Friday, April 29, 2016

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 4/30/16 - 5/1/16

New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings
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Saturday, April 30 - Princeton, Mercer County
Reopening of Updike Farmstead
Children Friendly Event & Site

The Historical Society of Princeton is marking the first spring at its new headquarters, Updike  Farmstead. To celebrate, the community is invited to a free Spring Family Festival on April 30, from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm.

There will be something for everyone: at 11:00 am, Kids Music Round will present a music and dance class for infants to preschoolers. Ongoing family/children's activities include an American Girl Doll inspired craft, colonial games and interactive tables with touchable artifacts. Adults can join a tour of Historic Stony Brook at 12:00 noon and a talk on women's roles in the Civil War at 2:00 pm. There will be a needlework demonstration by members of the Princeton chapter of the Embroiderers' Guild of America between 12:00 noon and 3:00 p.m.

Updike Farmstead is located at 354 Quaker Road, Princeton, NJ. For more information, contact Eve Mandel, Director of Programs and Visitor Services, at 609-921-6748 x102 or visit

Saturday, April 30 -  Morris Township, Morris County
Meet the Irish Servant and the Cook at the Willows and Plant Spuds
Children Friendly Event and Site

On Saturday at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, discover the life of domestic help at the Foster home on a guided tour. Assist the maid with household chores and see what the cook has prepared using the wood-burning stove. Two tours times available: 1:00 - 2:00 pm and 2:00 - 3:00 pm.

From 1:00 - 3:00 pm, dig in and help the farmers plant potatoes.

Admission: $6 for adults; $5 for seniors (65+); $4 for children ages 4 – 16; and $2for children ages 2 and 3. FREE for children under age 2 and Friends members with a current membership card. Fosterfields Living Historical Farm is located at 73 Kahdena Road, Morristown, NJ. For more information, visit

Saturday, April 30 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Children Friendly Event and Site

Howell Farm invites visitors of all ages to get a grip on history by grabbing a shovel, saw, drawknife, or cant hook when helping hands are needed to plant trees, cut firewood, make barn pegs and ready logs for the sawmill.

The work will begin when farmers use a portable sawmill to cut lumber for barn repairs and restoration projects. Visitors can help by using spud bars to de-bark logs and cant hooks to roll them to the mill.

Those who like working the old-fashioned way can use a two-man saw to cut rounds that will then be split into firewood, wheel chocks and barn peg blanks. Mallets, froes and draw knives are among the tools that visitors can try. Youngsters can make and take home a barn peg like the ones used to hold together a timber frame barn.

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 30 - Trenton, Mercer County
Delaware & Raritan Canal Feeder Walking Tour

The Delaware & Raritan Canal Watch will hold a free walking tour along the Delaware & Raritan Canal feeder on Saturday at 10:00 am. The walk will explore the section of the canal park between Washington Crossing State Park and Cadwalader Park in Trenton, a distance of 6.2 miles. There will also be an opportunity for a shorter walk of 2.4 miles to Scudder's Falls.

Meet 10:00 am outside the Ellarslie Mansion, the Trenton City Museum in Cadwalader Park, Trenton. The park entrance is near 299 Parkside Ave, Trenton, NJ. The tour will pass by Wilburtha and Upper Ferry Road and will include historic canal structures including several stop gates, a spillway, an aqueduct, and other historic features. The walk will be conducted by Pamela V'Combe. For more information and weather-related updates, contact Ms. V'Combe at or 609-635-2783. The nonprofit D&R Canal Watch helps promote, enhance and preserve the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park.

Saturday, April 30 - South Amboy, Middlesex County
Historical Society of South Amboy 4th Annual Open House

Saturday, April 30 - Cape May, Cape May County
Spring Festival: Crafts & Collectibles

Spring Festival Crafts & Collectibles at the Physick Estate: On Saturday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pmthe Emlen Physick Estate becomes an outdoor marketplace as vendors from throughout the Northeast display their wares. Free admission. 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, April 30 - Cape May, Cape May County
Mansions by the Sea Trolley Tour

This tour features a century of beachfront development, from Victorian cottages of the 1870s through the most up-to-date of today's housing. It includes some of the most magnificent structures ever erected in Cape May. The tour begins at 12:45 pm and takes about 45 minutes. Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children (ages 3-12). Meet across from the Washington Street Mall Information Booth, 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, April 30 - Plainsboro, Middlesex County
From Africa to the New World

Saturday, April 30 - Haddonfield, Camden County
Fiber Arts Day

Saturday, April 30 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Allaire BBQ and Brew Fest

Join us for a day of hops and hogs at Allaire Village! This is our first beer festival in the village. There will be a general admission fee of $5. Beer tickets are available at the door to the beer garden. The event will run from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm.

