe that was developed in 1874 by Edgar Brick and manufactured in Crosswicks until the 1970s, and Taylor Pork Roll sandwiches, a product developed by a descendant of an original Chesterfield Township settler.

The traditional crafts will be located at 2 Front Street, Crosswicks Village, Chesterfield Township, NJ. The lectures will be presented at the Friends Meeting House, Corner of Church & Front Street in Crosswicks.

With its rural character still intact thanks to decades of efforts by historians and Township officials who preserved much of the local farmland through the township-wide Transfer of Development Rights program, Chesterfield Township is considered one of the gems of the state. For more information about the Township’s 325th anniversary celebration, visit www.chesterfieldtwphistoricalsoc.org.

Saturday, October 26 - Newton, Sussex County
Graveyards, Ghosts and Gallows

Join Professor Jeff Williamson for the "Halloween: Graveyards, Ghosts, and Gallows Tour" beginning with an 11:00 am "Ghost" Tour of the Cemetery. At 1:00 pm, there will be a presentation on the Victorian Way of Death and then at 4:00 pm the tour will be repeated. Admission: $5 per adult and $10 for families; Sussex County Historical Society members free. The program will take place a the Hill Museum, home of the Sussex County Historical Society, 82 Main Street, Newton NJ. For more information, call 973-383-6010 or visit www.sussexcountyhistory.org.

Saturday, October 26 - Plainfield, Union County
African-American Genealogist Panel

Please join Plainfield Public Library's Local History Department in October to celebrate American Archives Month! On Saturday, from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, IDI (Innovative Document Imaging) will be available to answer questions about the digital reformatting of personal photographs, papers and older formats of audiovisual materials. They will also take reformatting orders for materials brought in during the event. Walk-ins are welcome.

Pre-registration is encouraged, so please call 908-757-1111 ext. 136. The Plainfield Public Library is located at 800 Park Avenue, Plainfield, NJ. www.plainfieldlibrary.info

Saturday, October 26 - Byram Township, Sussex County
Waterloo Canal Heritage Day
Children Friendly

Come visit Waterloo Village between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm for a day in this historic Morris Canal town. Enjoy boat rides on the Morris Canal, Smith's Store - a furnished canal-era store with hands-on activities, blacksmithing, see the operating gristmill, guided tours of 1859 Methodist Church, the Canal Museum - with exhibits and videos, guided walking tours of the village, and the Long Hill String Band. Admission is free. Waterloo Village is located at 525 Waterloo Road, Byram, NJ. For more information, call 973-292-2755 or visit www.canalsocietynj.org.

Saturday, October 26 - Byram Township, Sussex County
Trick or Treat at Waterloo Village
Children Friendly

Visit Waterloo Village in Byram Township on Saturday for a trick or treat event from 7:00 - 9:00 pm. Enjoy free candy, cider, and storytelling. This is a special event to support the historic preservation of Waterloo Village. Admission is free but there is a $5.00 per vehicle parking fee. All ages welcome but those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Rain date Sunday, October 27, 2013. Waterloo Village is located at 525 Waterloo Road, Byram, NJ.

Saturday, October 26 - Hewitt, Passaic County
Linda Russell at the Furnaces
Children Friendly

Historical musician Linda Russell once again brings her patriotic anthems, broadsides, hymns, and dance tunes on guitar, mountain and hammered dulcimers, penny whistle, and limber jack to Long Pond Ironworks on Saturday evening. Guests will use candle lanterns to walk back to the Long Pond furnace area for a lively selection of songs punctuated with anecdotes and facts from previous centuries.

