Friday, December 13, 2013

Weekend Historical Happenings: 12/14/13 - 12/15/13

Know about a historical event happening in your area? 
Send me an e-mail to let us know!
Be the first to find out about these events on Facebook!

Friday, December 13 - Plainfield, Union County
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Children Friendly

The Historical Society of Plainfield invites one and all to the Eighteenth Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday at the Drake House Museum beginning at 6:00 pm. Raffle prizes will be awarded during the festive evening of Christmas caroling, gift giving, and refreshments. This year's Gingerbread House will once again be generously awarded to one lucky winning family. 

Children are encouraged to participate, as Santa will make a surprise visit, with a gift for every child. In addition to the large Christmas tree in the ballroom, there will be three decorated theme trees in the period rooms of the museum. This program is free to the public. Due to space limitations and safety concerns we are unable to provide space for baby strollers or carriages.

The Drake House Museum is located at 602 West Front Street, Plainfield, NJ. For more information, call 908-755-5831 or visit

Friday - Sunday, December 13 -15 - West Orange, Essex County
Holidays at Glenmont
Children Friendly

The sights and sounds of the season will greet visitors when they come to Thomas Edison's home in Llewellyn Park during "Holidays at Glenmont." Glenmont will be decorated much as it was while the Edison family lived there. Greenery and red poinsettias will deck the mantles above the fireplaces. Staircases will be ringed with boughs and red ribbon bows and wreaths will hang in every window. In the den, the majestic ten foot tree will be set and the presents underneath will be waiting as if the Edison children Madeleine, Theodore, and Charles, will soon come running down the stairs from their rooms - after they've checked their stockings in the upstairs living room! Family china will be displayed on the dining room table and the scene will be completed with holiday cards that were received by the family.

The Edison home, Glenmont, is located on a fifteen-acre estate in Llewellyn Park, the country's first private residential community. Built in 1880, the twenty-nine room mansion contains the original furnishings and family items used by the Edisons. The estate grounds include gardens, a greenhouse, barn, and the poured concrete garage containing the family's automobiles. Thomas and Mina Edison are buried on the grounds of the estate.

Car passes and tour tickets must be purchased at the Laboratory Complex Visitor Center at 211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ. Admission is $7.00, and includes the Glenmont Estate and the Laboratory Complex. Children under age 16 are free. For more information, call 973-736-0550 x11 or visit

Saturday, December 14 - Secaucus, Hudson County
Building a Family on Circumstantial Evidence

The Hudson County Genealogical and Historical Society invites the public to attend their December meeting. Judy Russell, the Legal Genealogist, will present a program entitled “Building a Family on Circumstantial Evidence” from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm. The meeting will be held at the Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center, 1379 Paterson PlankRoad, Secaucus, NJ. For more information, visit

Saturday, December 14 - Cape May, Cape May County
Second Christmas Candelight House Tour

Experience a quintessential Cape May tradition on this popular self-guided tour of Victorian inns and homes beautifully decorated for the holidays. Experience a special holiday tradition with friends and family during Christmas Candlelight House Tours sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). Every year since 1974, over a dozen Victorian inns, homes, churches, and hotels open their doors and welcome visitors to share the warmth and hospitality of the season on these popular self-guided tours. Join the merriment during the 40th year of this beloved tradition and kindle your Christmas spirit, on the second of three Christmas Candlelight House Tours this season on Saturday, December 14 from 5:30 - 8:30 pm.

You will be welcomed inside with holiday hospitality and cheer. Enjoy Christmas carols by candlelight, strolling musicians along the historic streets of Cape May and beautiful holiday decorations. Travel from site to site on board a  heated trolley shuttle and stop at hospitality centers for warm beverages and holiday treats during your travels.

