Friday, March 11, 2016

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 3/12/16 - 3/13/16

New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings
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Saturday, March 12 - Morganville, Monmouth County
New Jersey Scout Museum Open House

The Board of Trustees and Operating Committee of the New Jersey Scout Museum invite you to join us on Saturday from 4:00 - 7:00 pm for this celebratory open house featuring two major new displays along with our standing collections.

One hundred years ago on Treasure Island in the Delaware River, the Order of the Arrow was founded as the honor society of the Boy Scouts of America. Since then, tens of thousands of members have provided cheerful service in support of Scouting throughout the United States. To celebrate the Order of the Arrow Centennial, an exhibit documenting its history in New Jersey is on display with patches and artifacts.

The NJSM is also pleased to present an exhibit that shows the evolution of present New Jersey Girl Scout Councils, their legacy Councils that preceded them and all the way back to the pre legacy ones. This display also traces the evolution of the present Girl Scout camps in the Garden State and their predecessors. Be sure to look at the patches and postcards for your favorite camp.

This is our last open house at the MCBSA Service Center because by the end of June we will be vacating this location and relocating - so don't miss your chance to see these unique exhibits. The New Jersey Scout Museum is located at 705 Ginesi Drive, Morganville, NJ. Please RSVP for your family or Scouting unit to 732-862-1282. For more information, visit

Saturday, March 12 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Work Horse Rides 
Children Friendly

On Saturday, Children will be riding high at Howell Farm when the Farm's big workhorses will be drafted to "pony ride" duty.

Riders will not sit on saddles, nor will they ride bareback, but will sit atop fully harnessed, three quarter ton workhorses. The horses won't mind, according to the farmers, since giving rides is easier than pulling the plows and wagons used to run the 130-acre living history farm.

The program is intended to give children a taste of early 20th century farm life. So, in order to get a ride, children must first do their farm chores, which include shelling and grinding corn, pumping water, and making fence rails. Riders must be between the ages of 5 and 12 years old, without exception.

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, March 12 - Lambertville, Hunterdon County
Silent Auction Featuring Plein Air Works

On Saturday, 5:30 - 8:00 pm, the Lambertville Historical Society will host a silent auction at Rago Arts & Auction Center, 333 N. Main Street, Lambertville, NJ. The event features over 40 paintings produced by 32 artists in the fall of 2015. Suggested donation of $5 will be requested at the door and includes hors d'oeuvres, beverages and music by The Lifters. Proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the Lambertville Historical Society. Parking is available in the rear of the building, accessed via Cherry Street.

More than 40 works of art produced by 32 artists during the 2015 Autumn House Tour will be featured during the event. Lambertville En Plein Air offers a rich and varied collection of oils, acrylics and watercolors capturing street scenes, vistas and architecture throughout the city. New for this year, a preview hour will take place prior to the opening reception. Prospective buyers may view the paintings and speak with artists in attendance between 4:30 and 5:30 pm. The event will include hors d'oeuvres, beverages and music by The Lifters.

All works will be on display and minimum bids will be set. Bidding will close at 7:30 p.m., sharp, with winners announced at 8:00 p.m. For more information, call 609-397-0770 or visit

Saturday, March 12 - Princeton, Mercer County
Einstein Facts and Fun
Children Friendly

Celebrate Pi Day at this fun and interactive session for children ages 6-10, led by the staff of the Historical Society of Princeton and the Princeton Public Library. Program includes a story time and craft, plus children will learn fascinating facts, such as how a childhood fascination with a compass played a role in the development of the Nobel prize-winning scientist. We will wrap things up by snacking on vanilla ice cream while enjoying some music by Mozart, two of Einstein’s favorite things. This program is free and will be held on the third floor of the Princeton Public Library. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-921-6748 or visit

Saturday, March 12 - Morristown, Morris County
New Jersey's Colonial Architecture Told in 100 Buildings

As part of its 2016 National Park Service Centennial celebration, Morristown National Historical Park welcomes author David Veasey to its Washington's Headquarters Museum for an illustrated talk on his book, New Jersey's Colonial Architecture Told in 100 Buildings.

The talk will be at 1:00 pm in the Washington's Headquarters Museum, 30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ. Admission to the program is free. Book sales and signing will follow the program.

