Thursday, November 18, 2021

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 11/20/21 - 11/21/21

New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings

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Saturday, November 20 - Paterson, Passaic County
Museum Launches Paterson Poetry Workshop Series

Word Seed, Inc. and the Paterson Museum are teaming up to present a Paterson Poetry Workshop Series. Join us on Saturday for the first of these workshops, Your Voice Matters, which is taking place from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm at the Paterson Museum. This free program, which is open to poets of all ages, presented and led by Paterson’s Poet Laureate Talena Lachelle Queen. Whether you actively write poetry or are just interested in learning more about how to find your own poetic voice, this interactive workshop will help you develop your art.

To kick off the workshop series, the program Saturday will include the special ebook release of Defiance & Desperation, a collection of ten poems by Patersonian Jaquair Gillette. The collection examines the plight, struggles, ideas, and hope of all marginalized peoples. The poems also reflect Gillette’s personal journey, struggling to create in a world full of challenges.

For more information and to register for the workshop, please visit

The Paterson Museum, located at 2 Market Street (on the corner of Market and Spruce Streets), is in the heart of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. For more information, visit

Saturday, November 20 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
19th Century Woodworking Demonstration & Accordion Melodies of the 1890s
Children Friendly Site & Event

On Saturday, visit Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel and take pleasure in observing the carpenter demonstrating his mastery of woodworking using an assortment of traditional carpentry hand toolsThis free events run from 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm.

Stop by the farmhouse to hear melodies from the 1890s played on the accordion. This free events run 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

Saturday, November 20 - Union Township, Union County
Family Fun Day: On the Home Front!
Family Friendly Event

Rations and "Meatless Mondays" became the norm when America entered the Great War in 1917. Brothers John and Robert Kean enlisted in the Army, and over the next 19 months until Armistice Day on November 11th, the Kean family supported the war effort at home and abroad. Join us for activities and explorations as we learn about this oft-forgotten piece of Liberty Hall's history! 

Reservations required. This program takes place between 1:00 and 2:30 p.m. 
Program Fee: $10.00 (1 child+1 adult); $8.00 LHM Members (1 child+1 adult); $4.00 additional children
To purchase tickets visit or call 908-527-0400.

Liberty Hall is located at 1003 Morris Ave, Union, NJ.

Saturday, November 20 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Logging & Firewood Cutting
Family Friendly Site

While farmers use horses to skid saw logs out of the woods and haul firewood to the sap house in preparation for maple sugaring season, visitors can cut and chop firewood, split locust logs into fence rails, and make real barn pegs for use in barn frames around the farm!

At the sawmill, farmers will be cutting boards for horse stalls, fences, and a new hog shed.

The site is open from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.

Please note that all 2021 programs will be modified to encourage social distancing and reflect current State guidelines for public events. Visitors are required to carry masks at all times, and wear them when social distancing isn't possible.

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

Saturday, November 20 - Forked River, Ocean County
An Appraisal Fair

Have you ever wondered how much that keepsake, family heirloom, or antique gathering dust is worth? Now you can find out when the Lacey Township Historical Society hosts Marilyn Melega & Company from Old and New Legacies on Saturday from 11:00 am - 2:00pm.  

Admission is only $5.00 at the door and will include a tour of the museum and the appraisal of one item. Additional items may be appraised for $5.00 each with a limit of three pieces. The event will take place at 126 South Main Street in Forked River, (Old Schoolhouse Museum, Route 9, behind Mrs. Walker's Ice Cream Shop). Should you have questions regarding this fundraiser call 609-971-0467 and leave a clear message. No reservation needed.

Saturday, November 20
Nothing More Agreeable - Music in the Washington Family
Virtual Program

Saturday, November 20 - Cape May, Cape May County
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Children Friendly Event

Santa Claus himself flips the switch and illuminates the huge evergreen Christmas tree on the grounds of the historic 1879 Emlen Physick Estate at 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ during the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday from 5:00 - 7:30 pm. Visitors of all ages are invited to this annual tradition outdoors on the grounds of the estate, a thrilling start to the holiday season, presented by Cape May MAC and sponsored by Sturdy Savings Bank. Visitors are invited to bring canned goods and non-perishable food items for collection during the evening to donate to the Cape May Community Food Bank, which helps feed needy families in the community, and stop by the Toys for Tots table to help support this worthy cause. Returning this year is the Atlantic Brass Band performing holiday favorites. The 35-piece Atlantic Brass Band, based at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J., is an award-winning, authentic British-style brass band of international acclaim. They have entertained countless audiences since 1984. The band won the 2017 U.S. Open competition and is a three-time champion in the North American Brass Band Association competition. A longtime Cape May favorite, the band is comprised of professional musicians, professors, educators and community members. The concert begins at 5:00 pm. Santa will hit the switch on the huge Christmas tree on the estate at 7:00 pm from the outdoor stage and Mrs. Claus will read “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

The 1879 Physick House Museum is authentically decorated for a Victorian Christmas during the holiday season and visitors on Saturday can step inside the museum for a free self-guided Physick Estate Christmas Tour, from 5:00 - 8:00 pm.

