Thursday, September 29, 2016

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 10/1/16 - 10/2/16

 New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings
A Weekly Feature on
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Friday - Saturday, September 30 - October 1 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe at Allaire Village

Allaire Village, Inc. is hosting a weekend of Halloween Classics at the Historic Village at Allaire. This year, nationally renowned Helen McKenna from the Edgar Allan Poe House, a national historic site in Philadelphia, will perform a dramatization from the haunting tales of Edgar Allan Poe. The performance will take place in the Allaire Village Chapel. A brief biography of this gifted, yet tragic author will give you insight into his life and renowned works.

The presentation will take place on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm. The Allaire Village Chapel is limited to 100 people so pre-registration is a must! Only ticket-holders will be admitted to the performances. This show is a must-see for Halloween devotees and is great for people of all ages. Ticket cost is $20 per person. Call 732-919-3500 for tickets, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm and have your credit card ready. Tickets can also be purchased online at

The Historic Village at Allaire is located in Allaire State Park, 4265 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, October 1 - Cape May, Cape May County
Meet Franklin Delano Roosevelt

The date is December 29, 1940. Franklin Delano Roosevelt has just been re-elected to an unprecedented third term in office. But the world is in a crisis. Nazi Germany has blazed the path of destruction across Europe, and America may soon be drawn into war. Meet with the President just prior to his delivery of the famous "Arsenal for Democracy" speech.

Learn what President Roosevelt was thinking and listen to his plea for the support of our Allies. Experience firsthand the history that shaped our nation.

Neill Hartley is Franklin Delano Roosevelt in this fully staged historical presentation that will entertain and educate audiences from school age to adult. Following the presentation, there will be time for comments and questions for the one of the most influential presidents of all time. This exciting lecture is free and open to the public. It will take place on Saturday at 6:00 pm inside the Museum of Cape May County's historic barn. For more information or to reserve your seat, call 609-465-3535 or visit

Saturday, October 1 - Chatham Township, Morris County
Lenape Day
Children Friendly Event

On Saturday at Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, celebrate the Lenape people with dancing, drums, vendors, and historical talks by the Ramapough Lenape People. Enjoy games, crafts, touring a replica wigwam, and more. Great fun for the entire family!

Admission: $5 per person. The Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center is located at 247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham Township, NJ. For more information, call 973-285-6550 or visit

Saturday, October 1 - West Orange, Essex County
Third Annual Muckers Ball

The Third Annual Muckers Ball will be held under canvas and under the stars at Thomas Edison National Historical Park on Saturday from 5:30 - 9:00 pm. Guests can leisurely explore the main Edison Laboratory building from 5:30 - 7:00 pm. Refreshments, including a signature cocktail, The Muckers’ Madness will be served. Sing along and dance along to vintage and contemporary tunes from pianist Jim Keefe and steampunk flavored numbers from The Eternal Frontier. Proceeds from the event will help to restore rare artifacts such as the Edison Time Clock. Tickets: Members: $45.00; 
Non-Members: $55.00; At the door: $60.00.

Thomas Edison National Historical Park is located at 211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ. For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit

Saturday, October 1 - Franklin Township, Somerset County
George Washington's Indispensable Men

On Saturday at 1:30 pm, Arthur Lefkowitz, the author of George Washington's Indispensable Men, will talk about Washington's Aides-de-Camp. This lecture explores a group of fascinating men who worked behind the scenes to help win American independence.

Largely unknown and forgotten, these unselfish, hard-working patriots served at Washington's headquarters as volunteer aides-de-camp (personal assistants) and military secretaries. Their ranks included lawyers, doctors, artists, college students, businessmen, and plantation owners. This presentation relates their accomplishments during the Revolutionary War and well into the 19th century. This lecture is based on the speaker's recently published book, George Washington's Indispensable Men: The 32 Aides-de-Camp Who Helped Win American Independence.

