Thursday, December 12, 2019

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 12/14/19 - 12/15/19

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


Friday - Saturday, December 13 - 14 - Parsippany, Morris County
Holidays in the Log House: Candlelight Tours

On two nights only, explore early 20th century holiday traditions and Gustav Stickley's own ideas about the season. Join us for these special after-hours guided Candlelight Tours of the decorated Log House at 6:00 pm on Friday and Saturday.

A perennial favorite, these tours fill up quickly. Reserve your spot by buying your tickets today! $5 member; $12 nonmember. Advance reservations required; space is limited. Purchase tickets here.

Craftsman Farms is located at 2352 Route 10 West, Morris Plains, NJ. For more information, call 973-540-0311, email info@stickleymuseum.org, or visit www.stickleymuseum.org.

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Saturday, December 14 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
Christmas Sing-Along
Children Friendly Event

On Saturday, enjoy an old-fashioned sing-along as Rich Marzec plays Christmas melodies on the accordion in the Longstreet farmhouse. This free event runs from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. Historic Longstreet Farm is located at 44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, NJ. For more information, call 732-946-3758 or visit www.monmouthcountyparks.com.

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Saturday, December 14 - Cape May Court House, Cape May County
Come Home for Christmas

In the grand tradition of coming home for Christmas, The Museum of Cape May County will once again celebrate the holiday season by opening its doors on Saturday for a holiday open house.

Young and old alike are invited to experience this year’s holiday extravaganza from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Be sure to be on hand when Santa makes his annual appearance at 12:00 noon to visit with children and share holiday sweets. Visitors will be able to take a leisurely stroll throughout the house and enjoy magnificently decorated rooms as well as the museum’s beautiful campus – including a visit to the 1780 Smith Barn that houses Cape May County’s crown jewel, the 1859 original first-order lighthouse lens that sat atop the Cape May Lighthouse.

Come enjoy the museum this holiday season. Be awed by the rooms, each expertly decorated by local florists Blooms, Garden Greenhouse, and Pine Lake Nursery. Be surrounded by the holiday music with the songs of local singers John and Jan Haigis.

Delight in the glory of Christmases past, bask in the warmth of this county’s long history, meet old friends and new, and enjoy the sounds and sights of Christmas – Cape May County-style! The Museum of Cape May County is located at 504 Route 9 North, Cape May Court House, NJ.  For more information, call 609-465-3535 or visit www.cmcmuseum.org.

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Saturday, December 14 - Mount Laurel, Burlington County
Paulsdale Holiday Open House

Paulsdale is open to the public for a Holiday Open House from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Paulsdale is the birthplace of Quaker suffragist Alice Paul. The home will be decorated in Quaker fashion by the Mount Laurel Garden Club and guests can view the Alice Paul: In Pursuit of Ordinary Equality exhibit, enjoy refreshments, shop for holiday gifts in our gift shop, and view the Quaker influenced natural holiday decorations. Learn about Alice Paul's life and work and the site's present day use as a girl's leadership center. Admission is free but donations are welcome.

Paulsdale is located at 128 Hooton Road, Mt. Laurel. For information about group tours or future tour dates, contact the Alice Paul Institute at 856-231-1885, e-mail info@alicepaul.org, or visit www.alicepaul.org.

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Saturday, December 14 - Newton, Sussex County
Wreaths Across America: Old Newton Burying Ground

The Old Newton Burial Ground will be the location of the Wreaths Across America National Remembrance Ceremony on Saturday at 12:00 noon. This event is sponsored by the Sussex County Historical Society.

There are 44 Veterans and 1 Patriot who are verified to be resting here: 12 from the American Revolution, 1 from the Pennsylvania Insurrection of 1794, 1 from the War with Tripoli, 1 from the Quasi War with France, 8 from the War of 1812, and 22 from the Civil War.

Participants in the program include: the American Legion Post 86 Honor Guard; members of Harmony Lodge No. 8; Col. John Rosenkrans Chapter SAR; Chinkchewunska Chapter DAR; Pvt. Joseph Bessette Chapter NSDU; and Congressman Gottheimer’s Office. 

The cemetery is located behind 75 and 79 Main Street, Newton, NJ. Parking will be available in the old McGuire lot courtesy of the Sussex County Community College.