A family concert will be offered at 7:30 pm. Children under 12 years of age will not be admitted. An adults-only concert will be offered at 9:00 pm. Advance registration is required as space is limited. Tickets are $10/adult and $5/child. To make a reservation, leave your name, concert time, number of tickets, and telephone number on the Friends of Long Pond Ironworks information line at 973-657-1688. They will confirm your reservation. Long Pond Ironworks is located at 1334 Greenwood Lake Turnpike (Rt. 511) in West Milford, Passaic County, NJ. www.longpondironworks.org

Sunday, October 27 - Matawan, Monmouth County
Rose Hill Cemetery Tour

The Matawan Historical Society in conjunction with Rose Hill Cemetery is sponsoring its third annual guided walking tour of Rose Hill Cemetery in Matawan, including new stories! Local Historian Al Savolaine will lead the tour, sharing fascinating stories about those buried in the cemetery, including the victims of the Great Matawan fire of 1901, the 1916 shark attack in Matawan, as well as some unusual ghost sightings at the cemetery, considered to be one of the most haunted sites in New Jersey. The tour will be held on Sunday at 2:00 pm and is approximately two hours long. Tickets are $10 per adult, with proceeds benefitting the Burrowes Mansion in Matawan and the beautification of Rose Hill Cemetery. Rose Hill Cemetery is located on Ravine Drive in Matawan. Park will be available at the cemetery and at the school lot across the street. Tickets can be purchased the day of the tour or by contacting savolaine@hotmail.com.

Sunday, October 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. Program at 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00 pm in the Wick House at Jockey Hollow, within Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, NJ. Cost: Free. http://nps.gov/morr

Sunday, October 27 - Bridgewater, Somseret County
New Brunswick and the Civil War

On Sunday at 2:00 pm, attend Joanne Hamilton Rajoppi's presentation entitled "New Brunswick and the Civil War: The Brunswick Boys in the Great Rebellion" at the Van Veghten House in Bridgewater, NJ. At the beginning of the Civil War, New Brunswick was positioned at the transportation and manufacturing hub of New Jersey. Many of the city's young men exchanged manufacturing equipment for rifles, and those whom they left behind witnessed the war through letters from their sons, brothers and husbands.

Patriotism, a longing to earn more money, and adventure lured these "Brunswick Boys" - close friends and co-workers - to enlist. Their recollections offer insights into everyday life in New Jersey during the war: New Brunswick's factory system, education, and medicine. These letters also reveal their struggles to survive amid battles and close encounters with death that so many soldiers faced, as well as their difficult transition to civilian life. Local author Joanne Hamilton Rajoppi presents the fascinating stories of New Brunswick and the Civil War, gleaned from the letters of those who experienced it. 

Suggested donation for adults: $5. Children under 16 are free. The Van Veghten House is located at 9 Van Veghten Drive in Bridgewater, NJ. For more information, call 908-218-1281 or visit www.schsnj.com.

Sunday, October 27 - Morristown, Morris County
American Heroes in Bronze Gallery Tours

On Sunday, Macculloch Hall Historical Museum welcomes historian and author William B. Styple, for gallery tours of the "American Heroes in Bronze: The Artwork of James E. Kelly," an exhibit of bronze sculptures that is currently on display in the upstairs gallery.  

Mr. Styple is the co-curator the "American Heroes in Bronze" exhibit and has a deep interest in the work of James. E Kelly. He presented two popular and engaging presentations about the artist in the spring and now returns to provide visitors with gallery tours of the exhibit. He will be available throughout the afternoon to answer questions and provide background information on the pieces on display. Styple discovered and transcribed Kelly's interviews with Generals Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Hancock, Warren, Chamberlain, and many others. The resulting book, Generals in Bronze-Interviewing the Commanders of the Civil War, was published in 2005. This is a rare opportunity to discuss Kelly's work with Mr. Styple, while viewing the works in the exhibition. Mr. Styple will be available during touring hours, 1:00 - 4:00 pm and will address visitors who visit the exhibit throughout the afternoon. Mr. Styple will also have copies of his books available for sale.

"American Heroes in Bronze: The Artwork of James E. Kelly" is co-curated by William B. Styple and the Museum's Curator of Collections Ryan Hyman. This unique exhibit explores the work of Irish-American sculptor James E. Kelly (1855-1933). In the decades following the American Civil War, over forty Union Generals visited the New York City studio of Kelly, who was highly respected for his artwork's historical accuracy. While the war heroes sat, the artist conducted in-depth interviews regarding their wartime service, and heard their very personal stories of Fort Sumter, Antietam, Gettysburg, and Appomattox. The work resulting from these personal interviews presents a unique perspective on the famous figures and events from the Civil War. Also included in this exhibition are Kelly's depictions of notable events from the Revolutionary War and well-known civilians such as Thomas Edison and Clara Barton.  Bas reliefs, busts, engravings and bronze sculptures depict these heroes. The collection of Kelly's work is on loan from private collectors and can be viewed during touring hours until October 31st.

