Friday, February 21, 2014

Weekend Historical Happenings: 2/22/14 - 2/23/14

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Saturday, February 22 - Franklin Township, Somerset County
George Washington's Birthday

George Washington's birthday is coming, and he doesn't look a day over 51!  At least his life-size mannequin at Rockingham doesn't. Come see for yourself during Rockingham Historic Site's annual George Washington birthday celebration on Saturday. You can learn about our first president's life, tour his last wartime headquarters, and enjoy refreshments.

The tours, which will emphasize details of Washington's life instead of the regular history tour of  the house, will be offered between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm (last tour at 3:30 pm) with refreshments served after each tour. Tour size is limited and reservations are required.  Please call 609-683-7132 for reservations.

Washington, commander in chief for the Continental Army during the American Revolution, stayed at Rockingham from late August to early November in 1783.  It became his final wartime headquarters when the Treaty of Paris was formally signed while he resided there.

Rockingham is located on Rte. 603 (Laurel Ave./Kingston-Rocky Hill Rd.), one mile north of Route 27 in Kingston and one mile south of Route 518 in Rocky Hill.  For more information, call 609-683-7132 or visit

Saturday, February 22 - Jersey City, Hudson County
Tribute to African American Civil War Troops
Children Friendly

Join the Jersey City & Harsimus Cemetery in Celebrating Black History Month at a special tribute to the Civil War U.S. Colored Troops at the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery on Saturday at 1:00 pm. Honored guests include "U.S.C.T. New York Regiment United States Colored Troops Reenactors - 20th, 26th, 31st" and "Che Nautical Edutainment". See actual Civil War artifacts and a film and discussion. Donation suggested. The Jersey City & Harsimus Cemetery is located at 435 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ. For more information, call 201-707-0738 or 973-204-9888 or visit

Saturday, February 22 - 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. Call 973-539-2016 ext. 210 for details.

Saturday, February 22 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Maple Sugaring
Children Friendly

Sugaring time arrives in late winter at Howell Farm and the public joins in the fun of making and tasting homemade maple syrup (and pancakes!).

The trees are tapped beginning in early February. School groups, visitors and farm staff collect and boil down sap for several weeks.

Sap gathering will take place at 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm. Tree tapping demonstrations will be held at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm.

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. call 609-737-3299 or visit

Saturday, February 22 - Morristown, Morris County
Myths of George Washington
Children Friendly

Did Washington really have wooden teeth? Did he chop down a cherry tree? Revisit these and other Washington stories, investigate their truthfulness, and discover why such tales were and are so popular. Programs at 1:15, 2:15, and 3:15 pm at the Washington's Headquarters Museum within Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, NJ. Cost: $4 per adult.

Saturday - Sunday, February 22 - 23 - Trenton, Mercer County
Three Centuries of African America Soldiers
Children Friendly

On Saturday and Sunday, experience the living history of America's Black Warriors through the veterans themselves and dedicated reenactors at The Old Barracks Museum! View displays of photos, literature, and artifacts from wars past! Talk to the storytellers of America's black men and women at war!

From 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Robert W. Sands, Jr. and Alexander B. Bartlett, authors of Images of America: Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell, will be present to sign copies of their book.

Don't miss this wonderful educational experience for the entire family! The Revolutionary War will be represented by the predominately African American Rhode Island Regiment. The Civil War will be represented by The 6th Regiment United States Colored Troops. World War II will be represented by The 5th Platoon. Other authentically kitted out reenactors will represent the War of 1812, the Buffalo Soldiers of the American West, and the Harlem Hellfighters of World War I fame.

Admission: Adults $4, Seniors $2, Children $2, under 6 years-free, Family Rate $8. The Old Barracks Museum is located at 101 Barrack Street, Trenton, NJ. For more information, call 609-396-1776 or visit

Sunday, February 23 - 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. Programs at 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00 pm at the Wick House in Jockey Hollow, within Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, NJ. Cost: Free.

Sunday, February 23 - Bedminster, Somerset County
Pluckemin Cantonment
Audiences 14+

The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House invite the public to a free presentation about the Pluckemin Cantonment, site of the nation's first military training academy, on Sunday at 2:00 pm at the Jacobus Vanderveer House and Museum in Bedminster.

Dr. John Seidel, Director, Center for the Environment & Society at Washington College in  Chestertown, MD and lead archaeologist on the Pluckemin Archaeological Project, will present a 3D visualization of the Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment, recently commissioned by the Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House. The one-hour presentation will also highlight the significance of the cantonment to the Continental Army, its abandonment and eventual discovery in the 1970s, the archaeological dig that ensued, and the wealth of artifacts that were uncovered.