While you enjoy the festival, explore the historic buildings, visit craft shops, listen to music and enjoy some good barbecue with family and friends! The Historic Village at Allaire has partnered with Spark Marketing Solutions, LLC to give you a great day in spring to get out of the house and have a good time.

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

Saturday, April 30 - Haledon, Passaic County
Workers' Memorial Day Observance

The American Labor Museum/Botto House National Landmark will observe Workers' Memorial Day, a day set aside by the nation's unions to draw attention to the occupational health and safety of workers in the U.S. on Saturday at 1:00 pm at the museum's headquarters, the historic Botto House National Landmark.

In addition to the traditional candlelight vigil, Irwin Nack, Associate Professor of History at William Paterson University (retired) and past president of the American Federation of Teachers Local Union 1796, AFL-CIO, will offer a presentation and lead a discussion on the topic "The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade."

The first Workers' Memorial Day was observed in 1989. April 28th was chosen because it is the anniversary of the formation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the day of a similar remembrance in Canada. Every year, people in hundreds of communities and at worksites commemorate Workers' Memorial Day as an International Day of Mourning.

The Botto House National Landmark, home of the American Labor Museum, is located at 83 Norwood Street, Haledon, NJ. It was the meeting place for over 20,000 silk mill workers during the 1913 Paterson Silk Strike. The museum offers a free lending library, restored period rooms, changing exhibits, Museum Store, Old World Gardens, educational programs, and special events. The museum's hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Tours are offered Wednesday through Saturday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. For more information, call 973-595-7953, e-mail, or visit

Saturday, April 30 - Franklin Township, Somerset County
Songs and Stories of the American Revolution
Family Friendly Site

On Saturday at 1:30 pm, Matthew Dodd will present "Songs and Stories of the American Revolution" in the Dutch barn at Rockingham. Dressed in Colonial garb, before a set of a Colonial tavern, Matthew takes audiences back in time to the days of the American Colonial settlement and the American Revolution. Using rousing period songs and stories that put the songs into the context of the time, Matthew brings to life the exciting days of 1776. Matthew sings and plays guitar, banjo, and mandolin. This event is free, although donations are always welcome. Light refreshments will be available. Please note that there will be no 1:00 or 2:00 pm tours of the house on that day.

Rockingham is located at 84 Laurel Avenue (Rte. 603) in Franklin Township, 1 mile north of Rte. 27 in Kingston, and 1 mile south of Rte. 518 in Rocky Hill. For more information, call 609-683-7132 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, April 30 - May 1 - Lambertville, Hunterdon County
Shad Fest
Children Friendly Event

On Saturday and Sunday, celebrate the annual return of the shad to Lambertville. In its 35th year, the Shad Festival has evolved from a local art show into a nationally recognized award-winning event. Shad Fest features the area's finest artists and crafters, great food, live music from local bands, and family entertainment, but the two-day extravaganza also serves as a venue for local non-profit organizations to raise necessary operating funds. The festival will run from 12:30 - 5:30 pm each day, rain or shine. There will be over eighty arts and crafters, a food court, face painting, cotton candy, sand art, and other children’s activities. For more information, visit

The Lambertville Historical Society will offer two events for Shad Fest this year: 
* Kids & Families Walking Tour
Saturday at 2:00 pm. Starts at the Marshall House, 60 Bridge Street, Lambertville, NJ.
An approximately one-hour walk geared toward 5 to 12 year-olds. Free for LHS members, $5 per family for non-members.
* Adult Walking Tour
Sunday at 2:00 pm. Starts at the Marshall House, 60 Bridge Street, Lambertville, NJ.
A 60- to 90-minute tour that focuses on architecture and social history. Free for LHS members, $5 per person for nonmembers. 

For more information about the tours, e-mail or call 609-397-0770.

Saturday - Sunday, April 30 - May 1 - Monmouth County
Weekend in Old Monmouth
Children Friendly Sites

The Monmouth County Historical Commission's annual self-guided tour of historic sites and museums will be held on its usual first weekend in May, this year Saturday, April 30 from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm and Sunday, May 1 from 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m. The tour includes 43 sites and each illustrates a piece of local history. Historic sites and museums of every description are featured on the tour. 

