Friday, November 13, 2015

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings - 11/14/15 - 11/15/15

New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings
A Weekly Feature on
Want to submit an event? Use our event submission form.

Saturday, November 14 - Mt. Laurel, Burlington County
Alice Paul: In Pursuit of Ordinary Equality: Exhibit Grand Opening

Join the Alice Paul Institute for the official grand opening of the Institute's first exhibit. Presentations starting at 1:00 pm include a brief talk with exhibit curator Kris Myers, who discusses the process of putting together the Alice Paul Institute's first exhibit at Paulsdale.

Historian and Alice Paul biographer Dr. J. D. Zahniser talks about how she assisted the addition of the Amelia R. Fry Collection to the Alice Paul archives and the pieces on display she found most interesting when writing her book, Alice Paul Claiming Power (Oxford University Press 2014).

Admission is free. Paulsdale is located at 128 Hooten Road, Mt. Laurel, NJ. To register, e-mail  or call 856-231-1885. For more information, visit

Saturday, November 14 - Mount Holly, Burlington County
Stranger Among Saints: Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower
Children Friendly

Stephen Hopkins was no Saint (as the separatist founders of Plymouth Colony referred to their congregation, the Church of Saints), but his previous experience in the New World made him a useful and respected member of the group of New England settlers popularly known as "the Pilgrims." Find out about the politics, religion, economics, Native American relations, and social life of the first permanent settlement in New England from his unique perspective. Presented by David Emerson at 11:00 am.

Program is free and open to the public. It will take place at the Burlington County Lyceum, 307 High Street, Mount Holly, NJ. Pre-registration is requested. For more information and to register, call 609-267-7111, or e-mail

Saturday, November 14 - Red Bank, Monmouth County
"Genealogy Research" in Monmouth County Archives

Saturday, November 14 - Cape May, Cape May County
Historic Haunts Combo Tour
Children Friendly

Combine the Ghosts of Cape May trolley tour with a visit to the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, where you will visit a home séance room of the 1890s and learn of the Victorians' fascination with spiritualism on Saturday at 7:00 pm. $22 for adults, $14 for children (ages 3-12). The Emlen Physick Estate is located at 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday, November 14 - Cape May, Cape May County
Historic Haunts House Tour
Children Friendly

Get into the spirit of things on a guided tour of the historic (some say haunted) 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, with a discussion of Victorian spiritualism on Saturday at 7:30 pm. Limited tour. $12 for adults, $8 for children (ages 3-12). The Emlen Physick Estate is located at 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday, November 14 - Morristown, Morris County
A Veteran’s Reward: Pensions for Revolutionary Soldiers
Children Friendly

Not everyone believed that the men who sacrificed so much for American independence should receive financial assistance after the war. Discover the controversy concerning veteran's pensions and the issues that caused the delay in providing them. Program to be held at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm at the Wick House in Jockey Hollow, a unit of Morristown National Historical Park, 580 Tempe Wick Road, Morristown NJ 07960 (approximate). Admission is free. For more information, call 973-543-4030 or visit

Saturday, November 14 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Bacon, Sausage & Scrapple Making
Children Friendly

If you work all week to bring home the bacon, sausage and scrapple, but don't really know from whence they come, visit Howell Farm for our bacon, sausage and scrapple program. You will see these and other pork products made before your eyes. Farmers will demonstrate rendering lard, making pork products and showing visitors the origins of different cuts of pork. Cracklin's and other delicacies will be free for the asking, and pork sandwiches will be available for sale. 

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

Saturday, November 14 - Trenton, Mercer County
John Burkhalter, "The Practitioner of Musick"

Enter the Trent House on Saturday from 1:30 - 3:00 pm and hear the melodious sounds of the English and small flute played by The Practitioner of Musick, John Burkhalter. Throughout the 18th century, music making was increasingly part of the repertory of a gentleman's accomplishments through which good manners and good taste could be displayed. In addition to sportsmanship, dancing and/or playing a musical instrument such as the English flute (today the treble recorder), violin, German flute, harpsichord or cello, were among the fashionable skills to be cultivated under the tutelage of music masters and dancing masters. In the company of family and friends, music making was thought to contribute to and illustrate social harmony. Mr. Burkhalter will discuss and perform unaccompanied music documented in Colonial America. Works composed by Mr. Handel, Dr. Arne, Wm. Boyce and Benjamin Franklin's friend James Oswald will be heard during the course of the entertainment. The Trent House is located at 15 Market St, Trenton, NJ. For more information, call 609-989-3027 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, November 14 - 15 - Teterboro, Bergen County
Open Cockpit Weekend
Children Friendly