Working with Dr. Seidel, historical geographer Stewart Bruce, other historians, and students at Washington College, the Friends authorized the use of sophisticated mapping software to create a 3D visualization of the lost Pluckemin cantonment (now located in the Hills Development) in a series of digital animations that is interpreted and narrated by scholars. The animated visualization of the 1778-79 cantonment depicts buildings (officers' quarters, armorers' shop, artificers' quarters, tin smith's shop, etc.) as well as the physical materials, tools and daily activities of life on the site. 

The 21st-century digital presentation complements the Friends' more traditional interpretive programs - authentic artifacts, beautiful period rooms, history center, museum displays, art works, maps and printed materials. The virtual cantonment is presented on-site at the Jacobus Vanderveer House Museum, and excerpts are posted on the museum's website and Facebook page. For more information and a sneak peek at how history meets high-tech in telling the story of Pluckemin's long lost cantonment, visit

The presentation is intended for audiences 14 and up. There is no charge for admission, but registration is suggested by calling 908-396-6053.

The Jacobus Vanderveer House will also be open from 1:00 - 4:00 pm on Sunday for tours. 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 directions and more information, visit

Sunday, February 23 - Kenilworth, Union County
African American Read-In
Children Friendly

An "African American Read-In" will highlight the Kenilworth Historical Society's Black History Month Celebration on Sunday. The general public is invited to attend the event, which will take place at the newly restored Oswald J. Nitschke House "living history" museum and cultural arts center. A soul food "tasting" will be served starting at 1:30 pm, and the Read-In will begin at 2:30 pm.  Admission is free. The program is appropriate for all age groups.

The Read-In will be conducted by local students from David Brearley Middle and High School, who will read an inspiring selection of poetry by various Black authors. Some members of Kenilworth's First Baptist Church and Union Baptist Church will be participating in the program as well.

The Oswald J. Nitschke House is located at 49 South 21 Street, Kenilworth, NJ. For more information, call 908-709-0434 or visit

Sunday, February 23 - Clinton, Hunterdon County
Identifying Features of a Cultural Landscape

Is it possible to visualize how the cultural landscape evolved in each quarter century between the late 18th century and the 20th century?  Using documentation of existing houses, barns and outbuildings, dendrochronology, maps, oral history, deed research and one’s own imagination, an evolving picture is created. Stop by the Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers' Market on Sunday at 11:00 am when Carla Cielo will discuss “The Spirit of Place: Identifying Features of a Cultural Landscape” in the Dvoor Farm House. Carla is a historic preservation consultant and designer working in Hunterdon County. She has documented over 250 structures throughout the region. 

The talk will conclude with a look at the 21st century with time allotted for audience discussion. Is it possible to respect the spirit of place and foster new uses? Holland Township is used as the primary example but many of the themes presented are universal. A $5 donation is suggested. The program will begin at 11:00 am at the Hunterdon County Land Trust's Dvoor Farm, 111 Mine Street, Flemington, NJ. For more information, call 908-237-4582 or visit

Sunday, February 23 - West Orange, Essex County
Harry's Magical Invention Bag
Children Friendly

Park volunteer, Harry Roman is a retired engineer as well as inventor and patent holder. He will offer a presentation about contemporary inventors from New Jersey and the patent process.

The program runs from 1:00 - 2:00 pm and 3:00 - 4:00 pm and is included with regular admission. 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

Sunday, February 23 - Clinton, Hunterdon County
Dr. Cornelius Larison and Sylvia Dubois

On Sunday, travel back in time and spend an afternoon with two of Hunterdon County’s most intriguing characters when the East Amwell Historical Society presents a dramatic dialogue between Dr. Cornelius Larison and Sylvia Dubois. The program will be held at 4:00 pm in the Little Theater at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington. The entrance is off Route 523. Admission is $5.

Dr. Cornelius Larison lived in Ringoes in the latter part of the 19th century and was quite busy: He was a natural scientist, a doctor, a professor, an author and an advocate for spelling reform. Larison didn’t like the way we spelled words. Through books, pamphlets and magazine articles he advocated a new spelling scheme where “language” became “langwag” and “phonics” became “fonics.”

