Friday, February 7, 2014

Weekend Historical Happenings: 2/8/14 - 2/9/14

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Saturday, February 8 - Madison, Morris County
Family Fun Day - Quill Pen Writing
Children Friendly

Join the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts for lots of family fun and a quill pen writing craft activity on Saturday! Family Fun Day is held every second Saturday of the month.  Advance registration recommended - call 973-377-2982 x12.

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 more information, please call 973-377-2982 x10 or visit

Saturday, February 8 - Secaucus, Hudson County
"Killing The Postmaster"

The Hudson County Genealogical and Historical Society invites the public to attend their January meeting. Author Holly Metz presents "Killing the Poormaster," a non-fiction account of a murder trial that revealed a city’s corruption and put America’s welfare system on trial from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm.

The meeting will be held at the Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center, 1379 Paterson Plank Road, Secaucus, NJ. For more information, visit

Saturday, February 8 - South Bound Brook, Somerset County
Tory Jack Day 2014

As part of its annual "Tory Jack Day" program celebrating Black History Month, the South Bound Brook Historic Preservation Advisory Commission, in conjunction with The Friends of Abraham Staats House, Inc., and in partnership with the Women's Guild of South Bound Brook, will present eminent historian Joe Becton for Tory Jack Day 2014 ~ "Music of the Civil War".  The event will run from 10:30 am - 3:00 pm.

Mr. Becton will speak on the topic "Music of the Civil War" at 11:00 am at the historic Abraham Staats House, located at 17 Von Steuben Drive, South Bound Brook, NJ. The house will open and seating begins at 10:30 am. Admission is free and donations are appreciated. 

Mr. Becton, a retired National Park Service Interpretive Park Ranger, has been recognized with the Community Service award for setting a standard of excellence in interpretation and for his role in connecting Americans to our national parks through wonderful stories and varied media.

Following Mr. Becton's presentation, the public is invited to tour the historic Abraham Staats House and view an exhibit on the contributions of blacks to our national heritage, presented by local historian and Women's Guild member, Mrs. Joyce Smith. The exhibit and tours will close at 3:00 pm. For more information, call 732-469-5836 or visit

Saturday, February 8 - Batsto, Burlington County
Rain Barrel Workshop

Get a jump start on spring! Build your own rain barrel to collect storm water for reuse in your garden this summer on Saturday at 12:00 noon. At this workshop you will learn about rain barrels and how to use them. You will also construct you very own rain barrel. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $20 for materials. Space is limited so registration is required. Register by contacting the Batsto Village Visitor Center at 609-561-0024.

Batsto Village is located in Wharton State Forest in Burlington County, South Jersey approximately seven miles east of Hammonton on Route 542 and 15 miles west of Exit 50 of the Garden State Parkway. For more information, call 609-561-0024 or visit

Saturday, February 8 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Valentine's Day Rides
Children Friendly

The incurably romantic can warm-up for Valentine's Day when Howell Farm offers sleigh rides and other sweet treats from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Rides in the farm's circa 1900 sleigh (or carriage) are for married or courtin' folk only, and are offered free, on a first come, first serve basis. Families and other visitors will be invited to ride on a horsedrawn wagon or bobsled.

Visitors can purchase cakes, cookies and other delights, as well as hearty lunch fare. Valentine treats will be available for purchase to eat at the farm or to take home for that special someone.

Between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, stop in for a children's craft program called "Pierced Paper Hearts." Families are welcome on a walk-in basis (groups of eight or more must pre-register). The craft will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Materials fee: $2.00.

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 8 - West Orange, Essex County
Downton Abbey Comes to Glenmont
Children Friendly

Join rangers for a Downton Abbey themed children’s tour of the Edison family home. Learn more about the lifestyles of the Edwardian era and the Edison family. Hear stories about life as a servant as we tour the servants’ wing of the estate. See what it was like to grow up at Glenmont as we tour the rooms where the Edison children took their dance and music lessons. The house tour will be followed by paper doll crafts and history trivia games. This program is designed for children ages 7 through 10, but all are welcome and must be accompanied by a parent. Reservations are required and space is limited.  Call 973-736-0550  ext. 89 for reservations.