The tours also represent several historic themes:
  • Shore: While the tour includes sites on the north, (Sandy Hook), central (Ocean Grove) and southern shores, (National Guard Militia Museum) the drive along the shore is one of the best ways to feel and appreciate Monmouth County's relationship to the Ocean.
  • Faith: Architectural gems of each of the last three centuries, 18th century Christ Church in Shrewsbury, 19th century All Saints Memorial in Middletown and 20th century St. Catharine's in Spring Lake. In addition, Old Tennent Church in Manalapan is closely tied to the Battle of Monmouth and the Friends Meeting House in Shrewsbury represents one of the oldest worship traditions in Monmouth County.
  • The Revolutionary War: The Revolution is visited here, not only the major sites in the Monmouth Battlefield area, but in lesser known places such as the Burrowes Mansion in Matawan, Marlpit Hall and the Murray Farm, both in Middletown.
  • Military: There is Fort Hancock at Sandy Hook, the most heavily fortified installation on the East Coast for much of the 20th century, the National Historic Landmark Monmouth Battlefield in Manalapan and one of the more fascinating, but lesser known museums, the New Jersey National Guard Militia Museum in Sea Girt with museum exhibits and fighter aircraft and tanks.
  • Preservation: Marlpit Hall in Middletown was the first restored house museum in the region, dating from its 1930s opening.
Other elements on the tour also include lighthouses, Victorian homes, agriculture, industry, education, and science. All of the sites contributed to the importance of preservation and history throughout Monmouth County.

Five sites have been added to the 2016 Weekend in Old Monmouth tour:

  • Allentown Presbyterian Church (c. 1837) in Allentown is surrounded by a historic cemetery, the final resting place of NJ Governor William A. Newell, founder of the U.S. Life Saving Service. 
  • Baird House (c. 1830) in Millstone Twp. was built and lived in by Thomas Baird who was one of the original founders and first vice-president of the Monmouth County Agricultural Society and was elected as a Monmouth County Chosen Freeholder.
  • Montrose Schoolhouse (c. 1812) in Colts Neck is the last of the township's six one-room schoolhouses and it retains its original architectural profile. 
  • Parker Homestead (c. 1740s) in Little Silver was home to eight generations of Joseph Parker's descendants. Visitors can view a restoration in progress.
  • St. Peter's Church (c. 1770s) in Freehold Borough is the oldest public building in  continuous use in the town and has ties to the Battle of Monmouth.
All admission fees are waived for the weekend. The free tour book and map may be picked-up at the participating sites or previewed at

Sunday, May 1 - Skillman, Somerset County
The Forgotten Village at Skillman Park

History tour and conversation about the former State Village on Sunday from 1:00 - 5:00 pm. Under the big tent will be presentations and a panel discussion from locals who lived and worked at the site. Come learn about this once-bustling, self-sustaining farm and village with its own fire company, theater, hospital, powerhouse, and more on the grounds of Somerset County's Skillman Park. There will be a large exhibit of photographs and memorabilia from the Van Harlingen Historical Society archives. There will be semi-guided tours around the new park path system that will feature stops with photos and stories of the buildings, people and activities from when this site was vibrant. A keepsake booklet filled with interesting articles and maps will be included.

At 1:30 pm, keynote speaker Dr. Dan Pullen, who grew up at the Village, will speak, followed by the panel discussion. Admission: $15/person and $20/couple or family. This event will be held at Larocque Circle at the western end of Skillman Park. Take the Park Entrance (Main Blvd. West) on Rt. 601 (The Great Road) across from Montgomery High School, 1016 Rt. 601, Skillman, N. Large parking lot visible on right BEFORE reaching the circle (Garrison Blvd.). Handicapped parking at the circle. After parking, walk to Larocque Circle and the large tent, which is the meeting place for the event. Map link:

Sunday, May 1 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
Mid-Day Music
Children Friendly Site

The members of Hopewell Hall will sing an a cappella performance of historical songs on Sunday at Walnford from 12:00 noon - 12:30 pm. Bring a picnic lunch and extend your visit with the sights and sounds of the gristmill in operation and a tour of the elegant Waln house. Admission and parking are free.

