Thursday, May 25, 2017

NJ Memorial Day Weekend Historical Happenings: 5/27/17 - 5/29/17

 New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings
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Saturday, May 27 - Sandy Hook, Monmouth County
Twilight by the Bay

Learn about Fort Hancock's significance over the last 250 years. This free event will be held from 7:00 - 8:30 pm and begins at the Sandy Hook Lighthouse Keeper's Quarters/Visitor Center, Fort Hancock Historic Post, part of Gateway National Recreation Area. For more information, call 732-872-5970 or visit

Saturday, May 27 - Princeton, Mercer County
Historic Princeton Memorial Walking Tour
Children Friendly Tour

From the Revolutionary War to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Princeton honors those who served their country. This one-hour tour will visit local tributes to war veterans and famous Princetonians.

Admission: $5 per person. Tour begins at the Princeton Battle Monument, Princeton, NJ. Tour begins at 12:00 noon and ends at 1:00 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

Saturday, May 27 - Westfield, Union County
Aunt Carrie's Attic Sale

Housewares, books, furniture, linens, toys, and more will be available for sale at the Miller Cory House Museum's annual "Aunt Carrie's Attic Sale" on museum grounds (rain or shine). The sale is scheduled for Saturday from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm. All proceeds benefit the museum. No early birds please.

The Miller-Cory House Museum is located at 614 Mountain Avenue in Westfield, NJ. For more information, call 908-232-1776 or visit

Saturday, May 27 -  Morristown, Morris County
What Makes a HABS a Home?  Historic Preservation in the New Deal and Beyond

HABS, or Historic American Building Survey drawings, have been in use since the 1930s. The collections document achievements in architecture, engineering, and landscape design in the United States. Drawings were done of the Moses Estey House, located at Historic Speedwell. On Saturday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm, learn about the history of the HABS project, the drawings done of the Estey House, and how they have benefitted current architects as they prepared plans for its preservation. 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. For more information, call 973-285-6550 or visit

Saturday, May 27 - Morris Township, Morris County
Plant Bean Poles & Meet the Servants at The Willows
Children Friendly Event and Site

On Saturday at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, become a farmer and stake poles and plant a variety of beans. When harvested, the beans are dried and saved for winter cooking. You may even learn some skills for your own vegetable garden! Program takes place from 10:30 - 11:30 am and 1:00 - 2:00 pm.

At 1:00 and 2:00 pm, during a hands-on guided tour, learn about the role of the domestic servants at the Foster home, The Willows, during the WWI era. Help the maid with household chores, and learn it was a full workout to keep a proper house. At the end of the tour, you can help the cook prepare historic foods using the wood-burning cook stove.

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, May 27 - Princeton, Mercer County
Events at Princeton Battlefield and the Princeton Battle Monument
Children Friendly Event and Site

Schedule of Events
10:00 am - 11:00 am Nassau Street Parade in Princeton
11:00 am - Ceremony at the Princeton Battle Monument, Monument Drive, Princeton
12:00 noon - 4:00 pm - Living history program at the Princeton Battlefield State Park, 500 Mercer Street, Princeton, NJ
6:00 pm - History of the Princeton Battle Monument
7:00 pm - Luminaries at the Princeton Battle Monument Park

At Princeton Battlefield beginning at 12:00 noon, join the 2nd PA Regiment for living history programs and historical interpretation of the Battle of Princeton. There will be Continental musket drills, living History cooking and encampment demonstrations. Young patriots, ages 6 to 12, will drill and march like Continental soldiers. The demonstration and firing of reproduction colonial era muskets. Tours and historic interpretations of the Battle of Princeton at 1:00 and 3:00 pm. Visit the Thomas Clarke House, which was constructed circa 1772 and witnessed the battle!

At 6:00 pm, at the Princeton Battle Monument on Monument Drive in Princeton, there will be a 30 minute talk on the events that took place in Princeton during the Ten Crucial Days Campaign, and on the history of the Princeton Battle Monument.

At 7:00 pm, luminaries will be place at Princeton Battle Monument Park commemorating the soldiers that fought, and died, at the January 3rd, 1777 Battle of Princeton.