The Aviation Hall of Fame announces an “Open Cockpit Weekend” on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm each day. Visitors sit in the cockpits of a TWA Convair 880 jetliner, a one-of-a-kind 1950 Martin 202 airliner, a rare Lockheed-designed Bush Plane, a Cobra gunship helicopter, a HH-52A Coast Guard helicopter, an OV-1A Mohawk close support aircraft, our “Little-Cut-Up” aircraft control demonstrator, and the control cab of an Airport Rescue and Fire-Fighting truck.

People, young and old can learn how the flight systems work. Qualified pilots will help guests understand the instruments and controls of these special aircraft.

Regular admission as always: $8.00 adults, $6.00 seniors and children under 12, 2 and under are free.

Founded in 1972, the Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey is dedicated to the preservation of the Garden State's distinguished, two-century aviation and space heritage. The men and women, whose outstanding aeronautical achievements have brought worldwide recognition to the state, are enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

The Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey is located at 400 Fred Wehran Drive, Teterboro, NJ. For more information, call 201-288-6344 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, November 14 - 15 - Mt. Tabor, Morris County
Mount Tabor Holiday Craft Fair & Collectibles Sale

Handcrafted ornaments with a Victorian flair, Vintage collectibles and toys, Mount Tabor gift items and the annual "fill-a-tin" Cookie Walk. Do some holiday shopping while supporting the Mount Tabor Historical Society. The sale will be held at the Bethel in Trinity Park, Mount Tabor, NJ. Park at the post office at 26 Simpson Avenue and walk up the path to the Bethel. For more information, call 973-975-0001 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, November 14 - 15 - Park Ridge, Bergen County
From Pascack to the Prairie: The Story of Campbell Wampum
Children Friendly

The Pascack Historical Society will share four newly acquired ledger books (1819-1860), once belonging to the famous Campbell Brothers blacksmithing and wampum business, at a special exhibit, The Campbell Legacy: Learning from the Ledgers, on Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15 , from 1:00 - 4:00 pm at their barrier-free museum, 19 Ridge Avenue, Park Ridge, NJ. Admission is free. Children welcome when accompanied by an adult.

The Pascack's Campbell connection started when John W. Campbell (1747-1826) of Closter moved with his wife Letitia Van Valen to a farm they purchased on Kinderkamack Road North in Montvale, close to the New York State border. John W., like many farmers of his day, found a second job during the long winter months. He chose to create wampum, beads made out of clam shells, that the Indians used for a medium of exchange.

John W. is credited with inventing the shell "hairpipe" wampum made from Caribbean queen conch shells that came as ballast on trade ships heading for New York City. These tubular beads can be seen in early photographs on the breastplates of Indian warriors. These shell hair pipes put the Campbells on the map.

In 1808 John W.'s son Abraham (1782-1847) moved to Main Street (Pascack Road) Park Ridge, where he opened a blacksmith shop and wampum bead business. Abraham's sons John A., James A., David A., and Abraham Jr. eventually became partners in the blacksmithing business and expanded the production of wampum.

The museum's exhibit will tell the story of these fascinating men whose wampum business has brought international attention to the borough to this day. Visitors will see the famous Campbell Brothers' wampum drilling Machine (world's only one), Campbell wampum, their tools, blacksmithing products and family photos. They will learn about the Campbell Brothers' connection to the Lewis and Clark Expedition, John Jacob Astor and Chief Red Cloud (1822-1909) of the Lakota Oglala Indian Nation.

The four weathered ledgers, never before seen by the public, were donated to the museum by Campbell descendants Susan Gifford VanOrden of Allendale and Susan Gifford Accardi of Simsbury, Connecticut. The sisters, who were raised in Hillsdale, who will formally open the exhibit on Saturday at 1:00 pm, inherited the ledgers from their uncle, the late Howard I. Durie (1919-1990), noted historian, genealogist and author of the Kakiat Patent.

