Friday, February 19, 2016

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 2/20/16 - 2/21/16

New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings
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Saturday, February 20 - Franklin Township, Somerset County
Meadows Celebrates Black History Month

Our second presentation of the year celebrates Black History Month on Saturday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm at the Civil War-era Hageman House at 209 South Middlebush Road, Somerset. Mr. Don Neal, retired educator with the Franklin Township Public Schools will help us learn about the 39 men and women who have been commemorated on stamps by the United States Postal Service in one of its longest-running series.

The presentation will include other African Americans on U.S. stamps, stamps that have been issued right here in Franklin Township, and general information on philately or, as it is commonly known, stamp collecting, one of the world's oldest hobbies. The interactive presentation is suitable for the young and young at heart.

Refreshments will be served. Tickets are $10 each and may be paid for at the door. However, please reserve in advance in case of inclement weather. Reserve by calling 732-246-0638 or e-mailing Terry at

Saturday, February 20 - Haddonfield, Camden County
George Washington at the Indian King Tavern

As it is an election year, open house events will focus on the early presidents and first ladies of our nation. This is the first of several presentations at the Indian King Tavern. David Emerson will appear as President George Washington. For over 25 years, David Emerson has worked at living history museums and as an independent storyteller, teaching history through the eyes of a "person of the past." He is a veteran of Colonial Williamsburg, Plimoth Plantation, Morristown National Historical Park, and the Old Barracks Museum. David's academic credentials include graduate study at the College of William and Mary, and he studied at Oxford as an undergraduate.

The program begins at 2:00 pm. Special Note: Seating is limited. President Washington will be available for a short meet and greet after his presentation. The Indian King Tavern is located at 233 Kings Highway, East, Haddonfield, NJ. For more information, call 856-429-6792 or visit

Saturday, February 20 - Morristown, Morris County
Washington Tales: True or False?
Children Friendly Site

Did Washington really have wooden teeth? Did he chop down a cherry tree? Revisit these and other Washington stories, investigate their truthfulness, and discover why such tales were and are so popular. Join a park ranger in the Washington's Headquarters Museum auditorium for this presentation at 1:15 and 2:15 pm.

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, February 20 - Peekskill, New York
Lincoln Remembrance Day

1:30 PM Wreath-Laying Ceremony: Featuring West Point Honor Guard Unit Lincoln Exedra, South Street Peekskill, NY (Public Invited)

2:00 PM Lincoln in Peekskill Re-Enactment: The 1861 Speech to the Citizens of Peekskill during a stop by the Lincoln Inaugural Train is re-created at the newly-opened Lincoln Depot Museum at 10 South Water Street in Peekskill (Public Invited)

2:45 PM Lecture & Book Signing: Dr. Charles Strozier, author of Lincoln’s Quest for Union: A Psychological Portrait, will make a special presentation at the Lincoln Depot Museum ($5.00 suggested donation). Dr. Strozier is a History Professor at John Jay College and a psychotherapist.

4:00 PM LinCON Pub Crawl: Join your friends & neighbors for a fun- filled pub crawl through Peekskill, starting with a private beer tasting experience at the nearby Peekskill Brewery. All are welcome!

For more information, visit

Saturday, February 20 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Maple Sugaring 
Children Friendly

Sugaring time arrives in late winter at Howell Farm and operations are in full swing. Visitors are invited to join the work and fun with sap collection, firewood cutting, syrup making, butter making, flour milling and pancake eating.

The trees are tapped beginning in early February. School groups, visitors and farm staff collect and boil down sap for several weeks. The sugar maple tree stores starch in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in the spring. Freezing nights and thawing days make for heavy sap flow. The trees are tapped by boring holes into their trunks and collecting the exuded sap beginning in early February. The sap is then processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup.

Sap gathering will take place at 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm. Tree tapping demonstrations will be held at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm. The sugarhouse will be open from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Pancakes will be available from 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm.

