Thursday, January 10, 2019

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 1/12/19 - 1/13/19

 New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings
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Saturday, January 12 - Piscataway, Middlesex County
Farming in the Millstone Valley: Past & Present - A 300-Year History Culminates in Local Farm-to-Table Movement

Settled by Dutch farmers three centuries ago, the Millstone Valley of central New Jersey was initially located within the original 300 square mile boundaries of Piscataway Township. Learn how farming helped New Jersey earn its “Garden State” nickname, become the breadbasket of a booming New York City metropolis, and bring about today’s farm-to-table movement.

This fascinating 300-year-old story about local farming is told in a new documentary film "Farming in the Millstone Valley: Past & Present" on Saturday (snow date January 19), 2:00 - 4:00 pm, at the Metlar-Bodine House Museum, 1281 River Road, Piscataway, NJ. It was written by historian Jessie L. Havens (based on her historic account), Judith A. Peters and the program’s speaker, W. Bradford Fay.

This film was made possible, in part, by the NJ Historical Commission, a division of the Dept. of State through the State/County History Partnership Program. Grant, and administered in Somerset County by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

The film was made by the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition of Rocky Hill, in association with the Van Harlingen Historical Society of Montgomery; it is a production of Flickering Duck Productions, in association with Visionary Video & Filmworks Studios, and the filmmakers Fred Frintrup of Milltown, NJ, and Peter Frintrup of Los Angeles, CA. The award-winning father-son film team has made numerous historic documentaries related to the Griggstown Village, Historic Rockingham, the Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway, and the New Jersey origin of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Farming in the Millstone Valley: Past & Present DVDs available for purchase during the program. 

Admission: $15 in advance and $20 at door (depending upon available seating). Refreshments included. Early registration strongly advised. To register, visit,, or call 732-463-8363.

Saturday, January 12 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
Stitches in Time
Ages 7+

On Saturday, join the Historic Longstreet Farm staff for an informal session on hand-sewing basics - learn five basic stitches, easy mending techniques, or bring a project with you to work on as we converse. You can borrow our sundries or bring your own. This is a great chance to start a new hobby in a no-pressure environment! Open to ages 7 and up.

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

Saturday, January 12 - Cape May, Cape May County
Emlen Physick Estate Tour
Family Friendly Tour

Take a guided tour of Cape May's Emlen Physick Estate, the magnificent Stick Style mansion attributed to renowned Victorian architect Frank Furness. A tour of the 15 beautifully restored rooms gives you a glimpse into the lifestyle of this Victorian-era Cape May family. Physick Estate Tours take approximately 45 minutes and end with a visit to the 1876 Carriage House where you can see the current exhibit in the Carroll Gallery. Tours will start at 1:45 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, January 12 - 13 - Cape May, Cape May County
Physick Estate Scavenger Hunt
Family Friendly

Have an adventure the whole family will enjoy at the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate! Use our map to explore the grounds and find the answers to questions about the Physick family and life in Victorian times on this educational scavenger hunt. Turn in your answer sheet at the Carriage House Museum Shop and receive a prize!

$5 includes map and clues. Maps and clues available at the Hill House office or the Carriage House Visitors Center at the Emlen Physick Estate. The Emlem Physick Estate is located at 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, January 12 - 13 - 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 and Sunday at 1:00 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

Saturdays & Sundays Through January 20 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
Historic Myths BUSTED

It can be tricky to sort out fact from fiction; do we record and remember history as it was or as we want it to be? What can skew our perspective? We will explore some common historical misunderstandings and share fun facts and credible accounts about the past at Historic Walnford on Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm.

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, 08501. For more information, call 609-259-6275 or visit

Sunday, January 13 - Eatontown, Monmouth County
“Sources and Strategies for Discovering Immigrant Origins”

The Monmouth County Genealogy Society welcomes Melissa Johnson as our first speaker of the new year. She will speak on “Sources and Strategies for Discovering Immigrant Origins.” at 1:30 pm on Sunday at the Community Center, 72 Broad Street, Eatontown, NJ.