The exhibit has been curated by PHS Trustees Marilyn Miller, M.D. and Kristin Beuscher. They advise that there will be a wampum-making activity for children. Complimentary era appropriate punch and cookies will be served. For more information, call 201-573-0307 or visit

Sunday, November 15 - Park Ridge, Bergen County
The Bridge that Saved the Nation
Children Friendly

The Pascack Historical Society will recognize the 239th anniversary of the  beginning of the American Revolution (1776-1783) on Sunday at 2:00 pm when historian Todd W. Braisted speaks about "The Bridge that Saved the Nation" in the barrier-free Ellen Berdais Hall at the Pascack Historical Society, 19 Ridge Avenue, Park Ridge, NJ. Admission is free. Children welcome when accompanied by an adult.

Attendees will learn about the critical importance of a small wooden bridge built in 1745 that spanned the Hackensack River at New Bridge Landing (present day River Edge). After major losses on August 27, 1776 at the Battle of Brooklyn, General George Washington moved his Continental Army troops toward Manhattan with the British in pursuit. Washington and his men were driven completely out of New York after several more defeats, and forced to retreat through New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. The hasty withdrawal of the American garrison across the Hackensack River at New Bridge in November of 1776, preserved them from entrapment by British forces.

Guest Speaker Todd W. Braisted, past president of the Bergen County Historical Society is an author, reenactor and independent researcher of Loyalist military studies. He has authored many journal articles and books. He has appeared as a guest historian on numerous television shows including: "History Detectives (PBS) and "Who Do You Think You Are ?" (CBC). His latest book, Bergen County Voices from the American Revolution will be available for purchase.

Complimentary coffee and cake will be served. A question & answer period will follow Braisted's presentation. For more information, call 201-573-0307 or visit

Sunday, November 15 - Union Township, Union County
The Lenape of New Jersey

Sherry Lange and Janet Murphy, 20-year veteran volunteers at the Miller-Cory House, Westfield, will discuss "The Lenape of New Jersey" on Sunday at 2:30 pm at the Caldwell Parsonage, 909 Caldwell Avenue, Union, NJ.

Ms. Lange and Ms. Murphy's program will highlight the lifestyle of the Lenape prior to the arrival of the European colonists in New Jersey.  They will focus on the beliefs of the tribe and demonstrate some Native artifacts.

The women gained expertise in their topic by attending powwows, meeting with Lenapes, and conducting research at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Morris County and at the Trailside Nature Science Center in the Watchung Reservation in Mountainside. Ms. Lange and Ms. Murphy have presented similar talks at schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Their program will be part of the meeting of the Union Township Historical Society, which will begin at 2:00 pm. Non-members are cordially invited to attend. Refreshments will be served.

Admission is free; donations are greatly appreciated. For more information, call Barbara La Mort at 908-687-0048 or visit

Sunday, November 15 - Cranford, Union County
The Wedding Dress - Why we save it and what it means

On Sunday, at the Crane-Phillips House Museum, The Cranford Historical Society presents “The Wedding Dress—Why we save it and what it means”  with Costume Curator Gail Alterman on Sunday at the Crane-Phillips House Museum from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. Museum opens at 2:00 pm.  Program will begin at 2:15 pm. 

Gail will discuss the wedding dress as a fashion statement in addition to wedding fashion and tradition during the 20th century. Walk around the museum to view our wedding exhibit dating from the 1920’s to 1970’s.

Gail Alterman has a Master’s Degree in Costume History and Design from New York University in conjunction with the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  She has been a consultant for various historical societies regarding care and storage of costume and textile collections.

The Crane-Phillips House Museum is located at 124 North Union Avenue, Cranford, NJ. Admission is free but reservations are required. The Cranford Historical Society was founded in 1927 with a mission to preserve the unique history of Cranford, New Jersey. The Society maintains the Crane-Phillips House Living Museum, an important costume collection, and archives. For more information, call 908-376-0082 or visit

Sunday, November 15 - Bridgewater, Somerset County
The Role of New Jersey Just Before the Civil War

Join the Heritage Trail Association as they welcome Dr. William Gillette, who will present "The Role of New Jersey Just Before the Civil War," at 2:00 pm on Sunday. Dr. Gillette will profile the military conduct of Jersey forces in the Civil War and New Jersey’s wartime politics. He will refute the ill-founded notion that Jerseyans in some sense favored the Confederate cause through a reevaluation of the state’s antebellum position. The view that New Jerseyans before the war supported slavery, states’ rights, and the South will be disputed, and a new view of why most New Jerseyans did not actively support the abolitionist movement will be advanced.

