Thursday, December 27, 2018

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 12/29/18 - 12/30/18

 New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings
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Saturday, December 29 - Trenton, Mercer County
Saturday's Patriots Week Events
Family Friendly Events

In 1776, the tide turning Battles of the American Revolution were waged on the streets and in the fields of downtown Trenton. Join the salute to Trenton’s past, commemorate the passion of the patriots who fought for American Independence, and honor the spirit of revolution and patriotism that flourishes today. Concerts, tours, performances, presentations, exhibits, hands-on activities, and book signings bring Colonial history into the modern age and draw a dynamic mix of families, history buffs, reenactors and culture seekers to New Jersey’s Capital.

Patriots’ Week is produced by the Trenton Downtown Association, in partnership with the Old Barracks Museum, which has been staging the Battle of Trenton Reenactments for more than 20 years. A collaboration of both city and state cultural and history organizations, Patriots’ Week programming reflects the quality of the Capital’s resources and provides a public showcase and interactive opportunities to experience its many treasures. For information and additional details for all events, visit

The Old Barracks Museum will be open on Saturday and is located at 101 Barrack Street, Trenton, NJ. Parking is free, close, and plentiful, available in the small lot next to the museum as well as the lot next to The War Memorial. Entrance onto the museum grounds is $5 per person (children 5 and under are free).

Coffee House - 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church of Trenton, 120 East State Street
Warm up at the Colonial Coffee House, hosted at one of Trenton's oldest landmarks! Warm drinks, rebellious conversation, and respite from the elements are served all day. Drinks available for purchase.

1st Battle of Trenton - 11:00 am
N. Warren St. Battle Monument Park to Mill Hill Park
After the crossing of the Delaware River and marching to Trenton, the American rebel forces-exhausted, dressed in rags, ill from the cold and lack of sleep and decent food had accomplished the impossible by inflicting a crippling blow to the world's greatest British army. Follow the action from the symbolic first cannon shot fired at the Battle Monument to Mill Hill Park. Troops rally at the Old Barracks Museum prior to marching off to meet at the Battle Monument at 11:00 am. No admission fee.

Following the Battle Reenactment: The Spoils of Victory
Old Barracks Museum, 101 Barrack Street
Follow the victorious Continental soldiers back to the Old Barracks Museum after the Battle to see them strip equipment, gear, and souvenirs from captured Hessian soldiers, before crossing the Delaware River back to Pennsylvania. Free with $5 Barracks admission (unlimited re-entry).

The Trouble with Trenton Puppet Show - 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Warren Street Plaza, Trenton, North Warren and West Hanover Streets
A "mini" historical look at an amazing piece of our history presented with marionettes & rod puppets - and lots of help from the audience! Watch the battle unfold before your eyes, and see the action as it has never been seen before. Show includes live music, large puppets and props, and plenty of "revolting" action. No admission fee.

Crossroads of the American Revolution Sign Unveiling - 12:30 - 1:00 pm
1719 William Trent House Museum, 15 Market Street
The Trent House Museum will unveil a new interpretive sign highlighting its role in the war for independence as part of the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area Signage program. This sign along with many others around the state will point out the critical part New Jersey played in the American Revolution. Stay afterwards for Hogmanay! Plenty of free parking in the rear. More information at or call 609-989-3027.

Hogmanay Celebration - 1:00 - 2:00 pm
1719 William Trent House Museum, 15 Market Street
Welcoming in the 300th year since the construction of the 1719 William Trent House will be the celebration of Hogmanay in honor of Trent's Scottish heritage. Hogmanay is a celebration of the new year in Scotland. Traditionally, friends and neighbors cross the threshold and receive food and drink, and good luck, too. Join us for hot mulled cider, Scottish sausage rolls, shortbread, and other light refreshments while listening to bagpipers. Tour the Trent House decorated for the holidays. End your visit by tossing your wishes for 2019 into the bonfire! No reservations required, donations accepted. More information at or call 609-989-3027.

"A Cursed Country to Make War" - 1:00 - 2:30 pm
Trenton Friends Meeting, 142 East Hanover Street
Dr. Friederike Baer, Associate Professor of History at Penn State Abington, leads a presentation and discussion about how Hessian soldiers experienced America. No admission.

Musket Demonstrations - 1:30 - 2:00 pm
Old Barracks Museum, 101 Barrack Street
Soldiers of the 17th Regiment of Infantry will drill and fire their muskets on the Parade ground of the Old Barracks Museum. Included in $5 admission with unlimited re-entry.

The Trouble with Trenton Puppet Show - 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Warren Street Plaza, Trenton, North Warren and West Hanover Streets
A "mini" historical look at an amazing piece of our history presented with marionettes & rod puppets - and lots of help from the audience! Watch the battle unfold before your eyes, and see the action as it has never been seen before. Show includes live music, large puppets and props, and plenty of "revolting" action. No admission fee.