Her talk will cover immigration, naturalization, and alien records as well as other record sets covering a full range of time periods. “I'll be teaching about a variety of sources that can identify an immigrant's specific place of origin (town in Italy or Ireland, etc.) but will also focus on strategies that can be helpful when that key document doesn't exist or can't be found.” Melissa said, “We'll talk about how to use DNA, how to use a network of friends, neighbors and associates, and how to correlate evidence from different pieces of information to identify origins when no document exists that specifically names a place of origin.”

Melissa will also be talking on USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) records and how to obtain them as well as some specific DNA techniques to help identify ancestors’ origins overseas.

The meeting is free and the public is welcome.

Sunday, January 13 - 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, January 13 - Union Township, Union County
Open House at the Caldwell Parsonage

On Sunday from 2:00 - 5:00 pm, the Caldwell Parsonage in Union Township, NJ will be open for guided tours. The museum, once the residence of Rev. James and Mrs. Hannah Caldwell, is listed on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Visitors will have the opportunity to view the latest exhibit at the museum, which was mounted in October by the Union High School History Club. It features photos and text that focus on the history of the Union schools and Union High School, in particular. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. The Caldwell Parsonage is located at 909 Caldwell Avenue, Union Township, NJ. For more information, call 908-687-0048 or visit

Sunday, January 13 - Greenwich, Cumberland County
C. F. Seabrook: Construction Engineer, 1920 – 1931

On Sunday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm, John Seabrook, writer for the New Yorker, will be giving a lecture titled: "C.F. Seabrook: Construction Engineer, 1920-1931." Though he is remembered as a farmer, C.F. Seabrook was considered one of America's leading road builders, a career that suited him in some ways better than farming. Beginning with Route 77 and continuing with the Philadelphia Centennial, C.F. built a reputation so great in the U.S. that the Soviet Union brought Seabrook to Moscow to build thousands of miles of roads, in 1929, as part of Stalin's first Five Year Plan. This venture ended in disaster and litigation, and brought C.F. back to South Jersey for his third and final act as a frozen food pioneer. John's recent research, including documents obtained from the former Soviet Archives for the first time, shed new light on this most interesting chapter in the life C.F. Seabrook. This program will be held at the Warren and Reba Lummis Genealogical & Historical Library, located at 981 Ye Greate Street, Greenwich, NJ. Admission is free. For more information, visit

Sunday, January 13 - Mount Laurel, Burlington County
Sex and Suffrage: What Does Sex Have To Do With the Suffrage Movement?

This year the Alice Paul Institute is excited to host Dr. Susan Goodier for an inspired talk exploring ideas of sexuality during the suffrage movement: "Sex and Suffrage: What Does Sex Have To Do With the Suffrage Movement?" The presentation takes place on Sunday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm.

This presentation focuses on three aspects of sexuality as it relates to the women's suffrage movement. It looks at fears of gender disruption around the turn of the 20th century; it addresses the increasing sexiness of the "New Woman" suffragist; and finally, it suggests that part of the reason for anti-suffrage hostility stemmed from homophobia, the fact that so many suffrage activists had long-standing live-in relationships with other women.

Dr. Goodier is the coordinator for the Upstate New York Women’s History Organization (UNYWHO). She is also an editor for the New York History journal; last fall she edited a double issue on woman suffrage. The University of Illinois published her first book, No Votes for Women: The New York State Anti-Suffrage Movement, in 2013. Her second book, coauthored with Karen Pastorello, is Women Will Vote: Winning Suffrage in New York State (Cornell University Press, 2017). Her current book project is a biography of Louisa M. Jacobs, the daughter of Harriet Jacobs, author of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. She is also working on a book on black women in the New York suffrage movement.

This event is free. Donations gladly accepted. The program will be held at the Alice Paul Institute, 128 Hooten Road, Mount Laurel, NJ. For more information, call 856-231-1885 or visit

Sunday, January 13 - Maplewood, Essex County
Annual Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration
Children Friendly Site

In an annual tradition spanning over 35 years, visitors have gathered around Durand-Hedden’s 18th century hearth and experienced how Maplewood residents of long ago cooked, ate, and kept warm during the long winter months. This tradition takes place on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm.

