Thursday, December 9, 2021

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 12/11/21 - 12/12/21

New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings

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Saturday, December 11 - Titusville, Mercer County
"The Ten-Day Stand That Defined a Free Country" Documentary "The Christmas Night Crossing" Lecture

Arjun Agarwal & John Weaver, 2021 graduates of Lawrence High School and The Lawrenceville School, respectively, will present their award-winning National History Day (NHD) documentary, “The Ten-Day Stand That Defined a Free Country” on Saturday at 2:00 pm. The 10-minute documentary received recognition from the Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Association NJ, the NJ State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the North Jersey American Revolution Round Table during the 2018 New Jersey History Day competition.

The documentary will be followed by a lecture by Washington Crossing State Park’s Resource Interpretive Specialist Clay Craighead on the significance of the Christmas Night Crossing and the Battle of Trenton.

The Washington Crossing Visitor Center Museum will be open from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm0 featuring The Swan Historical Foundation’s Collection of 500+ Colonial and Revolutionary War artifacts.

The Visitor Center Museum can be reached from I-95 by taking the Trenton/Lambertville Exit (this is the first exit in N.J. heading north and the last exit heading south). Head north on Route 29 for 2 ½ miles and turn right at the first traffic light. Park Entrance will be on your left in a ½ mile. Enter the park and follow the signs to the Visitor Center Museum. For more information call 609-737-0623. 

Saturday, December 11 - Upper Freehold, Monmouth County
Edible History Series: Coffee Cake

Drop in for a cup of coffee and a piece of coffee cake made from a 19th century recipe. Learn about the history and evolution of America’s favorite “pick-me-up” and the tasty crumb-topped treat that accompanies it. This free event runs from 2:00 - 3:00 pm.

While there, tour 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, visit

Saturday, December 11 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
Cookstove Demonstration & 19th Century Christmas Ballads
Children Friendly Site & Event

On Saturday, visit Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel and stop by the out kitchen to see what’s cooking on the wood-fired stove. Discover how recipes, cooking techniques and kitchens have changed since the 1890s. This free events run from 11:00 am - 3:30 pm.

Also enjoy 19th century Christmas ballads played on the piano in the farmhouse. This free events run from 1:00 - 3:30 pm.

Historic Longstreet Farm is located at 44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, NJ. For more information, call 732-946-3758 or visit

Saturday, December 11
Unhappy Catastrophes: The American Revolution in Central New Jersey
Virtual Program

Saturday - SundayDecember 11 - 12 - Cape May, Cape May County
Emlen Physick 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. Tours will be on Saturday at 1:45 and 3:00 pm and Sunday at 12:30, 1:45, and 3:00 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 - SundayDecember 11 - 12 - 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 - SundayDecember 11 - 12 - 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 $20 and children (ages 3-12) $15. Trolley rides on Saturday at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, and 12:00 noon and Sunday at 10:00 and 11:00 amSponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Saturday - SundayDecember 11 - 12 - 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 - SundayDecember 11 - 12 - 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 - Sunday, December 11 - 12 - Lambertville, Hunterdon County
Christmas on the Farm
Family Friendly

Saturday - Monday, December 11 - 13 - 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

Sunday, December 12 - 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 $25 and children (ages 3-12) $15. Tour on Sunday at 8:30 and 9:15 pm. Advance reservation strongly recommended. Sponsored by Cape May MAC. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit

Sunday, December 12 - 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

Sunday, December 12 - Titusville, NJ and Washington Crossing, PA
Washington Crossing the Delaware: Dress Rehearsal
Children Friendly Event

Each December, thousands gather on the banks of the Delaware River to watch the reenactment of George Washington’s daring Christmas Day 1776 river crossing. During the event, several hundred reenactors in Continental military dress listen to an inspiring speech by Washington and then row across the river in replica Durham boats.

The public has two opportunities to view the reenactment. The first is on Sunday, December 12, 2021 when the park will hold a full dress rehearsal from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (actual crossing at 1:00 pm).

On this day, in addition to the crossing reenactment, special colonial-era activities and demonstrations throughout the historic village will provide families with a full day of fun and learning. Cost to attend the dress rehearsal is $8 for adults, $4 for children age five to 11, and free for those under five. Family rate is $20 for two adults and two children. Proceeds from this reenactment support future programs in the park. There is no fee to watch the crossing itself from the New Jersey side of the river.

