Thursday, October 15, 2020

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 10/17/20 - 10/18/20

 New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings

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Saturday, October 17
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807
Virtual Program

On Saturday from 10:30 to 11:30 am via Zoom, attend a presentation by the Museum of the American Revolution and co-hosted by Plainfield Public Library and the Historical Society of Plainfield / Drake House Museum.

Millions of American women were granted the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which marks its centennial in 2020. But more than a century earlier, white women and free people of color legally held the vote in New Jersey for more than thirty years.

Join a Museum Educator for an exciting look at the Museum of the American Revolution’s newest exhibition, When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807. Learn the little-known history of the nation’s first women voters and get a virtual peek at artifacts that tell their stories. This experience also includes a Q&A session.

This is a FREE VIRTUAL program. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Email Sarah Hull at to register.

Saturday, October 17 - Madison, Morris County
Outdoor Architecture Walking Tour

Join METC’s Executive Director for an architectural tour exploring the magnificent James Library Building as well as several other iconic buildings in Madison’s historic district.  She will be joined by architectural historian, Janet Foster who will add some of her own insights for the tour. Pre-registration is required for this event as space is limited due to social distancing guidelines. Masks are required to attend this tour. 
Cost is $15 per person for Non-Members or free for METC Members. The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts is located at 9 Main Street, Madison, NJ. For more information and to register, visit

Saturday, October 17
"The Forgotten Indians & the Pocket Veto Case of 1929"
Virtual Program

On Saturday at 2:00 pm and in honor of National Arts and Humanities Month, the American Labor Museum cordially invites the general public to “The Forgotten Indians & the Pocket Veto Case of 1929” presentation with discussion by Jonathan Lurie, Ph.D., Rutgers University. The program will be hosted by the museum via ZOOM. Pre-registration is required so that the link to join the program can be forwarded to you. Jonathan Lurie's latest book is William Howard Taft: The Travails of a Progressive Conservative (2012). His recent research is on the Chief Justiceship of Taft (1921-1930). To register for the presentation and for further information, please visit, email or call the museum at 973-595-7953.

Saturday, October 17 - Westfield, Union County
Westfield Historical Society Walking Tour: The Architecture of Kimball Ave./Kimball Circle in Wychwood

On Saturday from 9:00 - 11:00 am, the eighth in a very popular series of architectural walking tours will take place on Kimball Avenue and Kimball Circle in the Wychwood section of Westfield.

The intent of this tour is to look at the diverse homes and the unique architectural style of this area. Gregory Blasi, R.A. local architect and principal of Vincentsen & Blasi Architects and Westfield Historical Society President, will lead the tour and answer questions.

Mr. Blasi will discuss how the architecture of these homes differs depending on the time they were built and the design elements unique to each house.

The tour will accommodate 20 attendees, but additional tours will be scheduled if interest warrants. It will take place rain or shine. Participants are encouraged to wear face masks, bring hand sanitizer, and practice appropriate social distancing. The tour meet-up location will be provided to registrants. Please RSVP by email to or call 908-654-1794.

A donation to the Westfield Historical Society would be appreciated: $10 for members, and $20 for non-members, and will be collected at the start of the tour. Membership information will be available. For more information, visit

Saturday, October 17 - Tewksbury, Hunterdon County
Tweksbury Tag Sale

The Tewksbury Historical Society will hold Tag Sales on Saturday from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, at the Oldwick Carriage House, 5 James St., Oldwick, NJ. The sales will be held rain or shine.

The society will sell quality items, which are very clean and in working operation. Antiques, furniture, china, dishes, housewares, garden items, costume jewelry, and linens will be among the available merchandise. In compliance with COVID-19 restrictions, social distancing will be observed, and patrons and staff must wear face coverings.

For more information, visit

Saturday, October 17 - Westfield, Union County
AppleFest 2020
Family Friendly

On Saturday (rain date Sunday, October 18) the Westfield Historical Society will hold the Annual AppleFest on the lawn of the Reeve House, 314 Mountain Avenue, Westfield, NJ. This year’s AppleFest will look different from previous years as special measures will be taken for the safety of guests and volunteers during these pandemic times. To ensure appropriate socially distanced conditions for the event, pre-registration will be required for one of two sessions. Session 1, 12:00 - 2:00pm; or session 2, 2:00-4:00pm. Masks are required while attending the event and hand sanitizing stations will be located at each activity.