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Saturday, December 14 Roebling, Burlington County
Christmas in Roebling
Children Friendly


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Saturday, December 14 - Tewksbury, Huntderon County
Tewksbury Historical Society Open for Holiday Shopping

The Tewksbury Historical Society Headquarters, 60 Water Street in the Mountainville section of Tewksbury, will be open Saturday from 9:00 am - 12:00 noon selling unique Holiday gifts. Among the items for purchase are Tewksbury afghans in Williamsburg Blue, Cranberry Red, Hunter Green, and Navy Blue, a new color, Tewksbury Church notecards and post cards depicting original historic scenes. Also available are hardcover and paperback editions of Historic Notes on Fairmont, NJ by Freeman Leigh, signed and unsigned prints of Tewksbury, "A River Runs Through It", by Elizabeth "Lib" Ryman and prints depicting scenes in Mountainville, Pottersville, and Califon by Linda Jean. Some of the latter prints are also signed by longtime resident Charles Burrell.

The Tewksbury Historical Society is a New Jersey not-for-profit corporation and was organized for the purpose of furthering research into and the preservation and dissemination of the history of the Township of Tewksbury. For more information, visit www.tewksburyhistory.net.

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Saturday, December 14 - Perth Amboy, Middlesex County
Here We Come A-Caroling


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Saturday - Sunday, December 14 - 15 - 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. Tours begin and end at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth.

Adults $15 and children (ages 3-12) $8. Tours on Saturday at 10:30 am, 11:45 am, 1:00 pm, 2:15 pm, and 3:45 pm and Sunday at 11:45 am, 1:00 pm, 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 www.capemaymac.org.

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Saturday - Sunday, December 14 - 15 - Lower Township, Cape May County
Climb the Cape May Lighthouse
Family Friendly Site

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 and Sunday. 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 $10 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 - Sunday, December 14 - 15 - Cape May, Cape May County
Physick Family Christmas House Tour
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. Physick Estate Tours take approximately 45 minutes. On Saturday, tours will start at 11:15 am, 12:30, and 1:45 pm. On Sunday, the tours start at 12:30, 1:45, and 3:00 pm. Admission is $15 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, December 14 - 15 - Cape May, Cape May County
Santa's Trolley Ride
Children Friendly Event

Bring the kids to the Physick Estate for a trolley ride around Cape May with stories and songs led by Mrs. Claus. Then, Santa will greet children with a sweet in the Carriage House. Adults $10 and children (ages 3-12) $8. Trolley rides on Saturday at 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm and Sunday at 1:45 and 2:45 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, December 14  - 15 - Hampton, Huntedon County
Christmas at the Historic Joseph Turner House


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Saturday - Sunday, December 14 - 15 - Nutley, Essex County
Santa and Mrs. Claus at Kingsland Manor
Children Friendly Event (Ages 2-10)

Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will host a holiday story time at Kingsland Manor in Nutley. Children will leave with a small token from Santa and everyone will leave with memories for years to come. Don't forget your camera! Recommended for children up to 10 years old. Admission by reservation.

Saturday - 10:00 am (suggested ages 2 -5)
Saturday - 12:00 noon (suggested ages 2 -5)
Saturday - 2:00 pm (suggested ages 5-10)
Sunday - 11:00 am (suggested ages 2-5)
Sunday - 1:00 pm (suggested ages 5-10)

Space is limited to 30 guests per session. Refreshments for children and adults. Cost: $15.00 for one parent and child. Additional adults and children, $5 each. You may reserve and pay online here.

The Kingsland Manor is located at 3 Kingsland Street, Nutley, NJ. For more information, call 973-661-3410, e-mail KingslandManorRestorationTrust@gmail.com, or visit www.kingslandmanor.org.

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Saturday - Sunday, December 14 - 15 -  Maplewood, Essex County
2019 Gingerbread House Competition and Display
Children Friendly Event


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Saturday - Sunday, December 14 - 15 - Sandy Hook, Monmouth County
Christmas at Fort Hancock, 1943
Family Friendly Event

Experience Christmas as officers, soldiers, and families of Fort Hancock would have experienced in 1943 in an officer's house, authentically decorated for the season. Meet Santa on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm and share your Christmas wish list with him. Enjoy caroling with the Trinity High School choir from 2:00 - 4:00 pm. This free event takes place Saturday from 12:00 noon - 4:30 pm and Sunday from 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm at History House, No. 1 Officers Row, within Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, part of Gateway National Recreation Area. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/gate.