"My Brave Fellows" - 2:15 - 3:00 pm
Old Barracks Museum, 101 Barrack Street
With enlistments about to end, Washington's officers compel the Soldiers of the Continental Army to stay on six more weeks beyond the end of their enlistments. Free with $5 Barracks admission (unlimited re-entry).

Mustering and Memorial Service for Second Battle Reenactment - 2:30 pm
First Presbyterian Church, 120 East State Street
Gather at the First Presbyterian Church Cemetery for the memorial service for the fallen Hessian soldiers, and gather with the troops as they muster for the Second Battle Reenactment in Mill Hill Park.

2nd Battle of Trenton - 3:00 pm
East State Street to North Warren Street to Mill Hill Park
After a commemorative ceremony at First Presbyterian Church (at 120 East State street), the action commences at 3:00 pm at East State Street and heads to Mill Hill Park for the second Battle, which pits the American forces against General Cornwallis and his numerous attempts to take the Assunpink Creek Bridge. After slipping away, Washington’s troops were able to head north to Princeton, sealing the fate of the 10 Crucial Days. No admission fee.

Whiskey & Rye: Dad's Hat Distillery Demonstration & Tasting - 4:30 - 6:30 pm 
First Presbyterian Church of Trenton, 120 East State Street
Local distillers Dad's Hat present their vintage process of distilling local rye into fine whiskey. Discussion and tasting. No admission fee.

Images of the Motherland: Bilali Muhammad - 4:30 - 6:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church of Trenton, 120 East State Street
This widely-acclaimed interactive living history program brings to life voices of people of African and African American descent. Featured: Bilali Muhammad, a young man from what is now Guinea. No admission fee.

Saturday - Sunday, December 29 - 30 - Cape May, Cape May County
Physick Family Christmas House Tours
Family Friendly Tour

On the Physick Family Christmas House Tour, you will visit the Physick Estate, decorated in true Victorian style, for a unique living history experience with members of the Physick Family household of the 1890s. Also see the Christmas Traditions exhibit at the Carriage House Gallery, a breathtaking Dickens Village beneath the boughs of a giant Christmas tree. On Saturday, tours will start at 12:30 pm, 1:45 pm, and 3:00 pm. On Sunday, the tour start at 12:30, 1:45, and 3:00 pm. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for children (ages 3-12). Tickets can be purchased at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. 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, December 29 - 30 - Cape May, Cape May County
Cape May Historic District Trolley Tour

Enjoy a 45 minute guided tour with entertaining and enlightening stories about the nation's oldest seaside resort and how it survived. Accessible trolley available with advance notification. Tour begins at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Tours begin and end at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth.

Adults $12 and children (ages 3-12) $8. Tours on Saturday at 11:45 am, 1:00, and 2:15 pm. Tours on Sunday at 11:45 am and 1:00 and 2:15 pm. 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, December 29 - 30 - Cape May, Cape May County
Evening Yuletide Tour

Revel in the sparkly lights of Cape May’s beautiful Victorian homes decorated for Christmas on this Holiday Lights Trolley Ride followed by a guided tour of the first floor rooms of the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, authentically decorated for a Victorian Christmas. Afterwards, visit the Carriage House for holiday refreshments and a visit to “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” exhibit. Tour begins and ends at the Ocean Street trolley stop. 
Adults $22 and children (ages 3-12) $14. Tours on Saturday at 5:00, 6:00, and 7:00 pm. Tours on Sunday at 5:00 and 6:00 pm. 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

Sunday, December 30 - 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, December 30 - Trenton, Mercer County
Sunday's Patriots Week Events
Family Friendly Events

Colonial Church Service - 10:00 - 11:00 am
First Presbyterian Church of Trenton, 120 East State Street
Experience a Colonial service at one of Trenton's oldest landmarks. Organized in 1712, the original First Presbyterian Church was built at its current location on Second (now State) Street in 1727 and used by the Hessians during 1776-77. The current building dates from 1827. No admission fee.

St. Michael's Restoration Tour - 12:00 - 1:00 pm
St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 140 North Warren Street
Organized in 1703 and built sometime before 1748, St. Michael's is the oldest Episcopal church in this area and one of the oldest in New Jersey. Some of the fighting during the Battle of Trenton took place in its yard. Tour this magnificent historic landmark and its restorations. No admission fee.

Trenton in 1775: Historic Tour led by Dr. Sharon Ann Holt - 1:00 - 2:30 pm
St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 140 North Warren Street
Starting at St. Michael's, and ending at the Trenton Friends Meeting House, this tour will explore stories of townspeople in Trenton during the Battles. Extensive walking involved; please dress for weather and mobility. Light refreshments will be served at the Friends Meeting House. No admission fee.

