Thursday, September 1, 2016

NJ Labor Day Weekend Historical Happenings: 9/3/16 - 9/5/16

 New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings
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Saturday, September 3 - Tewksbury, Hunterdon County
22nd Annual Tewksbury Flea Market

The Tewksbury Historical Society is hosting its 22nd annual Flea Market, which is one of its main fundraisers, on Saturday, from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm in the Johnson Family/Cedar Lane Farm Field located ½ mile north of the village of Oldwick on County Route 517. The rain date will be Sunday, September 4th. This is one of the largest flea markets in New Jersey on Labor Day weekend. There will be 116 vendors in attendance; all vendor spaces were sold out August 6th. Last year saw over 1,200 people in attendance. There will be a $1/car suggested donation, collected at the exit. Vendors will display old and new items of all types including antiques, toys and collectibles, farm fresh produce, household items, and more. The Pottersville Volunteer Fire Company will be serving breakfast and lunch to benefit their operations.  Early birds can gain admission from 7:00 am - 8:00 a.m. at a cost of $ 10 per person.  Early Birds should enter the site via Homestead Road. The Tewksbury Historical Society booth has an eclectic mix of multiple items, all donated by Society members and residents of Tewksbury. All proceeds benefit the Society's building fund.

The Tewksbury Flea Market is easily accessible off Exit 24 of the Interstate 78.  Following the signs for Oldwick/County Route 523/517 north or from Route 206 south from Chester. For more information, contact the Tewksbury Historical Society at 908-832-6734 or visit

Saturday, September 3 - Toms River, Ocean County
Antiques and Collectibles Faire

Celebrate Labor Day with your family and friends at the Ocean County Historical Society's Antiques and Collectibles Faire on Saturday on the grounds surrounding the museum on 26 Hadley Avenue and the Ocean County Parking Garage on Madison Avenue in Toms River, NJ from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. Join the fun as you shop for antiques and collectibles as well as items crafted by a local wool spinner, basket maker, and decoy carver. Buy a 50-50 raffle ticket sponsored by OCHS.

History buffs will be thrilled to know that they can chat with Civil War reenactors who make history come alive. Children are welcome to participate in games and crafts of the Civil War era. Families may visit the medical tent and learn more about the work of the full Union surgeon, carrying the rank of major, who will display surgical, dental, and other medical instruments and explain where the full surgeon worked during the Civil War.

The Artists' Garden and Music Garden will feature the fine arts. Several NJ authors will have their latest books available for sale and signing on the grounds. There will be food vendors and delicious baked goods made by OCHS volunteers. Other Historical Society volunteers will be selling OCHS publications, used books, genealogical research booklets, and interesting antiques. There's a treasure for everyone! Tour the OCHS museum and its current exhibitions. The event will be held rain or shine! For more information, visit

Saturday, September 3 -  Morris Township, Morris County
Explore the Farm Wagon Ride
Children Friendly Event and Site

Enjoy an interpretive horse-drawn wagon ride at Fosterfields Living History Farm on Saturday while discovering the importance of sustainable farming. Learn about the methods, equipment, crops, and enterprises of Charles Foster’s farm in the early 1900s. Wagon ride from 10:15 am - 12:00 noon and included in regular admission.

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, September 3 - Morristown, Morris County
Go With The Flow!
Children Friendly Event & Site

Streams provided an important water supply to farms. On Saturday at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, follow a stream to see where it goes and what life it sustains with a guide. One hour programs at 1:30 and 2:30 pm.

Admission: $6/adult, $5/senior (65+), $4/child (ages 4 -16), $2/child (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, September 3 - Piscataway, Middlesex County
Guided Tours of the Metlar-Bodine House Museum

The Metlar-Bodine House Museum, circa 1728, and Dutch Door Gift Shop will be open on Saturday. Guided tours are scheduled from 12:00 - 4:00 pm and will start on the hour and half hour. Advance registration is highly recommended.

Since 1979, The Metlar-Bodine House, circa 1728, has served as the official historical and cultural museum of Piscataway Township, one of the nation's oldest communities, which is celebrating its 350th birthday this year. Located in one of the nation's busiest transportation corridors, the State and National Registered Historic Site and its collection of Central New Jersey artifacts tell the story of how transportation affected the economic and social development of Piscataway.

