Friday, December 4, 2015

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings - 12/5/15 - 12/6/15

New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings
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Every Friday - Sunday through January 10, 2016 - West Orange, Essex County
Holidays at Glenmont
Children Friendly

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

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

Car passes and tour tickets must be purchased at the Laboratory Complex Visitor Center at 211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ. Admission is $10.00 and includes the Glenmont Estate and the Laboratory Complex. Children 15 and under are free. For more information, call 973-736-0550 x11 or visit

Friday - Saturday, December 4 - 5 - Union Township, Union County
Deck the Halls: Fifty Years of Christmas Decorations
Children Friendly

Liberty Hall Museum will be open for tours on Friday and Saturday! Opening on Friday will be the Christmas tour "Deck the Halls: Fifty Years of Christmas Decorations," when Liberty Hall will transform the first floor of the museum into a time machine where visitors will journey through five rooms to discover the decorative styles of bygone eras, the 1910’s through the 1950’s! Tours justify at 10:00 am and leave every hour with the last tour of the day leaving at 3:00 pm. Adults: $10.00; Kean Alumni: $8.00; Seniors, College Students, Children: $6.00; Under Three: Free. Liberty Hall Museum is located at 1003 Morris Ave, Union, NJ 07083. For more information, call 908-527-0400 or visit

Saturday, December 5 - Cape May, Cape May County
Christmas Traditions Lecture

Learn how Prince Albert brought Christmas traditions to England from Germany when he married Queen Victoria, and how these traditions spread to America in this richly illustrated lecture at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Franklin and Washington Streets. Much of what we associate with the celebration of Christmas comes from the Victorian era, including Christmas trees, Christmas cards, Christmas carols and our image of Santa Claus. Admission $10 and the program begins at 2:00 pm. 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, December 5 - Cape May, Cape May County
Wassail Day at Historic Cold Spring Village
Children Friendly

Historic Cold Spring Village opens its Homespun Holidays season with Wassail Day on Saturday from 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm. The Village paths come alive with the sounds and smells of wintertime at this free event. Select buildings will also be open where guests can enjoy hot beverages and treats served by historical interpreters in period clothing. Visitors can meet Father Christmas in the Country Store from 1:00 - 3:00 pm and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride throughout the festively decorated Village grounds for $3.00 per person. Guests can also enjoy live holiday music in the Welcome Center.

Holiday traditions continue each Saturday in December through the 19th. The Country Store will be open from 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm and stocked with unique holiday gift ideas including traditionally-processed wool, artisan crafts for the home, books, hand-knit caps, wooden toys and old fashioned candy. Also on Saturdays, visitors can enjoy carriage rides throughout the Village for a small donation and meet Father Christmas at the Country Store.

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

Saturday, December 5 Cape May, Cape May County
42nd Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour
Children Friendly

This self-guided walking tour, the main attraction of Cape May's festive holiday season, features homes, inns, hotels, and churches decorated for the holidays, plus caroling, strolling musicians and good old-fashioned cheer. Hospitality centers offer warm beverages and traditional treats. Includes admission to the Physick Estate and An Old-fashioned Christmas exhibit in the Carroll Gallery. Limited shuttle service. Tour is from 5:30 - 8:30 pm on Saturday. Adults $28, children $20 (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, December 5 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Christmas on the Farm
Children Friendly

St. Nick, his elves and a jingling sleigh loaded with cookies, coal and holiday cheer will arrive at Howell Living History Farm highlighting an all-day program, "Christmas on the Farm."

St. Nick's sleigh will descend from the Farm's northern slopes at 12:00 pm. Its white-bearded navigator will check Christmas lists and give out treats (or coal, as the case may be).

The celebration begins when children can climb aboard a horse drawn work wagon for a ride to the woods to cut down a Christmas tree. All children will be given a chance to take a turn helping farmers cut the tree with a 2-man saw. Afterwards, all visitors can help decorate the tree with ear corn, pinecones and other natural ornaments. Helpers will be treated to hot apple cider and cookies.