Featured properties on this second of three Christmas Candlelight House Tours include: The Albert Stevens Inn, 127 Myrtle Avenue; Beauclaire's B&B Inn, 23 Ocean Street; The Bedford Inn, 805 Stockton Avenue; Cape Island Baptist Church, Columbia Ave. & Gurney Street; Congress Hall Hotel, 251 Beach Avenue (enter from Congress Place); The Dormer House, 800 Columbia Avenue; Fairthorne Cottage, 115 Ocean Street; The George Ogden House, 737 Washington Street; Hotel Macomber, 727 Beach Avenue; The John Wesley Inn, 30 Gurney Street; The Mainstay Inn, 635 Columbia Avenue; The Mason Cottage, 623 Columbia Avenue; The Myers Residence, 1112 Washington Street; The Queen Victoria, 102 Ocean Street; The Summer Cottage Inn, 613 Columbia Avenue; The Thomas Webster House, 933 Washington Street; Victorian Lace Inn, 901 Stockton Avenue; and The Wilbraham Mansion, 133 Myrtle Avenue.

Christmas Candlelight House Tours also include a visit to Cape May's authentically decorated Victorian house museum, the Emlen Physick Estate at 1048 Washington Street, and the exhibit "An Old-Fashioned Christmas: Holiday Traditions through the Years" in the Carriage House Gallery located on the grounds of the Physick Estate. The exhibit's main attraction is a model Dickens Village and display featuring favorite Christmas toys and vintage  Christmas memories, all beneath the boughs of a giant Christmas tree.

Two conveniently located hospitality centers, the Carriage House at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, and the Cape Island Baptist Church, Columbia Avenue and Gurney Street, will be open from 5:30 - 8:30 pm, allowing visitors to enjoy warm beverages and traditional holiday treats. Free shuttle service on heated trolleys is provided throughout the evening. 

Admission to the Christmas Candlelight House Tour is $25 for adults and $20 for children (ages 3 to 12). The tour is limited; it is strongly recommended that tickets be reserved in advance by calling 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visiting Any remaining tickets on the day of the tour may be purchased at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth, Washington and Ocean streets. Properties on the tour are subject to change. The final Christmas Candlelight House Tour will be held on Saturday, Dec. 28, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 14 - Keyport, Monmouth County
Candlelight House Tour of Keyport

The Keyport Historical Society invites you to come and enjoy a ride on an old-fashioned trolley through the historic town of Keyport at Christmas time and visit the homes of all types. The tours start at Burlew's Seafood and Steak Restaurant (59 West Front Street, Keyport, NJ) and runs from 4:00 - 9:00 pm.

Advance tickets are $18 and available at IHOP (106 Route 36, Stop and Shop Plaza), Keyport Public Library (109 Broad Street) and Espresso Joe's (50 West Front Street). Tickets can be purchased on the day of the event for $20 starting at 2:00pm at 59 West Front Street, Keyport, NJ. Brochures and maps will be available before tours start. For more information, call 732-739-6390 or visit

Saturday, December 14 - West Orange, Essex County
Make a Tin Foil Recording!
Children Friendly

On Saturday at 10:00 am, join a park ranger and learn about sound waves and how to record sound at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, NJ. Afterwards there will be a recording session with a tinfoil phonograph.

The Thomas Edison National Historical Park Visitor Center is located at 211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ. The Laboratory Complex is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm year-round. The Glenmont Estate is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. All special programs are included with $7.00 park entrance fee unless otherwise indicated. Children under 16 are free. Car passes and tour tickets must be obtained at the Laboratory Complex Visitor Center for all Glenmont programs. For more information, call 973-736-0550 ext.. 11 or visit

Saturday, December 14 - Walpack, Sussex County
Walpack Christmas
Children Friendly

Join the Walpack Historical Society for a "Walpack Christmas" at the Rosenkrans Museum, Main Street, Walpack Center, NJ within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The celebration and open house will take place on Saturday, from 1:00 - 4:00 pm

The museum, a circa 1850 one and a half story frame building with eyebrow windows, was once the typical style of  home in the Delaware River Valley. It will be decorated for the holidays in the old-fashioned way. Refreshments will be served and live music will be performed. The event is free and the public is invited. All ages are welcome. For more information, call 973-948-4903 or visit

Saturday, December 14 - Cape May, Cape May County
Homespun Holiday Weekends
Children Friendly

Stop by Historic Cold Spring Village this holiday season for holiday merriment and shopping! The Country Store is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm in December (through December 22). Browse a unique line of heritage goods, hand-crafted artisan wares, jams and jellies, jewelry, hand-knit scarves and hats, books, and much more!

On Saturdays in December, visitors can meet Father Christmas in the Country Store from 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride throughout the festively decorated Village grounds.