All events are free but donations are welcome! For more information, e-mail, call 609-389-5657, or visit

Saturday, May 27 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Haying and Hayrides
Children Friendly Event

Old fashioned weather forecasting will be put to the test when the farmers at Howell Living Farm do what they do when the sun shines: make hay!

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the weather will be sunny and warm when they hitch their horses to old fashioned mowers, rakes and loaders to bring in another crop of the all-important forage product.  Although they chose the date back in January, they’re confident that the forecast will pan out.

Visitors to the 130-acre farm can watch, photograph and even help as farmers work in hayfields and put loose hay in the mow of a barn with a pulley-operated hayfork.  Mow filling and raking operations will take place during the morning; mowing and hay loading are planned during the afternoon.

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, May 27 - 28 - Mahwah, Bergen County
Museum Open House

The Old Station Museum and Caboose in Mahwah will open on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The museum is located at 1871 Old Station Lane, Mahwah. Additionally, the Old Station Museum and Caboose will be open on Sundays, beginning in June until October, from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. For more information, visit

Every Sunday through September 3 - Walpack Center, Sussex County
Rosenkrans House and Museum and Van Campen Inn - Open House

Visit the Rosenkrans House & Museum, one of the oldest buildings in Walpack Center. Volunteers from the Walpack Historical Society will be present to answer any questions you may have about the area and its history.  The grounds at Walpack Center are open from dawn to dusk. 

The Van Campen Inn was not a traditional inn, but a "yaugh" house in Colonial times, that offered shelter to travelers due to common practice of the times.  It has a rich history, including playing parts in the American Revolution and the French and Indian War. The trailhead for the Military Road Trail also begins here. Volunteers from the Walpack Historical Society will be happy to answer questions about Van Campen Inn and the local history of the area.

The open houses are made possible by volunteers from the Walpack Historical Society, and may be subject to their volunteer schedule. Call 973-948-4903 for any updates on their scheduled Sunday open hours. The Rosenkrans House & Museum and the Van Campen Inn are part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. For more information, visit

Every Sunday through September 3 Hardwick, Warren County
1800's Village Life at Millbrook Village

Stroll at your leisure through Millbrook Village on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Several buildings will be open and staffed with rangers and volunteers demonstrating traditional skills and reminiscing about 1800's life in the village. By 1875, Millbrook had reached a peak of 75 inhabitants and about nineteen major buildings. Today's Millbrook Village does not replicate the Millbrook of 1832 or 1900. Rather, it evokes the feeling of countryside hamlets where most of the nation's people lived until the end of the 19th century. Please take a step back in time and see how things have (or haven't) changed! Millbrook Village is free to tour. Millbrook Village is part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Millbrook Village is located in Hardwick Township, NJ at the intersection of Old Mine Road and Millbrook Road, County Route 602N. For more information, visit

Sunday, May 28 - Waldwick, Bergen County
Waldwick Signal Tower Open House

The Waldwick Signal Tower will be open on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The tower is located at 3 Bohnert Place, Waldwick, NJ. It can also be accessed via the Waldwick Museum of Local History via a bridge over the railroad tracks and a short walk. For more information, visit

Sunday, May 28 - Waldwick, Bergen County
Waldwick Museum of Local History Open House

Sunday, May 28 - Cape May, Cape May County
Ghosts of the Lighthouse Trolley Tour

A trolley tour through parts of West Cape May to the Cape May Lighthouse, with tales of ghostly activity throughout. Participants will be met at the lighthouse by a costumed Keeper who will relate a ghostly tale inside the lighthouse with time available to climb. Begins and ends at the Ocean Street trolley stop in Cape May. Tour is offered Sunday at 8:45 pm. Admission: $22 for adults and $14 for children (ages 3-12). 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 28 - West Orange, Essex County
Talk - The Glenmont Garage
Children Friendly Site

Have you ever wondered about what kind of cars Thomas Edison and his family owned and where they kept them? The Glenmont Garage will be open for viewing with a ranger there to answer questions and tell stories about Edison and his cars. See inside the Edison Portland Cement structure and learn about the various differently powered cars in there. A car pass is required to visit Glenmont and available at the Laboratory Complex visitor center.