The annual Christmas Day crossing will take place from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on December 25, 2021 (actual crossing at 1:00 pm). The Christmas Day crossing is free.

River crossings are contingent upon safe conditions for participants. However, even if conditions do not allow for crossing, ceremonies, speeches, and commemorative activities still occur. It is recommended that visitors arrive before 1:00 pm on Christmas Day to ensure a good place along the viewing line. 

Drones are not permitted at this event. Washington Crossing Park is located at the intersection of Routes 32 and 532 in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. For more information, visit

Sunday, December 12 - 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, December 12 - 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.) welcomes visitors to the Annual Old-Fashioned Holiday Weekends at the historic Foster Armstrong House at 320 River Road in Montague, NJ. Tours of the historic 1790’s home will be held on Sunday from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. Masks are required for all staff and visitors, and in accordance with social distancing guidelines, there will be a limited number of visitors allowed into the museum at the same time. M.A.R.C.H. expects each small group tour to last about 30 minutes so please plan accordingly.

Docents will lead visitors through five holiday themed rooms on the first floor, each with special Christmas trees trimmed with handmade decorations and ornaments. The Keeping Room is aglow with a decorated colonial mantle and the Cole Room has a gorgeous Victorian tree to complement the Victorian dresses and artifacts on display there. The Montague Township Room reveals a fascinating chronological history of our township and features a sparkling black, white, and bright red cardinal tree. This year special surprise guests are hard at work in our center hallway. Friendly bears are decorating their own tree, wrapping presents and baking miniature cookies by the front Dutch door. Pay close attention to the updated Montague School Display and learn about the history of the four Montague schoolhouses and much more. As you finish your tour in the front Armstrong Room, get ready to rock and roll! Not only will the Armstrong family genealogy and their photos through the ages capture your imagination of years past, but you will also find a fantastic 1950’s tree decorated with hula hoops, poodle skirts, ice cream sodas, saddle shoes, cars and records.

Our gift shop, The Foster General Store, will be open during the Old-Fashioned Holiday Tours from 1:00 - 3:00 pm. Christmas tree ornaments, aprons, dish towels, baskets, and other handmade gifts as well as toys and limited Rock View Hotel memorabilia are available for sale. The store also carries rare books, postcards and local publications about the Tri-State area.

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 or by calling 973-293-3106.

Sunday, December 12 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
The Sounds of Christmas
Children Friendly Site & Event

On Saturday, visit Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel and celebrate the holidays by taking a stroll on Longstreet Farm with the backdrop of wistful music as Larry Moser and Mary Nagin play Christmas carols on the hammered dulcimer and fiddle. 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

Sundays, December 12 and 18 - Tewksbury, Hunterdon County
Tewksbury Historical Society Holiday Gift Sales 

The Tewksbury Historical Society will hold its Annual Holiday Gift Sales on Sunday, December 12 from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm, at the Oldwick Carriage House, 5 James St., Oldwick, NJ and on Saturday, December 18 from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm at Society Headquarters, 60 Water St., Mountainville section of Lebanon, NJ.

New this year is the book Oldtime Days in Mounatainvile and Surrounding Areas by Robert P. Stevenson and Meta Potter at a cost of $30. This book is a much-loved treasure of information that has been out of print for twenty years. Due to the generosity of the Potter family, the Tewksbury Historical Society was given permission to reprint the book exactly as the original book appeared. 

Tewksbury Afghans in cranberry red, hunter green and navy blue, depicting the town's noted landmarks, are special gifts for both new and long-time residents of the area. Tewksbury Church notecards and post cards depicting original historic scenes make great stocking stuffers. The Tewksbury Auto-Tour Book provides a self-guided tour of Tewksbury which could be a fun-to-do winter drive through snow covered hamlets.

Also available are hardcover and paperback editions of Historic Notes on Fairmount, NJ by Freeman Leigh, signed and unsigned prints of "Tewksbury, A River Runs Through It", by Elizabeth "Lib" Ryman and both unmatted and matted (while supplies last) prints depicting scenes in Mountainville, Pottersville and Califon by Linda Jean. Select Mountainville prints are also signed by longtime resident Charles Burrell. Beers reprints of the New Germantown Map and Tewksbury Map can be purchased framed or unframed as singles or in pairs. Framed Post Cards and Tewksbury Historical Society Art Show Tee Shirts are also available.