William Gillette, PhD. Professor of History, Rutgers University, is emeritus professor of history at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. After attending Georgetown as an undergraduate, he received his MA in history at Columbia and his doctorate from Princeton. He was a Fulbright lecturer in Austria, Japan, and Russia and served in the army in South Korea during the late 1950s. He is the author of three books and 25 articles. His third book, Jersey Blue: Civil War Politics in New Jersey, 1854-1865, received the McCormick prize in 1997 for the best recent book on New Jersey history awarded by the New Jersey Historical Commission.

The program will be held from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. Doors will open at 1:45 pm. It is a free event but reservations are required as space is limited. Refreshments will be served. Donations are appreciated. It will be held at the Van Horne House, 941 East Main Street, Bridgewater, NJ. Parking is available behind Target with Handicapped parking in the Van Horne lot. Register by calling 732-356-8856 or going online at, or e-mail your reservations to

Sunday, November 15 - Morristown, Morris County
Soldier at the Huts
Children Friendly

Learn about the life of a common soldier during the winter encampment at Jockey Hollow and see the clothing, equipment, and weapons that a soldier used as you visit the replica soldier huts of the Pennsylvania Line. Stop by the Soldier Huts from 1:00 - 4:00 pm in Jockey Hollow, a unit of Morristown National Historical Park, 580 Tempe Wick Road, Morristown NJ 07960 (approximate). Cost: Free. For more information, call 973-543-4030 or visit

Sunday, November 15 - Princeton, Mercer County
Historic Princeton Walking Tour
Children Friendly

Enjoy a 1.9 mile, two-hour walk around downtown Princeton and the University campus as you learn about historic sites in the area, including Bainbridge House, Nassau Hall, the University Chapel, and Palmer Square. The early history of Princeton, the founding of the University, and the American Revolution are just some of the stories from Princeton’s history that you will learn on your tour.

Admission: $7 per adult; $4 children ages 6 to 12; free for children age 5 and under. Tickets are sold at Bainbridge House, 158 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ from 1:30 - 2:00 pm. Tour begins at 2:00 pm and ends at 4:00 pm. Space is limited. For more information, call 609-921-6748 or visit

Sunday, November 15 - Montclair, Essex County
Historic House Tours: Crane/YWCA & Shultz Open
Family Friendly

On Sunday you can visit ALL of the Montclair Historical Society’s properties, including the Shultz House at 30 North Mountain Avenue, Montclair, NJ. This amazing gem of a house is an intact time capsule of life in the early 20th century. Wait until you see the woodwork, the Delft fireplace surround, the science equipment in the library!

You can also discover history through the “many voices” who made our community what it is today at the Crane House and Historic YWCA at 108 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ. The people who lived, worked, and relaxed in this building tell the story of not only Montclair, but also New Jersey and nation from its early years of a fledgling country to a country embroiled in Civil Rights. While you’re here, make sure you see what’s growing at the farm, meet the chickens, and visit the Museum Shop for unique, one-of-a-kind treats. 

Both houses are open from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome. For more information, call 973-744-1796, e-mail, or visit

Sunday, November 15 - Roxbury, Morris County
The Hanover Township Connections

The Hanover Township Connections: A program at the Saltbox House, presented by Mike Czuchnicki, Landmarks Committee Chairperson of Hanover Township and Don Kiddoo, Hanover Township's Historian Emeritus. Learn more about our connection to the Township of Hanover, one of the four original townships designated by the British Morris County Freeholders in 1740, including Pequannock Township, Morris Township (which included Morristown), and our very own Township of Roxbury, 275 years ago with our roots well planted by 1715. Refreshments will be served by the open hearth in the keeping room. The Saltbox House is located at 213 Main Street, Ledgewood, NJ. For more information, call 973-584-6931.