Visitors can also visit the Thomas Nast gallery where Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is currently presenting a new exhibit "Thomas Nast Brings Down Boss Tweed". The exhibit features over twenty examples of the political cartoons Thomas Nast created attacking Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall. 

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. 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, October 27 - Chatham, Morris County
Chatham's "Fifth Avenue"

On Sunday, stop by the Library of the Chathams at 2:30 pm for the Chatham Historical Society's special presentation about the buildings and people involved in the development of Chatham and Fairmount Avenue in particular.

This special program, back by popular demand, will highlight the history of Chatham's "Fifth Avenue," also known as Fairmount Avenue. Learn about the architects, the builders, and the citizens who helped develop this distinctive avenue as well as the heart of Chatham and the entire community.

Learn how Chatham was possibly the first place in the country to install "speed reducers" to help slow down those impossibly fast, new-fangled inventions called automobiles. Come and hear many unique stories about Chatham. The program is open to the public and refreshments will be served. The Library of the Chathams is located at 214 Main Street, Chatham, NJ. For more information, visit www.chathamnjhistoricalsociety.org.

Sunday, October 27 - Bedminster, Somerset County
Reading and Presentation by Edgar Allan Poe

The Jacobus Vanderveer House will be open for tours from 1:00 - 4:00 pm on Sunday. At 2:00 pm, noted author and literary maverick Edgar Allan Poe (portrayed by American Historical Theatre's Bob Gleason) will discuss his life and read excerpts from some of his best-known works.

Exposing the inner machinations of the human mind and heart, Gleason's Edgar Allan Poe provides vivid images, terrifying  tales, and heart-thumping excitement. He reveals the literary editor and critic determined to mine his mind and profit from his published works. Participants learn that Poe is considered the inventor of the detective story, providing the reason for the award being dubbed the Edgar. They also discover the all-too-human Poe, the passionate poet, the intense husband, as well as the haunted soul.

The program is free, but registration is suggested. The Jacobus Vanderveer House is located at 955 Route 202/206, Bedminster, NJ, behind River Road Park. The entrance to the house is via River Road Park. For more information and to register, call 908-396-6053 or visit www.jvanderveerhouse.org.

Sunday, October 27 - Lawrence Township, Mercer County

Richard Dutko will be on hand to talk about bats, with attention paid to the colony that calls the Brearley House home. The program will take place after the regular Sunday tours, which will be offered from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. The Brearley House is located at 100 Meadow Rd, Lawrenceville, NJ. For more information, call 609-895-1728 or visit www.thelhs.org.

Sunday, October 27 - Westfield, Union County
"Halloween Hocus Pocus"
Children Friendly

It's time for Halloween fun! Visit the Miller-Cory House Museum at 614 Mountain Avenue in Westfield on Sunday from 1:30 to 4:00 pm to celebrate Halloween Hocus Pocus. This program is ideal for young children. The museum's costumed docents will greet visitors at the door of the colonial farmhouse.  There are numerous activities planned for the afternoon, including Halloween storytelling, tattoos, and face painting.  Children can decorate their own Halloween cupcakes and make two additional crafts to take home. Festive refreshments will be served. Be sure to come in Halloween costume! The fee for Halloween Hocus Pocus is $4.00 for children; accompanying adults are free. Reservations are required for this event. For more information or to register, call 908-232-1776 or e-mail millercorymuseum@gmail.com.

Sunday, October 27 - Woodbury, Gloucester County
The Libby Prison Minstrels Concert
Children Friendly

The renowned Libby Prison Minstrels are coming to the Gloucester County Historical Society in Woodbury on Sunday with songs and music of the Civil War era. The five-piece band along with other members of the 12th NJ Reenactors will be staged on the grounds of the museum for a concert and mini-encampment. The musicians will perform soldier songs, as well as period tunes from the home front.  Along with three part harmony vocals, their selections will feature guitars, banjo, mandolin, double bass, harmonica, whistles, and handheld percussion instruments. They have performed at venues up and down the East coast including Gettysburg, the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Citizen’s Bank Park Phillies games, the United States Capitol Building and Ford’s Theater in Washington DC. 