Here in New Jersey, the most crowded and developed state in the union, a substantial number of buildings remains from our colonial past, including Washington's Headquarters in Morristown. Sandwiched between Philadelphia and New York City, New Jersey often does not get credit for its contributions to colonial and early American life, including its rich and diverse architectural heritage. This diverse architecture reflects its early settlers who were the most varied in all the colonies, except perhaps for New York City. Coming from the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, France, Ireland, Scotland, and a number of English regions, each group of settlers brought its own building traditions.

David Veasey is a lifelong New Jersey resident and has given illustrated talks all over the state. He has also written other books about the state. Veasey lives in Morris Plains, and graduated from Drew University, Madison, and holds a Master's Degree from New York University. Veasey has worked as a writer his entire career. For more information, visit

Saturday, March 12 - Monmouth County
Monmouth County Historical Association Offers Free Admission

Three of Monmouth County Historical Association’s historic house museums together with the museum at 70 Court Street, will be open free of charge in celebration of Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live! on Saturday.

In support of Women's History Month, Museum Day Live! encourages all people, and particularly women and girls of color, to explore the Association's Museum, and Covenhoven House in Freehold, Taylor Butler House, and Marlpit Hall in Middletown House free of charge. The day will include special programming and tours of our historic homes and museum, as well as a cooking demonstration on the open hearth at Covenhoven.

The Open Hearth Cooking program Covenhoven will feature African American slave cooking in the 18th and 19th centuries, with foods such as hoppin’ john, okra and tomatoes, Brunswick stew, and fruit fritters. Our costumed interpreters will also be able to perform bilingual tours at Covenhoven in Spanish. A selection of portraits from the Association’s permanent collection will be on view at the Taylor-Butler House. Four of them by Middletown artist Harvey Jenkins (1822-1908) have just been returned from conservation in a project funded in part by a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State. Marlpit Hall will feature tours and is also a stop on the New Jersey Women’s Heritage Trail in honor of Mary Holmes Taylor who worked to save this house from demolition and Margaret Riker Haskell who restored and furnished the home.

The museum will be open from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. The historic house museums will be open from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The open hearth cooking demonstration at Covenhoven will take place from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm.

A Museum Day Live! ticket can be downloaded at Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! ticket will gain free admission at the museum and the three open historic house museums for March 12.

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. For more information, call 732-462-1466 or visit

Sunday, March 13 - Greenwich, Cumberland County
Meet the Author: Lenape Country: Delaware Valley Society before William Penn

The Cumberland County Historical Society's featured author for March will be Jean R. Soderlund. Jean is Professor of History Emerita at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She will be discussing her most recent book, Lenape Country: Delaware Valley Society Before William Penn, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press: "Lenape Country is a sweeping narrative of the multiethnic society of the Delaware Valley in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.....Drawing on a wide range of sources, author Jean R. Soderlund demonstrates that the hallmarks of Delaware Valley society-commitment to personal freedom, religious liberty, peaceful resolution of conflict and opposition to hierarchical government-began in the Delaware Valley...with the Lenape Indians, whose culture played a key role in shaping Delaware Valley society."

Soderlund is also the author of Quakers and Slavery: A Divided Spirit, for which she received the Alfred E. Driscoll Publication Prize from the New Jersey Historical Commission. She also wrote Freedom By Degrees: Emancipation in Pennsylvania and Its Aftermath with co-author Gary B. Nash. 

The program begins at 2:00 pm. The Cumberland County Historical is located at 960 Ye Greate St, Greenwich, NJ. For more information, call 856-455-4055 or visit

Sunday, March 13 - Eatontown, Monmouth County
"Emigrants and Exiles: The Ireland They Left Behind"

"Emigrants and Exiles: The Ireland They Left Behind" will be the topic of the March meeting of the Monmouth County Genealogy Society. Educator and historian Henry McNally of Manasquan will help us understand the lives of our Irish and Scots-Irish ancestors including the forces that pushed them toward distant shores and the cultural and historical realities that influenced their role in the new world.

Henry McNally is semi-retired from more than 40 years teaching in New Jersey schools and five years teaching Education and Irish History at Marist College. Mr. McNally presently teaches in the Irish Studies Program at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft and at the Osher Life-Long Institute of Rutgers University.

He is a first generation Irish-American, both parents having been born in County Armagh. He has travelled often to Ireland and spent a sabbatical year living in Tipperary and working part-time in a training program for delinquent youth in Cork City. Mr. McNally is a 1993 recipient of a Geraldine Dodge Foundation grant for study of "Conflict Resolution" in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Mr. McNally holds Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from Fordham University and a Master's Degree from William Paterson University as well as a Certificate in Irish Studies from University College, Galway.