He sat down to write – are you ready for this? -- “Sylvia Dubois: A Biografy of the Slav Who Whipt Her Mistres and Gand Her Fredom” after interviewing Sylvia at or near her Sourland Mountains home in 1883. Larison enjoyed diving into local history and writing about some of the interesting personalities in the area. And he couldn’t have found a better subject than Sylvia.

Silvia Dubois was born into slavery in the Sourland Mountains around 1788. Her abusive mistress beat her regularly, once fracturing her skull with a shovel. One day, the mistress attacked Sylvia in a Pennsylvania tavern, and Sylvia hit back. Surprisingly, her master granted Sylvia her freedom, and she walked 152 miles home carrying her baby. Sylvia inherited a tavern in the Sourlands from her grandfather, and the place became infamous for offering gambling, prostitution, and cockfighting to a mixed-race crowd until someone burned it down in 1840.

The presentation is based on Dr. Larison’s biography on Sylvia Dubois. Joy Kelly Smith, who will portray Sylvia Dubois, is a New York City-based actress, director, musician and storyteller. She has specialized in dramatizing the words of African American women and has appeared on the David Letterman show.

Ron O’Reilly will produce this program and play Dr. Cornelius Larison. He’s an East Amwell resident and a local personal historian who helps people tell their first-person accounts of events, photographs, documents of their life and times. This marks the first event sponsored by the East Amwell Historical Society for 2014.

Sunday, February 23 - Burlington, Burlington County
The Harriet Tubman Experience
Children Friendly

On Sunday, the Burlington County Historical Society is pleased to present "The Harriet Tubman Experience" presented by Millicent Sparks. The program will take place from 2:00 - 4:00 pm at the Corson Poley Center on the campus of the Burlington County Historical Society, 454 Lawrence Street, Burlington, NJ. There will be crafts and activities for young visitors based on the history of the Underground Railroad. Admission is $5 per person. For more information, call 609-386-4773 or visit

Sunday, February 23 - Westfield, Union County
Quilting Program
Children Friendly

Quilting, or the stitching together of layers of padding and fabric, may be as old as ancient Egypt. On Sunday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm, the museum will feature this practical, yet imaginative handcraft. The program includes a display of handmade quilts and a presentation on how they are made and their many creative patterns such as log cabin, double wedding ring, and others. The presenter will also discuss the debate over the premise that messages encoded in special quilt patterns helped slaves escape via the Underground Railroad. A simple craft for children is included

Admission is $3.00 for adults and children 13 and older, $2.00 for children ages 3 to 12 and free under age 3. The program is from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. For more information, call 908-232-1776, e-mail, or visit

Sunday, February 23 - Hanover Township, Morris County
The Great Awakening of Parson Jacob Green

On Sunday, the First Presbyterian Church of Whippany will offer a public re-telling of a gemstone story from the local history of Hanover Township (Morris County) entitled "The Great Awakening of Parson Jacob Green." Green was Hanover's versatile "preacher and teacher, doctor and proctor, miller and distiller" from 1745 to 1790. 

Elder Don Kiddoo of the church will recount the story, in Parson Green's own words, telling of his years at Harvard College (1740-1744), and then his call, feeling great uncertainty, to come to the Hanover congregation, where he stayed and served for 45 years. The story is from Green's autobiography published in 1831, in his own words. But it's much more than a personal diary - it's important American history of that era and it's a case study in human psychology, and an example of 18th century theology as well.

The public is cordially invited to attend this open lecture in the church's Parish Hall from 9:00 - 10:00 am. Doors open at 8:50 am for breakfast coffee. Parking is behind the church. The worship service follows at the regular hour, 10:15 am. The First Presbyterian Church of Whippany is located at 494 New Jersey Route 10, Whippany, NJ. For more information, call 973-887-2197 or visit

Sunday, February 23 - Trenton, Mercer County
5th Annual Antiques Appraisal Day

The Trenton City Museum announces the 5th Annual Antiques Appraisal Day at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park, Trenton, NJ  on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. This is an extremely popular event that the museum and lovers of antiques and history have braved cold and snow in past years to learn about their treasures from the experts at the museum. Items with a personal story or artifacts that illuminate details of life in the past are fun to explore and engender much discussion.  Some patrons are happy to learn that their items have significant monetary value, but all are delighted to learn more about the objects they present.

In the past, people have brought porcelains made in Trenton and around the world, antique chairs made in Philadelphia during the early years of the Republic, toys, tools, and even artifacts produced by America's original peoples. 

