Friday, April 22, 2016

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 4/23/16 - 4/24/16

New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings
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Saturday, April 23 - Harmony Township, Warren County
Spring Open House
Children Friendly Event and Site

The Harmony Township Historical Society and the Historic Preservation Commission of Harmony Township invite the public to attend their annual Spring Open House at the historic VanNest-Hoff-Vannatta Farmstead on Saturday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Admission is free. The farmstead is located at 3026 Belvidere Road, Route 519, just north of the Municipal Building in Harmony Township, NJ.

Come see the progress being made at the farmstead, including the two recently-relocated and restored wagon houses. The event will include tours of the circa 1750s main house, the restored wagon house, and the one of a kind Dutch style barn, and war reenactors, a quilting bee, and a professional archaeological dig. For more information, visit

Saturday, April 23 -  Morris Township, Morris County
Apocalypse Wow: Surviving the End Times at a Historic Site
Children Friendly Event and Site

Worried about life after a solar flare, a zombie uprising, or an alien invasion? On Saturday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm at Historic Speedwell, learn how working at a historic site gives you the skills you’ll need in a world without electricity, plumbing, or Facebook.

Admission: $5/adult, $4/senior (65+), $3/child (ages 4 -16). FREE for children under age 4 and Friends members, with a current membership card. Historic Speedwell is located 333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown, NJ. For more information, call 973-285-6550 or visit

Saturday, April 23 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Potato Planting
Children Friendly Event and Site

Each year Howell Living Farm invites the public to join forces with its staff and volunteers to plant a special crop of potatoes to be donated to the Greater Mercer Food Cooperative and other local hunger projects.

On Saturday, visitors to the Farm can join the field crew, planting seed potatoes in furrows opened with horse drawn equipment between 11:00 am and 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

Saturday, April 23 - Tuckahoe, Cape May County
Tuckahoe Railroad Festival
Children Friendly Event & Site

Saturday, April 23 - Trenton, Mercer County
Spring Planting Day at the Trent House
Children Friendly Event & Site

Come experience the Trent House's restored colonial garden and learn about historic gardening practices on Saturday from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. Spring Planting Day is a family event with activity stations for children, where they will create their own planting mix and plant heirloom seeds to take home. They will also make craft projects with seeds, take home a coloring book on growing plants from seeds and play colonial games.

Admission: $3 per child, free for accompanying adults. Free books to first 25 children. Complimentary light refreshments will be served. Free tours of the House and Garden. The Trent House is located at 15 Market Street in Trenton, NJ adjacent to the Hughes Justice Complex. Ample free parking. For more information, call 609-989-3027 or visit

Saturday, April 23 - Jamesburg, Middlesex County
Archaeology and the Delaware Indians: A 12,000 Year Odyssey

Saturday, April 23 - Paterson, Passaic County
Watch Television like it's 1946

On Saturday at 2:00 pm in Lambert Castle, collector, expert and restorer Tim Moritz will talk about the history of the DuMont Laboratories and their production of televisions in Passaic County. Directly following the presentation, Tim will be demonstrating the television, radio (AM/FM), and record player components of the Passaic County Historical Society's newly acquired 1946 DuMont Westminster television set.

The DuMont Westminster (Model RA-101A) was introduced to the public in May of 1946 when it retailed for $2,495.00. Advertising for the set indicated that “a fortunate few” could own such a television, which cost approximately the same as three Cadillac automobiles. The set, which came to the Historical Society earlier this year through the generosity of collector Adam Sayles, is fully functioning, with its original 1946 vacuum tube technology. The set will be on permanent display in Lambert Castle, and future demonstrations of the set will be held regularly. Please check our website in the coming months for details and the demonstration schedule.

Lambert Castle is located at 3 Valley Road, Paterson NJ. For more information, call 973-247-0085 or visit

Saturday, April 23 - Sussex, Sussex County
Spring has Sprung Bike Ride
Ages 14+

Come enjoy the beauty of spring at High Point State Park! Bring your own bicycle for a lovely ride to view emerging spring foliage and flowers. Our route will take us on an 8-mile loop along Sawmill and Park Ridge roads. A few shorts stops will be made along the way to view points of interest and to enjoy a picnic lunch.

FREE, but a small $5 donation per rider appreciated. The bike ride is suitable for ages 14 - adult. Helmets are required for all bicycle riders. Please bring your own bicycle, helmet, bag lunch and water. The group will meet at the winter-use parking lot located on Park Ridge Road, Sussex, NJ. No rain date is scheduled, but visitors are welcome to explore on their own. Park maps and suggested routes for bicycling are available in the park office. 