Gift baskets, sleigh bells, wreaths and other items will be available for sale in the Visitor Center gift shop. Featured will be handmade gifts and ornaments crafted by the Pleasant Valley Stitchers. Howell Farm is also an official drop off site for Toys for Tots. Share the gift of giving by bringing an unwrapped toy to the farm.

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, December 5 - Roxbury Township, Morris County
Home for the Holidays

You will not want to miss Roxbury Township's First Annual "Home for the Holidays.The Roxbury Township Historical Society will participate in an old-fashioned Christmas Market with horse drawn carriage rides, vendors of holiday items, and purveyors of food along Succasunna's pre-Revolutionary Main Street and in its historic churches. Festivities run from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm and will include a visit from St. Nick capped off by lighting of the Main Street Christmas Tree as daylight wanes at the conclusion of the events. Program at 213 Main Street, Ledgewood NJ. For more information, call 973-584-6931.

Saturday, December 5 - Mount Laurel, Burlington County
Paulsdale Holiday Open House

Paulsdale is open to the public for a Holiday Open House from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Paulsdale is the birthplace of Quaker suffragist Alice Paul. The home will be decorated in Quaker fashion by the Mount Laurel Garden Club and guests can peruse the gift shop,  enjoy free tours of the house, refreshments and more. Learn about Alice Paul's life and work and the site's present day use as a girl's leadership center. Admission is free.

Paulsdale is located at 128 Hooton Road, Mt. Laurel. For information about group tours or future tour dates, contact the Alice Paul Institute at 856-231-1885, e-mail, or visit

Saturday, December 5 Atlantic City, Atlantic County
Open House Plaid Party & Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest

Got Plaid? How about an outstandingly Ugly Holiday Sweater? Well, we appreciate that here at Absecon Lighthouse! We will "Light Up the Holidays" on Saturday from 6:00 - 8:00pm and to celebrate the season, wearing holiday plaids and ugly holiday sweaters is encouraged! Rock around the tree along with tunes provided by "PJ the DJ" - dance & sing to carols of the season, get some holiday shopping done in our charming gift shop, sip some holiday cheer of wine and beer, and enjoy light refreshments from the award winning restaurant "Tony Boloney's." A night climb to view the spectacular Atlantic City skyline at night is included. Guests will enjoy the official lighting of our Holiday Tree and have a chance to win prizes in our "Ugly Holiday Sweater" contest and "Most Plaid Possible" contest. Tickets are just $20 per person to benefit Absecon Lighthouse, and can be reserved by calling Absecon Lighthouse at 609-449-1360.

Absecon Lighthouse is located at 31 So. Rhode Island Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ and is open to visitors Thursdays through Mondays, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. For more information, call 609-449-1360 or visit

Saturday, December 5 - Trenton, Mercer County
Holiday Open House and Greens Sale

On Saturday from 12:30 - 5:00 pm, tour the magnificent 1719 Trent House Museum, decorated for the holidays by the talented members of the Garden Club of Trenton. The Trent House Museum Shop features special items and seasonal gifts. Complimentary refreshments.

Beautifully designed table arrangements and decorated wreaths will be for sale, created by the Garden Club of Trenton. Plus cut Christmas trees, undecorated wreaths, and loose fresh greens (holly, ivy, yew, boxwood, juniper, winterberry, pine and magnolia). Event proceeds will benefit the curatorial work and educational programming of the non-profit Trent House Association.