While there, visit the large, elegant Walnford home built in 1774, the 19th century gristmill and the farm buildings set in a beautiful landscape. Walnford is located at 62 Walnford Road, Upper Freehold, NJ. For more information, call 609-259-6275 or visit

Sunday, May 1 - Morristown, Morris County
La Giuditta

The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey performs the 1693 first edition oratorio based on the manuscript in the Morristown National Historical Park archives. The original manuscript will be on display for this performance only. For tickets, visit

The performance will be held in the Washington's Headquarters Museum Auditorium, 30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ. It begins at 3:00 pm. For more information, call 973-539-2016 x 204 or visit

Sunday, May 1 - Montclair, Essex County
Historic House Tour: Crane House/YWCA and Shultz House
Children Friendly Site

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

Then make your way to the Shultz House at 30 North Mountain Avenue, Montclair, NJ. This amazing gem of a house is an intact time capsule of life in the early 20th century. Wait until you see the woodwork, the Delft fireplace surround, the science equipment in the library!

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

Sunday, May 1 - Montclair, Essex County
Lenape Trail Walking Tour

Lenape Trail, trees and plants, and points of history! Montclair resident Deb Ellis leads the tour on Sunday from 3:30 - 5:30 pm through three local parks and a local preserve. Co-sponsored by the Montclair Historical Society and Bike&Walk Montclair. Tour will start and end at the Brookdale Park parking lot above the soccer stadium (enter on Bellevue Avenue). Registration not required; walking tour is free. For more information, call 973-744-1796, e-mail, or visit

Sunday, May 1 - Pennington, Mercer County
Mercer Magic Book Talk

Sunday, May 1 - Westampton, Burlington County
A Garland of Songs to celebrate the month of May

Stacy Roth and the Hopewell Hall Singers will present "A Garland of Songs to celebrate the month of May." The range of the performance will cover various periods throughout history with a focus on May and a tribute to Mother's Day. Ms. Roth is well known as an historical interpreter and for her musical ability. Join us as we celebrate history, spring and, of course, Mothers.

Admission is $10 per person.  Seating is limited; prepaid reservations are required to guarantee seating. Peachfield is located at 180 Burrs Road, Westampton, NJ. For more information and to register, call 609-267-6996, e-mail, or visit

Sunday, May 1 - Jefferson Township, Morris County
Open House

The Jefferson Township Museum, also known as the George Chamberlin House, will have an open house on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Learn about the Jefferson Township Historical Society. Costumed docents will be available to talk about this Victorian home. The Museum Curator has decorated the museum with charming vintage spring items.  Admission is free.

The Jefferson Township Museum is located at 315 Dover-Milton Road, Jefferson Township, NJ. Visit Miss Elizabeth's Shoppe located in the original kitchen of the museum, where small antiques, collectibles, handmade, handcrafted and seasonal items will be offered for sale. For further information, visit

Sunday, May 1 - 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, May 1 - 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. For more information, visit

Sunday, May 1 - Bridgewater, Somerset County
"Simcoe's Raid" Bus Tour

Travel with the Heritage Trail Association on a narrated bus tour retracing the route of the infamous British officer, John Graves Simcoe, who commanded the Queen's Rangers. Simcoe and his troop of loyalists rode through Somerset County on a daring raid of the area in 1779 and Simcoe was captured.

We will be on and off the bus at several locations where we will be treated to reenactor vignettes, we will visit the Van Veighten cemetery, not usually open to the public, and more on this 2.5-hour tour. In our own backyard, over roads we travel daily, our country was formed. Quality, family, affordable history in your own backyard!

Sign up today as seats are limited. Walk-ins on Sunday are not guaranteed. Admission: $20.00 per person. Tours are at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. **NO PHONE registrations April 30th and May 1st please.** Register, pay and print your ticket via www.heritagetrail.orgNo computer?  Please call and leave a message at 732-356-8856

The bus departs from the behind the Van Horne House at 941 East Main St., Bridgewater, NJ. Handicapped parking in the Van Horne parking lot. All other guests please park behind the Target Store in the Bridgewater Promenade. This is where the bus will pick up and drop off. For more information, visit

Sunday, May 1 - Burlington Township, Burlington County
Love, Death, and Bicycles

Meet Susanna Emlen, the first matron of West Hill Manor, on Sunday beginning at 3:00 pm. With her as your guide, explore 19th-century New Jersey through parlor songs, jigs, food, and conversation. Learn about love, death, and politics of Mrs. Emlen's time.