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

Sunday, February 21 - Pennington, Mercer County
Author Event to Benefit the Washington Crossing Park Association

On Sunday at 1:00 pm, the Washington Crossing Park Association of New Jersey and The Pennington School will host Fergus M. Bordewich, Author of The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government at the Pennington School, 112 W Delaware Avenue, Kenneth Tai Yen Building, Pennington, NJ.

After his book talk, the author will sign copies of his new book, priced at $30. This event is free and open to the public. A portion of the book sale proceeds will be donated to the Washington Crossing Park Association. Reserve your copy today! RSVP via e-mail or call our Events Coordinator at 609-389-5657.

Sunday, February 21 - River Edge, Bergen County
Washington's Birthday at Historic New Bridge Landing
Children Friendly

A Country Ball upon the Anniversary of Washington’s Birthday will be held at Historic New Bridge Landing. Dance mistress Denise Piccino and the Tricorne Dancers will give three 45-minute public performances in the Steuben House at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 pm. Ridley & Anne Enslow will provide musical accompaniment on fiddle and hammered dulcimer. Throughout the afternoon, Rodger Yaden will portray General George Washington. Hot cider and crullers will be served in the restored 18th-century tavern in the Campbell-Christie House, where our gift shop is also located. Visitors may also see open-hearth cooking demonstrated in the Out-Kitchen, featuring meal items that General Washington might have eaten during his stay at New Bridge in 1780 and recipes from Martha's cookbook. Re-enactors from the 3rd New Jersey Regiment will demonstrate military life.

So celebrate the 284th anniversary of Washington’s Birthday at Historic New Bridge Landing, where General George Washington made his headquarters in September 1780, when Continental troops encamped between Van Saun Park in River Edge and Soldier Hill Road in Oradell. A tiger-stripe maple bedstead, reputedly used in a local home where George Washington stayed during the 1780 Steenrapie Encampment, is displayed in the Demarest House. The room in the Steuben House where Washington stayed for ten days during the Steenrapie Encampment is also open for viewing.

In a special ceremony at 12:30 pm in the Steuben House, preceding the opening of the ball, the Bergen County Historical Society, joined by special guests, will unveil sculptor Albert Jaeger's three-quarter-sized maquette of Major General Friedrich Wilhelm Baron von Steuben, made in preparation for the bronze statue of Baron von Steuben erected in Lafayette Park in 1910, opposite the White House. Damaged during Hurricane Sandy while stored in an off-site warehouse, this 107-year-old plaster model was repaired by conservator Gary McGowen of CPR, Inc., through FEMA funding secured by the Bergen County Historical Society.

Historic New Bridge Landing is located at 1201-1209 Main Street, River Edge, NJ. Admission by donation: $10 for adults, $7 for children, and free for Bergen County Historical Society members. For more information, visit

Sunday, February 21 - Princeton, Mercer County
Virtual Historic Princeton Walking Tour

Take a slide show tour of downtown Princeton and the University campus, presented by one of HSP's walking tour guides. Participants can enjoy refreshments while learning about the early history of Princeton, the founding of the University, and the American Revolution. Included with $4 museum admission to the Updike Farmstead. Regular walking tours resume March 6.

Updike Farmstead is located at 354 Quaker Road, Princeton, NJ. The virtual tour begins at 2:00 pm and ends at 3:00 pm. For more information, call 609-921-6748 or visit

Sunday, February 21 - Montclair, Essex County
Historic House Tour: Crane House/YWCA and Sunday Spotlight
Family Friendly

Step back through over 200 years of American history at Montclair's historic properties at 108 Orange Road. Visit the reinterpreted Crane House to reflect the YWCA period from 1920 - 1965, check out the farm, and meet the chickens. The site is open from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students with valid ID, and $4 for children; under 2 free.