The following program will be presented in Rockingham's Dutch barn and there will be light refreshments available afterward. The Museum Store will also be open before and after the program. Seating is limited, so it is strongly suggested to call 609-683-7132 and reserve to guarantee a seat. While this is a free event, donations are always gratefully accepted and put toward providing more programming like this. Please note that there will be no 1:00 or 2:00 pm tours of the house on Saturday.

Rockingham is located at 84 Laurel Avenue, Kingston-Rocky Hill Rd. (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, October 1 - Madison, Morris County
Bottle Hill Day
Children Friendly Events

Join the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts in celebrating Madison at this popular downtown festival! Local craftsman Tyler Merson, Museum Trustee and owner of Codfish Park Design will demonstrate how to make a wooden bench with a single board and a few common tools. For the kids, he will also have collection of simple tools for them to try out and learn tool safety. The Museum will be admission by donation on the day, so guests can tour our new exhibit, "Good Earth: Pottery and Terra Cotta Industries in New Jersey.”

The Museum is regularly open Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm and Sunday 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm. The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts is located at 9 Main Street in Madison, NJ just two blocks from the Madison train station. For information, please call 973-377-2982 x10 or visit

Saturday, October 1 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Wheat Planting
Children Friendly Event and Site

On Saturday between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, visitors are invited to join farmers in the fields and on the threshing floor at Howell Living Farm as they plant and process wheat - work rewarded in the farmhouse kitchen with tastes of whole wheat bread and a take-home bag of freshly ground flour, complete with recipes.

Special maps with corresponding field markers are used to guide visitors to areas where they can watch or help with planting operations, thresh wheat for animal feed and bedding, and grind wheat for baking. Visitors who have their maps stamped at each of “Help-the-Farmer” stations will take home their share of the harvest – a bag of freshly milled whole wheat flour produced with their help.

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, October 1 - Tinton Falls, Monmouth County
Colonial Day at the Crawford House
Children Friendly Event 

On Saturday from 1:00 - 3:00 pm, costumed interpreters will cook over a pit fire, churn butter, and demonstrate colonial artifacts. There will also be games for children and visitors are invited to tour the house. The Crawford House is located at 750 Tinton Avenue, Tinton Falls, NJ. For more information, visit

Saturday - Sunday, October 1 - 2 - 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. Offered Saturday at 11:45 am and 2:15 pm and Sunday at 10:30 am. Tour lasts about 45 minutes and admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children (ages 3-12). Tickets can be purchased at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ or at the Washington Street Mall Info Booth. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, October 1 - 2 - Millville, Cumberland County
Festival of Fine Craft
Children Friendly Event

See over 130 juried artists from across the country present studio art glass, stained glass, creative jewelry designs, unusual metal sculptures, innovative wearables and accessories, intricate baskets, sculptural and functional clay pieces, wood carvings and turned vessels, handcrafted furniture, and two-dimensional art and photography at the Festival of Fine Craft on Saturday and Sunday at WheatonArts. Also see artist demonstrations, participate in family activities, entertainment, food, vendors, and a glass pumpkin patch.

Visit the WheatonArts Travelling Volunteer Glassblowers outdoors, and discover the arts of jewelry making, silk painting, spinning and weaving, chair caning, woodturning, intaglio etching, wheel-thrown pottery, broom making and more.

The Folklife Center will be open from 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm with a marquetry  and a woodcarving demonstration.

The event will be held from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm both days, rain or shine. WheatonArts is located at 1000 Village Drive, Millville, NJ. Admission $10.00 Adults, $9.00 Seniors (62+), and $7.00 students. Children 5 and under are free. Ticket good for both days with a “Tomorrow Pass” which is available upon request.