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Saturday - Sunday, December 14 - 15 - Montague, Sussex County
Old Fashioned Holiday Tours at the Foster-Armstrong House
Family Friendly Event

The Montague Association for the Restoration of Community History (M.A.R.C.H.) will be opening the historic, holiday decorated Foster Armstrong House for free tours in November and December.

Holiday themes for this year include, “A Military Holiday”, “Walt Disney”, “Christmas Stockings Over the Years”, and of course, our traditional operating Model Train Display! Tours of the circa 1790’s house will be held Saturdays and Sundays, November 30, and December 1, 7, 8, 14, and 15 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.

Our gift shop, The Foster General Store, will be open during tours with handmade items for sale from our historic crafters and local artisans. Also available for purchase will be a number of rare and limited edition books from our collection.

The Foster-Armstrong House is located on CR521/320 River Road, about 1 mile north of Route 206 and the Milford/Montague Bridge and within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Snow dates, pictures, and more information about M.A.R.C.H. can be found online at www.facebook.com/MontagueNJHistory or by calling 973-293-3106.

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Sunday, December 15 - Cape May, Cape May County
Holiday Lights Trolley Ride
Children Friendly Event

Ride through Cape May’s Historic District to see festively decorated inns and homes as guides talk about Victorian Christmas traditions, lead sing-alongs, and play Christmas music. Rides last about 30 minutes. Adults $15 and children (ages 3-12) $10. Trolley rides on Sunday at 7:15, 7:30, and 8:15 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 www.capemaymac.org.

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Sunday, December 15 - Cape May, Cape May County
Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Ride

A member of the East Lynne Theater Company regales you with a Victorian holiday ghost tale as you ride through Cape May’s festively decorated Historic District. Rides start and end at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth

Adults $15 and children (ages 3-12) $8. Tour on Sunday at 8:30 and 9:15 pm. Advance reservation strongly recommended. 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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Sunday, December 15 - Montclair, Essex County
Come See the Holiday Decorations!
Children Friendly

The Crane House and Historic YWCA and Shultz House will be open for self-guided tours on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. See the Crane House & Historic YWCA (110 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ) decorated by the Garden Club of Montclair.

Move forward in history to the Shultz House (30 N Mountain Aveune, Montclair, NJ) featuring Molly Shultz’s own collection on Christmas decorations, mantle decorations from Bartlett's Greenhouses & Florist of Clifton and children’s book exhibit.

As a gift to our visitors this holiday season, we will be waiving our normal fee of $6. If you are in the giving spirit, donations are always welcome at any of our museums. For more information, call 973-744-1796 or visit www.montclairhistorical.org.

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Sunday, December 15 - 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, December 15 - Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Christmas at The Historic Village at Allaire
Children Friendly Site & Event

Create new family traditions by celebrating the traditions of an Old World Christmas. Join us for Christmas at Allaire - a day full of interactive programs and holiday activities as you experience the Magic and Joys of Christmas Past.

Warm up on the open hearth, make Christmas treats, create winter arts and crafts, dance and sing at the historic chapel, listen to the village carolers and musicians as they stroll the village, storytelling, preparing the Allaire Mansion for a French Christmas, and much more! Bring your holiday cards to be sent from our historic post office located in the General Store. Also keep your eyes out for Santa, a great photo opportunity!

Here are just a few of our activities taking place this day:
* Historic buildings open 11:00 am - 4:00 pm.

