Thursday, February 21, 2019

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 2/23/19 - 2/24/19

 New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings
A Weekly Feature on www.thehistorygirl.com
Want to submit an event? Use our event submission form.


Saturday, February 23 - Franklin Township, Somerset County
George Washington's Birthday

Come celebrate George Washington's 286th birthday at Rockingham on Saturday. While Washington will be present only in spirit (and in the form of a wonderful life-sized mannequin in an exactingly recreated uniform), visitors who tour his last wartime headquarters will learn about his life and times, before, during and after his careers as commander of the Continental Army and first president of the United States.

Find out more about this iconic symbol of our country; learn why he is more important than just a means to sell cars on Presidents' Day! After the tour, enjoy cake and punch in Rockingham's kitchen.

Tours will be offered from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm on the hour and, possibly, half-hour if needed. (The last tour will be at 3:00 or 3:30 pm, accordingly). Because the size of tours will be limited, reservations will be necessary to guarantee admittance. Please call 609-683-7132 for reservations. A donation of $5 is suggested.

Please note that the regular history of the house will not be emphasized during these special tours, but visitors are always welcome to visit the house on another day for a normal tour. Washington, commander in chief for the Continental Army during the American Revolution, stayed at Rockingham from late August to early November in 1783. It became his final wartime headquarters when the Treaty of Paris was formally signed while he resided there.

Rockingham is located on Rte. 603 (Laurel Ave./Kingston-Rocky Hill Rd.), one mile north of Route 27 in Kingston and one mile south of Route 518 in Rocky Hill.  For more information, call 609-683-7132 or visit www.rockingham.net.

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Saturday, February 23 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Maple Sugaring
Children Friendly Event

Sugaring time arrives in late winter at Howell Farm and operations are in full swing. Visitors are invited to join the work and fun with sap collection, firewood cutting, syrup making, butter making, flour milling and pancake eating.

The trees are tapped beginning in early February. School groups, visitors and farm staff collect and boil down sap for several weeks. The sugar maple tree stores starch in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in the spring. Freezing nights and thawing days make for heavy sap flow. The trees are tapped by boring holes into their trunks and collecting the exuded sap beginning in early February. The sap is then processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup.

Sap gathering will take place at 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm. Tree tapping demonstrations will be held at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm. The sugarhouse will be open from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Pancakes will be available from 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm.

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 www.howellfarm.org.

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Saturday, February 23 - Lower Township, Cape May County
Cape May Lighthouse Open
Children Friendly

On Saturday, the Cape May Lighthouse, Oil House and Museum Shop reopens for the season. The lighthouse is an 1859 structure with 199 steps to the watch gallery for a panoramic view of the Jersey Cape and Atlantic Ocean. For those who choose not to climb, the Oil House contains a fully-accessible Visitors' Orientation Center and a Museum Shop stocked with maritime accessories and lighthouse memorabilia. Open 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm on Saturday. Cape May Point State Park is located in Lower Township, NJ. Admission to the Visitors' Orientation Center and the ground floor of the lighthouse is free. Tower admission is $8 for adults, $5 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 www.capemaymac.org.

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Saturday, February 23 - 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 12:30 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 www.capemaymac.org.

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Saturday - Sunday, February 23 - 24 - 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 www.capemaymac.org.

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Saturday - Sunday, February 23 - 24 - 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 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 www.capemaymac.org.

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Saturday - Sunday, February 23 - 24 - Trenton, Mercer County
America, We Served!: Three Centuries of African American Soldiers
Family Friendly

For over three hundred years, African Americans have made incredible contributions to the United States Military. Celebrate Black History Month at the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. Experience the living history of America's Black Warriors by the veterans themselves and dedicated reenactors! View displays of photos, literature, and artifacts from wars past while talking to the storytellers of America's black men and women at war!

Represented regiments will include The Harlem Hellfighters of WWI, the 6th Regiment USCT of the Civil War, the 369th Regiment portrayed by Ebony Doughboys, and others.


Don't miss this wonderful educational experience for the entire family! Tours of the Old Barracks Museum are included in the admission price, so you can also learn about the last remaining free-standing French and Indian War military barracks in North America.

Special admission rates apply for this weekend: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors/students, and free for children 5 and under and active duty military. $5 admission for residents of Trenton. The Old Barracks Museum is located at 101 Barrack Street, Trenton, NJ. Parking is available in the small lot next to the museum, in the Capitol Complex, and in Trenton City Parking lots - the closest is located at 120 East Front Street. For more information call 609-396-1776 or visit www.barracks.org.

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Sunday, February 24 - Plainfield, Union County
“Plainfield’s Hidden Black History”

The Historical Society of Plainfield will host a lecture and discussion entitled “Plainfield’s Hidden Black History” on Sunday at 4:00 pm at the Drake House Museum. The lecture and discussion will be led by Nancy Piwowar, president of the Historical Society of Plainfield. “Plainfield’s Hidden Black History” will include photographs from the Historical Society’s archival collection, a discussion of the “1932 Survey of Negro Life in New Jersey” and the 1947 study of Plainfield.

Plainfield was a part of the “1932 Survey of Negro Life in New Jersey.” This study presented a picture of African-American life in New Jersey, and included population, housing, employment, health, and recreation statistics to name a few. The 1947 study was an experimental study that focused on Plainfield, even though Plainfield’s name was not used.

Nancy Piwowar is a graduate of Plainfield High School, attended Jefferson School, Washington School as part of the 6th grade plan, and Hubbard Junior High School. She is a graduate of Wilson College, and a retired postal worker. She has contributed to many local history books, including the Encyclopedia of New Jersey, in 2004.