For more information, visit

Sundays, December 12 & 19- Farmingdale, Monmouth County
Christmas at The Historic Village at Allaire
Children Friendly Site & Event

Lose yourself in the pages of a storybook this Christmas with a visit to the Historic Village at Allaire! Join us for Christmas at Allaire from 12:00 noon to 4pm on Sunday, December 12 and 19 and see the Village transformed into an enchanting showcase of holiday cheer pulled straight from the pages of beloved American authors like Clement Clarke Moore’s (1822) “The Night Before Christmas” and Charles Dickens’ (1843) “A Christmas Carol.” Enjoy the warm glow of open hearths and candle-lit windows as you wander through the Village from the Chapel to Allaire House, amidst the joyful sound of live caroling and the whimsical tunes of the harp and the dulcimer.

Sights, sounds, and activities designed to enchant both young and old for Christmas. Be sure to bring your cameras and your holiday cheer along as you forge a new family holiday tradition in the form of a Christmas visit to the Historic Village at Allaire.

During your visit to the Village be sure to:
* Visit our historic buildings from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm to watch our talented craftspeople forge, smith, cook, and carve a multitude of holiday wonders into existence.
* Participate in an array of Victorian holiday celebrations, fun for all ages, from ornament making to traditional party games.
Search for the subjects of the verses featured in the beloved holiday poem, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” A special “Allaire Candy Cane Reindeer” craft ornament awaits those whose eagle eyes find all!
Drop by the General Store to appraise our array of gifts, crafts, and seasonal goods to prepare your own holiday.
Enjoy a visit with our vintage model train and village--including an authentic replica of NJ’s iconic “Blue Comet” train.
Drop your holiday cards off at the Allaire Post Office to have a hand-canceled limited edition holiday postmark affixed.
Enjoy a piping hot drink prepared in the Village Bakery or stop by the Pilsen Gourmet Food Truck for a delicious meal.
Music program in the Chapel for everyone to join in the Christmas fun!
A surprise visit by Santa Claus, roaming carolers, and storytelling amidst holiday greens in our Enameling Building.
See our historic sleds and wagons bedecked in greenery and prepared for their journey over the river and through the woods.
Watch the Night Before Christmas unfold by candlelight at the Manager’s House while the Allaire family prepare their home to host a joyous Christmas that pays tribute to their French heritage.

All of the historic buildings and the historic district will be decked in bows and ribbons and trimmed in festive greenery both inside and out.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for just $8 per person (children 2 and under admitted for free) or at the door (if available) for $10. Advanced purchase is highly recommended. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable.

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

Sunday, December 12 - Sparta, Sussex County
Van Kirk Homestead Holiday Open House

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 February 2022 - Hampton Township, Hunterdon County
Musconetcong Watercolor Group’s Anniversary Exhibit

The Musconetcong Watercolor Group will celebrate its thirteenth anniversary with a display of recent works at the Lebanon Township Museum. They are a watercolor and drawing instruction group that meet in 19th century stone gristmill, which is the home studio of artist and group leader Doris Ettlinger and her artist husband Michael McFadden.

The mill is located in Imlaydale, which is a small unincorporated community just across the Musconetcong River from New Hampton. Imlaydale has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1990. The original gristmill was built in 1792 by wealthy landowners Samuel Bowlby and Major Henry Dusenberry.

As the winter winds blow in and the ground becomes covered with snow, we invite you in to share the warmth and beauty provided by the Musconetcong Watercolor Group’s Anniversary Exhibit, Hyggelig.

The artwork will be on display through the end of February 2022. The Lebanon Township Museum is located at 57 Musconetcong River Road, Hampton Township, NJ.

Through Spring 2022 - Freehold, Monmouth County
Let Us Play

In celebration of the holiday season, Monmouth County Historical Association debuted Let Us Play on November 27, the newest exhibition at the Association’s Museum and Library & Archives in Freehold, NJ. Drawing on MCHA’s extensive collection, Let Us Play traces several centuries of children’s joyful pastimes and their evolving playthings.

Let Us Play features every child related article in the Association’s collection, many on display for the very first time. From the colonial era through the 20th century, the exhibit traces the evolution of play and the effect the industrial revolution, consumerism, and the burgeoning influence of advertising had on children’s ideas of fun and their beloved toys. Childhood treasures displayed  range from dolls and dollhouses, games and cast iron banks to books, carriages and historic photos.

Let Us Play will generally be open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays each week from 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm at the MCHA Museum, Library and Archives, 70 Court Street, Freehold, NJ but please check for current hours before visiting. For more information, 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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