And don’t forget - the Village Welcome Center is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am - 4:30 pm with free admission. Guests can enjoy Cape May County and maritime history exhibits, as well as an interactive virtual tour of HCSV.

Historic Cold Spring Village is located on Route 9, three miles north of Victorian Cape May and a mile and a half west of the southern end of the Garden State Parkway. For more information, call 609-898-2300, ext. 10 or visit the Village

Saturday, December 14 - Rahway, Union County
Holiday Candlelight Evenings

The Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum Association will be hosting their annual Holiday Candlelight Evening Tours, Saturday, December 14, from 6:00 - 9:00 pm in the museum building located at 1632 St. Georges Avenue, Rahway, NJ at the corner of Westfield Avenue.

This year, as always, the old tavern building, housing the museum, will be decorated for the holidays as it might have been circa 1800. All the rooms will be aglow in candlelight, and live period music will entertain the evening’s guests with Christmas carols and 19th century holiday melodies. This program is open to the public and all ages are welcome.

This year’s celebration will once again feature the holiday music of nationally renowned musician and singer, Linda Russell. She entertains audiences with ancient carols, interwoven with Yuletide poems, folklore and even recipes. 

Tickets are $12 at the door for adults, $10 for members and seniors, $5 for students, and children under 5 are free. All tickets can be purchased at the door. The price includes hearty appetizers, beer, wine, cider and soft drinks. All proceeds from both evenings will benefit the continued restoration and interpretation of this 18th century landmark. For more information, call 732-381-0441 or visit

Saturday, December 14 - Princeton, Mercer County
A Morning with Santa
Children Friendly

Bring your little ones to whisper their Christmas wishes to Santa on Saturday at Morven! Families will enjoy cookies and milk, holiday crafts, and more! Parents - bring your cameras! Event runs from 10:00 - 11:30 am. Suggested donation is $10 per family. Space is limited so please be sure to make a reservation by calling Michelle at 609-924-8144 x106.

Morven Museum & Garden is located at 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ. For more information, call 609-924-8144 or visit

Saturday, December 14, 21 - Union Township, Union County
Gingerbread House Workshop
Children Friendly

Liberty Hall is hosting a gingerbread house workshop on Saturday, December 14 and Saturday, December 21. Two sessions will be held from 10:00 - 11:30 am or 12:00 noon - 1:30 pm. Children will get into the holiday spirit when they decorate their own gingerbread house with candy canes, gumdrops, and more at this popular, annual Liberty Hall event. A tour of Liberty Hall decorated for holidays will follow the workshop. Program Fee: $20.00 for each child and adult, all additional adults $5.00. Reservations are required. Call 908-527-0400. Liberty Hall is located at 1003 Morris Ave, Union, NJ 07083. For more information, call 908-27-0400 or visit

Saturday, December 14 - Pennsville, Salem County
Annual Soldiers Christmas Event
Children Friendly

Stop by Fort Mott on Saturday for their Annual Soldiers Christmas from 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm. Enjoy guided tours of the fort and visits with Santa. Come and see how soldiers celebrated Christmas and the holiday season throughout history. It will be dark, so bring a flashlight! Admission is free.

Fort Mott is located at 454 Fort Mott Road, Pennsville, NJ 08070. For more information, call 856-935-3218 or visit

Saturday, December 14 - Morristown, Morris County
You, Me, and Us in the Museum
Children Friendly

Looking into our past we can see the impact everyday life has on history. Explore the Washington's Headquarters Museum with a Park Ranger to find evidence of each stage in life, from birth to retirement. Programs at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 pm at the Washington's Headquarters Museum, within Morristown National Historical Park. $4 per adult. For more information, call 973-539-2016 x210 or visit

Saturday, December 14 - Madison, Morris County
Holiday Singing
Children Friendly

On Saturday at 2:30 pm, stop in for some holiday merriment with a good old-fashioned sing at the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts.

Join in the singing or come to listen for this hour-long event featuring songs from Handel's Messiah. Bring your own sheet music or purchase it at the door. Jeanette Hile, Professor Emeritus of Seton Hall University will be conducting. No experience needed.  All are welcome! 