Tours of the Drake House Museum will be given at 2:00 and 3:00 pm with the lecture to begin at 4:00 pm. Seating for lecture is limited and is on a first-come first-serve basis. Light refreshments will be served. Members: free and non-members: donations are always appreciated. The Drake House Museum is located at 602 West Front Street, Plainfield, NJ. For more information, call 908-755-5831 or visit www.drakehouseplainfieldnj.org.

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Sunday, February 24 - 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 www.princetonhistory.org.

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Sunday, February 24 -  Chatham, Morris County
A Year on the Water

Ever wonder what it would be like to spend a year sailing? Join historical society members, Trip and Nicole von Hoffmann, as they describe their voyage aboard their 37-foot sailboat. They’ll take you through preparations to set sail, life underway, and the fun challenges of exploring new places from the historic coast of Maine to the hurricane-battered eastern Caribbean. The program will take place at 2:00 pm at the Chatham Township Municipal Building, 58 Meyersville Road, Chatham, NJ.

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Sunday, February 24 - River Edge, Bergen County
Washington's Birthday

Dance mistress Denise Piccino and the Tricorne Dancers will give two one hour public performances in the Steuben House at 1:30 and 3:00 pm on Sunday. Ridley & Anne Enslow will provide musical accompaniment on fiddle and hammered dulcimer. Throughout the afternoon, Rodger Yaden will portray General George Washington. Hot cider and crullers will be served in the restored 18th-century tavern in the Campbell-Christie House, where our gift shop is also located. Visitors may also see open-hearth cooking demonstrated in the Out-Kitchen, featuring meal items that General Washington might have eaten during his stay at New Bridge in 1780 and recipes from Martha's cookbook. Re-enactors from the 3rd New Jersey Regiment will demonstrate military life. Activities for Children include: Soldier drills, a sewing take-away project, and scavenger hunt. The George and Martha Centennial Quilt will be on exhibit for this event.

So celebrate the 287th anniversary of Washington’s Birthday at Historic New Bridge Landing, where General George Washington made his headquarters in September 1780, when Continental troops encamped between Van Saun Park in River Edge and Soldier Hill Road in Oradell. A tiger-stripe maple bedstead, reputedly used in a local home where George Washington stayed during the 1780 Steenrapie Encampment, is displayed in the Demarest House. The room in the Steuben House where Washington stayed for ten days during the Steenrapie Encampment is also open for viewing.

Historic New Bridge Landing is an American Revolutionary War Battleground including 3 Jersey-Dutch sandstone houses, exhibits, tavern, gift shop and outkitchen (Barn closed in cold weather). Admission: $12 adults, $7 students, BCHS members free. Parking can be found in parking area at the corner of Main Street and Hackensack Avenue, River Edge. An ADA compliant stonedust path connects the three houses and parking area! No parking will be available at the Steuben House. Historic New Bridge Landing is located at 1201 Main Street, River Edge, NJ. For more information, call 201-343-9492 or visit www.bergencountyhistory.org.

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Sunday, February 24 - Fieldsboro, Burlington County
Tours of White Hill Mansion

Over the years plenty of people have lived their lives at the White Hill Mansion. Some of them may still be here.  On Sunday, learn about the people who lived and died in the house from 1:00 - 3:00 pm with the Friends of the White Hill Mansion. Tours are free but a donation is always appreciated. White Hill Mansion is located at 217 4th Street, Fieldsboro, NJ. For more information, e-mail whitehillinfo@yahoo.com or visit www.whitehillmansion.com.

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Sunday, February 24 - West Orange, Essex County
Harry's Magical Invention Bag
Children Friendly Event

Learn about invention and the important role Edison played in taking invention from a cottage/hobby activity to a full commercial activity - practiced by all major corporations. Hear Harry Roman, a Thomas Edison National Historical Park volunteer, retired engineer, as well as inventor and patent holder, as he discusses the major role NJ plays in the national invention scene-and all the great inventions NJ inventors have brought into our world.

The program, held from 1:00 - 2:00 pm and 3:00 - 4:00 pm, is included with regular admission. Tickets must be purchased at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park Laboratory Complex Visitor Center at 211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ. Admission is $10.00, and includes the Glenmont Estate and the Laboratory Complex. Children under age 16 are free. For more information, call 973-736-0550 x11 or visit www.nps.gov/edis.

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Sunday, February 24 - Union Township, Union County
Open House

The Union Township Historical Society will host an open house from 2:00 - 5:00 pm on Sunday at the Caldwell Parsonage, 909 Caldwell Avenue, Union, NJ.

In commemoration of Black History Month, an exhibit, "The Veterans of Vauxhall," by the Vauxhall Historical Society will be on display; as well as an exhibit by the UTHS on Eulace Peacock, Union High School Class of 1933 track star, who competed against Jesse Owens and later became his business partner.

Admission is free. Refreshments will be served. For more information, please call 908-591-4377 or visit www.uniontwphistoricalsociety.webs.com.

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Through Sunday, April 14 - Cape May, Cape May County
Collecting History: Personal Collections of Cape May's African American Community
Family Friendly

Collecting is a lifelong passion for many individuals who hunt, preserve, and curate items of importance and interest. It's not just the object that holds curiosity, but the story it has to tell. Never before seen personal collections of dolls, stamps, postcards, hats, books, art, and pocket watches will be exhibited along with John Nash's collection. Mr. Nash was a beloved community historian whose dedication to collecting Cape May's African American history formed the basis for Center for Community Arts' Nash African American History Archives.

This exhibit will be held at the Carroll Gallery on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate. Admission to the exhibit is free. Visit www.capemaymac.org/carriage-house-hours for exhibit hours. 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, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit www.capemaymac.org.

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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 www.oceanmuseum.org.

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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 www.MorrisCountyHistory.org.

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

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