At 2:00 pm:
We all know how important censuses are, and how frustrating it is when ancestors aren’t where you thought they’d be. Tempting as it is to blame vindictive census-takers, it’s likely not their fault – and your family may not really be missing. This presentation outlines some key ways of using censuses wisely and in depth by:

—  carefully reading every bit of useful data (you’d be surprised what you may be missing)
—  combining federal with state census data
—  using census results as springboards to intelligent vitals searches
—  utilizing effective keywords and filters in index searches
—  understanding the importance of other families on a census page
—  avoiding common reading and scanning mistakes
—  knowing when an online index is your friend, and when it isn’t
—  learning effective ways of recording and tracking what you find

This session will focus especially on immigrant ancestors in densely populated urban areas, a group that presents interesting challenges in narrowing large-volume search results to specific, plausible possibilities. Program presented by genealogist Liz Haigney Lynch, creator of the Ancestral Archaeologist Blog. Program is held in the lower level of Crane House & Historic YWCA - suggested donation $5.

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

Sunday, February 21 - Moorestown, Burlington County
Alice Paul's 131st Birthday Celebration

On Sunday, Alice Paul's birthday celebration will be held from 2:00 - 4:00 pm at the Moorestown Community House, 16 East Main Street, Moorestown NJ featuring a performance of Hear My Voice.

Hear My Voice is a multimedia dramatic performance set in the city of Washington in 1913. Young Jessie is swept up in Alice Paul’s thrilling campaign for the vote, but her father’s objections and then family tragedy may keep her from realizing her dreams.

There will also be a birthday cake and light refreshments. Admission is $10 per person. Please register by Friday, January 23. For more information, contact the Alice Paul Institute at 856-231-1185, e-mail, or visit

Sunday, February 21 - Franklin Township, Somerset County
George Washington's Birthday

Come celebrate George Washington's 284th birthday at Rockingham on Sunday. While Washington will be present only in spirit (and in the form of a wonderful life-sized mannequin in an exactingly recreated uniform), visitors who tour his last wartime headquarters will learn about his life and times, before, during and after his careers as commander of the Continental Army and first president of the United States.

Find out more about this iconic symbol of our country; learn why he is more important than just a means to sell cars on Presidents' Day! After the tour, enjoy cake and punch in Rockingham's kitchen.

Tours will be offered from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm on the hour and, possibly, half-hour if needed. (The last tour will be at 3:00 or 3:30 p,, accordingly). Because the size of tours will be limited, reservations will be necessary to guarantee admittance. Please call 609-683-7132 for reservations. A donation of $5 is suggested.

Please note that the regular history of the house will not be emphasized during these special tours, but visitors are always welcome to visit the house on another day for a normal tour. Washington, commander in chief for the Continental Army during the American Revolution, stayed at Rockingham from late August to early November in 1783. It became his final wartime headquarters when the Treaty of Paris was formally signed while he resided there.

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

Sunday, February 21 - Titusville, Mercer County
Meet George Washington

On Sunday at 12:30 and 2:30 pm, meet Sam Davis who will portray General George Washington and discuss his life from his childhood through the Battle of Trenton, December 26, 1776.

This program will be held in the Visitor Center Museum in Washington Crossing State Park, 355 Washington Crossing Pennington Road, Titusville, NJ. The Visitor Center Museum's auditorium can hold approximately 60 people on a first-come, first-served basis. This program is free. For more information, call 609-737-0623.

Sunday, February 21 - Westampton, Burlington County
Mirror, Mirror - is it a Chippendale?

In the Great Room of Peachfield hangs a 1795 Chippendale Looking Glass with its original silver glass. In the same room sits a double-bow birdcage Windsor arm chair and a double leaf gate leg table. The corner cabinet that dates back to 1770 originally was built into a house. Peachfield has a varied and interesting collection of furniture, all of which will be on display.

Program presentation and tours of the property are available at 12:00 and 2:00 pm. Admission is free. A free will donation is welcome in support of the museum. Reservations are recommended. Peachfield is located at 180 Burrs Road Westampton, NJ. For more information and to reserve a seat, call 609-267-6996 or e-mail

Sunday, February 21 and 28 - Union Township, Union County
Open House at the Caldwell Parsonage

On Sunday from 2:00 - 5:00 pm, the Caldwell Parsonage in Union Township, NJ will be open for guided tours. While there, learn about Eulace Peacock, UHS Class of 1933, the U.S. track and field competitor dreaded by Jesse Owens. 