This annual fund-raising event, hosted on the lawn of the Reeve House on Mountain Avenue, draws all ages. Younger children have fun with old-fashioned games, while their parents can enjoy live music by the local Westfield band “Save Mary”, covering tunes for the last 40 years. As in past years, short “Lightning Talks” will be presented, featuring stories about Charles Addams by Ron MacCloskey, the Revolutionary War Flags by Ron Mullen, highlights of Westfield 300 by Robert Wendel and Historic facts about the 1918 Spanish Flu. The Charles Addams “Dudley the Skeleton” drawing exhibit will also be on display during the event. 

AppleFest 2020 will sponsor an art contest for elementary and middle school students, drawing on the theme of Westfield STRONG and documenting experiences of the COVID-19 year. A mask decorating competition is also planned, and a Treasure Hunt, organized by curators of the Westfield Historical Society Archives will conclude with the last clue on the lawn of the Reeve House. The Apple Café will feature new selections by chef Greg Hichok.

Admission is $5 per person and free for veterans and children under 3 years old. Thanks to all Westfielders, as always, for their commitment to this town, its past and its future. AppleFest is open to all members of the community, but reservations are required for one of the two shifts: 12:00 - 2:00 pm or 2:00 - 4:00 pm. All who are interested in attending should please make reservations with the Westfield Historical Society at 908-654-1794; or by email to

Saturday, October 17 - Cape May, Cape May County
Underground Railroad Trolley Tour

On Saturday at 9:30 am, join the Center for Community Arts' (CCA) Community History Committee on a trolley tour of the places where escaped slaves sought refuge and help to continue their journeys to freedom. Hear the stories and visit some of the places connected with the Underground Railroad, including a walk in a historic cemetery where our earliest free Black settlers are buried and a glimpse of the summer home of Stephen Smith, a leading businessman, abolitionist and unsung hero of the Underground Railroad. Learn how Harriet Tubman found Cape May as a resource for earning money to fund her work. Board the trolley at the Washington Street Mall information booth at Ocean Street for this 2-hour tour. Admission is $20 per adult and $15 for children ages 3-12. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, October 17 - 18 - Camden, Camden County
Battleship New Jersey Fire Power Tour
Family Friendly

This self guided tour of the overall view of the Battleship New Jersey takes guests five levels up and two decks below. The Main Deck features an Exhibit Museum that encompasses the 48 years in and out of service. Guides are available for questions in the Captain's Quarters and CEC.

Active Military, World War II Veterans and former Crew Members of BB-62 are asked to stop at the Box Office in the Battleship NJ Visitor's Center. Proudly inform our Ticketing Staff of your service to our Great Nation and receive a complimentary ticket to board the "Big J".

* All guests will be screened in the Visitors Center before entering the Battleship’s Pier, must wear a face covering and practice social distancing.
* Please check your email after purchase for your ticket to either print or save to your mobile device and take with you for check-in in the Visitors Center.

Firepower tour tickets are available to use at any date and time we are open for tours. Admission: Adult are $24.95 and children ages 5-11, veterans, and seniors (62+) are $19.95. Tickets can be purchased online. Battleship New Jersey is located at 62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ. For more information, call 856-966-1652 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, October 17 - 18 - Wildwood, Cape May County
George Boyer Museum Open

The Wildwood Historical Society's George Boyer Museum will be open during through Halloween on Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm and Sundays from 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm.

It's FREE to visit the Wildwood Historical Society! Voted the 5th best attraction in Wildwood according to TripAdvisor, we make an excellent rainy day activity. Ask for our scavenger hunt -- children love it! Park in our parking lot to avoid parking meters. The George Boyer Museum is located at 3907 Pacific Ave, 3907 Pacific Avenue, Wildwood, NJ. For more informatio, call 609-523-0277, email, or visit

Saturday - Sunday, October 17 - 18 - Atlantic City, Atlantic County
Absecon Lighthouse Open
Family Friendly

Absecon Lighthouse will be open Thursdays through Mondays, from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm, with the last climb 1/2 hour before closing. 