Alexander Hamilton and the 24 Cannons at the Battle of Trenton - 2:00 - 3:00 pm
Trenton City Museum in Ellarslie Mansion in Cadwalader Park, Parkside Ave. & Bellevue Ave.
This tabletop talk will follow the movements of all 24 of the cannons on the streets of Trenton during the Battle of Trenton and demonstrate why the 18 American cannons - including the two six-pounders commanded by Alexander Hamilton - were decisive in the victory over the Hessians, who had six brass three-pounder cannons. A four-pounder cannonball will be on display during the talk. The talk is 45 minutes long with 15 minutes for questions. Presenter: Urban planner David Bosted. No admission fee. Donations encouraged!

Through December 2018 - Woodbury, Gloucester County
Out of the Box: Rare & Unusual Objects

Intrigued about what might lie behind closed doors in a museum? Out of the Box: Rare & Unusual Objects, our new exhibit at the Gloucester County Historical Society Museum, will give visitors a peek into some of our most exceptional artifacts. Objects that have not been on view to the public for years will be out on display for all to see. We have chosen an array of unique items from every category imaginable in the museum’s collection. Most of these artifacts are between 100 – 200 years old, and haven’t seen the light of day in decades. Come to experience the rare, odd, quirky, beautiful, and even creepy treasures just waiting to be revealed. The exhibit opens on Sunday, April 29 when admission will be free that day! The exhibit will be closed on Mondays, and summer Sundays, but open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:00 - 4:00 pm from May 2 through the summer months. Monday hours will resume on September 5, 2018, along with last Sunday of the month hours. Please visit for further details. The Gloucester County Historical Society Museum is located at 58 N. Broad Street, Woodbury, NJ. For more information, call 856-848-8531 or visit

Through Sunday, January 1, 2019 - Cape May, Cape May County
An Old-Fashioned Christmas Exhibit
Family Friendly

An exhibit of holiday traditions through the years complete with model trains, toys, and much more! At the Carroll Gallery at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. The exhibit will be available for viewing from Friday, November 17, 2017 through Sunday, January 1, 2018. The Gallery is open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas); hours vary. Free admission. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information or gallery hours, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturdays and Sundays through January 6, 2019 - Princeton, Mercer County
Festival of Trees

Morven Museum and Garden's annual Festival of Trees has become a must-see Princeton holiday tradition. Enjoy the museum’s elegant galleries decorated for the holidays and adorned with trees artfully decorated by local businesses, garden clubs, and non-profit organizations.

This year’s Festival of Trees museum decorators include: C. Raymond Davis & Sons, Inc., Contemporary Garden Club, Garden Club of Princeton, Grounds for Sculpture, Homestead Princeton, Keris Tree Farm & Christmas Shop, McCarter Theatre Center, Stony Brook Garden Club, and West Trenton Garden Club.

No reservations necessary. Morven is open to the public on Wednesdays through Sundays from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Morven Museum & Garden is closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Admission $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (60+)/students/active military personnel, and children 6 and under are free. Friends of Morven, free. Purchase tickets online. Please note that during the Festival of Trees in December and early January, no formal tours are given, but docents are available to answer any questions. Morven Museum and Garden is located at 55 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ. For more information, call 609-924-8144 or visit

Through Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - Cape May, Cape May County
The Sights and Sounds of a Victorian Christmas
Family Friendly

Now’s the time to enjoy the sights and sounds of a time gone by as The Museum of Cape May County presents its newest exhibition, “The Sights and Sounds of a Victorian Christmas.”

This free exhibit showcases the sweet sounds of Victorian music boxes and gramophones. Included in the exhibition is a rare Capital Cuff music box made in New Jersey in the 1880s. Visitors will be able to listen to many of the music boxes and gramophones as they make their way through The Museum’s gallery.

Collected by one man over the course of decades, these music boxes have never before been seen on public exhibition.

This exhibit will run from December 7, 2018 through January 22, 2019 in The Museum’s gallery. The Museum is located at 504 Route 9 North, Cape May Court House, NJ. Exhibition hours are limited and are available by contacting the museum at 609-465-3535 or visiting the museum’s website at

Through December 30, 2018 - Piscataway, Middlesex County
Over There, Over Here: New Jersey During orld War I 

Through January 11, 2019 - Trenton, Mercer County
Changing Face/Changing Place: A Look at the Architectural History of the Trenton Area

The Trenton Museum Society and FVHD Architects - Planners are proud to announce an exhibit celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of the full service architectural design firm founded in Trenton by PL Fowler in 1918. The exhibit, displaying historical and architectural photographs, drawings and artifacts from the FVHD - Architects Planners firm's history is on view in the second floor galleries at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in Cadwalader Park from September 15, 2018 through January 11, 2019.