For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday, November 20 - 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 $20 and children (ages 3-12) $15. Trolley rides on Saturday at 5:30, 6:15, 6:30, 7:15, 7:30, and 8:15 pm. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - SundayNovember 20 - 21 - Cape May, Cape May County
Emlen Physick House 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 Saturday at 12:30, 1:45, and 3:00 pm and Sunday at 12:30 and 1:45 pm. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 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

Saturday - SundayNovember 20 - 21 - 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 5:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Price is $5. 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 - SundayNovember 20 - 21 - 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 12:00 - 4:00 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 $12 for adults, $8 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 - SundayNovember 20 - 21 - 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 $20 and children (ages 3-12) $15. Tours on Saturday at 11:45 am, 1:00 pm, and 2:15 pm and Sunday at 11:45 am and 1:00 pm. Sponsored by the Cape May MAC. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - SundayNovember 20 - 21 - 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 and college students, $6 for children 4-12, and $5 for Atlantic City residents; active military and children under 4 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 - Sunday, November 20 - 21 - 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: Adults are $25.00 and children ages 5-11, veterans, and seniors (62+) are $20.00. 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 - Monday, November 20 - 22 - Tuckerton, Ocean County
Outdoor Strolling Admission: Tuckerton Seaport
Family Friendly

Tuckerton Seaport is open for strolling for long weekends. The Tuckerton Seaport will be open on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. Reserved timed tickets will be required for everyone. This helps us limit capacity and maintain social distancing. Masks will be required at all times. Tuckerton Seaport reserves the right to make changes to the schedule or cancel at any time due to circumstances beyond our control at the discretion of the museum. Safety always comes first around here. In the event that we need to cancel any dates, guests who have pre-purchased tickets will receive a full refund.

Tickets are just $5/person. Members will be required to bring their Membership Card with them when visiting or the discount will not be valid. Membership benefits for Seaport Family Members include two adults as well as any accompanying children under 18. Everyone needs a ticket for entry with the exception of children under age 5 who are complimentary.

The Tukerton Seaport is located at 120 W. Main Street, Tuckerton, NJ. For more information, call 609-296-8868 or visit

Sundays, November 21 and 28 - Somerville, Somerset County
Old Nassau On The Banks: Queen's College's First Tutor

In November 1771 Old Dutch Parsonage's Frederick Frelinghuysen offered the first tutorials for Queen's College, launching two and a half centuries of teaching that continue today at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

This historic houses tour goes indoors at Wallace House & Old Dutch Parsonage to explore the Jersey Dutch background of Queen's College's first tutor, the early national and religious diversity that produced two colonial colleges Princeton and Rutgers in New Jersey, and the role of taverns including the Sign of the Red Lion in New Jersey's intellectual and political life before and during the American Revolution. This program runs from 3:00 - 4:00 pm.

The site is located at 71 Somerset Street, Somerville, NJ. Click here to reserve your FREE ticket.

Sunday, November 21
Reforming House; Reforming People: Can Our Homes Make Us Better People?
Virtual Presentation

Architectural historian Janet Foster will discuss the history of the idea that better homes can make us better people. Do Gothic Revival cottages encourage moral values? Do Craftsman bungalows help us appreciate nature? Can a Queen Anne home imbue us with sweetness and light? Join us for Janet's answers.

This is a virtual presentation by Janet Foster. It will be held Sunday at 4:00 pm via Zoom. Zoom link:

Sunday, November 21 - Princeton, Mercer County
Historic Princeton Walking Tour
Children Friendly Tour

Enjoy a 90-minute 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.

Tickets are $10. Advance purchase is required. Tour starts in the courtyard of the Princeton Battle Monument
(GPS address: 1 Monument Drive).

Tour begins at 2:00 pm. Please note: Space is limited to 15 participants. Given this is an outdoor tour, masks are optional. If participants have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days of the tour, we ask that they stay home and contact us for a full refund. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-921-6748 or visit

Sunday, November 21 - Lakehurst, Ocean County
The Lakehurst Historical Society Museum

The Lakehurst Historical Society Museum will be doing the Hindenburg talk on the 3rd and 4th Sundays of each month from 12:30 - 3:00 pm. The Lakehurst Historical Society Museum is located at 300 Center Street, Lakehurst, NJ. The museum will be presenting an informational talk about the crash on May 6, 1937 of the Hindenburg Air Ship with artifacts and pictures available for viewing. The museum is open every Wednesday and Sunday from 12:30 - 3:00 pm. If you wish to get almost the same experience as you would get at the Navy Lakehurst Base, without all the problems of trying to get through the military gate, then come visit us! For more information, call 732-575-6904.