Sunday, November 15 - Maplewood, Essex County
Newark through the Ages

As the City of Newark prepares to celebrate its 350th anniversary in 2016, join Durand-Hedden for Newark through the Ages, a presentation prepared by Elizabeth Del Tufo, President of the Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee and one of Newark’s best-known civic activists and ambassadors.

Newark is our nation's third oldest major city and much of America’s history can be seen in its buildings, streets, and parks. Liz will tell the successive stories of Newark’s life - "The Founding Years,” "The Industrial Years," "Its Role as a Center of Commerce," "The City Beautiful Movement," "The Depression and the WPA," "Post-World War II," "The Unrest of the 60’s," to the present and its promising future as it readies itself to be a destination city. She will introduce landmarks which in turn illustrate each period ranging from Old First Church, Washington Park, The Ballantine House, Branch Brook Park, Forest Hill, The Rock, Penn Station, Terminal One, James St. Commons, NJPAC, and the new Pru Tower. There are 75 buildings on the NJ State and National Registers and six historic districts in Newark as well as abundant new development and adaptive reuse. Come and be surprised.

The presentation will begin at 2:00 pm. From 1:00 - 4:00 pm, be sure to stroll through the Maplewood Garden Club Herb Garden full to the brim with fascinating useful and decorative herbs,  before it goes to bed for the winter.  And check out the Country Store’s historic- themed treasures:  early American games, books and toys, facsimile documents, quill pens and ink, historic cook books, cookie molds, tin lanterns, reproductive decorative items and ceramics, and more, such as the hard-to-find original Doors of Maplewood poster, Smile: A Pictorial History of Olympic Park, 1887-1965 and the new acid-free reproduction of the charming 1931 Map of Maplewood.

The Durand-Hedden House is located in Grasmere Park at 523 Ridgewood Road in Maplewood, NJ. For more information, call 973-763-7712 or visit

Through December 17, 2015 - Trenton, Mercer County
John A. Roebling's Sons Company

At Ellarslie, the City Museum of Trenton, the second floor exhibit features art, artifacts and memorabilia from the world-renowned John A. Roebling's Sons Company, makers of steel and wire rope, most famous for the wire cable used in the suspension bridge over the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn - the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

The John A. Roebling's Sons Company, the largest employer in Trenton and a world leader in the construction of suspension bridges had its beginnings when John Roebling started making wire rope in 1841 in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, and moved his factory to Trenton in 1848. His sons built the steel and wire mill and town of Roebling, NJ, in 1905. In 1953, the family sold the Trenton and Roebling plants to the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I). CF&I closed the Trenton plants in 1973 and the Roebling, NJ, plant in 1974.

As the largest employer in Trenton for many decades, John A. Roebling's Sons Company had a major impact on the city and its workers and citizens. It had an international reputation for wire and wire rope making and bridge building, and its wire was used in hundreds if not thousands of industrial, commercial and consumer products.

The business was owned by four generations of the Roebling family over 112 years, a remarkable and rare achievement. John A. Roebling was the world's foremost builder of suspension bridges in the 19th century and his bridges spanned major rivers when people said it couldn't be done. His son Washington A. Roebling completed the most famous Roebling bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, in 1883, and today it is an iconic national landmark.

The Roebling Company built suspension bridge cables for many bridges over the next 80+ years, from Canada to South America, including the George Washington Bridge connecting New York and New Jersey and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

The Roebling Company manufactured wire rope for many other uses - elevators, cable cars, tramways, airplanes, shipping, mining, construction and ski lifts - and it made wire for  electrical lines, telegraphs and telephones, wire cloth and screens, and pre-stressed concrete.

The exhibit includes five large paintings from the Roebling Company's exhibit at the 1939 New York World's Fair depicting the Brooklyn and George Washington Bridges and interior factory scenes. These paintings are part of the museum's collection but are rarely exhibited.