Parking, exhibits, and Keeper’s Cottage museum are free. Admission to climb the 228 steps to the top is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $6 for children 4-12, and $5 for Atlantic City residents; active military are free. Dogs on leashes are welcome on the two-acre lawn and in the museum space. Masks and social distancing are required, plexi-glass shields are installed in the gift shop and Watch Room at the top for your safety, and plastic gloves will be issued to climbers. 

First lit in 1857, Absecon Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey and the third tallest in the country. It is the oldest man-made structure in Atlantic City, boasts a first-order Fresnel lens still in place at the top, and offers fabulous views of Atlantic City and Brigantine.

The Absecon Lighthouse is located at 31 South Rhode Island Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ. For more information, call 609-449-1360 or visit

Saturday, October 17 - Cape May, Cape May County
Welcome to Cape May Trolley Tour

This 45 minute tour is designed for the first-time visitor to Cape May who wants a quick introduction to the many cultural, historical, and natural attractions on the island. From Cape May Harbor to Sunset Beach, tourgoers will learn all they need to know to make the most of their Cape May visit. Tours begin and end at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth.

Adults $15 and children (ages 3-12) $8. Tour on Sunday at 2:15 pm. Cape May MAC is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. Cape May MAC membership is open to all. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, October 17 - 18 - Union Township, Union County
Open House at the Caldwell Parsonage
Children Friendly Site

On Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm, the Union Township Historical Society will host open houses at the Caldwell Parsonage, 909 Caldwell Avenue, Union Township, NJ. Rev. James Caldwell (portrayed by first-person interpreter, Doc Burkhardt) will greet visitors to his home on Saturday. The Tool Museum in the adjacent carriage house will be included in the tour. 
Although Four Centuries in a Weekend will not be coordinated by Union County this year, the UTHS board decided to continue the decades-long tradition of opening to the public for free. This year's event will feature a new exhibit of ten historic Union documents archivally preserved, partially through a grant from the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.  
The following guidelines will be observed:
masks required;
social distancing outside on walkway and lawn; 
social distancing inside;
sign in with email address;
temperature checks;
portable UV sanitizing wand for surfaces; and
hand-sanitizer available.

The UTHS had to cancel tours in March, July, and August and programs in April, May, and September. Each of those would have produced much needed revenue for the centuries-old house. It is hoped that members of the community would consider an in-person contribution or an on-line donation at

Saturday - Sunday, October 17 - 18 - Cape May, Cape May County
Scarecrow Alley at the Physick Estate
Family Friendly

Once again, the grounds of the Physick Estate will be transformed for a spooky Halloween, and Scarecrow Alley showcases homemade scarecrows -- from the ghoulishly gruesome to the foolishly funny! VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE! Visit the Carriage House Gallery at the Physick Estate during hours of operation and cast your vote for your favorite scarecrow.

The Emlem Physick Estate is located at 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, October 17 - 18 - Lower Township, Cape May County
Climb the Cape May Lighthouse
Family Friendly Site

The Cape May 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 9:00 am - 5:00 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). Children under 3 and active military are FREE. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, October 17 - 18 - 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! Participate anytime between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm.

Price is $5 for adults and $5 for children (ages 3-12). Purchase tickets online or at the Carriage House Museum Shop. The Emlem Physick Estate is located at 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, October 17 - 18 - Lower Township, Cape May County
World War II Tower Lookout Museum and Memorial Open
Family Friendly Site

Fire Control Tower No. 23 on Sunset Boulevard is New Jersey's last freestanding World War II tower, part of the immense Harbor Defense of the Delaware system known as Fort Miles. After an award-winning restoration in 2009, visitors can climb to the 6th floor spotting gallery while learning about the homeland defense efforts during World War II. The ground floor of the tower, the All Veterans Memorial, and boardwalk interpretive panels are fully accessible. Open Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am - 3:00 pm. Admission is $6 for adults, $3 for children (ages 3-12) (one child free with paying adult). The World War II Lookout Tower is located on Sunset Boulevard in Lower Township, near Cape May Point. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - Sunday, October 17 - 18 - Cape May, Cape May County
Spirits & Victorian Oddities Trolley Tour