Admission is FREE to the concert and encampment which begins at 2:00 pm. Ongoing tours of the current exhibit, "The Civil War:  Echoes of New Jersey’s Finest," are available in the museum until 5:00 pm at the usual rates of $5 for adults, $1 age 6 – 18, under 6 free. The museum is located at 58 North Broad Street, Woodbury, NJ. Free parking is available on-site and at the free parking garage across the street at Broad and Hunter. In the event of inclement weather, please call the museum at 856-848-8531 for further information.  www.rootsweb.com/~njgchs

Sundays Through November 30, 2013 - Lakehurst, Ocean County
Pittis - Doctor - Mayor - Postmaster

The Borough of Lakehurst Historical Society announces a special exhibit about an important resident - "PITTIS - Doctor - Mayor - Postmaster". Dr. Pittis was the local physician for Lakehurst and Manchester from the turn of the 19th century until World War II.  He  would make house calls all the way to Whiting in his horse-drawn buggy. Later in life, he became a physician at the Jersey City Medical Center. Dr. Harold Pittis was the son of Thomas Kearn Pittis and Susan  null Henrietta Collins.  Harold was the fourth of ten children; eight brothers and one sister, all from Plainfield, New Jersey.

Dr.  Harold received his MD in 1901 from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, where he met his wife Ruth. He and Ruth were married on January 8, 1900 at St. Mark's Church in Malone, New York. In the 1910 census, Dr. Pittis was living on Union Avenue, Lakehurst, with his wife and son Harold, who had received his MD from McGill University in 1937.

Dr. Harold Pittis was not only the town physician, but also Lakehurst's first postmaster, beginning in November 1918. He was reappointed twice and served until August 16, 1929. He financed the construction of the first post office. 

The museum is open Wednesdays and Sundays from 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm. The Lakehurst Historical Society Museum is located at 300 Center Street, Lakehurst, NJ. For more information, call 732-657-8864 or click here.

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

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 February 2014 - Madison, Morris County
Ghosts, Ghouls, & Gravestones Exhibit
Children Friendly Site

The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts presents "Ghosts, Ghouls, & Gravestones: The Trades of Burial," which will examine the progression of the burial trade. Passing away from this world was once a family affair, but over time, the process spread through the social and economic ties of the community. By 1900, a robust funeral industry had developed that saw to a family's every need. The exhibit will also explore the strict protocols that dictated mourning and the artistry in gravestones.

Regular Museum admission is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, students & children (ages 6 and older), and free for members and children under 6. 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 just two blocks from the Madison train station. For information, please call 973-377-2982 x10 or visit www.metc.org.

Through Sunday, February 23, 2014 - Trenton, Mercer County
Historic Maps of the Garden State Exhibit
Children Friendly Activities

Often overlooked as a decorative art form, maps are ideal artifacts for exploring New Jersey history. Stories of New Jersey’s social, economic, military, environmental and political history – as well as the state’s role in the history of American transportation – can be told through the visual splendor of the Garden State’s historic maps.

Opening on September 7 and running through February 23, 2014, “Where in the World is New Jersey? Historical Maps of the Garden State” is comprised of nearly 100 maps depicting the colony and state of New Jersey from 1635 through 1950 on display at the New Jersey State Museum.

This unprecedented exhibition provides the visitor with an introductory survey of historical maps depicting the colony and state of New Jersey from 1635 until 1950. The nearly 100 maps on display – most of which are original hand-colored copperplate engravings or chromolithographs – come from the collections of four public institutions – the New Jersey State Museum, State Archives, State Library, and Special Collections and University Archives at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. They were selected for their rarity, their ability to convey aspects of New Jersey history, and their artistic merit – underscoring the dual role of maps as both works of art and utilitarian tools essential to the human experience. 

The New Jersey State Museum, located at 205 West State Street in Trenton, NJ is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 am - 4:45 pm. The Museum is closed Mondays and all state holidays. The NJ State Museum has a “suggested” admission fee. For more information, visit www.statemuseum.nj.gov or call the recorded information line at 609-292-6464. On weekends, free parking is available in lots adjacent to and behind the Museum. Please visit www.trentonparking.com for a number of options for parking in downtown Trenton during the week.