The Thomas Edison National Historical Park Laboratory Complex Visitor Center is located at 211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ. Admission to Thomas Edison National Historical Park is $10 per person and children under 16 are free. For more information, call 973-736-0550 x11 or visit

Sunday, May 28 - 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

Monday, May 29 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
Decoration Day Celebration
Children Friendly Event & Site

This family holiday originated soon after the Civil War when women decided to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers. Today we call this special holiday Memorial Day. It was a time for family reunions and fun-filled visits. Join in the celebration as the staff of Longstreet Farm enjoys an old-fashioned Decoration Day. This free event runs from 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm. 

Historic Longstreet Farm is located at 44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, NJ. For more information, call 732-946-3758 or visit

Monday, May 29 - Jersey City, Hudson County
Honoring Our Heroes
Children Friendly Event

The Jersey City & Harsimus Cemetery will present their 9th annual "Honoring Our Heroes" event, a military and musical tribute on Monday at 1:00 pm. This FREE public event is a very moving and patriotic one hour program, and at the end of the program, all guests are welcomed to participate by placing a flag on a Hero's grave. Our thousands of Veterans participated in battles from Revolutionary era War of 1812, Civil War and up through Desert Storm.

Families are encouraged to attend and bring the children to our Memorial Day tribute, and then enjoy the afternoon touring the grounds (including the underground War of 1812 bunker and vaults).

Refreshments will be served. The Jersey City & Harsimus Cemetery is located at 435 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ. For more information, call 201-707-0738 or 973-204-9888 or visit

Monday, May 29 - Hackensack, Bergen County
Memorial Day Wreath Laying
Children Friendly Event

At 10:00 am on Monday, join the Bergen County Historical Society as they honor the veterans of all wars with a wreath-laying at the grave of General Enoch Poor in the burial ground of the First Dutch Reformed Church on the Green, 42 Court Street, Hackensack, NJ. Excerpts from chaplain Israel Evans' graveside funeral oration will be read at the ceremony, followed by a tour of the historic cemetery.

Brigadier-General Enoch Poor, of New Hampshire, died at 44 years of age from either typhus fever or diphtheria on September 8, 1780, while about 14,000 Continental troops were encamped on "a high Ridge of land in a place called Steenrapie," the old name for the high ground extending from northern River Edge through Emerson. The main cantonment was situated between River Edge Avenue in River Edge to the vicinity of Soldier Hill Road, where Oradell, Emerson and Paramus intersect. While encamped at Steenrapie between September 4 and 20, 1780, the Continental army lost no fewer than twenty-three soldiers to disease. General Poor's body was brought from "Paramus" to the Brower House on Main Street, River Edge, where it was placed in a mahogany coffin for burial in the churchyard of the Dutch Reformed Church-on-the-Green in Hackensack on September 10, 1780. Six generals served as pallbearers while officers of the New Hampshire Brigade followed the coffin, together with officers of the new light-infantry brigade, which General Lafayette assigned to General Poor’s command shortly before his death. General George Washington, who made headquarters in the Zabriskie-Steuben House at New Bridge, marched with other generals in the funeral procession. On July 14, 1825, General Lafayette stopped at General Poor’s grave in Hackensack on his return tour of the United States as the Nation’s Guest and last living Major General of the American Revolution.

Edward Erie Poor, President of the National Park Bank of New York City, decorated General Poor’s grave every Memorial Day between 1864, when he first settled in Hackensack, and his death in 1900. The then newly organized Bergen County Historical Society organized the successful effort effort to construct a monument to General Enoch Poor on the Hackensack Green, gathering contributions of $1,000 from the State of New Jersey, $500 from the State of New Hampshire, and $500 from the Sons of the Revolution. Emilio Platti sculpted the figure, which Ernest Vatier cast in his Newark foundry. John and William Passmore Meeker, of Newark, N. J., designed the granite pedestal. The Poor monument was dedicated on Memorial Day 1904. For more information, visit

Monday, May 29 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Village Open for Memorial Day

The Historic Village at Allaire will be open for Memorial Day! This marks the beginning of their summer hours when the village will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. The parking fee also goes into effect Memorial Day through Labor Day.