Each building decorated and interpreted according to a different Old World Christmas tradition.
* Join in the preparing for a French Christmas at the Allaire Mansion, a highlight of the day.
* Interactive music program in the Chapel: 12:30 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:00 pm.
* Storytelling in the Enameling Building.
* Silhouette cutting in the Row House.
* Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus visiting the village from 11 am to 4 pm, great photo opportunities!
* Carolers strolling the village
* Help build gingerbread houses, learn the history of nutcrackers and sing a Christmas carol at the parlor organ at the Manager’s House.
Enjoy Christmas music throughout the village by our flutist, harpist, fiddler, guitarist, organist and others!
* Holiday fairy magic and bubble performances by The Pointsettia Fairy! Fun for kids of all ages!
The General Store and Bakery will be open for holiday shopping.
* Blacksmithing, Wood Carving, Leather-making, and other 19th century craft demonstrations throughout the day.
String cranberries or popcorn at the Foreman’s Cottage (for take home too!).
A special animal appearance (weather permitting) by the Barn.
Visit the Carriage House, warm by the fire pit, and see the carriages and sleds decorated for the holidays.
Special Christmas Exhibit in the Village Museum at the Visitor Center featuring reproductions of vintage nutcrackers
Make your own Christmas arts and craft that you can take home - make your own holiday gift wrapping paper, a snowy owl, a cookie crest
* Trains! A replica of the Central Railroad of NJ’s (CNJ) “Blue Comet” train, plus a vintage Lionel train display and village
* Treat yourself to delicious food from our Pilsen Gourmet Food Truck that will be on site.

The event runs from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. Admission: $8.00. The Historic Village at Allaire is located in Allaire State Park at 4263 Atlantic Avenue, Farmingdale, NJ. Tickets are available at the gate or can be purchased online. For more information, call 732-919-3500 or visit www.allairevillage.org.

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Through December 2019 - Ridgewood, Bergen County
Here Comes The Bride - Chronicling Two Hundred Years of Wedding Customs & Traditions

Something old. Something new. Something borrowed. Something blue. Tossing the bouquet. Bride and Groom cake toppers. Putting a sixpence in your shoe. Where did these traditions originate? Why do we still honor them today? Please join us as we walk down the aisle and trace the history of Ridgewood’s wedding traditions.

The Schoolhouse Museum celebrates the opening of its current featured exhibit “Here Comes The Bride - Chronicling Two Hundred Years of Wedding Customs & Traditions.” This new exhibit features items dating from 1789-1989, showcasing many beautiful wedding gowns from the museum's collection - some of which have never been on exhibit before.

While at the museum, see the curio cabinet exhibit “50 Small Things with Big Histories.” The exhibits are open until December 2019 and are free to the public with donations suggested at the door. Museum hours are Thursdays and Saturdays from 1:00 - 3:00 pm and Sundays from 2:00 - 4:00 pm.

The Schoolhouse Museum is a historic one-room schoolhouse in Ridgewood, New Jersey, originally built in 1872, that has been turned into a gallery space which now houses the Ridgewood Historical Society. Entirely volunteer-run, the non-profit Historical Society presents annual exhibits, events and workshops in a community that values education, family and local and national history. The museum is located at 650 E Glen Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ.

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Through Wednesday, January 1, 2020 - Cape May, Cape May County
An Old-Fashioned Christmas
Family Friendly

The wonders of the season come to life in “An Old-Fashioned Christmas Exhibit: Holiday Traditions through the Years,” at the Carroll Gallery in the Physick Estate Carriage House. Experience a breathtaking exhibit of holiday traditions complete with a giant Christmas tree, a Dickens Village, model trains, nostalgic photos from Christmas past, and more! The exhibit will be available for viewing from Friday, November 22, 2019 through Sunday, January 1, 2020. 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 www.capemaymac.org.

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Saturdays and Sundays through January 5, 2020 - Princeton, Mercer County
Festival of Trees

Morven Museum and Garden's annual Festival of Trees is an annual highlight of the holiday season showcasing a juried collection of  trees and mantles displayed throughout the museum’s galleries, upstairs and down. This year’s theme invites visitors to enjoy the newly reimagined first and second floor galleries, featuring trees inspired by 18th through 20th century decor.

This year’s Festival of Trees museum decorators include: Contemporary Garden Club, The Garden Club of Princeton, Green Haven Garden Center, Keris Tree Farm & Christmas Shop, Morven Museum & Garden, Mount Laurel Garden Club, Stony Brook Garden Club, West Trenton Garden Club, Hiltonia Association, Historical Society of Princeton, and Princeton University Press.

Festival of Trees is open to the public during regular museum hours. No reservations are required. Museum ticket must be purchased to enter museum. 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. 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 www.morven.org.