Through December 14, 2013 - Harrison Township, Gloucester County
Under the Sea: Our Prehistoric Past
Children Friendly

The Harrison Township Historical Society's fall exhibition, Under the Sea: Our Prehistoric Past is on display through Saturday, December 14, 2013.

This new installation, which features rare fossil specimens on loan from the New Jersey State Museum, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, and private collections, explores how fossil discoveries at 19th century marl mining operations around Mullica Hill attracted the interest of such notable early paleontologists as Yale's Othniel Marsh and Philadelphia's Charles Lyell, Timothy Conrad and William Gabb. As guest curator, Shirley S. Albright, retired Assistant Curator of Natural History, New Jersey State Museum has written, the historic significance of the classic Mullica Hill fossil locality cannot be underestimated. The exhibits show the diversity of  prehistoric faunal life inhabiting the ancient ocean that covered Harrison Township, as well as Pleistocene fossils transported southward by melting glaciers.

The exhibition also discusses the area's geology and native stone deposits with photos of buildings constructed of limonite, or Jersey sandstone, that survive in the area from the 18th and 19th centuries.

With over sixty specimens, an introductory video, and activities for children in the gallery and to take home, Under the Sea offers insights into the area's ancient past for the entire family, and admission is free.

The Harrison Township Historical Society's Old Town Hall Museum is located at 62-64 South Main Street, Mullica Hill, NJ. The Museum is open Saturdays and Sundays, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, through December 14, 2013.  For more information, call 856-478- 4949 or visit www.harrisonhistorical.com.

Through June 2014 - Morristown, Morris County
"Controversies: The More Things Change..." Exhibit

Currently on display at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is an exhibition about topics that helped shape our world. "Controversies: The More Things Change..." opens new territory for the Museum, presenting challenging subject matter that may not be suitable for casual dinner conversation. This new exhibit explores topics that helped shape our world through local history events which had national significance:medical experimentation, immigration, and the right to die.

"Controversies: The More Things Change..." inspires people to consider, even reconsider, the ways in which they think about these important, frequently debated issues. The exhibit explores local history events which had national significance: the 1833 Antoine LeBlanc murder trial and public execution; the immigration issues of the late nineteenth century as depicted by political cartoonist Thomas Nast, a Morristown resident, and the 1976 Karen Ann Quinlan "right to die" case.

The museum is making a major departure in exhibit presentations with "Controversies."  Where most exhibits typically provide detailed information about the objects on view, "Controversies" offers limited information about the objects, essentially forcing personal thought, and inspiring discussion, about the areas represented.  Each object and concept in the exhibit represents a part of New Jersey's history - specifically Morris County's history. The ideas expressed through the historical objects in the exhibit, however, are not confined to New Jersey boundaries- the significant concerns raised by the important and controversial issues showcased in this exhibit continue to be debated throughout the United States and the world.

"We wanted to give our visitors a chance to participate in an exhibit in a new way - to have a reaction without being guided by the institution's interpretation of what the objects represent, which labels typically provide," said Executive Director Carrie Fellows. Instead, curator's books of supplementary information will be available within the exhibit, should the visitor want to learn more, drawn from primary sources like news articles, contemporary commentary, and images. Visitors are encouraged to leave comments about the themes presented.

The exhibition was inspired when Fellows and Ryan C. Hyman, the Museum's curator, heard Burt Logan, Executive Director of the Ohio Historical Society speak at a conference about the organization's groundbreaking "Controversy: Pieces You Don't Normally See" exhibit, and its sequel, "Controversy 2: Pieces We Don't Normally Talk About". During his talk, Mr. Logan strongly encouraged other museums to adapt the concept and develop similar exhibits. Inspired by the presentation, Hyman and Fellows began discussing how they might create an exhibit using themes from the Morris area's rich history.

"Controversies: The More Things Change..." will be on view during Museum touring hours through June 2014. Please note the subject matter may not be suitable for all audiences. Visitor discretion advised. Recommended for visitors 12 years of age and older.

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.  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.

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