Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Liberty Tree Lighting Kicks Off 14th Annual Colonial Christmas at Bedminster’s Jacobus Vanderveer House - November 25, 2016

Liberty Tree Lighting Kicks Off 14th Annual Colonial Christmas at Bedminster’s Jacobus Vanderveer House
Friday, November 25, 2016

The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House are hosting a Liberty Tree lighting on Friday, November 25 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm to kick off the 14th Annual Colonial Christmas celebration, which begins Saturday, November 25 and continues Sunday, November 26 and Saturday and Sunday, December 3 - 4.

Sponsored by Investors Bank, the Liberty Tree lighting is free to the community and features caroling with the Harmonium Choral Society, hot chocolate and hot pretzels, and a visit from Santa. The tree, decorated in patriotic red, white, and blue lights, commemorates the Jacobus Vanderveer House's (and the community's) Revolutionary War heritage during the holiday season.

The 14th Annual Colonial Christmas at Bedminster’s historic Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum welcomes visitors of all ages to experience Christmas past and present when the circa 1772 Dutch Colonial home opens its wreath-clad doors Saturday and Sunday, November 26 - 27 and Saturday and Sunday, December 3 - 4.  Hours are from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm daily.

Sponsored by Bevan, Mosca & Giuditta, P.C.; Glenmede; Meeker Sharkey & Hurley; and Investors Bank, the fundraiser features: tours of the museum, which will be decorated for the holidays by Angelone’s Florist, of Raritan; Bedminster Florist; Classic Home & Garden, of Far Hills; and Design Consultants, of Bedminster; holiday shopping with boutique merchants and artisans; Colonial musicians, re-enactors and crafters; caroling; military demonstrations; Clydesdale-drawn wagon rides; a live reindeer program on opening day; Santa visits from 1:00 - 3:00 pm on Sundays; and gingerbread house workshops both weekends.

New this year is a special exhibition of Revolutionary War military antiques from International Military Antiques, rare artifacts recovered from the Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment 1778 - 1779, and a collection of paintings – available for purchase – by celebrated New Jersey artist John Phillip Osborne. Back by popular demand will be a display of 13 Skeletons by Outdoor Impressions, Inc., of Bridgewater.

The Jacobus Vanderveer House is located at 3055 River Road (in Bedminster’s River Road Park), Bedminster, NJ 07921.

Ticket Information
Admission at the door is $10 (Members of the Jacobus Vanderveer House and children 12 and under, free). For a complete schedule of activities, visit or call 908-396-6053.

Proceeds from Colonial Christmas benefit exhibit development, historical interpretations, and educational programs at the Jacobus Vanderveer House & Museum.

Cocktail Reception - Friday, December 2 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
On Friday, December 2, from 6:00 - 8:00 pm, the Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House will welcome supporters to a cocktail reception with a Colonial flair. Guests will have an opportunity to view an exhibition of Revolutionary War military antiques, courtesy of International Military Antiques, as well as rare artifacts recovered from the Pluckemin Artillery Cantonment 1778 - 1779.

Archaeologist John Seidel, Ph.D., who led the exploration of the site from 1981 - 1989, will discuss the significance of the items. The cocktail reception will feature festive libations served by a re-enactor, who is a member of the Philadelphia-based 11th Pennsylvania Regiment and portrays a barkeep with The Mumbling Manxman, an 18th Century traveling Field Tavern.

Creative hors d’oeuvres, appetizers and desserts will be served up courtesy of Bex Eatery and Catering Co., of Califon. Colonial American Christmas music will be provided by the talented husband and wife duo Anne and Ridley Enslow. Guests will also enjoy boutique shopping from a variety of distinctive merchants, including J. McLaughlin, Classic Home & Garden, See Your Colors, and Three Hearts Home.

Patron tickets (includes admission to Colonial Christmas Open House) are $150 per person and Junior Patron (25 years and under) tickets are $100 per person.

Reservations required.  Purchase tickets at or call 908-396-6053 or visit

About The Jacobus Vanderveer House                                  
For more than two centuries, the Jacobus Vanderveer House, located in River Road Park, has been at the center of Bedminster Township’s rich and colorful history. It is situated on part of the 218 acres that make up River Road Park in Bedminster Township, Somerset County. 

Jacobus Vanderveer, Jr., son of Vanderveer, Sr., a wealthy Dutch miller, built a small Dutch frame-style farmhouse just west of the North Branch of the Raritan River on the northern outskirts of Pluckemin. In 1778, during the War of Independence, Vanderveer lent his home to General Henry Knox, who was to command a new artillery encampment and training academy being established by the Continental Army on a hillside above the village of Pluckemin. General Knox, along with his wife Lucy and family, occupied the house from the winter of 1778 through the summer of 1779.

The Vanderveer house is the only surviving building associated with the Pluckemin encampment, which is considered to be the first installation in America to train officers in engineering and artillery. General Knox established “The Academy” and subsequently created its successor, The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.  

The Jacobus Vanderveer House and property were purchased by Bedminster Township in 1989 with the help of Green Acres funding. The house was listed in 1995 on the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places. The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House is a nonprofit organization formed to restore and develop the historic site as an important educational and cultural resource. During the past decade, the Friends have restored the house, created historically accurate period room exhibitions, established historic collections, supported important research, and embarked on a program of education and interpretation to tell the stories of General Henry Knox, the Pluckemin military encampment and the community’s key role in the American Revolution.

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