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

Through 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

Sunday, February 19 through Sunday, June 25, 2017 - Morristown, Morris County
1917: World War, Women’s Rights, and Weaponry Sciences Exhibit Opening

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, Morris County Historical Society offers a provocative exhibit highlighting The Great War’s impact on Morris County. The new exhibit 1917: World War, Women’s Rights, and Weaponry Sciences, displayed throughout Acorn Hall, will be available from Sunday, February 19 through Sunday, June 25, 2017. Stories of Morris County’s brave men and women during the WWI era will be complimented by authentic WWI uniforms, weaponry and militaria, period clothing, and ephemera.

Focusing on sacrifices of Morris County residents, the exhibit honors the men and women who gave their lives during the war, highlights the culture clash of women seeking recognition as equals and the right to vote, and features the tremendous advances in weaponry science credited to the work of men and women at Picatinny Arsenal and throughout Morris County.

The Morris County Historical Society at Acorn Hall is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, and on Sundays from 1:00- 4:00 pm. For a tour of Acorn Hall and to see the exhibit is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for students, and Free for children under age 12 and MCHS members. To see the exhibit, only, is one half of the price of admission.

The Morris County Historical Society, founded in 1946, is a member-supported, 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Acorn Hall, an Italianate Villa, is located at 68 Morris Avenue, Morristown, NJ. For more information, call 973-267-3465 or visit

Sundays through June 30, 2017 - Piscataway, Middlesex County
A Revolutionary Legacy: the Cornelius Low House 275 Exhibit

The newest exhibit to open at the Middlesex County Museum exhibit delves into the history of the Low family and the role they played in the shaping of the United States. A Revolutionary Legacy: the Cornelius Low House 275 exhibit is housed inside the County’s Historic Cornelius Low House/Middlesex County Museum. 

This seven-room exhibit contains artifacts that date to the 1700s and includes handcrafted furniture from New Brunswick, paintings by artist Micah Williams, a document signed by Cornelius Low and his wife Johanna, portrait miniatures of several Low family members, and a chair that George Washington used on a visit to the New Brunswick area. These items are on loan from the DAR Jersey Blue Chapter Buccleuch Mansion, the Suffolk County Historical Society and private collections.

The Cornelius Low House/Middlesex County Museum is open on Sundays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm and is located at 1225 River Road, Piscataway, NJ. For more information, call 732-745-4177 or visit

Through September 3, 2017 - Madison, Morris County
Garden State: Living Off the Land in Early New Jersey Exhibit
Family Friendly

How far is the distance from farm to table? For families in early New Jersey it was measured in inches. These families did not make their living “by bread alone.” They relied not only on wheat and corn, but also on bees, cows, apples, and vegetables to support themselves and their communities. The Garden State: Living off the Land in Early New Jersey explores the technology and tools, from bee smokers to cradle scythes, that farmers in 18th and 19th century New Jersey utilized in order to survive. The exhibit also features a new generation of Garden State farmers who are working to make the distance from farm to table a little bit shorter for today’s families.

This exhibit is on display through September 3, 20017 at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts located at 9 Main Street, Madison, NJ. Admission: Adults – $5; Students, children and adults 65+ – $3; METC members and children under 6 – FREE; Family maximum rate – $15.00. For more information, call 973-377-2982 or visit

Last Sunday of the month through Fall 2017 - Woodbury, Gloucester County
White Lace and Promises: Two Centuries of Weddings Exhibit

White Lace and Promises: Two Centuries of Weddings, is the Gloucester County Historical Society Museum's most comprehensive wedding exhibit to date! This gorgeous exhibit features over 50 wedding gowns from the museum’s collection, representing the time period from the 1810’s through most of the 20th century. From the hooped dresses and bustles of the 19th century, to the many variations of gowns during the 20th century, nearly every popular wedding gown style is represented. Also showcased are bridal accessories including headpieces, veils, shoes, fans, lingerie, and jewelry. Documentation such as invitations and wedding certificates, along with beautiful photographs from many of these weddings, are also on display. This extensive exhibit will be up until fall of 2017 – do not miss it!

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. If interested in scheduling a private tour during non-public hours to see this exhibit, this may be organized for you and/or your group with advance. 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

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


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