Advanced registration recommended - call 973-377-2982 x12. Regular museum admission apples: $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, students, and children 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, Madison, NJ. For more information, call 973-377-2982 x10 or visit  

Saturday - Sunday, December 14 - 15 - South Bound Brook, Somerset County
Home for the Holidays at the Abraham Staats House

The Abraham Staats House will be decked out in festive finery and hosting a number of musical programs for the two weekends of Holiday at the Abraham Staats House! Built circa 1740, the house was home to the Staats family for nearly two centuries and is now under the care of the Borough of South Bound Brook.

On Saturday and Sunday, from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm, the public is invited for a holiday visit of this special historic home, festively and individually decorated by South Bound Brook community organizations in celebration of the holiday season.

Stroll through the many rooms, learn about the history of the home, and get in the holiday spirit as you enjoy the seasonal displays and exhibits, and music of the 18th century on the dulcimer, guitar, and fiddle and offered throughout the house by Tom Harabin, president of the Friends of Abraham Staats House organization, which is hosting the event.

Enjoy music of the season as well during the Holiday at the Abraham Staats House weekends. On Saturday, December 14, members of the South Bound Brook Robert Morris School Gold Band, directed by Mr. Frank Parente, will perform at 2:00 p.m. (Please note: the sound of these musical programs will carry throughout the house; however, those who desire seating should come prior to performance start time: seating is limited and on a first-come, first-serve  basis.)

Admission and parking is free and donations are accepted. The Abraham Staats House is located at 17 Von Steuben Lane, South Bound Brook. For more information, call 732-560-0645 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 14 - 15 - Whippany, Morris County
22nd Annual Santa Claus Special
Children Friendly

New Jersey's Original Santa Claus Special celebrates its 22nd continuous year of operation in 2013.  Celebrate the wonderful Christmastime spirit and joy with a ride on the Whippany Railway Museum's Santa Claus Special! Tickets for this annual Christmas tradition make great gifts for the kids and the entire family. The 10-mile, 45-minute round trip excursion from Whippany to Roseland and return allows passengers time to enjoy the festivities of the season and the merriment on the train. All of our past trips over the last 21 years have been complete sell-outs, and seeing the excited faces of the children as they climb aboard the Christmas holiday-decorated trains, ensures an afternoon for family fun. During each excursion, Santa makes his way through the train and visits with the children on-board. Santa's helpers follow along, giving the kids a special gift from Santa. Be sure to bring your camera and take pictures of the kids with Santa, so they can always remember their day on-board the train!

In addition to the regular coaches that make up the train, make your day extra special by purchasing limited tickets for a nostalgic Christmas ride aboard the museum's elegant 1927-era Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ) Club Car, Jersey Coast. Specially decorated for the Christmas holidays in a pre-World War II style, the car has the warm look and feel of a private club with individual leather chairs, mahogany interior accented with stained glass, built-in tables and period ceiling fans. The Jersey Coast, recalls the 1930s when the CNJ operated its deluxe coach train, The Blue Comet, between Jersey City and Atlantic City, NJ. The striking, authentic exterior paint scheme of cream and blue reminds one of a comet streaking through space. It is the only car of its type operating in New Jersey.

So round up your family and friends and climb aboard for some great Christmastime fun and laughter! Ordering tickets is fast and easy! Trains depart at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00 pm each day, rain, sleet, or shine. The Whippany Railroad is located at 1 Railroad Plaza, at the Intersection of Route 10 West & Whippany Road in Whippany, NJ. Train fare: Adults: $14.00, Children (under 12): $9.00, Infants (1 year and under): Free.

To order tickets and for more information, visit or call 973-887-8177. The Whippany Railway Museum, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit Operating Heritage Railroad that is staffed by volunteers. Donations from the public help to keep the museum operational, but funds are still required to support this unique New Jersey treasure. Proceeds from the train rides further enhance the Museum's mission and its historic preservation efforts.

Saturday - Sunday - December 14 - 15 - Montague, Sussex County
Old Fashioned Holiday Tours
Family Friendly

M.A.R.C.H. will kick off its free 2013 Old Fashioned Holiday Tours this year at the Foster-Armstrong House on Saturday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Six specially decorated rooms will be open on Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm.  Cookies and cider will be available. 