Enjoy complimentary pastries of the time, provided by the City Tavern in Philadelphia, and wash them down with Dr. Physick's soda - invented by the doctor who worked right here at West Hill. The program is being presented by the graduate choral students from Westminster College. They will celebrate the accomplishments of women from the early 1800s. West Hill, built in 1799, was the home of Susanna Emlen, one of the earliest breast cancer surgery survivors, and Eliza Gurney, who worked for social reforms in England and the U.S., and was a correspondent with President Lincoln. The concert will be from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

West Hill Manor is located at 1114 Oxmead Road, Burlington Township. NJ, at Exit 5 on the NJ Turnpike or Exit 47A on Route 295. For more information, call 856-768-0312 or e-mail

Sunday, May 1 - Cape May, Cape May County
Show Us Your Undies Brunch & Fashion Show

What in the world were they wearing under those Victorian garments? During brunch at the Carriage House CafĂ© & Tearoom on the grounds of the Physick Estate, a fashion show by Grand Oak Plantation will show you what shaped the fashionable Victorian lady. You'll even see what the proper gentleman had to cope with to dress for the day. Program will be held Sunday at 10:00 am. $25 admission includes the fashion show and brunch. 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

Sunday, May 1 - Ringwood, Passaic County
Double Header 19th Century Baseball Game
Children Friendly Event

Batter up! On Sunday, 19th century baseball returns to Ringwood Manor, and this year, it’'s a double header between two historic New Jersey teams! The Hoboken Nine and the Flemington Neshanocks will be facing off with one another, with the first pitch being tossed out for games beginning at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. A local fan favorite event, baseball enthusiasts both young and old are encouraged to come see America’s favorite pastime played according to 1873 rules and regulations. The teams play following the rules and customs of the time, use period baseball equipment, wear typical 19th century baseball uniforms, and even use language and phrases of the era! During the 7th inning stretch, hear a retelling of the classic baseball poem, Casey at the Bat. Bring your chair, a blanket, your picnic lunch, and cheer on your favorite team. The public is invited to come see how the game of baseball has evolved and changed over 125 years!

The Hoboken Nine and Flemington Neshanocks are both non-profit organizations whose missions are to preserve, perpetuate, and promote the game of baseball as it was played during its formative years in the nineteenth century. They demonstrate the historic origins of our national pastime all over the tri-state area using high standards of historical accuracy and authenticity based on lengthy research. But most of all, they want people to enjoy the origins of the sport as much as they do!

In addition to the outstanding athleticism and sportsmanship on the field, the teams and their personnel will show how the rules of the sport evolved and how they differ from today. You will see that all fielders do not use gloves. Instead, they play barehanded just players did in 1873! Did you know that originally fielders were allowed to “soak” or throw the ball at a base runner in hopes of scoring an out? The teams are always looking for new ballists, muffins, Grant Men, Greeley Men, and bugs to enjoy the game “the way it was meant to be played.” Never heard of those terms? Do you have questions about the history of the game? Want to try the equipment yourself? Come to the game and find out what all these historic nicknames mean and speak to the players! The teams welcome questions from the public and enjoy engaging with fans all ages and knowledge levels.

The games will be played in the open field located next to parking lot B at Ringwood Manor. There is no fee to enter the park or for the event. Please be aware that the field has no bleachers for the public. Those coming to visit are advised to bring their own chairs or a blanket to sit on. Picnic tables in the area are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Light refreshments and hot dogs will be available to purchase at the field starting at noon. Heavy rain will cancel the event.

Want to take a time out from the games? Historic Ringwood Manor will be open for guided, timed tours between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. Tours are approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes long and take visitors through 30 of the 51 rooms in the manor. Tickets can be purchased at the park office and are $3 for adults, $1 for children ages 6-12, and free for children 5 and under.

This event is sponsored by Ringwood State Park staff and the North Jersey Highlands Historical Society. Ringwood Manor is located at 1304 Sloatsburg Road, Ringwood, NJ, within Ringwood State Park. For more information, call 973-962-2240 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

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 August 2016 - Cranbury, Middlesex County
Merchants of Main Street: A Stroll Through the Shoppes of Cranbury's Past

Stop by the Cranbury Museum to view "Merchants of Main Street: A Stroll Through the Shoppes of Cranbury's Past," the Cranbury Museum's current exhibit which celebrates the creativity, hard work, and entrepreneurial skills of the Main Street merchants of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.

Main Street was filled with a diversity of businesses-general stores and candy stores, millinery and hat shops, blacksmith and harness shops, banks, and newspaper offices. Through the centuries, Main Street met the needs of the Cranbury shopper. Come take a stroll down Main Street, visit our merchants and view their wares and services. This exhibit will be displayed through August 2016 at Cranbury Museum, 4 Park Place East, Cranbury, NJ. The museum is open on Sundays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. For more information, call 609-655-2611 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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