They Did What??!! Headless Photography? Electric Corsets? Coffin Torpedoes? Explore some of the strange beliefs, superstitions, oddities,  fads, curiosities, and mysteries from the end of the 19th century - the Victorian era - in this half hour trolley tour through the gaslit streets of Cape May. Hear stories from Cape May’s history that are bizarre, unexplained or just downright weird! Tours on Saturday at 7:00 pm. The tour begins and ends at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth at Ocean Street. Adults $15 and children (ages 3-12) $8. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Sunday, October 18 - 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 Sunday at 11:45 am, 1:00 pm, and 2:15 pm. Sponsored by the Cape May MAC. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Sunday, October 18 - 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 be on Sunday at 12:30, 1:45, and 3:00 pm. Admission is $15 for adults, $8 for children (ages 3-12). Tickets can be purchased online or at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Sunday, October 18 - Cape May, Cape May County
Ghost Walk at Historic Cold Spring Village

Join a HCSV Staff Member on Saturday at 8:00 pm on a 45-minute lantern-lit ghost walk around Historic Cold Spring Village. We will regale the mysterious spectral happenings reported by Village staff and revealed by paranormal investigation teams. Please bring bug spray. No Bite Me Cream will be available for sale. To purchase tickets in advance please click on the red BOOK NOW button at Space is limited and advance purchase is strongly encouraged. FOR EVERYONE'S SAFETY PLEASE LEAVE DOGS AT HOME. 

Admissin: $16 per person, $14 for HCSV Members, and $12 children 3-12 years old. This event is weather permitting. Ghost Walk tours start at Cold Spring Brewery, 733 Seashore Road, Cape May, NJ. MASKS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES WHILE ON VILLAGE GROUNDS NO EXCEPTIONS.

The village is located, three miles north of Victorian Cape May and a mile and a half west of the southern terminus of the Garden State Parkway. For more information on events, membership, volunteering, call 609-898-2300, ext. 10, or visit

Through Sunday, November 1 - Cape May, Cape May County
50 Years of MAC: 1970 - 2020
Family Friendly

The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) was born in 1970 when a small band of passionate volunteers committed themselves to save the Emlen Physick Estate from demolition. In the 50 years since, the organization has grown to become a leading interpreter of Cape May history, culture and the arts. This landmark exhibit will highlight the organization’s history and its contribution to the preservation of historic Cape May, telling the story of an organization that has helped Cape May not only survive, but thrive.

This exhibit will be held at the Carroll Gallery on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate. Admission to the exhibit is free. The Emlem Physick Estate is located at 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Through Sunday, November 8 - Lambertville, Hunterdon County
Lambertville Then and Now

The Lambertville Historical Society, in conjunction with the Delaware River Towns Chamber of Commerce and the City of Lambertville, presents an all-outdoor, self-guided walking tour and exhibit called “Lambertville Then and Now.”

Lambertville, NJ was incorporated as a town in 1849 and as a city in 1872. From the mid-1800s to the early 1900s the ferry, the canal, the railroad and the Old York Road stagecoach route all contributed to the development and industrialization of Lambertville.

Visit Lambertville and walk through the city to view 20 poster-sized historic images in windows and in front of buildings, located at the sites where the historic images were taken. Become immersed in what it was like to be in Lambertville during its industrial heyday. The exhibit runs through Sunday, November 8, 2020.

These historic exterior images dating from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s include factory buildings, mansions, a theatre, stores, halls, and more.

If you have a QR-Code reader app on your mobile device, you will be able to use it to read more about the history of each site. Or, you can type the web page address shown on the poster into your mobile web browser to do the same.

Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit this lovely river town, one of New Jersey’s smallest cities. Visit shops, restaurants, antique stores and more, all following New Jersey’s guidelines for safe distancing. For more information, visit where you will also be able to download a printable map.

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


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