The decorative theme for 2013 is "A Natural Holiday". Each tree in the rooms will be decorated with different types of ornaments. There will also be a natural decoration workshop with pine cones set up in the Cole Room and handmade ornaments from our crafters will be for sale in The Foster General Store. The Foster-Armstrong House is located at 320 River Road / C.R. 521 in Montague, NJ, about 1 mile north of the Milford-Montague Bridge. For more information, visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 14 - 15 - Flemington, Hunterdon County
Holiday Open House

Holiday greenery, ribbons, hydrangeas, magnolia leaves and lots of clever decorating ideas will greet visitors at the 1845 Doric House at 114 Main Street in Flemington, NJ starting Sunday, December 1, the day of borough's holiday parade. The museum, open at no charge by the Hunterdon County Historical Society, also will welcome guests for tours on the following two weekends, December 7-8 and 14-15. Hours each day are 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Admission is free.

The imaginative holiday d├ęcor created by the Community Garden Club of Hunterdon based in Whitehouse and the Hunterdon Hills Garden Club of High Bridge adds much to the tour both inside and outside the house. Decorating committee Co-Chairs Debi DeLorenzo and Barbara Stawicki for the Whitehouse club and Chair Chris Endris of the High Bridge club, report they are working in tandem this year. Evergreens, gold bows, white paper angels, three-dimensional gold paper stars, hydrangeas, amaryllis and apple roses will wreath the elliptical staircase, adorn the tree and beautifully decorate the formal parlor and dining room. The table will be set for Christmas dinner. Visitors will find many clever ideas to copy for their homes. Docents in every room will tell the stories of the antique furnishings and what mid-1800s life in Flemington was like.

As an added treat, the newly renovated research library adjoining the museum will feature a tree and a display of holiday greeting cards from the Society’s Lorena Cole Vincent Collection, and other late 19th and early 20th century greeting cards from several Hunterdon County families.

Besides the holiday decorations, guests will see new appointments in the parlor, including an 1845 Argand-style whale oil chandelier created by Charles Tiffany of New Hope, an 1830 portrait of Anna Hope Foster of Clinton (hanging over a Chippendale-style desk made by her father in 1790), and new 19th-century-style lace panels at the windows. In the foyer, the Society has added a collection of nine walking sticks dating from 1722 to 1917.

The Doric House was built by Mahlon Fisher, a country carpenter of ability and taste, for his private residence. He also erected several other Flemington residences in the same style that are considered some of the best of their type in the U.S. but the Doric House is the only one remaining in non-commercial use. For more information, call 908-782-1091 or visit

Sunday, December 15 - Union Township, Union County
Whoville Feast!
Children Friendly

"Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near." Roastbeast on a Bun, Seuss Spuds and Cindy Lou Who Cider are just some of the Grinchy grub being served at Liberty Hall's Whoville Feast on Sunday from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm.

A tour of Liberty Hall decorated for holidays will follow the feast. Program Fee: $20.00 per child, $25.00 per adult. Reservations Required. Call 908-527-0400. Liberty Hall is located at 1003 Morris Ave, Union, NJ 07083. For more information, call 908-27-0400 or visit

Sunday, December 15 Andover Borough, Sussex County
Historical Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
POSTPONED UNTIL Saturday, December 21

The Historical Society of Andover Borough cordially invites you to attend the Andover Museum's Historic Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Sunday at 2:00 pm during the museum's Holiday Open House, from 1:00 - 4:00 pm.

Col. Ardolph Loges Kline was born in 1858, to Anthony Kline and Margaret Busby Kline of the Springdale section of Andover and attended school in Andover and Newton, NJ. In 1877, he started working for a men's clothing company in New York City and joined the New York National Guard as a private. When the Spanish-American War of 1898 began, he was named a Lieutenant-Colonel, and in 1901 a Brevet Brigadier-General. He was a senior officer of the New York National Guard and a Republican politician who became the acting Mayor of New York City on September 10, 1913 upon the death of Mayor William Jay Gaynor, serving for the rest of the year. Mr. Kline later became a United States Representative from Brooklyn (1921-1923). He married Francis A. Phalon and they had one daughter. Ardolph Kline died in 1930 in Brooklyn, NY and is buried with his wife Francis in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.