Try out a new app designed to give visitors a tour of the museum's extraordinary map exhibit,which illustrates the museum's theme: From Indian Trail to Interstate.
If you would like to download the app on your smart phone before you come to the Museum, these are the links:

iPhone/iPad users:
Android phones:
If you download now, additions will be available when new exhibits are mounted.

Admission: $5 per person. The museum is handicap accessible. Handicap parking is located in the lower parking lot. All parking is free. The Metlar-Bodine House Museum is located at 1281 River Road, Piscataway, NJ. For more information and to register for tours, call 732-463-8363. For more information, visit

Saturday, September 3 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Plowing Match
Children Friendly Event and Site

Howell Living History Farm will hold its Annual Plowing Match on Saturday and the public is invited to watch and participate in the event, which features old-fashioned plowing and log pulling competitions, a craft and pony rides for children, and lots of food, music and old fashioned fun.

A dozen teams of draft animals from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York are entered in the match, which tests the performance of farmers, their horses and oxen, and their plows as they turn furrows. Judging will take place from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon. Winners of the Fine Plowing Class will receive trophies, ribbons and cash prizes.

Members of the general public aged 16 and older can try their hand at plowing in the Visitor Plowing event. Winners receive ribbons.

Sheep, chickens and pigs can be seen in the farmyard area all day.

Beginning at 12:00 noon, hungry plowers and visitors can lunch on roast pork sandwiches, a chicken BBQ, Kosher franks and Howell Farm potatoes and sweet corn. Noontime festivities will include music by the Jugtown Mountain String Band, door prizes, and plowing award presentations.

After the plowing competition, visitors can watch as teamsters use their animals to navigate an obstacle course. Cash prizes for professional classes are furnished by the Friends of Howell Farm, and made possible through donations.

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 - Sunday, September 3 - 4 - Cape May, Cape May County
Hands-On History Weekend at Historic Cold Spring Village
Children Friendly Event & Site

Two days of family-friendly, interactive and educational fun are planned for Historic Cold Spring Village’s ‘Hands-on History’ Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00 am - 4:30 pm. Children will be given a ‘Pastport’ at the start of their Village trip, which can be stamped at the buildings they visit after completing a take-home craft or activity, like writing with a quill pen, carding wool or making a pinch pot. Pastports can be redeemed at the Country Store for a free treat! The Family Activity Area will feature children’s dress-up clothes, historic games, and take-home crafts including corn husk dolls. Other family-friendly activities include nursery rhymes with Mother Goose, a seek and find, and live entertainment.

Historic Cold Spring Village is a nonprofit, open-air living history museum that portrays the daily life of a rural South Jersey community of the Early American period. It features 26 restored historic structures on a 30-acre site. From late June to early September, interpreters and artisans in period clothing preserve the trades, crafts and heritage of "the age of homespun." Fun and educational activities for children are featured Tuesday through Sunday, with special events every weekend through mid-September.

Historic Cold Spring Village is located on Route 9, three miles north of Victorian Cape May and a mile and a half west of the southern terminus of the Garden State Parkway. Admission during the season is $12 for adults and $10 for children ages 3 to 12. Children under 3 are admitted free. Unlimited free admission is available with Village membership. The Village Nature Trail at Bradner's Run is open to the public for free self-guided tours. For more information, call 609-898-2300, ext. 10, or visit

Saturday - Monday, September 3 - 5 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
Historical Fun and Games!
Children Friendly Event & Site

Experience two centuries of fun this weekend at Historic Walnford! On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm, they will offer a variety of historical games both indoors and out, for all to enjoy. Young or older, passive or active, there will be something to engage everyone. 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, September 4 - Manalapan, Monmouth County
Guided Walking Tour of Monmouth Battlefield

On Sunday, meet at the Monmouth Battlefield visitor center at 1:30 pm for a free guided walking tour of the battlefield with Friends of Monmouth Battlefield President, Dr. David Martin. Appropriate hiking apparel is encouraged. Monmouth Battlefield State Park is located at 16 New Jersey Business 33, Manalapan, NJ. For more information, visit

Sunday, September 4 - Pennsauken, Camden County
Open House

This is your chance to spend a last beautiful Sunday summer afternoon at the beautiful and historic Griffith Morgan House in Pennsauken before Autumn leaves begin to fall! The day will feature a talk and exhibit on early and colonial lighting devices and technology presented by docent Lu Anne Hill! Free admission and free tours of the house and museum are offered, access to our library and archival collection are also available from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Plenty of free parking. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy your afternoon of family, friends, community and history in our yard and garden!