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Through Sunday, January 5, 2020 - Morristown, Morris County
A Very Merry 19th-Century Christmas

This holiday season, travel back in time to 19th-century Morris County to learn more about the introduction and evolution of our most beloved Christmas traditions. Not only our long-lived Yuletide customs, but more than 30 period-appropriate 19th-century costumes from Morris County Historical Society’s collections, will be on display at Acorn Hall through Sunday, January 5, 2020.

While many English customs such as the Christmas tree, mistletoe, and caroling took on a uniquely American flavor, their earliest beginnings remain as evident as ever in A Very Merry 19th-Century Christmas. Focusing on the Victorian woman’s role as “the ministering angel of domestic bliss,” the authentically decorated and interpreted exhibit comprises many costumes that have never been displayed.

Before visiting MCHS, check Groupon for your discounted tickets and family membership. The membership is perfect to regift or keep for yourself! 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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Through Sunday, January 5, 2020 - Parsippany, Morris County
The American Arts and Crafts Chair: “A Message of Honesty and Joy”

The exhibition will feature thirteen exemplary examples of side chairs by handicraft-oriented furniture manufacturers--among them Gustav Stickley’s Craftsman Workshops, the L&JG Stickley Company, the Charles P. Limbert Company--as well as smaller, craft-oriented workshops such as Charles Rohlfs, the Roycroft Shops, Byrdcliffe Arts Colony, and Rose Valley Association. The exhibition will explore the usefulness and appealing designs of these vital products of the American Arts and Crafts movement and show how these chairs brought a message of honesty and joy to their makers and their possessors. Guest curator is David Cathers. 

On view from: Saturday, June 1, 2019 to Sunday, January 5, 2020. Thursdays through Sundays 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm. Admission varies depending on the type of tour. Free to Members. Craftsman Farms is located at 2352 Route 10 West, Morris Plains, NJ. For more information, call 973-540-0311, email info@stickleymuseum.org, or visit www.stickleymuseum.org.

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Through June 28, 2020 - Trenton, Mercer County
Preserving the Pinelands: Albert Horner’s Portraits of a National Treasure

The New Jersey State Museum is hosting  Preserving the Pinelands: Albert Horner’s Portraits of a National Treasure from through June 28, 2020 in the 1st floor East Gallery. The exhibit features images which capture the quiet beauty and intimate landscapes of New Jersey’s Pinelands National Reserve by photographer Albert Horner, and artifacts from the NJ State Museum’s collections which tell just some of the stories of the land, animals, people, and industries that make the Reserve a state and national treasure. Horner, a self-taught photographer from Medford Lakes, brings curiosity, reverence and a practiced eye to his craft, recording the forests, cedar swamps, meandering waterways and native wildflowers that make the Pinelands unique. In addition to being home to rare plant and animal species, the Reserve also contains archaeological sites and a vibrant cultural history of craftspeople, industry and agriculture.

The museum is open Tuesday - Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:45 pm. It is closed Mondays and on state holidays. The New Jersey State Museum is located at 205 West State Street, Trenton, NJ. For more information, 609-292-6300 or visit www.state.nj.us/state/museum/index.html.

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Through June 28, 2020 -  Piscataway, Middlesex County
Mid-Century New Jersey Exhibit


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Through 2020 - Ocean Township, Monmouth County
"Votes for Women: The Story of Suffrage"

When the Founders crafted the U.S. Constitution, they gave the authority to decide who could vote to the states. All but one decided it would be men—white, property-owning men, 21 years old and older.

The one exception was New Jersey. For the first few decades of our new nation, property-owning women in New Jersey could vote. But in 1807, state legislators took a step backward and rescinded the right. New Jersey women joined their sisters across the country who were shut off from the ballot.

The new exhibit, “Votes for Women: The Story of Suffrage” opening in the Woolley House, Sunday, tells of the remarkable campaign waged by women across the country to gain (and for New Jersey women, to regain) the vote.

The Start of a Movement
Most historians mark the start of the American suffrage movement from the 1848 Women’s Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. Both women had discovered their political voice fighting for the abolition of slavery. Both had felt the sting of being shut out by male-dominated leadership. They were outraged, frustrated, and ready to take on the status quo. 

The status quo at the time was a sorry mess for women. Not only were they barred from public speaking and leadership positions, but married women could not own property, keep their own wages, or enter into any legal contract. Women were shut out of most professions. Divorce was near impossible, even in cases of abuse. A woman’s place was in the home—often an inherited home whose title had been ceded to her husband.