The program runs from 10:00 - 11:00 am 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

Saturday - Sunday, February 8 - 9 - Westfield, Union County
Victorian Valentines and Postcards Exhibit
The Westfield Historical Society will be hosting a special exhibit of Victorian Valentines the first two weekends in February at the Reeve History and Cultural Resource Center located at 314 Mountain Avenue in Westfield, New Jersey.

The Valentines and postcard exhibit was loaned from a larger collection by Jean Groszmann, who has been collecting them for over four decades. The collection spans the period beginning in 1840 through the 1920s and includes German, English and American produced valentines including penny post cards.

The majority of early Victorian valentines were customarily made by hand from honeycombed tissue, watercolors, paper puffs, embossed paper hearts and exquisite lace. These truly beautiful small works of art harken back the days of old when Valentines expressed sentiments of adoration through hand crafted excellence.

The exhibit will be open from 1:00 - 5:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

In addition to the display, there will be a valentine workshop on the history of Victorian valentines hosted by the Union County 4-H Living History Club at the Reeve History & Cultural Resource Center for children ages 6-12 on Saturday February 8 from 10:00 am - 12:00 noon. An adult must accompany each child registered for the workshop. Each attendant will make a valentine to take home. The cost is $3 to cover supplies. Registration is limited so please call soon to reserve your spot. For more information and to register, please call 908-654-1794 or e-mail

Sunday, February 9 - 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 9 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
Blacksmithing Demonstration
Children Friendly

On Sunday, visit Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel to take a step back in time to watch blacksmiths perform their craft. They will be shaping iron into everyday products. Blacksmiths were as common as an auto mechanic in towns and on farms of the 1890s. 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

Sunday, February 9 - Westfield, Union County
Children Friendly

On Sunday, love is in the air! The writing of romantic notes and letters for St. Valentine's Day was very popular in colonial America. By the mid 1800s, the first mass-produced Valentine's Day cards were sold, and an industry was born. The Miller-Cory House Museum's program on Sunday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm features a wonderful display of vintage valentines, many with unique details such as pop-ups, cut-outs, trinkets, and 3D decorations. Included is a children's craft, storytelling, and light refreshments.

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 9 - Southampton, Burlington County
Pathways through the Pines

You are invited to the opening of Pathways through the Pines, featuring the photography of Rosanne Bornholdt and Ann-Marie Woods, from 1:00 - 4:00 pm at the Pinelands Preservation Alliance's offices on Sunday. This exhibit highlights the transient and haunting beauty of the New Jersey Pinelands through an incredible selection of photographic images.

Rosanne and Ann-Marie's friendship began during a botany class offered by the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. They have a shared passion to learn more about the complex relationships of the native flora and fauna within the varied landscape and habitats of the Pinelands.

Ms. Bornholdt and Ms. Woods will give a presentation at 1:30 pm taking you through four seasons in the Pinelands. Join the photographers as they share selected works and the stories behind them.

Live fiddle music with threads of Irish, folk, and maritime will follow. Light refreshments will be provided. Art will be available for purchase at PPA's offices until the end of April.

There is no charge to attend and no need to RSVP. The Pinelands Preservation Alliance is located at 17 Pemberton Road, Southampton NJ. For more information, call 609-859-8860 or visit

Sunday, February 9 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue...
Children Friendly

The Walns sent Valentines, do you? Sweet, silly or sentimental, Valentines have been exchanged for centuries. Drop in and see some beautiful 19th century Valentines on display in the main house; then create your own token of affection for your heart’s desire to take with you (Appropriate for ages 5 and up, accompanied by an adult).

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, February 9 - Toms River, Ocean County
A Celebration of African-American Culture and History

Michelle Washington Wilson, writer, performer and storyteller from Newtonville, NJ, has been writing and telling stories for more than thirty years. A graduate of Monmouth University, Ms.  Wilson has traveled throughout North America and the Caribbean, sharing stories from around the world. On Sunday (snow date February 23, 2014), she will entertain and educate visitors at the Ocean County Historical Society, 26 Hadley Avenue, Toms River, NJ beginning at 2:00 pm, focusing on African-American folktales kept alive in the Jersey Pines. No admission charge. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call 732-341-1880.

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

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
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 

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 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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