The 1719 William Trent House is the oldest building in our state capital. A Georgian-style manor house restored to its former glory and carefully furnished as it would have been in the early 18th century, it is located at 15 Market Street, Trenton, NJ adjacent to the Hughes Justice Complex. Ample free parking. For more information, call 609-989-0087 or visit

Saturday, December 5 - Fair Lawn, Bergen County
Dutch Christmas
Children Friendly

Garretson Forge and Farm will its annual Dutch Christmas celebration on Saturday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, replete with Sinter Klaas, baked goods, craft tables, and craft demonstrations. Admission is free. The Garretson, one of the oldest historic sites in Bergen County, was home to six generations of the Garretson family and remains a rare surviving example of simple farming life that was prevalent in the 1700s and 1800s. The Forge and Farm are located at 4-02 River Road, Fair Lawn, NJ. For more information, call 551-206-4380 or 201-797-7545 or visit

Saturday, December 5 - Salem, Salem County
28th Annual Yuletide Open House Tour

Saturday - Sunday, December 5 - 6 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
Sweets and Treats, Historical Christmas Traditions
Children Friendly

Candy canes, gingersnaps, stockings to hang; step back in time to look at Christmas from a different perspective in the Waln House at Walnford from 1:00 - 4:00 pm.

While there, visit the 19th century gristmill and the farm buildings set in a beautiful landscape. Walnford is located at 62 Walnford Road, 08501. For more information, call 609-259-6275 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 5 - 6 - Jefferson Township, Morris County
Christmas in the Village
Children Friendly

The Jefferson Township Museum, also known as the George Chamberlain House, will reopen for the "Christmas in the Village" celebration. Opening hours for the Museum Christmas Weekend are 10:00 am - 4:00 pm on Saturday and 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm on Sunday. "Victorian Christmas in the Valley" is the theme of this year's decorations. The Christmas celebration is the only time the antique harmonium in the parlor is played. The museum is decorated by members of the Museum Garden Club and the Jefferson Township Historical Society. Docents dressed in period costumes will be on hand, and hot mulled cider will be served outside by the pot-bellied stove on the banks of the brook. Mrs. Santa Claus will be making an appearance. Admission to the museum is free. The Jefferson Township Museum is located at 315 Dover-Milton Road, Jefferson, NJ. Be sure to visit Miss Elizabeth's Shoppe located in the original kitchen of the museum, where small antiques, collectibles, handmade and handcrafted items will be offered for sale for your holiday shopping. For more information, call 973-697-0258 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 5 - 6, - South Bound Brook, Somerset County
Home for the Holidays at the Abraham Staats House
Children Friendly

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

On Saturday and Sunday, from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, the public is invited for a holiday visit of this special historic home, festively and individually decorated by South Bound Brook community organizations in celebration of the holiday season.

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

On Saturday, join us for two special musical performances: the fabulous Franklin Township HS Madrigal Singers, directed by Tim Walton, will start promptly at 2:00 pm. At 3:00 pm, enjoy the swinging holiday sounds of the Somerville HS Jazz ensemble under the direction of Mr. Matt Krempasky. (Please note: the sound of these musical programs will carry throughout the house; however, those who desire seating should come prior to performance justify time: seating is limited and on a first-come, first-serve  basis.)

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

Saturday - Sunday, December 5 - 6 and Saturday, December 12 - Walpack, Sussex County
Walpack Christmas
Children Friendly

Join the Walpack Historical Society for a "Walpack Christmas" at the Rosenkrans Museum, Main Street, Walpack Center, NJ within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The celebration and open house will take place on Saturday and Sunday, December 5 and 6 and Saturday, December 12 from 1:00 - 5:00.

The Rosenkrans Museum will be decorated in the old-fashioned style and refreshments will be served. The museum, a circa 1850 one and a half story frame building with eyebrow windows, was once the typical style of home in the Delaware River Valley. In addition, the Walpack Methodist Episcopal Church will be open and decorated for the holiday for the first time since it was closed and bought by the Federal Government in 1978 in preparation for the Tocks Island Dam project. The church was built in 1871 and was once the hub of religious and social activities in Walpack Township. The interior of the church was painted by an unknown artist in 1872 in the tromp-l'oeil or "fool the eye" style. The church is not heated so dress accordingly.