Durand-Hedden is pleased once again to welcome cook Margaret Quinn to its kitchen. Margaret is the spirited shearer who trimmed the wool from visiting sheep at our From Fleece to Cloth event in April two years ago and will bring the same energy and skill to our fireplace. Margaret has worked in the living history field for over twenty years and has become proficient at wood stove and open earth cooking. She continually expands her culinary knowledge as a participant in the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums and the Historic Foodways Society of the Delaware Valley.

On the menu this year will be roasted larded venison, sour lentils, mashed turnips, Norfolk dumplings and for dessert – barley cream, all prepared from historically accurate recipes. Watch how it’s done, breathe in the wonderful aromas in our historic house, and sample a few centuries-old treats. Children can try their hands at old-fashioned cooking chores like kneading dough and churning butter, and they can watch a spinster make yarn at her wheel.

Durand-Hedden’s mid-winter open-hearth cooking demonstration has become an annual tradition to honor late longtime trustee, Irene Kosinski. Irene, a gifted educator and lover of living history, who oversaw the restoration of Durand-Hedden’s beehive oven in 1981. She went on to establish our perpetually popular open-hearth cooking program, which for thirty years has drawn visitors ‘hungry’ for history. Join us on Sunday and see why many visitors return for this wonderful tradition year after year.

Check out our Country Store’s historic-themed treasures: early American games, books, and toys; facsimile documents; quill pens and ink; historic cookbooks; cookie molds; tin lanterns; and reproductive decorative items and ceramics. There is local honey and the Original 1910 Chocolate Fudge Sauce. You’ll also discover the hard-to-find original Doors of Maplewood poster, Smile, the history of Olympic Park, and the new acid-free reproduction of the charming 1931 map of Maplewood.

Durand-Hedden House is dedicated to telling the history of the development of Maplewood, New Jersey and the surrounding area in new and engaging ways. It is located in Grasmere Park at 523 Ridgewood Road in Maplewood, New Jersey. For more information, call 973-763-7712 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 Friday, February 15 - East Amwell, Hunterdon County
Jim Amon Wildlife Photo Exhibit
Family Friendly

Camera in hand, Jim Amon heads to the Sourlands whenever he can. Amon, a resident of Lambertville, has a deep and long connection with the Sourlands. In the 1980’s he and three others founded the D&R Greenway Land Trust, who now have nature preserves extending over several hundred acres in the Sourland Region. Then, in 2005, upon retiring after thirty years as Executive Director of the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission, he became the Director of Stewardship for the D&R Greenway. In that capacity, he did ecological restoration on the Greenway’s nature preserves and built about twenty miles of recreational trails. Upon retiring from the Greenway he served on the Board of Directors for the Sourland Conservancy. For the last five years, the Conservancy has been publishing “Seeing the Sourlands,” Amon’s monthly photo/essays on the plants and animals that can be found in the Sourlands, as an eNewsletter feature. This series, which can also be found on the Sourland Conservancy’s web site, has been widely praised. The photos and essays will soon be published as a book.

Amon says that he began his photographic career by taking pictures of his growing family. Gradually, however, his interest in photography as an art form grew. He studied at the Maine Media Workshop and took several classes elsewhere. His work has been published in many local newspapers, magazines and planning books. He has exhibited at the Perkins Art Center, the Phillips Mill Photography Exhibit, Gallery 14, and other venues in central New Jersey.

“The East Amwell Historical Society show brings two of my great passions together,” Amon said. “I think that it is important for people to realize the ecological value of native plants, but also to realize that they are every bit as beautiful as exotics from foreign lands that are promoted for your home landscape. Stalking butterflies with my camera, posing native wildflowers with formal black backgrounds, and always being alert for the special beauty of the natural world brings me great pleasure.”

The East Amwell Historical Society and the Sourland Conservancy will present An Exhibition of Photographs of Plants and Animals Native to the Sourlands by Jim Amon at the East Amwell Museum 1053 Old York Road, Ringoes, NJ. The opening reception will be held on January 11th at 7:00 pm. Admission to the East Amwell Museum and exhibit will be free and open to the public on weekends from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. The exhibit will be on display from January 5 through February 15, 2019. For more information, visit and

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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