For more information, e-mail April at or visit

Saturday - Sunday, April 23 - 24 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
Wool Days/Sheep Shearing
Children Friendly Event & Site

On Saturday and Sunday, Longstreet Farm's sheep will be sheared. Gene Sheninger will return with his collies to show their herding skills. The Monmouth County Historical Association’s Holmes-Hendrickson house staff will demonstrate the way wool was used in Colonial America with spinning and weaving activities. Longstreet Farm will provide wagon rides between the two living history sites.

Visitors to Holmes-Hendrickson House will be able to try their hand at carding and spinning wool and then tour the 1754 farm house. Join us for this rare opportunity to observe wool processing from start to finish.

If inclement weather, check with Longstreet Farm about whether the wagon will run. The spinning and weaving portion of the program at the Holmes-Hendrickson House, located at 62 Longstreet Road, will occur regardless of weather. This free event runs from 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm. Historic Longstreet Farm is located at 44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, NJ. For more information, call 732-946-3758 or visit

Sunday, April 24 - Morristown, Morris County
Peter Toth: Centennial Series Piano Recital

Please join Morristown National Historical Park for a series of special piano recitals to celebrate the NPS Centennial. Playing on the park's 1873 Steinway grand piano, celebrated pianist Peter Toth will perform solo piano works from a variety of beloved composers.

Hungarian pianist Peter Toth is one of the most recognized artists of his generation. He has concertized in most countries in Europe, South America, and Asia. His first released CD recording won the Grand Prize of the Hungarian Liszt Society (2006). Mr. Toth is a regular guest artist at various piano festivals and has been member of the American Liszt Society since 2011.

The recital will be held at the Museum Building, 30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ. It begins at 1:00 pm and will be held FREE of charge. No reservations necessary. For more information, call 973-539-2016 x 204 or visit

Sunday, April 24 - Montclair, Essex County
Open House for New Volunteers!

Visit the Montclair Historical Society in their offices at the Clark House and meet staff to learn more about ways to volunteer and get involved with our organization. Information sessions will be held at 10:00 and 11:00 am. The Clark House is located at 108 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ. Meet in the library room on the 1st floor. Parking and entrance is available from the back parking lot. Materials will be provided on volunteer opportunities.

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

Sunday, April 24 - Pennington, Mercer County
The National Register of Historic Places

On Sunday at 3:00 pm, Kathleen P. Galop will present a Program on the National Register of Historic Places on behalf of the Hopewell Valley Historical Society at the Pennington Library. Kathleen will discuss the value of placing properties on the National Register in terms of the protections that the National Register provides. Kathleen will also discuss the Nomination process as Nominations must first be to the New Jersey Register of Historic Places and then the State nominates a property to the National Register.

Kathleen has nominated three (3) Olmsted designed landscapes to the National Register: Branch Brook Park in Newark and Belleville; Anderson Park in Upper Montclair; and Briant Park in Springfield and Summit. She has developed an expertise in nominating properties to the National Register. Kathleen is looking forward to sharing her expertise with the membership of the Hopewell Valley Historical Society.

This program is a collaboration between the Hopewell Valley Historical Society and the Pennington Public Library. The Pennington Public Library is located at 30 N Main Street, Pennington, NJ. For more information, visit

Sunday, April 24 - West Orange, Essex County
Edison and His Cars - The Glenmont Garage
Children Friendly Site

Learn about Edison's cars and garage. Did you know the first car he bought was an electric car? Come check out the garage complete with gas pump and electric charger. Find out about Edison's work with storage batteries and his hope that the batteries would improve the electric car. A car pass is required to visit Glenmont and available at the Laboratory Complex visitor center.

Admission to Thomas Edison National Historical Park is waived on April 16 - 24 in honor of National Park Week. Passes for Glenmont must be picked up at the Laboratory Complex Visitor Center at 211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ. For more information, call 973-736-0550 x11 or visit

Sunday, April 24 - 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, April 24 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
19th Century Beehive Oven Baking
Children Friendly Site

Once a year, the Historic Village at Allaire bakes in its Beehive style bake oven. After hours of preheating and prep work, hot loaves of bread come steaming out of the oven. The bake oven is the highlight of the day long reenactment that includes house tours and craft demonstrations from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. This event is free for the public.

The Historic Village at Allaire is located at 4263 Atlantic Avenue, Farmingdale, NJ. For more information, contact the Allaire Village office during business hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, at 732-919-3500 or visit

Through May 15, 2016 - Harrison Township, Gloucester County
Two New Exhibits on Display

Harrison Township Historical Society's Old Town Hall Museum has reopened this spring with two new exhibitions exploring 10,000 years of local history. The new installations feature the society's rich holdings, many of which are on exhibit for the first time."