The panel of antique experts includes auctioneer Eugene Pascucci of A-A Empire Antiques in Hightstown, Trenton pottery experts Robert Cunningham and Chris Casarona, and antique dealer Thomas Rago of American & European Antiques at the Tomato Factory in Hopewell.  This group of antique dealers and collectors represents many years of experience and knowledge. Antiques and items from Trenton are of particular interest, but members of this panel are equally passionate about all antique categories and are happy to share their insights with patrons. While antiques from every category are welcome, firearms are excluded and will not be permitted on the premises.

Attendees are seen by an expert in the order they register, so there may be a moderate wait until they are seen by a panelist.  While waiting, patrons may enjoy the student art show currently on display on the first floor and the historical exhibits on the second floor of Trenton-made industrial artifacts, including tools, an anvil, a cash register, a school desk and more.

Registration fee is $10 per item and a maximum of two items per registrant. For more information, please contact Brenda Springsted or Richard Willinger at 609-989-1191, e-mail or visit

Sunday, February 23 - Morristown, Morris County
President's Membership Tea

The Morris County Historical Society (MCHS) will hold its annual President's Membership Tea on Sunday from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. The event's admission fee ($6 for adults; $5 for seniors, and $3 for students) includes a tour of Acorn Hall, the 19th-century house museum, the current main exhibit "Bottoms Up: How Taverns Revolutionized Morris County" and mini-exhibit "Crazy Quilts," and a delicious afternoon tea buffet with light tea sandwiches and desserts served in Acorn Hall's dining room. The event is free for Society members and the admission fee can be applied towards an annual membership in MCHS. No advance reservation is required. 

The President's Membership Tea is held each year to provide the public with the opportunity to learn more about the Morris County Historical Society, and the benefits of society membership. The Society's mission is dedicated to the discovery, preservation, promotion, and interpretation of Morris County history through events, programs, exhibits, and preservation advocacy. The Tea also gives current members a chance to meet one another, as well as MCHS president, board of trustee members, and staff. Current members are encouraged to bring a friend who may be interested in joining the Society.

Acorn Hall is located at 68 Morris Avenue, Morristown, NJ. The Morris County Historical Society, founded in 1946, is a member-supported, 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Its headquarters, Acorn Hall, is an Italianate Villa mansion open to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays (11:00 am - 4:00 pm) and Sundays (1:00 pm - 4:00 pm). For more information, call 973-267-3465 or visit

Sunday, February 23 - River Edge, Bergen County
Washington's Birthday at Historic New Bridge Landing
Children Friendly

A Country Ball upon the Anniversary of Washington's Birthday will be held at Historic New Bridge Landing on Sunday from 1:00 - 5:00 pm. Eighteenth century dancing will be featured in the Steuben House between 1:30 and 4:00 pm under the direction of Denise Piccino with Ridley & Anne Enslow providing musical accompaniment on fiddle and hammered dulcimer. Throughout the afternoon, Rodger Yaden will portray General George Washington. Hot cider and crullers will be served in the restored 18th-century tavern in the Campbell-Christie House, where the gift shop is also located. Visitors may also see open-hearth cooking demonstrated in the out-kitchen. A tiger-stripe maple bedstead, reputedly used in a local home where George Washington stayed during the 1780 Steenrapie Encampment, is currently on display. 

Historic New Bridge Landing is located at 1201-1209 Main Street, River Edge, NJ. Admission by donation: $7 for adults, $5 for children, and free for Bergen County Historical Society members. For more information, visit

Sunday, February 23 - Maplewood, Essex County
The Maplewood Theater: A Forgotten Saga
Children Friendly

Have you ever watched a movie in Maplewood and wondered if the very building had its own unique story to tell? Well, it does. And researchers at the Durand-Hedden House would like to tell visitors all about it on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Maplewood's local theater has a long and colorful theatrical history dating back to 1927 and researchers have located drawings and photographs of the original Pompeian themed interior, productions photos, and playbills from the live show era, early movie memorabilia including a Wurlitzer theater organ console, staff photos from the 1970s and more.

The Durand-Hedden's country store will also be open, selling unique items, like hard-to-find posters and books. The store will also be providing shoppers with freshly made movie popcorn and selling movie candy. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about Maplewood's fascinating theatrical past. The Durand-Hedden House is located at 523 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood, NJ. For more information, visit

Saturdays through February 22 - Rutherford, Bergen County
Historic Schoolboy Football Exhibit - LAST DAY!

