Thursday, January 2, 2020

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 1/4/20 - 1/5/20

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


Saturday, January 4 - Sandy Hook, Monmouth County
Battery Gunnison/New Peck Restoration
Children Friendly Event

The Army Ground Forces Association volunteer group will be dressed in WWII era uniform performing restorations projects and interpreting Battery Gunnison/New Peck and its 6-inch guns at Sandy Hook, a unit of Gateway National Recreation Area. Visitors are invited to stop by on this work and training day to chat and learn more about the historic time period of March 1943, the preparation for the May 1943 reactivation of Battery Gunnison/New Peck, and the restoration and preservation projects currently underway. This free event will be held from 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm at Battery Gunnison, Lot G Beach Plaza. For more information, call 718-354-4606 or visit www.nps.gov/gate.

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Saturday - Sunday, January 4 - 5 - 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 1:00 pm 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, January 4 - 5 - 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!

Free; donations accepted. 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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Saturdays & Sundays Through January 31 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
Curl Up With a Good Book
Ages 5+

We are offering an array of our favorite American historical fiction for adults and children to inspire you to curl up with a good book to peek into our (fictionalized) past. Book Club, read-a-loud family story time, or personal pleasure, we offer selections that may be familiar or may have been forgotten over time - come and see our recommendations on display. Open to ages 5 and up.

This event will take place at Historic Walnford on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 am - 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 www.monmouthcountyparks.com.

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Sunday, January 5 - River Edge, Bergen County
Annual Twelfth Night Party - Members Only

Finish your holiday season on a high note by joining the Bergen County Historical Society's celebration of Twelfth Night at Historic New Bridge Landing from 2:00 - 5:00 pm on Sunday. Members and guests are invited to bring an old family recipe, favorite food, dessert or drink to share in an afternoon of good fellowship and New Year cheer. Try and find the bean in your slice of King's cake.

In olden times, festivities surrounding Twelfth Night were the most lavish of the year, featuring a great feast with bonfires, plays, music, dancing, and wassailing. The ancient custom of wassailing involved making twelve fires of straw and drinking toasts of cider or ale. A mock king, called the King of Beans, or Lord of Misrule, was elected by lot: the guest who discovered a bean in his or her slice of Twelfth Night Cake was elected sovereign for the revelries. In some places, these kings and queens placed white crosses in the rafters to exclude hobgoblins, witches, and bugs for the remainder of the year.

This members and guests ONLY event takes place in Campbell-Christie House at New Bridge Landing, 1201 Main Street, River Edge, NJ. For more information, call 201-343-9492 or visit www.bergencountyhistory.org.

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Sunday, January 5 - Princeton, Mercer County
Experience the Battle of Princeton
Children Friendly Tour

Experience, first-hand, the culmination of the Ten Crucial Days at Princeton that helped change American Revolutionary War history.

The program begins at 11:00 am Updike Farmstead’s historic barn with a “Discover the Ten Crucial Days of 1776-77” presentation by Larry Kidder, historian and author of TEN CRUCIAL DAYS: Washington’s Vision for Victory Unfolds. Shuttle service will be available from the Battlefield State Park to the Farmstead.  Free hot drinks will be available at Updike Farmstead and the Battlefield.

Following Mr. Kidder’s presentation, attendees will either take the shuttle back to the Battlefield State Park or march with Continental soldiers to the Clarke farms along the lane used in 1777.

At the Battlefield, Mr. Kidder will discuss the actual Battle of Princeton, with British and American reenactors, including artillery, as background.  The British and American reenactors are organized and led by Paul Loane of the 43rd Regiment of Foot and by Tom Bowen.

Advanced tickets for adults are $15; children and veterans, $5. Registration at the event will be $20 and $10 respectively. To purchase tickets, click hereUpdike Farmstead is located at 354 Quaker Road, Princeton, NJ. For more information, call 609-921-6748 or visit www.princetonhistory.org.

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Saturdays and Sundays through January 5, 2020 - Trenton, Mercer County
"Laser Holiday Magic!"
Family Friendly

"Laser Holiday Magic!" is now showing in the Planetarium at the New Jersey State Museum through January 5. Celebrate the magical holiday season with our most spectacular show ever! New full-spectrum laser beams dance along with dazzling animated laser effects set to popular holiday music such as Winter Wonderland, Frosty the Snowman and many more. Enjoy a unique, festive experience under the stars at New Jersey's largest full dome planetarium. Suitable for general audiences.

Also new is "Season of Light" which presents an exploration of the astronomical meanings behind seasonal traditions, including the "Star over Bethlehem." Suitable for all ages. 

Between Christmas and New Year's, we will be participating in Patriots Week in the Planetarium! All shows (except the laser shows) will feature a live presentation of the sky set to December 25, 1776, the night George Washington crossed the Delaware River. Learn about the sky as it would have appeared that evening!

Visit the Planetarium's web site for show previews and descriptions. The New Jersey State Museum is open Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:45 pm. 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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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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