On 55 wooded acres in southern NJ, WheatonArts is home to the Museum of American Glass, the CGCA International Fellowship Program, the largest folklife center in NJ, a hot glass studio, traditional craft studios, five museum stores and an event center. For more information, call 856-825-6800 or visit

Sunday, October 2 - Westampton, Burlington County
Agnes Smith

Marisa Bozarth of the Burlington County Parks Department will present the story of Agnes Gilkerson Smith on Sunday at 2:00 pm. Agnes Gilkerson of Lowell, Massachusetts married Hezekiah Bradley Smith in 1861. As partners, H.B. and Agnes created a workers village in Burlington County modeled after the principles developed in the early labor movements of Europe. Agnes served as the editor of The New Jersey Mechanic, a national trade publication that included topics on travel, literature, philosophy, and medicine. After completing a medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania, Agnes concentrated on the physical, intellectual, and spiritual development of the worker. Smithville's inhabitants enjoyed an opera house, library, public park and bandstand, Lyceum, and school.  This presentation highlights the remarkable achievements of women in Burlington County History.

Program runs from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. Admission is $10.00 per person; Friends of Peachfield admitted free of charge. Prepaid reservations 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, October 2 - Princeton, Mercer County
Historic Princeton Walking Tour
Children Friendly 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, October 2 - Cranford, Union County
Open House at Crane-Phillips House

The Cranford Historical Society will be hosting tours of the Crane-Phillips House Museum, located at 124 North Union Avenue, Cranford, NJ on Sunday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. Admission is free.

The Cranford Historical Society was founded in 1927 with a mission to preserve the unique history of Cranford, New Jersey. The Society maintains the Crane-Phillips House Living Museum, an important costume collection, and archives. For more information, call 908-376-0082 or visit

Sunday, October 2 - 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, October 2 - Rahway, Middlesex County
 “Ghosts of the Past” Rahway Cemetery Tours: The Civil War in Rahway
Children Friendly Event

This year's cemetery tour, "The Civil War Comes to Rahway," will focus on former residents of the city who served, fought, and in some cases died in the War Between the States as well as private citizens affected by the conflict. The tours will be given on Sunday in the historic Rahway Cemetery where 304 Civil War veterans are interred.

During the tour, visitors will be guided to selected graves where they will meet the "ghosts" and hear their stories.  A soldier who fought for both the North and the South, the highest ranking officer buried in the cemetery, a mother whose son was killed at Gettysburg, a slave woman, an Army chaplain, a nurse, a soldier who was killed at Petersburg, and a member of the United States Colored Troops are a sampling of the 14 reenactors who will be present.

The educational tours, suitable for all ages, begin at 12:00 noon with the final tour of the day leaving at 4:00 pm. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for members and seniors, and $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the Museum Gift Shop at the Merchants & Drovers Tavern Museum, 1632 St. Georges Avenue, Rahway, NJ. For more information, call 732-381-0441 or visit

Sunday, October 2 -  Morris Township, Morris County
Time to Clean House
Children Friendly Event and Site

One of women’s responsibilities throughout history has been to prepare the home for winter. Harvest time is a time of plenty, but it is followed by lean times, meaning that budgets must be prepared and supplies must be put aside to sustain the family through the winter months. Learn what was done to get ready, and also enjoy a soap making craft at Historic Speedwell from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. Admission: $7 per adult, $6 per senior, $5 per child age 4 - 16, FREE per child under age 4. Historic Speedwell is located at 333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown, NJ. For more information, call 973-285-6550 or visit

Sunday, October 2 - Basking Ridge, Somerset County
Lord Stirling Festival
Children Friendly Event

Step back in time to the colonial period at the Somerset County Park Commission's annual Lord Stirling 1770s Festival taking place on Sunday from 11:30 am - 4:30 pm at the Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. 

Each year on the first Sunday in October, Lord Stirling's estate at Lord Stirling Park in Basking Ridge, NJ comes back to life in the late 1700s. Colonial craftspeople ply their trades, a town crier delivers the daily news, and Revolutionary War military detachments camp and conduct maneuvers on the former estate lawn. The event promotes historical and environmental education highlighting the unsung Revolutionary War hero William Alexander, Lord Stirling, who lived on the site and served under General George Washington.