The Meadowlands Museum invite you to view their Historic Schoolboy Football exhibit. The exhibit showcases Meadowlands' region high school football from the 1920s through 1960s, featuring Vince Lombardi; Super Bowl participants Bob DeMarco, Jack Tatum, and Stan Walters; Jim Blumenstock, Jim Garrett, Tommy Longo, and Ron Mikolajczyk (New York Giants); Roland Moss (Baltimore Colts); Craig Heyward (New Orleans Saints); Coach Mickey Corcoran; and Captains John Kelly and Phil Sheridan, Jr. (Notre Dame). Featured schools are Rutherford High School, St. Mary High School, Passaic High School, Lyndhurst High School, and St. Cecilia High School.

The exhibit is open Wednesdays and Saturdays in February from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Admission is free. The Meadowlands Museum is located at 91 Crane Avenue, Rutherford, NJ. In addition to the Exhibit Room, there is also a Media Room where visitors can watch videotaped interviews with great NFL and Hall of Fame players who came from Meadowlands area schools. For more information, call 201-935-1175 or visit

Sundays through March 9, 2014 - Plainfield, Union County
Indira Bailey Art Exhibit

On Sunday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm, visit the Historical Society of Plainfield at the Drake House Museum to view the "Indira Bailey Art Exhibit" in celebration of Black History Month.

Indira Bailey is a second-generation Plainfielder and is an extraordinary artist, illustrator, and educator. Indira received a B.F.A. in illustration from Pratt Institute and M.A. in Educational Leadership & Supervision from Kean University. Ms. Bailey's work demonstrates her pride, talent, and her interest in showing her experience as an African American woman and her travels in a positive light. Ms. Bailey has exhibited artwork throughout the tri-state area.

"Indira Bailey Art Exhibit" will be on display in the second floor ballroom of the Drake House Museum, and the exhibit will be on display until March 9, 2014. Donations are always appreciated. All are welcome during regular tour hours, 2:00 - 4:00 pm on Sundays, or by appointment.

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

Through Sunday, February 23, 2014 - Trenton, Mercer County
Historic Maps of the Garden State Exhibit - LAST WEEKEND!
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 February 23, 2014 - Woodbury, Gloucester County
The Civil War: Echoes of New Jersey’s Finest - LAST WEEKEND!

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 March 23, 2014 - Princeton, Mercer County
The Age of Sail: A New Jersey Collection

Morven Museum & Garden is proud to present the first public appearance of this unmatched collection of New Jersey maritime artifacts and art assembled by New Jersey collector Richard Updike. This exhibit, featuring over 100 objects, explores the history of American shipbuilding, sail-making, naval warfare, shipwrecks, and rescue. This exhibition also reveals the daily life of American sailors with a never-before-seen collection of American sea chests. Views of New Jersey maritime history will also be displayed including engravings and paintings by George Essig, Frederick Schiller Cozzens, and Gerard Rutgers Hardenberg.

Morven Museum & Garden is located at 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ. The museum is open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Tours are given on the hour. Final tour is at 2:00 pm. On Saturday and Sunday, the museum is open from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm. Final tour is at 3:00 pm. For more information, call 609-924-8144 or visit

Through Sunday, April 6, 2014 - Cranbury, Middlesex County
The Shimer Cookie Jar Exhibit

The Shimer Cookie Jar Exhibit at the Cranbury Museum features an extensive assortment of whimsical and delightful cookie jars assembled by long-time Cranbury resident and artist, Wilma Shimer. It also includes vintage kitchen accessories such as tablecloths, aprons, cookie cutters, rolling pins, cookbooks and recipes. One special item on display is the "Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls" which was published in 1957 and featured a test panel of twelve Cranbury boys and girls.  The exhibit will be on display through April 6, 2014.

The Cranbury Museum is located within a lovely 1800s house that is furnished with period antiques. The museum is open Sundays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm and located at 4 Park Place East, Cranbury, NJ. For more information, call 609-655-2611 or visit

Through Sunday, April 13 - Cape May, Cape May County
African American Heritage Exhibit

This 15th annual Center for Community Arts (CCA) exhibit - "The Way We Were...Cape May County's Once Thriving Black Business Communities" will highlight African Americans' contributions to the local community. The exhibit will be on display at the Carriage House Gallery on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. Admission is free. Exhibit will be on display through Sunday, April 13. Open Saturdays in January, 11:30 am - 2:00 pm. Sponsored by the Center for Community Arts (CCA) in association with the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For information, call 609-884-7525 or visit For gallery hours call 609-884-5404 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, call 732-745-4177 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


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