The event is free and the public is invited. All ages are welcome. For more information, call 973-948-4903 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 5 - 6 and 12 - 13 - Whippany, Morris County
24th Annual Santa Claus Special - SOLD OUT
Children Friendly

New Jersey's Original Santa Claus Special celebrates its 24th continuous year of operation in 2015. Celebrate the wonderful Christmastime spirit and joy with a ride on the Whippany Railway Museum's Santa Claus Special! Tickets for this annual Christmas tradition make great gifts for the kids and the entire family. The 10-mile, 45-minute round trip excursion from Whippany to Roseland and return allows passengers time to enjoy the festivities of the season and the merriment on the train. All of our past trips over the last 22 years have been complete sell-outs, and seeing the excited faces of the children as they climb aboard the Christmas holiday-decorated trains, ensures an afternoon for family fun. During each excursion, Santa makes his way through the train and visits with the children on-board. Santa's helpers follow along, giving the kids a special gift from Santa. Be sure to bring your camera and take pictures of the kids with Santa, so they can always remember their day on-board the train!

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

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

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

Saturday - Sunday, December 5 - 6, 12 - 13 - Montague, Sussex County
Old Fashioned Holiday Tours
Children Friendly

M.A.R.C.H. will kick off its free 2015 Old Fashioned Holiday Tours this year at the Foster-Armstrong House on Saturday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Six specially decorated rooms will also be open on Saturday and Sunday, December 5-6, and Saturday and Sunday, December 12-13 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. This year's theme is "101 Snowman and Winter Fun."

See a wonderful display of dolls, toys, marbles, running model trains and decorated trees. Enjoy the warmth of the 220 year old Dutch Colonial House. Shop in their store for handcrafted gifts. The Foster-Armstrong House is located at 320 River Road / C.R. 521 in Montague, NJ, about 1 mile north of the Milford-Montague Bridge. For more information, visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 5 - 6 - Ocean Township, Monmouth County
Holiday Weekend

Christmas season has always been a highlight of the Township of Ocean Museum calendar. For 25 years, we filled the auditorium of the old Oakhurst School the first weekend in December with exhibits, trains, crafts, and handmade goodies. We continued the tradition in our new home, transforming the Woolley House into a holiday showcase for two days each December.

On Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, the museum holds its 31st Holiday Weekend. Model trains and Christmas collections fill the Our Town Gallery. On the porch, the Ocean Township Garden Club sells freshly made wreaths. The Hearth and Home Gallery is emptied to make way for an expanded Museum Shop and Bakery stocked full of homemade treats and one-of-a-kind gifts hand-crafted by Museum quilters. Children search the house for hidden nutcrackers in a "Holiday Hunt." Sunday afternoon, the winning quilt raffle ticket is drawn. All this is followed by the lighting of the Township Christmas Tree on the Museum grounds Sunday at 4:30 pm.

This year, there's something special. Our Holiday Weekend pays special tribute to the season we celebrate. Christmas has become an American cultural and economic juggernaut. Our talented "living history" actors explore the historical roots of its traditions. We've conjured up the spirits of Woolley family members from the 18th and 19th centuries to entertain visitors with stories of the holiday customs of their times.

Phoebe Woolley, third wife of Thomas (who built the oldest part of the Woolley House) will describe Colonial Christmas. European settlers brought to the New World the holiday customs (and attitudes) of the Old. The Puritans would have nothing to do with it. In fact, in 1659, they outlawed the celebration of Christmas altogether.

The Anglicans in the southern colonies were more receptive. They celebrated with festive feasts, music, and gift-giving that foreshadowed today's customs. German colonists decorated with Christmas trees, as in their home country. But the custom was not widely adopted by their neighbors, who rejected its pagan roots. The Dutch brought with them "Sinte Klass," but our plump, redsuited American Santa did not take shape until the 19th century.