Attired in replicas of 1770s clothing true to the period, meet a blacksmith, tinsmith, broom maker, cooper, and other trades people of the times. Crafters make toys, dolls, lace, decorative arts, woodcarvings, and spin wool into yarn. No crafts are sold at this entertaining and educational event. See sheep, goats, and chickens that were staples of colonial life in the 1770s. Children can try stenciling, quill writing, making clay pots, and playing colonial games. Drink a cup of cider made on site at the working cider press and hop aboard the hay wagon for a ride around Lord Stirling's apple orchard. Dress the part by trying on period style clothing or spend a few minutes in the Somerset Gaoler's wooden pillory while friends and family take photographs.

The event provides an educational and enjoyable way to learn about colonial times and the importance of New Jersey's role in the American Revolution. Visitors can question craftspeople about their trades, tour Lord Stirling's wine cellar, and enjoy the sights, sounds, and aromas of a colonial style autumn festival. Listen to colonial ballads played on instruments of the period. Visit the camps of Heard's Brigade, Captain John Outwater's Militia, Past Muster, and the Donegal Riflemen. Watch as the militias conduct maneuvers and children can participate in a musket drill. A professional Town Crier announces the events of the day and reads the Declaration of Independence. In the afternoon, meet Lord Stirling as he strolls around his estate.

Lord Stirling (the Scottish earldom and title acquired by William Alexander of Basking Ridge) was close friends with George Washington and served as a Major General directly under his command during the Revolution. Stirling built his manor house around 1762 and lived there for 20 years. An archaeological team sponsored by the Somerset County Park Commission excavated part of the site and has studied the recovered artifacts. See what they have found on the site and hear about the history associated with these artifacts. Part of the original Stirling manor house foundation still exists under the modern house now occupying the site and is open to the public for tours for the day. Artifacts unearthed by the Lord Stirling Field Project represent well over 250 years of site occupation.

This event is held rain or shine. There is a suggested donation of $5.00 per person. Call the Environmental Education Center at 908-766-2489 for more information.

Sunday, October 2 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
19th-Century Baseball at Allaire
Children Friendly Event

The great-granddaughter of one of the national pastime's pioneers will be among the spectators Sunday when the Bog Iron Boys will host the Harrisburg (PA) Keystones at the Historic Village of Allaire.

The teams will play baseball by the rules of 1864 – without fielding gloves. Doc Adams wanted it that way. Major League Baseball's official historian calls Adams “the most significant figure in the early history of baseball.”

Marjorie Adams of Connecticut, Doc's descendant and an advocate for his election to the Hall of Fame, will attend Sunday's game. Her great-grandfather invented the shortstop position and set bases 90 feet apart, the number of innings at nine and the number of players on a team at nine.

The New York physician played with the Knickerbockers in Hoboken, the actual birthplace of baseball. Adams presided over the adoption of “The Laws of Base Ball.” His original document recently sold for more than $3 million.

Sunday's 12:00 noon game will be the last one at home for the Bog Iron Boys this year. After facing the Pennsylvania team, the Allaire team will finish the season in Maryland against the Chesapeake Nine on October 9th.

The Historic Village of Allaire, in Wall Township's Allaire State Park, was an iron-making “company town” in the 1800s. Today it is a living history museum with guides in period clothing who take visitors through authentically restored buildings. Admission to the park will be free on Sunday. The Historic Village at Allaire is located in Allaire State Park, 4265 Atlantic Avenue, Farmingdale, NJ. Spectators are urged to bring lawn chairs.

The baseball team wears long-sleeved shirts and cravats (ties). Although the 1864 rules call for underhand pitches, they play a fast-paced game. Vintage sport re-enactors from other states consider the village hallowed ground. It was the spring training site for the 1898 Brooklyn major league team which later became the Dodgers.