Owens said of Peacock in 1935, “Eulace is a great runner, and a very good jumper. [He] has been right behind me for quite a while. It looks as though he’s more than caught up now.... I don’t know whether I can defeat him again.” He never did.

Peacock’s New York Times 1992 obituary reads that the senior track star set a state scholastic long jump record (24’ 4.25”;) that remained unbroken for 44 years until Renaldo Nehemiah of Scotch Plains, jumped 24’ 11.”

The museum, once the residence of Rev. James and Mrs. Hannah Caldwell, is listed on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Admission is free but donations are greatly appreciated. The Caldwell Parsonage is located at 909 Caldwell Avenue, Union Township, NJ. For more information, call Barbara at 908-687-0048 or visit

Sunday, February 21 - Piscataway, Middlesex County
Presidents Day Celebration

Sunday, February 21 - Lawrence, Mercer County
Lawrence Historical Society Annual Meeting

On Sunday, the Lawrence Historical Society will hold its annual meeting in the Lawrence High School Community Commons at 2:00 pm. 2016 marks the 200th anniversary of the changing of the town's name from Maidenhead to Lawrence. The program at the annual meeting of the Lawrence Historical Society will tell the story of the change, including:

- How we got named Maidenhead in the first place
- The man behind the change, Rev. Isaac van Arsdale Brown, who founded The Lawrenceville School
- Why Lawrence rather than something else?
- How the town was politically divided over the question

The talk will conclude the annual meeting of the Lawrence Historical Society, which will also feature a cake marking the 319th birthday of Lawrence, founded as Maidenhead in 1697. For more information, visit

Sunday, February 21 - Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania
Celebrate George Washington’s 284th Birthday
Children Friendly

Come celebrate George Washington’s 284th birthday on Sunday from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm at Washington Crossing Historic Park in Pennsylvania. Admission is $1.

During the day, buildings in the historic village will be open with demonstrations taking place in the blacksmith shop, a 17th-century birthday cake demonstration in the Hibbs House, Colonial dress-up in the Frye House, and more. Every child will receive materials to make a special birthday postcard for General Washington, who will arrive at the park at 2:00 pm. Soon after his arrival, visitors will sing Happy Birthday to him and enjoy cake that he will cut with his sword.

Washington Crossing Park is located at the intersection of Routes 32 and 532 in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. This event is sponsored by the Friends of Washington Crossing Park in partnership with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. For more information, call 215-493-4076 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 April 1, 2016 - Cape May Court House, Cape May County
Taboo: Exposing Hidden History

Deep inside most museums is a hidden cache of artifacts deemed too controversial for display. Due to their controversial nature, many of these items are seldom seen by the public. Many of these acquisitions remind us of issues from our past that some would like to forget.

Like most places in our nation Cape May County's past also holds untold stories. As stewards of our local history, we feel it is our obligation to present these pages of history to the public.

Under the direction of guest curator, Gwen Brownell Raring, the Cape May County Museum has put together an exhibit highlighting controversial artifacts from local collections, both public and private. Many of these items have never been presented for the public's view.

We invite you to attend this thought-provoking exhibit. Admission to the exhibit is free to museum members and $5 per person for non-members. The Museum of Cape May County Gallery is located at 504 Route 9 North, Cape May Court House, NJ. For more information, call 609-465-3535, e-mail or visit

Through June 10, 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 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

Through July 9, 2016 - Freehold, Monmouth County
19th Century New Jersey Chairmaking Exhibit

Monmouth County Historical Association's newest exhibition Of the Best Materials and Good Workmanship: 19th Century New Jersey Chairmaking at the Museum at 70 Court Street will remain open through July 9, 2016.