During Mr. Kline's short period as the acting Mayor of New York City, he initiated the annual New York City Hall Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 24, 1913, by inviting a young boy to help him light the first Christmas tree at City Hall. This small gesture started a tradition which still continues to this day at the New York City Hall.

So, today in honor of a boy from Andover, who carried his political dedication and personal vision to the steps of New York City Hall, we continue with this historic tree lighting tradition in his hometown, nearly a hundred years later.

The Andover Museum is open to visitors from 1:00 - 4:00 pm on Sunday. It is located upstairs in the Andover Borough Municipal Building at 137 Main Street/Route 206, Andover Borough, NJ. There is ample parking located behind the building and the museum entrance is on Smith Street.

The museum is open to the public. For additional information please call 973-786-7833 or e-mail

Sunday, December 15 - Clinton, Hunterdon County
“We Wish You a Merry Gristmas”
Children Friendly

On Sunday from 1:00 - 1:30 pm, stop in the Hunterdon Art Museum for a history tour! This tour will focus primarily on the history of the former mill in which the Hunterdon Art Museum is housed. We will discuss the historical significance of the mill, its relationship to Clinton and its community, and how it came to be the spirited Museum and art center that it is today. The tour will start in the lobby and progress to the first, second, and third floors, where we will discuss the construction of the mill, its functions, and what architectural traces were left that leave clues to its extensive history.  This tour will be child and adult friendly. Regular museum admission of $5 per person applies. The Hunterdon Art Museum is located at 7 Lower Center Street, Clinton, NJ. For more information, call 908-735-8415 or visit

Sunday, December 15 - Franklin Township, Somerset County
Candlelight Christmas Tours

It is time again to set out and light the candles for Rockingham Historic Site's Annual Candlelight Christmas Tours. The program is being offered on Sunday from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. The tours, for which advanced reservations are required, include information on 18th-century Christmas traditions and revolve around a special theme rather than the regular house tour-this year the theme is the Enlightenment. The  Enlightenment had roots in the later 17th century, but flourished in the 18th, with major shifts in fields such as philosophy, communication, transportation, religion, science, education, government, and the arts. Our tour guests will learn about different aspects of this age as they pass from room to room, led and informed by the period-dress attired Live Historians Club of Montgomery Township High School.

In addition to the tours by candlelight, there will be period music provided by Practitioners of Musik in one of the rooms and 18th-century-style decorations arranged by the Stony Brook Garden Club. As always, the Live Historians will also provide refreshments of cookies and warm cider in the Children's Museum. The Rockingham Association will be present, greeting tour guests, minding candles, and staffing the Museum Store for light holiday shopping.

Advance tour reservations are REQUIRED for admission with a suggested donation of $5 per person and must be made by calling 609-683-7136. Tours will be offered at least every half-hour with the last tour beginning at 3:30 pm.

Rockingham is located at 84 Laurel Avenue, Franklin Township, NJ between Route 518 in Rocky Hill and Route 27 in Kingston. For more information, call 609-683-7132 or visit

Sunday, December 15 - Morristown, Morris County
Victorian Christmas at Acorn Hall

Renowned local interior designer, Kevin Fitzpatrick, joins the Morris County Historical Society in ‘Decking the Halls’ for this year’s Victorian Christmas celebration at Acorn Hall. Mr. Fitzpatrick has worked professionally with Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren, and has designed for a wide variety of celebrities. Come celebrate the splendor of the holiday season with the Society, and enjoy generous Victorian decorations throughout its period rooms and hallways.

Special features this year include a custom feather tree decorated in authentic mid-19th century ornaments, mantels decorated in lavish period silk fabrics, and, of course, our ornately decorated upside-down Christmas tree. Colorful evergreen garlands highlighted by shining ornaments and numerous themed-decorations on bright Christmas trees and arrangements are certain to place guests in the holiday spirit.  

The Oakleaf Gallery Gift Shop at Acorn Hall offers many unique and perfect solutions to fulfill all of your holiday gift-giving needs. Vintage clothing and jewelry, one-of-a-kind hand-crafted accessories, refurbished Victorian-era hooks and hardware, distinctive books on Morris County history, and adorable items sure to make any child smile, await visitors stopping by the shop. 

Acorn Hall was built in 1853 and remodeled in the Italianate Villa-style in 1860. It is open for tours on Sundays, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, and by appointment. 

