Friday, November 1, 2013

Weekend Historical Happenings: 11/2/13 - 11/3/13

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Friday - Saturday, November 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 1 from 7:00 - 11:00 pm and Saturday 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, or visit

Saturday, November 2 - Jersey City, Hudson County
Shakespeare in Jersey City

The Hudson Shakespeare Company presents "As you like It" on Saturday at 1:00 pm at the Historic Jersey City & Harsimus Cemetery. A wonderful afternoon of live Shakespeare surrounded by 350 years of history and nature! The Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery is located at 435 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ.

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

Saturday, November 2 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
19th Century Woodworking Demonstration
Children Friendly

On Sunday, visit Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel to take a step back in time to watch woodworkers perform their craft. See how tools were used in 19th century woodworking. This free event runs from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. Historic Longstreet Farm is located at 44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, NJ. For more information, call 732-946-3758 or visit

Saturday, November 2 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
Raise the Rafters
Children Friendly

A barn raising was a community event requiring teamwork utilizing the skills of the youngest children, the strongest men, and everyone in between. When the timber frame was pegged together and the bents were raised, everyone joined in celebration. Come experience a bit of this communal spirit as your help assemble a small timber frame structure at historic Walnford between 2:00 and 3:00 pm; this is a wonderful family activity!

While there, visit the large, elegant Walnford home built in 1774, the 19th century gristmill and the farm buildings set in a beautiful landscape. Walnford is located at 62 Walnford Road, 08501.

Saturday, November 2 - Morristown, Morris County
Gilbert Stuart: Painter of Presidents
Children Friendly

Gilbert Stuart is known as one of the first great portraitists in America. His paintings of George Washington have become iconic pieces throughout American history. Join a Park Ranger at the museum to discover the life of Stuart and how his work is still influential today. Programs 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.

Saturday, November 2 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Bacon, Sausage, & Scrapple Making
Children Friendly

If you work all week to bring home the bacon, sausage and scrapple, but don't really know from whence they come, visit Howell Farm on Saturday. You will see these and other pork products made before your eyes.

Farmers will work from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm rendering lard, making pork products and showing visitors the origins of different cuts of pork. Cracklins’ and other delicacies will be free for the asking, and pork sandwiches will be available for sale. 

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

Saturday, November 2 - Princeton, Mercer County
2013 Princeton House Tour

The Historical Society of Princeton hosts its 12th Annual House Tour on Sunday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Included this year is "The  Barracks" on Edgehill Street. Tickets are available online at, by calling 609-921-6748 x105, and at Bainbridge House, 158 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ from Wednesday - Sunday, between 12:00 noon and 4:00 pm. Tickets are $50 for non-members and $45 for members before November 2.

Sunday, November 3 - Morristown, Morris County
African American Patriots
Children Friendly

Did you know that 5,000 African Americans served in the Continental Army? Join a Park Ranger at the Wick House to learn about the roles these patriots played while fighting for our independence. 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.

Sunday, November 3 - Morristown, Morris County
Impact of War
Children Friendly

The American Revolution impacted the lives of both soldiers and civilians. Some effects could be positive but many more were negative. Learn how the war impacted the lives of the various people staying in the Ford Mansion during the winter of 1779-1780 on a guided tour of the house. Tours at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 pm at the Ford Mansion, within Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, NJ. Cost: $4 per adult.

Sunday, November 3 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Election Day & Women's Suffrage in the 1830s
Children Friendly

The Visitors to the Historic Village at Allaire can join the employees and residents of the Howell Works Community as they extol the virtues of their party and the vices of their opponents while stumping for votes. The Village Suffragettes will be out in full force lobbying for the right of the female vote while the Howell Works Temperance Society will be on hand to ensure a clean and temperate election. Programs at 1:00 and 2:30 pm.

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

Sunday, November 3 - Walpack Center, Sussex County
Fall Hike

On Sunday, the Walpack Historical Society will sponsor a hike to the 1812 Richard Layton House, a 3-mile loop over varied terrain. Myra Snook, historian, will provide commentary along the way. Hikers will meet at 11:00 am at the Rosenkrans Museum, Main Street, Walpack Center, NJ within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, and carpool to the trailhead.

The Walpack Historical Society operates under agreement with the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. Wear sturdy shoes or boots and a hat. Bring water, a snack, and insect repellant. The hike is free and the public is invited. To confirm the event and for further information and directions, call 973-948-4903.

Sunday, November 3 - Montclair, Essex County
Historic House Tours

Step back through 200 years of American history at the Montclair Historical Society's historic properties on Sunday. While at the Orange Road site, visit the chickens on the farm and watch Carolina Capehart cook over the open hearth. At the North Mountain site, take a look at the decoration changes the MHS made to better reflect how the Shultz family lived. Both sites are open from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Admission is $8 per adult and $5 per child for both properties with same day admission. Or come as a family (1 or 2 adults with up to 3 children) for $25. Free admission for members! 

The sites are located at 108 Orange Road and 30 North Mountain Avenue, Montclair, NJ. For more information, call 973-744-1796, e-mail or visit

Sunday, November 3 - Madison, Morris County
Mr. Jefferson Goes to Washington

The Friends of Mead Hall cordially invite the public to a talk entitled "Mr. Jefferson Goes to Washington" on Sunday at 3:00 pm in Mead Hall, Drew University, 36 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ. Professor Barbara B. Oberg of Princeton University will address the question of how Jefferson balanced his rhetorical "non-partisanship"--"we are all republicans; we are all federalists"--with his bitter and contested election campaign against John Adams and the Federalists. How did Jefferson learn to think like a president after his election?

Professor Oberg is a leading Jefferson scholar and has great experience working with his papers. Mead Hall is the magnificent Greek Revival style country home of William Gibbons restored to its 1836 glory. Mead Hall, on the Drew University campus, is a listed National and State Historic Site. Reception and informal tours will follow the talk. Admission: Membership or $10. Free parking. For more information, call 973-805-8855 or visit

Sunday, November 3 - Hackensack, Bergen County
31st Annual Toy Soldier Show & Sale

On Sunday, attend the 31st Annual East Coast Toy Soldier Show & Sale - the largest and best attended Toy Soldier Show on the East Coast. It is the largest show of its kind with over 300 exhibitor tables. Find millions of antique and collectible toy soldiers, military miniatures, gaming figures, railroad, Christmas, zoo, farm, diecast, G.I. Joe and action figures, militaria, and antique and collectible toys. Even General George Washington, portrayed by Michael Grillo, the Royal Sussex Regimental Society, and Queen Victoria will be available throughout the day to post for pictures.

The show is held from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm at the Rothman Center at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Hackensack, NJ. Parking is free. Admission: $6.00 per adult and children under 12 are free. The show is sponsored by Vintage Castings. For more information, call 973-831-8900 or visit

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.

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

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 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 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

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 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


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