Sunday, November 21 - Westfield, Union County
A Colonial Thanksgiving

A special day of thanks has been part of the American tradition since 1621. The Miller-Cory House Museum cooks will demonstrate the preparation of an early American Thanksgiving feast over the museum’s open-hearth fire, using colonial recipes and seasonal ingredients. Please note that this is a demonstration only; dinner is not being served. Proper colonial dining also requires proper table customs. The program includes a presentation on authentic early American manners, place settings, and other interesting “table top traditions.” Program from 2:00 - 4:00 pm.

Docents will be available to guide visitors through the restored, fully furnished colonial era farmhouse. Admission is $5 ages 13 and older; $3 ages 3-12 and free age 2 and younger. No reservations are necessary. The Miller-Cory House Museum is located at 614 Mountain Avenue, Westfield, NJ. For more informationcall 908-232-1776, e-mail, or visit

Sunday, November 21 - River Edge, Bergen County
245th Anniversary of the Retreat to Victory at Historic New Bridge Landing

Join the Bergen County Historical Society as they celebrate the 245th Anniversary of the Retreat to Victory at Historic New Bridge Landing on Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Historic New Bridge Landing is located at 1201 Main Street, River Edge, NJ.

At 10:30 am, after making their retreat from Fort Lee to New Bridge, authentically clad troops of the brigade will engage in a battle for the bridge in a tactical weapons demonstration portraying the action that occurred when British troops forced the Continental Army away from the area and captured this vital crossing point over the Hackensack River.

In wake of the British arrival at New Bridge, a special presentation will take place in front of the Steuben House at 1:00 pm. Watch as members of the brigade are recruited by New Bridge resident and leading Bergen County Loyalist Abraham Van Buskirk to raise a regiment of the New Jersey Volunteers to fight for the British.

Members from the brigade will also be on site throughout the day performing military drills, demonstrations, and interpretations.

On display in the state historic 1752 Steuben House will be the society’s “New Bridge in the American Revolution: Artifacts and Maps” exhibit which includes enlargements on nine period maps and Revolutionary War artifacts from their extensive collection.

Stop by the Westervelt-Thomas Barn to see a broom making demonstration.

Take a peek at the treasures in the gift shop while you enjoy donuts and hot cider which will be available for purchase inside the tavern.       

Don’t forget to visit the society’s authentic Jersey Dutch out-kitchen where interpreters will be cooking seasonal 18th century recipes on the open hearth.

Activities for families to include a scavenger hunt with a prize will be available throughout the afternoon.

Per the state parks’ guidelines, face masks are required inside all historical buildings. Ticket reservations are required: $12 adults, $7 students, and BCHS members free.

Free parking available on site. Dogs on are permitted on the grounds on a leash (not in the houses). For event and talk reservations visit the society’s website For more information, email or call 201-343-9492 (leave a message).

Saturdays and Sundays through January 10, 2021 - 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.

Festival of Trees is open to the public during regular museum hours, Wednesdays through Sundays, from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Timed admission tickets are available for purchase and will be given priority. Limited walk-up admission tickets will be by availability in the museum shop.

Morven Museum & Garden is closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Admission $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (60+) and students, and children 6 and under and active military personnel 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

Through 2022 - Middletown, Monmouth County
Beneath the Floorboards: Whispers of the Enslaved at Marlpit Hall

Beneath the Floorboards: Whispers of the Enslaved at Marlpit Hall
 is the first exhibit to come out of the Monmouth County Historical Association's Living and Breathing initiative, which will reinterpret our Colonial-era historic houses to include the stories of the enslaved African Americans who once resided within them. The exhibition will offer a better understanding of how slavery took root in early Monmouth County, as well as the complex dynamics of daily life and relationships among the enslaved.

The telling of New Jersey’s history is often fragmented, with little remembrance of the thousands of men, women, and children living under forced servitude for more than two centuries. The curators, Bernadette Rogoff and Joe Zemla, have framed the exhibit upon the lives of seven of these individuals: Ephraim, William, Elizabeth, Clarisse, Hannah, Tom, and York, all of whom once lived at Marlpit Hall. Extensive archival documentation, archaeological evidence, and objects from MCHA’s museum collection - some on view to the public for the first time - help tell the larger story of slavery in Monmouth County and New Jersey.

Marlpit Hall is located at 137 Kings Highway, Middletown, NJ. For more information, visit


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


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