The gift shop is open Monday - Friday, from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Sunday 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm, and by appointment. We are scheduling special wine and cheese shopping-nights-out, please make your appointment soon. 

Tours of the house and exhibit are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $3 for students. Children under 12 and members are free. There is no admission fee for those who are only visiting the gift shop. Acorn Hall is located at 68 Morris Avenue, Morristown, NJ. For more information, call 973-267-3465 or visit

Sunday, December  15 - Montclair, Essex County
Holiday House Tours

Tours at the Montclair Historical Society, 108 Orange Road and the Charles Shultz House-Evergreens, 30 North Mountain Avenue, Montclair, NJ between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm on Sunday. See the houses bedecked in their holiday finery. These special tours incorporate the holiday traditions as well as the stories of the houses and the people who lived there. Begin at the Nathaniel Crane house where the less "foppery" reigned; then see the Israel Crane house decorated by the Garden Club of Montclair; then move forward in history to the Charles Shultz House, featuring Molly Shultz's own collection of Christmas decorations and antique toys. Tours are $8 for adults, $5 for children. Members are free. 

Sunday Spotlight: On Sunday at 3:00 pm, Miriam Mandelbaum, retired Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the NY Academy of Medicine, will be talking about the Shultz House collection of children's books and the stories they tell about the family in a program titled "Every Book Tells a Story (or Two)." The program will be held at The Charles Schultz House, 30 North Mountain Avenue, Montclair, NJ. Suggested donation: $5 per person.

For more information, call 973-744-1796 or visit

Sunday, December 15 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
Edible History, Plum Pudding

Ever wonder what went in to a plum pudding? Learn about steamed puddings from humble hearth cooked winter fare to an elegant Victorian holiday treat. We’ll review historical recipes and ingredients while sampling a taste of the past, and send you off with period recipes to try at home. This program will run between 1:00 and 4:00 pm.

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.

Sunday, December 15 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Christmas at Allaire
Children Friendly

This re-created 19th century village comes to life during the holidays. "Christmas at Allaire," depicts old-world holiday traditions and customs in the historic buildings. Carolers will wander the streets, period vocal and instrumental music will be performed at historic Christ Episcopal Church, and there will be mummer plays, hearth cooking, and apple drying and stringing. Admission: $7 for adults, $4.00 for children. The Historic Village at Allaire is located in Allaire State Park at 4263 Atlantic Ave, Farmingdale, NJ. Tickets are available at the gate or can be purchased through their web site. For more information, call 732-919-3500 or visit

Sunday, December 15 - Haddonfield, Camden County
Book Launch and Reception
Back by Popular Demand for a Second Weekend!

The definitive biography of Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh has arrived! For nearly 300 years, scores of writers, and poets have told the tale of the courageous, romantic, unmarried Quaker woman who almost single-handedly founded the town of Haddonfield. With each account and with each retelling, her personality and accomplishments grew more exaggerated, leading some to question the true history of our beloved founder. Such was the curiosity of Haddonfield's own Elizabeth "Betty" Lyons. In the late 1960s, as a volunteer with the historical society and with the help of her brother, she began to research the historical rather than legendary figure. Over the next 40 years what began as a curiosity developed into a passion. She traveled to England and the West Indies, visiting libraries and historic sites, and unearthed much previously undiscovered information about Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh. Her goal was to publish a biography in 2013 for the 300th anniversary celebration, but with her untimely death in 2008 the project remained unfinished. With the intent of completing Betty's goal, the society contacted Jeffery Dorwart, Professor Emeritus of History at Rutgers Camden and accomplished author of many works of local history, and attained his interest in the project. Though based in part on Betty's unfinished manuscript, his rewriting and extensive new research have resulted in an original biographic work, and with the editing help of Kathy Tassini and Doug Rauschenberger, has produced Elizabeth Haddon Estaugh, 1680-1762, Building the Quaker Community of Haddonfield, New Jersey, 1701-1762. The book takes a step back from the Elizabeth legend and examines her world, a complex milieu of Quaker family, religious, social, business and economic factors in colonial West Jersey and Philadelphia regions.  