"Living Off the Land: Food, Farms and Families" focuses on Harrison Township's agricultural heritage. Food production has been a prominent feature of the area for centuries, due to its fertile soil, progressive family farms, and close proximity to major metropolitan markets in Philadelphia, New York and beyond. The exhibition examines a wide range of farm products produced here, from fruits and vegetable crops to dairy, poultry, and pork through artifacts dating from the early 1800s to the present day.

Going even farther back into the township's history, "The Stone Age in Harrison Township" features the society's extensive Paleo-Indian collection. This archaeological record provides evidence of 10,000 years of human habitation here. Interestingly, the objects include stone hoes and adzes showing how long crops have been grown and harvested here.

"Eyewitnesses," the society's interactive presentation in the first floor gallery concludes this spring. Here a collection of objects tell their own stories through an audio soundtrack accessible through visitors' mobile devices and online. The exhibition is also available at the society's website ( Both on-line and gallery visitors can vote for their favorite object and story. Museum visitors are also encouraged to share a "selfie" with their favorite object.

The museum is open Saturdays and Sundays, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, through May 15, 2016 (closed Mother's Day) and admission is free. Old Town Hall Museum is located at 62 South Main Street in Mullica Hill, NJ. For more information, call 856-478-4949 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 June 26, 2016 - Park Ridge, Bergen County
The Jazz Age: Fashions, Flappers, and Flasks

Pascack Historical Society volunteers invite you to revisit a historical time when conservative American traditions and mores were pushed to the limit. A new exhibit, The Jazz Age: Fashions, Flappers, and Flasks, will open on Sunday, April 17 from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, at 19 Ridge Avenue, Park Ridge, NJ. Admission is free, but donations are happily accepted at the door to the barrier-free 1873 museum. Children are welcome when accompanied by an adult. The exhibit will run during regular visiting hours through June 26.

The Jazz Age, the time between the end of World War I (1918) and the Stock Market crash of 1929, was noted for increased nationwide prosperity, liberated social and sexual behaviors, Prohibition, and the accompanying production of bootleg liquor, speakeasies, jazz and ragtime music.

Young carefree women drank liquor freely from decorative flasks and smoked cigarettes in public, dangling them from jeweled cigarette holders, as they danced the Charleston and Blackbottom with wild abandon. Short skirts, plunging necklines and low backs on dresses put more of the female body parts on display than ever before. The female fashion silhouette presented a boyish figure with flattened breasts and very loose fitting clothes. Emancipation from traditional gender styles encouraged women to cut their long hair and free them from the complicated styles of the Edwardian Age. The short "bob" hairstyle needed to be cut more regularly and a plethora of beauty parlors opened nationwide according to exhibit PHS Trustees Helen Whalen and Grace Wohn, exhibit curators.

Visitors will see many day and dinner dresses, coats and accessories worn and used by the women of the Pascack Valley during this short and exciting time in American history. For more information, call 201-573-0307 or visit

Through June 26, 2016 - Sparta, Sussex County
Vintage Costume Jewelry Exhibit

With a focus on vintage costume jewelry “Made in America,” you are invited to “Faux and Fabulous: 100 Years of Vintage Costume Jewelry” at the Sparta Historical Society’s Van Kirk Homestead Museum. This exhibition in the Changing Gallery, curated by Joyce Zakierski Simmons, features period costume jewelry adornments.

Faux jewelry played an eminent part in our American society. Featuring major American designers and manufacturers, the accessories on exhibit illustrate the historic design styles prevalent from 1900-2000. With discoveries and inventions, new materials prevailed. Glass, silk, metal, wood, leather, imitation stones and especially plastic materials are used in each piece of costume jewelry. These components, known as findings, were made all over the world, but the final product was assembled here in the USA. What makes this exhibit exciting is that the costume jewelry industry basically started in America, with Providence, RI its home. The rarely seen hand manipulated beaded Miriam Haskell archival jewelry, will add to the other giant early 20th century manufacturing houses of Coro, Trifari, Monet, and Napier.

This wearable art of glamorous necklaces, brooches, earrings and bracelets will dazzle you throughout the exhibit. As you learn of the history of retro costume jewelry, these treasures will delight both the collector and the interested visitor. There are fun facts for future collectors and smart tips on choosing investment pieces. Simply stop in to see what was in grandma’s jewelry box.

The exhibit hours are from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, on the second and fourth Sunday of the month and runs through Sunday, June 26, 2016. Gallery talks will take place at 2:00 pm on Sundays. The show is open to the public and handicap accessible. Special group viewing hours may be arranged through the Sparta Historical Society, Van Kirk Homestead Museum and History Education Center, 336 Main Street (Route 517, use Sparta Middle School Driveway), Sparta, NJ 07871. For more information, call 973-726-0883 or

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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