Our sister historic house, Burrough-Dover House, off Haddonfield Road on Burrough-Dover Lane will also be open and staffed by Pennsauken Historical Society, so come see both houses and share a lovely afternoon of your Labor Day weekend!

Admission to the Griffith Morgan House is free, but memberships and donations are most welcome! The Griffith Morgan House is located at 243 Griffith Morgan Lane, Pennsauken, NJ. For more information, call 856-486-9561 or visit them on Facebook.

Sunday, September 4 - 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, September 4 - Cape May Point, Cape May County
The Keeper's on Duty
Children Friendly Event

The perfect prelude to a climb of the Cape May Lighthouse on Sunday at 11:00 am. Learn the historic beacon's story, as told by one of the current keepers at the Education Center in Cape May Point State Park (adjacent to the Cape May Lighthouse). All Keeper's on Duty are free and open to the public. Cape May Point State Park is located at 215 Light House Avenue, Cape May Point, 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, September 4 - Cape May Point, Cape May County
Lighthouse Storytime
Children Friendly Event

Bring your young children to the Education Center in Cape May Point State Park (adjacent to the Cape May Lighthouse) to listen to nautical taleNew Jersey Militia in the Battle of Monmouths and lighthouse adventure stories on Sunday at 12:00 noon. Free admission. Cape May Point State Park is located at 215 Light House Avenue, Cape May Point, 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, September 4 - Morristown, Morris County
Best Dressed in the Vail House
Children Friendly Site

On Sunday from 12:30 pm - 5:30 pm, experience life in a historic place through costumed interpreters leading tours of the Vail House at Historic Speedwell. 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

Sunday, September 4 - Hackettstown, Warren County
32nd Annual Scandinavian Fest
Children Friendly Event

On Sunday from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, attend the 32nd Annual Scandinavian Fest is held at Vasa Park, which was built in the 1920s. It is a not-for-profit event to celebrate and promote the cultures, histories and current life of the Nordic area countries.

Vasa Order of America is a Swedish-American fraternal, cultural and educational organization that was started in 1896. This event is held rain or shine. Tickets are $11 per person online or $14 at the gate for adults and $13 for seniors. Children 12 and under are free. Entry will be free for those dressed in authentic folk dress. Free parking. Vasa Park is located at 1 Vasa Drive, Hackettstown, NJ. For more information, visit

Sunday, September 4 - Morris Township, Morris County
Farm Know-How on the Go: Granary and Ensilage Pits
Children Friendly Event & Site

On Sunday at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm from 2:00 - 2:45 pm, take a guided walk to the Granary and Ensilage Pits to discover how they were used. Help prepare ensilage, and use the root cutter to chop beets and turnips. Pre-registration is required. Please call 973-326-7645 to register.

Admission: $6/adult, $5/senior (65+), $4/child (ages 4 -16), $2/child (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

Sunday, September 4 - Haledon, Passaic County
Triangle Fire Opera performance and Labor Day Parade

On Sunday at 3:00 pm, the American Labor Museum/Botto House National Landmark proudly welcomes the general public to a performance of the new Triangle Fire opera with music by Leonard Lehrman and libretto by Ellen Frankel. This presentation of the Triangle Fire opera will be performed by members of the Metropolitan Philharmonic Chorus and the New Jersey Industrial Union Council (IUC) "Solidarity Singers."

In addition, the Annual Labor Day Parade steps-off at the museum on Sunday at 1:30 pm. The parade will finish at the Great Falls Historic District in the City of Paterson.

The 2016 Labor Day Parade: Celebrating Working People
This year's Labor Day Parade will be led by Grand Marshal Sherryl Gordon, Executive Director of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO, Council 1, headquartered in New Jersey. Ms. Gordon is a leader of the public employees' union movement. She is a pioneer in unifying unionists, regardless of their background or ethnicity.

All community organizations, unions, businesses, cultural groups, and individuals interested in joining this historic march can contact the Museum at 973-595-7953 or by e-mail at or visit the Museum's website

It was on June 28th, 1894 that President Grover Cleveland (a native of Caldwell, NJ) signed the bill that made Labor Day a legal national holiday. In that same year, on Monday, September 3rd, 1894, the first official holiday was celebrated and every first Monday of September thereafter.