To commemorate its release, the Historical Society of Haddonfield will host a Book Launch Reception at Greenfield Hall (343 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ) on Sunday from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. Author Jeffery Dorwart will be present to inscribe each copy and answer questions. Admission is free and the beautifully bound hardcover books are only $25 - a perfect gift for the holidays and a wonderful addition to every library collection. Refreshments will be available, so please help us celebrate this proud achievement and mark this moment in Haddonfield history. 

For more information, call 856-429-7375 or visit

Through Tuesday, January 5, 2014 - Princeton, Mercer County
Festival of Trees

Morven Museum and Garden's annual Festival of Trees has become a must-see Princeton holiday tradition. Enjoy the museum’s elegant galleries decorated for the holidays and adorned with trees artfully decorated by local businesses, garden clubs, and non-profit organizations.

This year’s Festival of Trees exhibitors include: Arts Council of Princeton, Stony Brook Garden Club of Princeton, Dogwood Garden Club, Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton Doll & Toy Museum, Vicki Trainer, Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County, McCarter Theatre, Keris Tree Farm & Christmas Shop, Barbara L. Mulea, Landau of Princeton, Hulit’s Shoes, One Simple Wish, D & R Greenway Land Trust, Garden Club of Princeton, and West Elm by Gordon Goode.

No reservations necessary. Morven is open to the public on Wednesdays through Fridays from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm and Saturdays through Sundays from 12:00 noon – 4:00 pm.

Admission $6, $5 for Seniors, and special pricing for families during Festival of Trees, $15 per group. Friends of Morven, free. Please note that during the Festival of Trees in December and early January, no formal tours are given, but docents are available to answer any questions. No reservations necessary. Morven Museum and Garden is located at 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ. For more information, call 609-924-8144 or visit

Through Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - Tuckerton, Ocean County
Festival of Trees
Children Friendly Site

Roll out the holly and sharing in some holiday cheer at Tuckerton Seaport's Festival of Trees. The Festival of Trees will feature dozens of trees, each one decorated for a local nonprofit organization with a unique theme. Open 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. General admission: adults $8, seniors $6, ages 5-12 $5, under five free and Seaport members free. The Tuckerton Seaport and Baymen's Museum is located at 120 West Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ. For more information, call 609-296-8868 or visit

Through January 1, 2014 - Cape May, Cape May County
Old-Fashioned Christmas Exhibit
Children Friendly

Through January 1, 2014, the Emlen Physick Estate will have an exhibit of holiday traditions through the years complete with a Dickens Village, a giant Christmas tree, model trains, toys, and much more! The exhibit is located in the Carriage House Gallery at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. The Gallery is open daily (except Christmas); hours vary. Free admission. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information or gallery hours, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

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 February 14, 2014 - Woodbury, Gloucester County
The Civil War: Echoes of New Jersey’s Finest 

As the 150th anniversary of the Civil War is being observed across America, the Gloucester County Historical Society Museum is featuring an exhibit of artifacts that tell unique stories about local soldiers during this traumatic time in our nation’s history.  Along with military equipment, there are also photographs, Civil War letters, the first Congressional Medal of Honor awarded to a NJ soldier, a thirty-three foot long flag that flew over Fort McHenry during the Civil War, personal items that belonged to local union soldiers, and much more.

Gloucester County Historical Society Museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm and the last Sunday of the month from 2:00 - 5:00 pm. Adult admission $5; children 6-18 years $1; children under 6 free. The museum is located at 58 North Broad Street, Woodbury, NJ. For more information, call 856-848-8531 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.

Through August, 2014 - Lyndhurst, Bergen County
Let's Play! An Exhibit of Beloved Toys
Children Friendly

From a china-head doll to a Lionel train, several toys are on display at the Little Red Schoolhouse Museum as the Lyndhurst Historical Society recalls fun times with favorite toys. The new exhibit, "Let's Play! An Exhibit of Beloved Toys," is open now through August 2014.

The exhibit is free and open to the public, though a small donation to the Society would be appreciated. The Little Red Schoolhouse Museum is open on the second and fourth Sundays of  every month from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. The Lyndhurst Historical Society was established in 1984 in an effort to preserve the 1893 schoolhouse, located at 400 Riverside Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ. For more information, call 201-804-2513 (leave a message) or visit

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


Post a Comment

Thanks for the comments!