The exhibit includes a bronze plaque from the 1933 Chicago World's Fair that commemorates the Skyride, an innovative and popular ride at the fair that the Roebling Company helped engineer and for which it supplied the wire ropes. Also on display from the museum's collection but rarely seen are three boards showing dozens of types of electrical wire made by the Roebling Company. Artifacts in the display will include sections of wire rope, tools, artwork depicting Roebling bridges, and wooden forms used to make parts for the company's machinery, as well as advertisements, photos, books and company catalogs

The exhibit was curated by Richard Willinger, Chair of the Museum Society's Collections Management Committee. Items are being loaned to the exhibit by the Roebling Museum in Roebling, NJ, and several individuals.

Talks and a tour of remaining buildings of the Roebling complex in Trenton will be conducted by Clifford W. Zink, the foremost expert on the Roebling family and company who authored the book The Roebling Legacy. Ellarslie is located in Cadwalader Park in Trenton, NJ. Visit for dates and times.

Through December 31, 2015 - Ridgewood, Bergen County
"Hemlines" Exhibit

The Ridgewood Historical Society and the Schoolhouse Museum are pleased to announce their new exhibit, Hemlines, open through December 2015. This exhibit features women's hats, shoes, handbags, jewelry, furs, wedding attire, and fabulous dresses from 1900 to 1969. Hemlines will run through the end of July. The Schoolhouse Museum is open Thursdays and Saturdays from 1:00 - 3:00 pm and Sundays from 2:00 - 4:0 pm. Hemlines is a "must see" exhibit for anyone interested in fashion! The Schoolhouse Museum is located at 650 East Glen Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ. For more information, call 201-447-3242 or visit

Through December 31, 2015 - Morristown, Morris County
Morristown: 1865-2015: Identity, Tradition and Enterprise

Morristown once comprised territory stretching from Mendham to Chatham until 1865 when, amidst the chaos of the Civil War, mysterious forces acted to separate it from Morris Township.

The Morristown & Morris Township Library invites you to explore an exhibit that details the lives of those who came to Morristown seeking wealth, redemption, conflict, or a new beginning. Utilizing rare and previously unseen archival materials, visitors will witness the development of the Green as the center of commerce, public affairs, and leisure, and how nearby houses of worship focused residents' spiritual and social lives.

Long a center of commerce and trade, early settlers struggled with the limitations of dirt roads until residents developed interstate canals, rail and trolley lines, and sophisticated highway systems. Changes in criminal behavior and law enforcement will be explored, as well as efforts to educate productive upstanding citizens through forward-thinking private and public schools.

In addition to the generations of innovators and immigrants who built Morristown's many businesses and infrastructure, we will take a look at those who celebrated cultural and religious events, grieved over shared disaster and commemorated war dead, and fought to make Morristown a place where everyone could gather in peace.

The exhibit will be on display through December 31 and is sponsored by a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission and by funding from the Friends of the Library. The Morristown and Morris Township Library is located at 1 Miller Road, Morristown, NJ. For more information, call the Library’s North Jersey History & Genealogy Center at 973-538-3473 or visit

Through December 31, 2015 - Ocean Township, Monmouth County
Ocean Township High School at 50

Early in September 1965, the doors of Ocean Township High School (OTHS) opened for the first time. It was a momentous day - the culmination of an impassioned campaign and a turning point for both Ocean Township and Asbury Park, the district that up to then had educated most of the township's teens.

Fifty years later, almost to the day, a mini-exhibit opened at the Eden Woolley House commemorating the milestone. "OTHS at 50," uses photographs, press clippings, and artifacts to demonstrate how the school's history mirrors five decades of social and political change.

The campaign for a high school:
Ocean Township's commitment to education is long standing. Between 1784 and 1960, it built at least nine schools. None was a high school.

Graduating eighth graders had a choice:
Asbury Park or Long Branch. Most chose Asbury. By 1962 Ocean students at Asbury High outnumbered city students 713 to 558. Ocean was booming and more than 1,000 high school-age students were projected by 1966. Asbury High, on split session since 1959, was already overcrowded. Something had to be done.

Asbury asked Ocean to sign a 20-year contract with the city as a condition for its undertaking a building expansion. Ocean refused. There was talk of regionalization, at first rejected and later revisited by the city. But it was too late. A full-blown campaign for an Ocean Township high school, spearheaded by the PTAs, was underway. On June 12, 1962, by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, the voters of Ocean approved a $2,969,000 bond to built their own school.