The Botto House National Landmark, home of the American Labor Museum, located at 83 Norwood Street, Haledon, NJ, is the 1908 home of immigrants and 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, 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 or by appointment. For more information, call 973-595-7953, e-mail at or visit

Through Monday, October 10 (Columbus Day), 2016 - Bay Head, Ocean County
All Aboard!

All Aboard! is an insightful look at how the railroad impacted on the development of the northern Barnegat Bay barrier island. A model railroad diorama of the Bay Head Railroad Loop, photographs, maps, videos, and railroad memorabilia will be on display. The museum is open to the public and a small donation is suggested for non-members. The Bay Head Historical Society and the Loveland Homestead Museum is located at the corner of Bridge and Bay Avenues at the Bay Head/Point Pleasant border. Summer hours: Friday through Monday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. For more information, visit

Through October 23, 2016 - Morristown, Morris County
"Fine, Fancy, and Fashionable: 125 Years Dressing the Bride"

"Fine, Fancy, and Fashionable: 125 Years Dressing the Bride" offers an opportunity to experience the joy, magic, and elegance of 30 different wedding days and a visual timeline of bridal dresses from Mary Johnson Condit's 1840 silk gauze A-line gown to Alice Woodridge's 1954 lace tea-length dress. Join a bride and groom as they arrive at their reception in the dining room, a bride and her mother on the special day, and a busy bride creating her gown on an 1852 Florence sewing machine. Bridal accessories including shoes, gloves, veils, headpieces, photos, invitations, newspaper clippings, diary entries, and even a cake-topper, complete the display. The exhibit is on view through October 23, 2016. Acorn Hall is located at 68 Morris Avenue, Morristown, NJ. For more information, call 973-267-3465 or visit

1st and 3rd Saturdays through November 2016 - Atlantic Highlands, Monmouth County
Atlantic Highlands Architectural Walking Tours

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

Through June 2017 - Ocean Township, Monmouth County
Presidents at the Monmouth County Shore Exhibit

One hundred years ago this September, 25,000 people gathered on the grounds of what is today Monmouth University—then a private estate called Shadow Lawn—to see Woodrow Wilson officially accept the nomination of the Democratic Party for a second Presidential run. Wilson was following a popular tradition among American Presidents to retreat to our slice of the Jersey Shore to escape the heat and hubbub of Washington. At the Eden Woolley House, this major exhibit tells the wide-ranging stories of eleven Presidents who spent time here, at the Monmouth County shore.

Mrs. Lincoln got the ball rolling
There’s a case to be made that it all started with Mary Todd Lincoln. Mrs. Lincoln travelled to Long Branch in the summer of 1861, probably at the invitation of William Newell, family friend and then supervisor of the life-saving services in New Jersey. Long Branch was already a popular resort, and national coverage of the First Lady’s visit added immeasurably to its fame and appeal.

That fame and appeal continued to draw the wealthy and influential—including the seven presidents who vacationed in resort city, starting with Ulysses Grant.

Seven Presidents in Long Branch
In 1870, a group of wealthy businessmen who summered in the Elberon section of Long Branch presented President Grant with an oceanfront cottage where he vacationed for the next 15 years. When Grant died in 1885, city officials feared the resort might lose its cachet. They needn’t have worried. Six of the next ten Presidents--Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Harrison, McKinley, and Wilson--chose to spend time in Long Branch.

The most tragic of these Presidential visits was James Garfield’s last. Mrs. Garfield was in Long Branch recuperating from illness, when, on July 2, 1881, Garfield was shot by an assassin in the Washington train station. He was taken to the White House, where his condition worsened. In hope the sea air might help, Garfield was taken to Elberon. Famously, locals worked through the night to build the spur to carry the President’s railroad car from Elberon Station to the ocean side cottage. He died there 12 days later, September 19.

Beyond Long Branch
Long Branch was not the only Monmouth County destination of Presidents. Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and Richard Nixon visited our area, if only, in some cases, for a political rally. And then, of course, there’s Warren Harding, whose local connection was a bit less public and a good deal more scandalous. Join us June 26 to learn the full story. The new exhibit is on view through June 2017.

The Township of Ocean Historical Museum offers exhibits on the history of coastal Monmouth County and a full calendar of events. The Museum also houses a library and archive of local history. It is open, free of charge, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday, 7:00 - 9:00 pm Thursday evenings, and 1:00 - 4:00 pm the first and second Sundays of each month. The Township of Ocean Historical Museum is located at 703 Deal Road, Ocean, NJ. For more information, visit

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


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