The Bog Iron Boys are seeking more volunteers to play with the team next season. Current players are from Monmouth, Ocean and other counties – some even from nearby states – and they range from teenagers to senior citizens. Additional information is available from Russ McIver at 732-859-7643 or     

Sunday, October 2 - Whippany, Morris County
16th Annual Pumpkin Festival
Children Friendly Event

Spend the day at the Whippany Railway Museum and celebrate the Fall Harvest and the Season of the Witch, during the museum's 15th Annual Pumpkin Festival. The local area's highly anticipated family event will be held on Sunday from 12:30 - 5:30 pm, rain or shine.

Bring the whole family and join in the fun! Walk among the pumpkins, corn shocks, and grinning scarecrows, as you enjoy the wares of local craft merchants and railroad memorabilia dealers at the popular Pumpkin Market Place Crafts Fair, where you'll be sure to find that perfect autumn gift for family and friends.

Select a pumpkin from the Farmer's Market. With so many to choose from, you'll be sure to find one that's just right...It's pumpkin pick'n time! You can also purchase a bounty of fall harvest and produce items at the festival.

Walk through a railroad yard, lost in time, where you'll see the finest collection of restored, historic railroad locomotives and cars in the state of New Jersey - some dating back well over 100 years!  

The kids will enjoy having their picture taken in front of our haunted house, and they will delight at the indoor and outdoor model train layouts that will be in operation throughout the day.

You'll see a unique collection of antique farm tractors. The museum has assembled an outstanding assortment of vintage, American-built, gas-powered agricultural tractors, which help to tell the story of how the railroads delivered the crops that fed a nation, to market.

Add even more fun to your day by climbing aboard the Pumpkinliner for a relaxing excursion train ride that follows the route of the Historic Whippanong Trail. The train will feature restored, antique cabooses that passengers can ride in. Make your day extra special by riding aboard the museum's elegantly restored 1927-era Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ) Club Car, Jersey Coast.  The car has the look and feel of a private club with individual leather chairs, mahogany interior accented with stained glass, built-in tables, and period ceiling fans. The Jersey Coast recalls the 1930s when the CNJ operated its deluxe coach train, the Blue Comet, between Jersey City and Atlantic City, NJ. The striking paint scheme of cream and blue reminds one of a comet streaking through space.  It is the only car of its type operating in New Jersey.

Train Fare: Caboose seating: Adult: $14.00, Child (under 12): $9.00, Infants (1 year and under): Free. Club Car seating: Adult: $17.00, Child (under 12): $12.00, Infants (1 year and under): Free. Pre-order ticket online using a credit card at The Whippany Railway Museum is located at 1 Railroad Plaza at the intersection of Route 10 West & Whippany Road in Whippany, NJ. For more information, call 973-887-8177 or visit

Sunday, October 2 - 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

Through Monday, October 10 (Columbus Day), 2016 - Bay Head, Ocean County
Tommy's Folly: The 200th Anniversary of Congress Hall

See the current exhibit at the Carroll Gallery, "Tommy's Folly: The 200th Anniversary of Congress Hall." Guest curated by Congress Hall owner Curtis Bashaw and Exit Zero publisher Jack Wright, this exhibit features the history of Congress Hall, one of America's most illustrious hotels. The exhibit is in the Carriage House of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. Admission is free. Exhibit is open from Friday, April 29 through Monday, October 10. Open daily; times vary. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 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 - Morristown, Morris County
History of NJ Diners
Children Friendly

When was the last time you ate at a diner? If you are like millions in New Jersey, the answer is not too long ago. Dubbed “the land of diners,” New Jersey’s highways and main streets are dotted with silver airstreams and neon signs of the classic American diner. Moreover, New Jersey was and still is the diner manufacturing industry’s hub. This exhibition at the Morris Museum explores the rich history of the Garden State’s favorite casual eatery through classic photographs and historical artifacts, as well as original oil paintings by Wyckoff, NJ based artist Mark Oberndorf. Admission: adults, $10; seniors and children ages 3-18 $7; children under 3, free. The Morris Museum is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ. For more information, call 973-971-3706 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

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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