Mary and Sarah Woolley, Eden's daughters, will be on hand to explain the customs, popularized in the 19th century, that largely define how we celebrate today. Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, published in 1843, was an instant best seller. It elevated public interest in the season and helped redefine it as a time of giving.

About the same time, that Christmas tree the German settlers couldn't get their neighbors to adopt caught on, helped by widely circulated photos of Queen Victoria and her German husband with theirs. In 1856, President Franklin Pierce brought the first tree into the White House.

On June 26, 1870, Christmas was declared a federal holiday. That same decade, Americans began sending Christmas cards. Santa emerged as a cultural icon. Gifts and gift-wrapping took center stage.

Join us to learn more, shop local, and start the season in style. Recommended donations: adults, $3; children, free. Those paying their 2016 membership dues at the door are admitted free. The museum is open, free of charge, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday, 7:00 - 9:00 pm Thursday evenings and 1:00 - 4:00 pm the first and second Sundays of each month. The Eden Woolley House is located at 703 Deal Road, Ocean, NJ. For more information, visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 5 - 6 - Morristown, Morris County
Winter Encampment at Washington's Headquarters

In celebration of the anniversary of General Washington's arrival in December 1779, reenactors from the 2nd New Jersey regiment will be encamped at Washington's Headquarters on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday, December 5
Camp and Museum Open - 9:30 am

December 1779: Setting Up Camp and Celebrating the Holidays
Meet one of Washington's aides-de-camp during a Ford Mansion tour and find out what the army did during the summer of 1779 and why Morristown was chosen as the site of the winter encampment of 1779-1780. Also learn about the celebration of Thanksgiving and why Christmas was not a big holiday for most Americans in the 18th century. Tours at 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 pm.

Sunday, December 6
Ford Mansion Open House and Holly Walk - 12 noon - 5:00 pm

A Morris County tradition returns! Click here for more information from our partner the Morris County Tourism Bureau, who is putting on the event. During Holly Walk, the Ford Mansion will be an open house with stationed interpreters providing insight and information on the historic house.

The Ford Mansion and Washington's Headquarters Museum is located at 30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ. Cost: $7 per person 16 and older. For more information, call 973-539-2016 ext. 210 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, December 5 - 6 - Bedminster, Somerset County
13th Annual Colonial Christmas
Children Friendly

Step back in time (to the winter of 1778-79) and visit Bedminster’s historic Jacobus Vanderveer House and Museum on Saturday and Sunday when it opens its wreath-clad doors for the thirteenth annual Colonial Christmas show house and tour for two consecutive weekends.

The fundraiser features: tours of the museum, which will be decorated for the holidays by Accents by Design, Bedminster Florist, and Classic Home & Garden; holiday shopping with boutique merchants and artisans; Colonial musicians and re-enactors; caroling; military demonstrations; Clydesdale wagon rides on opening day; Santa visits (1:00 - 3:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays); holiday arrangement and gingerbread house workshops; and a special exhibition of very rare artifacts discovered at the Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment archaeology dig – brass sword belt tips with the first modern depiction of the stars and stripes – as well as a collection of letters written by General Henry Knox.

Schedule of Events
Saturday, December 5             
10:00 am - 4:00 pm              
* House Tours
* Holiday Shopping
* Colonial Re-Enactors
* Miss Hilde Belle tea presentation
11:00 am - 1:00 pm   
* The Enslows perform Colonial American Christmas Music
1:00 - 3:00 pm                            
* Santa Visit

Sunday, December 6                 
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
* House Tours
* Holiday Shopping
* Colonial Re-enactors
* Chocolate Making with Susan Plaisted
1:00 - 3:00 pm
* Santa Visit
3:00 - 4:00 pm
* Harmonium Choral Group Performance

Admission is $10 (children 12 and under, free). The house is open from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Jacobus Vanderveer House is located at 3055 River Road (in Bedminster’s River Road Park), Bedminster, NJ. The entrance to the house is via River Road Park. For more information, call 908-396-6053 or visit