In 1851, three years after the Seneca Falls conference, Elizabeth Cady Stanton met Susan B. Anthony. Though strikingly unlike in appearance and temperament, they became lifelong friends. Together, they made a formidable team that reigned for more than 50 years as the iconic leaders of the suffrage movement.

Anthony and Stanton travelled the country making speeches and gathering support. When Stanton, mother of seven, cut back on travel, she stayed hard a work—writing Anthony’s speeches, organizing supporters, even rewriting the Bible from a feminist perspective.

Both women were bitterly disappointed when Congress refused, following the Civil War, to expand the language of the 15th Amendment to bar discrimination in voting based on both race and sex. Their outrage generated harsh statements from these former abolitionists that created a lasting racial rift among suffragists.

Anthony and Stanton did not give up. In 1878, they pushed for a 16th Amendment to guarantee women the right to vote. The “Susan B. Anthony Amendment,” as it became known, failed in this first attempt and was introduced anew to each session of Congress for the next 42 years! The (by then) 19th Amendment, granting women’s suffrage, was finally ratified in 1920.

They Didn’t Live to see It
Neither Stanton nor Anthony lived to see passage. Their efforts fell short of their goals. But the inroads they gained, the organizations they created, and the national awareness they built set the stage for the next generation—the early 20th century activists who carried the campaign for women’s suffrage to victory.

The Second Wave
Among this second wave of suffragists were the daughters of Elizabeth Stanton and Lucretia Mott—and newcomers, including Carrie Chapman Catt and New Jersey native Alice Paul. Catt and Paul were rivals. Their strategies and styles were at odds. Catt favored local campaigns to change state voting laws. She thought militant demonstration unpatriotic after the U.S. entered World War I in 1917.

In contrast, Paul took the fight for a U.S. Constitutional amendment to President Wilson’s doorstep. She lead an 18-month long picketing campaign at the gates to the White House. She welcomed arrest and used the mistreatment of imprisioned suffragists to build public sympathy. Faced with a public relations nightmare, Wilson gave in and threw his support in favor of the federal amendment.

Passage of the Anthony Amendment was “the greatest expansion of democracy on a single day the world had ever seen” (Eleanor Clift, Founding Sisters).

The Township of Ocean Historical Museum, founded in 1984, is a member-supported, non-profit organization. Its headquarters, the Eden Woolley House, is one of the few 18th century structures still in existence in the Township and is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (1:00 - 4:00 pm), Thursday evenings (7:00 - 9:00 pm - March 15 through December 15 each year) and the first and second Sundays of each month (1:00 - 4:00 pm). The Museum also maintains a library and archive, which houses manuscripts, books, and photographs of historical and genealogical interest. For more information, call 732-531-2136 or visit www.OceanMuseum.org.

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Through Late November/Early December 2020 - Salem, Salem County
“Hidden History: Unique and Rare Stories of Salem County”

The Salem County Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit entitled, “Hidden History: Unique and Rare Stories of Salem County.” Throughout the history of our region, the diversity of our residents along with their creativity, knowledge, and skills has prompted the development, manufacture and composition of many unique and rare objects and records. Over all these years, whether on a trek to settle here or leaving here for an adventure in the world at large, Salem County residents have traveled thousands of miles. When they traveled, our predecessors would bring to Salem County an object or a story that has become a part of our collective history.

Since the founding of the Salem County Historical Society in 1884, residents, families and friends have donated hundreds of these uncommon and irreplaceable objects to the Society collections. 

Our current exhibit offers a look at some of the most unique and rare items and the stories behind the objects. This eclectic exhibit includes artifacts that have not been displayed to the public for many years and are on display with newly researched backstories that provide further insight into the unique and rare history of Salem County. Concurrently, a new exhibit memorializing our Old Salem Oak Tree will open to the public. This exhibit is in a dedicated room displaying numerous Salem Oak objects, including; old and new artwork, objects made from wood of the oak tree, and past and recent photographs.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12;00 noon - 4:00 pm. Admission is $5 per person for non-members. The Salem County Historical Society is located at 83 Market Street, Salem, NJ. For more information, call 856-935-5004 or visit www.salemcountyhistoricalsociety.com.

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

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