OTHS changes with the times:
Ocean High opened in 1965 without a senior class. Ocean seniors had returned to Asbury to graduate with their class. The next year, OTHS held its first graduation and published its first yearbook, The Sandpiper.

A look through almost a half century of yearbooks reveals more than changing hair styles and hemlines. Here's a sample:
* In the 1960s, Industrial Arts were just for boys, Home Economics, just for girls (who also have a "Homemaking Club").
* Title IX (prohibiting discrimination in federally funded programs) shaped the 1970s: for the first time girls had golf, tennis, and soccer teams; girls fixed cars, boys baked cakes.
* The technology revolution is evident. Keypunch machines of the 1970s give way to desktops in the late 1980s and electronics redefine the classroom in the new millennium.

Proof of the pudding:
In recent years, OTHS has made its share of "best high school" lists. Its own list of notable alums is impressive: Academy Award, Emmy, and Pulitzer Prize winners; distinguished educators, journalists, authors, and scientists; a fashion designer, a network news anchor, innovative entrepreneurs, and more.

The Township of Ocean Historical Museum is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (1:00 - 4:00 pm), Thursday evenings (7:00 - 9:00 pm) and the first and second Sundays of each month (1:00 - 4:00 pm). The Township of Ocean Historical Museum is located at 703 Deal Road, Ocean, NJ. For more information, please call 732-531-2136 or visit

Through January 6, 2016 - Woodbury, Gloucester County
Gloucester Abbey: Downton Style Fashions Exhibit

Gloucester Abbey: Downton Style Fashions is currently on display at the exhibit at the Gloucester County Historical Society Museum in Woodbury, New Jersey. The exhibit will conclude on January 6, 2016. This remarkable exhibit features ladies’ fashions from the society's collection from the time period covered by the popular PBS Masterpiece Theater series Downton Abbey. Over 100 vintage dresses/ensembles from the museum’s collection dating from 1910 through the 1930s are showcased, including period wedding gowns. Also on display are ladies accessories, including hats, shoes, purses, jewelry, and lingerie. Don’t miss this fantastic exhibit!

The Gloucester County Historical Society Museum hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, and the last Sunday of the month from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. Private tours may be booked for days/times other than our regular public hours. Adult admission $5; children 6-18 years $1; children under 6 free. The Gloucester County Historical Society Museum is located at 58 N. Broad Street, Woodbury, NJ 08096. For more information, call 856-848-8531 or visit

Through March 4, 2016 - Toms River, Ocean County
All Aboard, Ocean County!

Don't miss the newest exhibition at the Ocean County Historical Society, 26 Hadley Avenue, Toms River, NJ. "All Aboard! A Brief History of Ocean County Railroads and Stations" will be on display through March 4, 2016, 10:00 am - 3:30 pm, Tuesday through Friday and the first Saturday of each month, 1:00 - 4:00 pm.

Learn about the golden years from the 1880s to the 1920s, when six railroads were established and thrived, dotting Ocean County towns with stations, turntables, wyes, and roundhouses. View replicas of trains of the Central RR of NJ, Pennsylvania RR, The Blue Comet, the Tuckerton RR, and the Doodle Bug Car on the New Egypt line. Authentic artifacts and historic photographs of stations that were centers for community activities, as well as transportation of passengers and freight, make this exhibit a must-see! For more information, visit

Through June 26, 2016 - Piscataway, Middlesex County
The Icons of American Culture: History of New Jersey Diners Exhibit
Children Friendly

When was the last time you ate at a diner? If you are like millions of New Jerseyans, the answer is not too long ago. Dubbed “the land of diners,” New Jersey has forged a unique relationship with these casual eateries. Stainless steel, neon, and menus that go on for days are part of the Garden State landscape. Come explore their rich history with us! This seven-room exhibit tells the story of some of the of the Garden State’s most iconic eateries. This exhibit runs from April 12, 2015 - June 26, 2016 and is free of charge.

The exhibit is open Tuesday – Friday from 1:00 – 4:00 pm and Sundays from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Closed Mondays, Saturdays, and Holidays. The Cornelius Low House Museum is located at 1225 River Road, Piscataway, NJ. For more information, call 732-745-4177 or visit

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


Post a Comment

Thanks for the comments!