Sunday, December 6 - River Edge, Bergen County
Sinter Klaas Day
Children Friendly

Enjoy Jersey Dutch holiday treats, refreshments, and a visit with Sinter Klaas in the restored tavern in Campbell-Christie House, 1201 Main Street, River Edge, NJ, on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. See open-hearth cooking in authentic Jersey Dutch Out Kitchen and tour historic homes. For that special holiday gift, browse  their unique historical gift shop. At 1:30 pm, historian, author, and BCHS Past President Kevin Wright will give an illustrated talk "A Light in Winter; Holiday Traditions" in the Steuben House. Refreshments available for purchase including warm cider and our tavern patrons' favorite donuts. Live Christmas trees are available for purchase by Northern Border Christmas Trees and Wreaths. Event parking in parking lot across street. For more information, call 201-343-9492 or visit

Sunday, December 6 and 13 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Christmas at Allaire
Children Friendly

Join the members of the Howell Iron Works Co as they celebrate the holiday season. Each historic home will be decorated according to a different Christmas traditions. As visitors explore the village they will learn how our holiday traditions developed. There will be story telling in the Enameling Building, Horse and Wagon rides, silhouette cutting demonstrations, music programs in the Historic Chapel, hearth cooking demonstrations, craft demonstrations and much more. St. Nicholas will be wandering the village giving out candy canes to the good boys and girls. This is a wonderful family friendly activity! The event runs from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. Admission: $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for children under the age of 12. Horse and Wagon rides are an additional fee of $7 adults, $5 children under 12 years old. The Historic Village at Allaire is located in Allaire State Park at 4263 Atlantic Avenue, Farmingdale, NJ. Tickets are available at the gate or can be purchased through their web site. For more information, call 732-919-3500 or visit

Sunday, December 6 - Westampton, Burlington County
Holiday Tea at Peachfield
Children Friendly

Peachfield will again be decorated for the holidays and the New Jersey Colonial Dames will serve their tea specialties of  the season at our annual holiday tea. Come and join us as we gather around the hearth with a warming fire and sample our favorite repasts.

Advance admission: $18 per adult, $9 per child under 15 years. Reservations paid in advance are strongly recommended. Peachfield is located at 180 Burrs Road, Westampton, NJ. For more information, call 609-267-6996 or visit

Sunday, December 6 - South River, Middlesex County
Open House

Stop by the South River Historical & Preservation Society on Sunday from 1:30 - 3:30 pm and view exhibits on all aspects of Borough history including: schools; churches and houses of worship; local businesses and organizations; daily life; events and celebrations; and more. While you are there, see the cemetery located behind the building, ask questions, drop off donations, or exchange hometown stories with the docents. The museum is located at 64-66 Main Street, South River.

Sunday, December 6 - Bridgewater, Somerset County
Meet George Washington

The Heritage Trail Association invites you to meet General George Washington on Sunday at 2:00 pm. The General will discuss his campaigns in 1776, beginning with the Battle of Brooklyn Heights and proceeding to Harlem Heights and White Plains. With great sadness he will describe the long retreat across the Jerseys after the loss of Fort Lee and Fort Washington. Hear his discussion of the crossing of the Delaware and the Second Battle of Trenton, followed by the victory at Princeton, ending the Ten Crucial Days.

Sam Davis, a Mason and a Son of the American Revolution, portrays General Washington. He has participated in the reenactment of the crossing on Christmas Day and has presented at many venues, including the David Library of the American Revolution.

This is a free event but reservations required as space is limited. Doors will open at 1:45 pm. The Van Horne House is located at 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, online at, or e-mail your reservations to

Sunday, December 6 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
The Sounds of Christmas
Children Friendly

On Saturday, enjoy the welcoming warmth of the Longstreet Farmhouse at Historic Longstreet Farm with the backdrop of wistful music as Larry Mosser and Mary Nagen play Christmas carols on the hammered dulcimer and fiddle. 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

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


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