Anyone who wants more than just names and dates from genealogical research is invited to enjoy this presentation free of charge at 1:30 pm on Sunday at the Community Center, 72 Broad Street, Eatontown, NJ.

Sunday, March 13 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
Blacksmithing Demonstration
Children Friendly

On Sunday, visit Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel to take a step back in time to watch blacksmiths perform their craft. They will be shaping iron into everyday products. Blacksmiths were as common as an auto mechanic in towns and on farms of the 1890s. This free event runs from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. Historic Longstreet Farm is located at 44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, NJ. For more information, call 732-946-3758 or visit

Sunday, March 13 - Princeton, Mercer County
Historic Princeton Walking Tour

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. Tours begin in front of the Bainbridge House, 158 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ. Tour begins at 2:00 pm and ends at 4:00 pm. Walk up ticket sales are cash only; guides cannot provide change. Space is limited. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-921-6748 or visit

Sunday, March 13 - 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.

Sunday Spotlight
In the summer of 1879, residents of the sleepy suburb of Montclair were shocked to learn of a deadly altercation on Orange Road, when John Armstrong, an Irish immigrant coachman, was fatally shot by his employer Joseph Blair. In the highly partisan press coverage that followed, and in Blair's subsequent trial for the murder of his coachman, the victim's Irish identity was widely discussed and hotly debated.

For defenders of Joseph Blair, John Armstrong was a violent and drunken "desperado," and an Irish Catholic who was a "bad Catholic" at that. For those championing the cause of Armstrong, on the other hand, the victim was "a poor Irish boy" killed by his arrogant and bullying "parvenu employer."

What did it mean to be Irish in Montclair in the latter half of the nineteenth century? And why was Blair acquitted of the murder of his coachman? Presented by Board of Trustee member and historian Mary Catherine Moran in the program room of the Crane House & Historic YWCA. Suggested donation $5 for the program.

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

Sunday, March 13 - Ewing, Mercer County
"Player Pianos, Torpedoes, and Cell Phones"

On Sunday, the Ewing Township Historic Preservation Society is pleased to present "Player Pianos, Torpedoes, and Cell Phones" Musician and former Communications Technology educator, John Anastasio, will talk about the fascinating story of how local composer George Antheil set the world on its ear and helped a Hollywood legend design a torpedo guidance system that would become the foundation of the cell phone network. Free to the public. Donations appreciated. The program will be held at 2:00 pm at the Benjamin Temple House, 27 Federal City Road, Ewing NJ. For more information, call 609-883-2455 or visit

Sunday, March 13 - Waldwick, Bergen County
Artifact Day

Sunday, March 13 - Egg Harbor City, Atlantic County
Lines on the Pines

On Sunday, attend the 11th Annual Lines on the Pines - a gathering of artists, authors and artisans whose passion is the Pine Barrens of New Jersey! Enjoy a wonderful day meeting Pine Barrens authors, artists and artisans! Over fifty talented Pine Barrens People will be on hand to sign their books, display their artwork or craft, play their music and in general, share their love of the Pine Barrens! The event runs from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm at Renault Winery, 72 Bremen Avenue, Egg Harbor City, NJ. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Sunday, March 13 - Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
Charter Day Open House
Children Friendly Site

Come celebrate Pennsylvania's 335th birthday on Charter Day, Sunday, March 13 from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm, with free admission to Hope Lodge and many other historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History. 

Hope Lodge was built between 1743 and 1748 by Samuel Morris, a prosperous Quaker entrepreneur. During the Revolutionary War, Hope Lodge briefly served as headquarters to John Cochran, Washington's surgeon general, and General Nathaniel Greene. After nearly being razed in 1921, it was purchased by William and Alice Degn. They built an addition and renovated the main mansion. It is now the only historic house museum in Pennsylvania that interprets both Colonial and Colonial Revival styles. It remains a terrific example of Georgian architecture in Pennsylvania.

Hope Lodge is located at 553 S. Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, PA 19034. For more information, call 215-646-1595 or 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 August 28, 2016 - Boonton, Morris County
Boonton and the Electronics Industry Exhibit Opening

Our new changing exhibit features the numerous electronics companies that existed in Boonton during the infancy of electronics. Aircraft instrumentation, electronic testing instruments, and radios will be on display. Learn more about Boonton's significant contributions to the electronics industry by visiting us at the historic Dr. John Taylor House in Boonton NJ. The site is open on Sunday from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm. The museum is located at 210 Main Street, Boonton NJ. For more information, call 973-402-8840.

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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