The firm is proud of its long history of design excellence in the Trenton area starting in 1918 and continuing today as FVHD Architects. The work of the firm and its predecessors has made a significant impact on the built environment in Mercer County.

The long project history includes many original school buildings for Trenton, Lawrence, and Ewing Township School Districts; the restoration of the 1719 William Trent house; the GM Fisher Body Plant; Mercer Hospital; Waterfront (now Arm & Hammer) Stadium; Ewing Township Municipal/Police Facility; several Trenton City branch library buildings; Trenton public housing and numerous others.

For more information, call 609-989-3632, e-mail, or visit

Through June 2019 - Ocean Township, Monmouth County
"Wet as the Atlantic Ocean: Prohibition in New Jersey”

The 18th Amendment—the measure that made the manufacture, sale, or transport of alcoholic beverages a federal offense for the 13 years, 10 months, 19 days, and 17 hours of Prohibition—was repealed in 1933. It is the only Constitution Amendment ever to be undone. And its doing and undoing were the results of a tug-of-war between the “Wets” and the “Drys” that played out across the country.

A new exhibit opening to the public Sunday, in the Richmond Gallery of the Eden Woolley House reveals where New Jersey stood in that tug-of-war. “Wet as the Atlantic Ocean: Prohibition in NJ” brings the debates, glamour, and violence of the Roaring Twenties home.

How did it happen?
The prohibition debate had been argued across the country for nearly a century before the 18th Amendment outlawed alcohol nationwide. Maine passed the first state prohibition law in 1846 and by the Civil War, several other states had followed suit.

So what happened in the first decades of the next century to elevate debate into a campaign for a Constitutional Amendment—that took the fight national?

• Drunkenness was a real problem. The proliferation of saloons fueled a drinking culture, and between 1900 and 1913, beer and alcohol consumption soared. Women and families suffered.
• Women had been campaigning for abstinence since the early 1800s, By the turn of the century they were finding their voice, stridently advocating for the vote-— and increasingly for prohibition. Organizations like the Women’s Christian Temperance Union were gaining ground.
• Many Americans felt threatened by the influx of immigrants whose cultural norms around alcohol threatened prevailing white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant values.
• On the global scene, the unthinkable carnage of the First World War and the alarming success of the Russian Revolution fueled a nostalgic longing for control and order.

Under these conditions, pro-prohibition sentiment grew. By 1919 more than half the country lived in dry states, counties, or towns. If the 18th Amendment were to be passed, it needed to happen before the 1920 census, the results of which would give greater power to the anti-prohibition cities.

The last state to Ratify
Ours was the last state to ratify the 18th amendment and it did so in 1922, two years after the measure was in effect. (Rhode Island and Connecticut never ratified.) We fought Prohibition in court. New Jersey joined Rhode Island in a losing challenge before the Supreme Court (1920). And we were back in 1931, when the Supreme Court overruled a New Jersey federal judge’s decision invalidating the 18th Amendment.

New Jersey’s Resistance
It’s no surprise, then, that Prohibition enforcement in New Jersey was lax. Local fishermen and boaters shuttled bootlegged liquor to shore from rum-running ships lined up just outside the legal limit. Speakeasies thrived with little risk of raid. The state underfunded enforcement. Corruption was rampant. Local police turned a blind eye. Even the teetotaling and incorruptible Ira Reeves, the man put in charge of federal enforcement in New Jersey, resigned after eight months and took up the anti-Prohibition cause!

This exhibit runs through June 2019. 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

Through June 2019 - Morristown, Morris County
Iconic Culture: From Little Black Dress to Bell Bottoms

Morris County Historical Society’s upcoming exhibit, Iconic Culture: From Little Black Dress to Bell Bottoms, promises to be a one-stop spot for a stroll down memory lane.

From the timeless designs of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel to the trend-setting bell bottoms of Sonny and Cher, MCHS explores more than 50 years of cultural history through a retrospective featuring nearly 100 pieces from its historic textile collection. Iconic Culture will examine how changes in clothing styles mirrored the social climate of their time and the seminal moments and people who defined their decade – with a focus on New Jersey history.

In addition to the fashions, Iconic Culture will highlight cultural milestones in local, state, and national history that coincided with the Roaring 20s, Great Depression, World War II, Civil Rights Movement, and Vietnam Era.

This multimedia exhibit features music, television shows, and radio broadcasts. Visitors will also have an opportunity to share personal recollections about significant events, such as the assassination of President Kennedy.

The exhibit is available through Sunday, June 16, 2019. Morris County Historical Society is located at Acorn Hall, 68 Morris Avenue, Morristown, NJ and is open Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11:000 am - 4:00 pm and Sundays, 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Admission, which includes the exhibits and landscaped grounds, is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for students, and is free for children under 12 and MCHS members. For more information, call 973-267-3465 or visit

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


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