This exhibition explores the diversity of products made by chairmakers in New Jersey from the late 18th century through 1900 and explores four different galleries: the craft of chairmaking, Windsor chairs, common chairs, and factory made chairs. It draws from chairmakers from throughout the Garden State, including a large collection of chairmaking tools, equipment, benches, patterns and stencils collected by William H. MacDonald of Trenton. MacDonald, who had one time worked in Freehold, donated the collection to the Association in the mid and late 20th century. The exhibition represents the first time the entire collection of tools, equipment and patterns have ever been displayed together.

Hammond explained that the name for the exhibition is taken from the language commonly used by New Jersey manufacturers in their newspaper advertisements promoting themselves against craftsmen from New York and Philadelphia.

Many of the items in the exhibition come from throughout the Garden State, from Bergen to Cumberland and Salem counties, and span the era from 1780 to 1900. Some of the items on display are on loan from several different historical societies as well as the Rutgers archives’ special collection and are representative of both local and regional chairmakers.

Of particular interest is one section devoted to the Ware family of Cumberland County, a family that represents a unique chapter in the history of American furniture production. Nineteen members of the family spanning four generations made traditional slat back, rush-seated chairs in the Delaware Valley tradition from the late 18th century to about 1940.

The gallery portraying factory made chairs includes perforated furniture made by Gardener and Company in 1872, a business in Glen Gardner, folding chairs popular on ocean liners dating back as far as 1868 and made by the Collignon Brothers in Closter, in Bergen County, using wood from the sawmill across the Hackensack River from the plant, and the Cooper Chair factory of Bergen, noted for its delicate chairmaking styles.

The Gallery devoted to Windsor chairs includes the earliest known marked Windsor chair, one made by Ezekiah Hughes in Salem County in the 1780s. The exhibition at the Museum displays one of the largest collections of Windsor chairs ever shown.

Monmouth County Historical Association is a private non-profit organization that has been working to preserve history and provide educational opportunities since its founding in 1898. The Historical Association’s Museum and Library is located at 70 Court Street in Freehold, NJ. Museum hours are: Tuesdays - Saturdays 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. The Library is open Wednesdays through Saturdays. For more information about the Association, call 732-462-1466 or visit

Through December 31, 2016 - Far Hills, Somerset County
More Than a Game Exhibit at the USGA Museum
Children Friendly

Visitors to the USGA Museum in Far Hills will be surprised to learn that there is much to discover about the game of golf. Originally installed in February of 2014, the exhibit "More Than a Game" focuses on how the creation of African-American golf clubs positively impacted the community, despite the pervasive prejudice and racism of the Jim Crow era. They founded institutions that celebrated the game, and their culture, setting a new standard for what a free and open society could be.

Local schools and youth groups are invited to arrange a field trip to the museum to learn about diversity in golf through the exhibit's centerpiece which is the story of William "Bill" Powell and the Clearview Golf Club. Founded in 1946 in East Canton, Ohio, Clearview is the only public golf course in the United States designed, built, owned, and operated by an African American. Celebrating their 70th anniversary this year, its existence is a testimonial to the vision, determination and integrity of Powell, who overcame numerous obstacles in the pursuit of his dream. Lesson plans are available upon request for teachers and group leaders prior to or following their onsite experience.

Powell's Clearview Golf Club was not the only African-American golf institution founded in this era. The exhibit also honors other clubs that made significant contributions to minority golf including Shady Rest Country Club in Scotch Plains, NJ, home course of John Shippen, the first American and the first African American to play in a U.S. Open Championship in 1896. Also featured are significant trophies from the United Golfers Association and many other various artifacts that celebrate the men and women who made sacrifices in an effort to realize their dream of equality on the greens.

The USGA is one of the world's foremost authorities on research, development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game's history and invests in the development of the game through the delivery of its services and its ongoing "For the Good of the Game" grants program. Additionally, the USGA's Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.

For more information about the museum, this exhibit and field trip opportunities, please contact Kim Gianetti at 908-326-1948 or by email at For more information about the USGA, visit

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


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