Thursday, December 2, 2021

NJ Weekend Historical Happenings: 12/4/21 - 12/5/21

New Jersey Weekend Historical Happenings

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Saturday, December 4 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
Yarn Bee
Ages 10+

Whether starting a new hobby or working on an old project, all are welcome to this gathering on Saturday at Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel! The relaxed atmosphere means no pressure - you can knit or crochet at your own pace, and farm staff will be on hand to assist those wanting to learn a new skill. Bring your own supplies or borrow ours for the session. Open to ages 10 and up; under 18 with adult. The cost is $5 per person; cash or check only. This event run from 12:00 noon - 2:30 pm.

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

Saturday, December 4 - Bedminster, Somerset County
Liberty Tree Lighting
Children Friendly Event

Kick off the holiday season with plenty of patriotic cheer at the Jacobus Vanderveer House Liberty Tree Lighting Celebration!

Join The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House from 4:00 - 7:00 pm (tree lighting at 5:00 pm) on Saturday for our annual Liberty Tree Lighting Celebration! Free to the community!

Festivities will include:
* Photos with Santa
* Live Holiday Music
* Live reading of The Night Before Christmas
Surprise Holiday Pull
Poinsettia Sale (pre-sale only, purchase online at
*Decorating your own Gingerbread Man
* Colonial Reenactors
* Fire Pit
* Complimentary hot cocoa and pretzels

The Jacobus Vanderveer House is located at 3055 River Road (in Bedminster’s River Road Park), Bedminster, NJ. For more information, call 908-396-6053 or visit

Saturday, December 4 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 exhibit will open on Saturday, December 4 with a Holiday Open House from 12:00 noon - 3:00 pm. Enjoy music, cookies, and cocoa while you kickstart your holiday shopping with offerings from the artists such as prints, notecards, books, and more. 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.

Saturday, December 4 - Hopewell Township, Mercer County
Christmas on the Farm
Family Friendly Site

Holiday cheer is in store for those who visit Howell Farm, when the 130-acre county park offers special tours and activities to celebrate the season. Christmas crafts, farm animal visits, and opportunities to peek inside a decorated circa-1900 farmhouse are just part of the fun scheduled daily from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. The farm’s forge, horse barn, and gift shop will all be open – as well the barnyard, where families can take selfies in the horse-drawn bobsled used for sleigh rides.

In the gift shop, visitors can purchase the farm’s own maple syrup, honey, wheat flour, and popcorn – as well as handmade straps of sleigh bells, forged items made by the farm’s own blacksmith, and hand-knitted garments made from Howell Farm sheep’s wool. Warm drinks, homemade cookies, and other light refreshments are also available for sale at the farmhouse, as well as a holiday swag craft for children ($6).

Visitors are invited to bring canned goods for contribution to the farm’s Share the Harvest Program, which this year has produced 28,000 lbs. of grain products, fresh vegetables, eggs, and woolen wear for local food banks and pantries. Toys for Tots is also accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys to help bring joy to America's less fortunate children this holiday season.

Christmas on the Farm hours are 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. Pre-registration is not required for entry, but guests must sign in at the Visitor Center outdoor reception area upon arrival. Face masks and social distancing are required. Guests with special needs are encouraged to call in advance.

This program is the last event on the 2022 program calendar, but the farm’s gift shop will be open Tuesday - Thursday from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm through December 23. The farm will reopen for the 2021 season on Saturday, January 29 with Ice Harvesting.

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, December 4 - Ocean Township, Monmouth County
2021 Holiday Open House

Saturday, December 4 - Holmdel, Monmouth County
19th Century Christmas Ballads
Children Friendly Site & Event

On Saturday, visit the Longstreet farmhouse at Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel and enjoy 19th century Christmas ballads played on the piano. 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 4 - Bordentown, Burlington County
Clara Barton's 200th Birthday Celebration
Family Friendly Event

Saturday, December 4
Adoption and Biological Family Search Resources
Virtual Program

Saturday - SundayDecember 4 - 5 - 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 4 - 5 - 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 4 - 5 - 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 am 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 4 - 5 - 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 4 - 5 - 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 4 - 5 - Jefferson Township, Morris County
Open House

Jefferson Museum will participate in the Jefferson Arts Committee sponsored “Christmas in the Village.” Each year the Museum is decorated with a different theme, and the theme this year is “All Aboard for Christmas”.

The museum will be open on Saturday from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, and Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Admission is free. The museum will be decorated with a train theme this year. The dining room will be all Polar Express. The sewing room will be dedicated to the history of trains specifically in Jefferson (with materials and help from Lake Hopatcong Historical Society and Lake Hopatcong Foundation) i.e., the Ringling Circus coming down Oak Ridge to Berkshire Valley Road to the Ringling Manor and trains bringing guests to the hotels in Lake Hopatcong.

Miss Elizabeth’s Shoppe will be converted to all Christmas items (cash or check only). 

Features: Mrs. Claus will be there Saturday and Sunday. Complimentary roasted chestnuts and hot mulled cider served from the Museum’s pot-bellied stove on Saturday. Under a tent: Jefferson Township Historical Society and Garden Club membership information, baked goods for sale and spill over Shoppe items.

There will be costumed docents in the museum, and multi area photo opportunities: an Antique sleigh or life size wooden soldiers. The Gardens will be decorated with woodland creatures and candy canes throughout.

The Jefferson Township Museum is located at 315 Dover-Milton Road, Jefferson Township, NJ. For further information, call 973-697-0258 or visit

Saturday - Monday, December 4 - 6 - 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 5 - 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 5 - 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 5 - 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

Sundays, December 5 & 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 two more Sundays in 2021 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 5
The Start of War & The Road to Gettysburg
Virtual Program

A licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park since 2004, Ralph Siegel will present a Zoom program to Ocean County Historical Society history buffs on Sunday at 2:00 PM. Ralph is a co-author with Mike Vallone of the 2018 book, Peach Orchard: A Gettysburg Battlefield Guided Tour. He has done many seminars and anniversary battle walks, several of which were recorded for PCN TV.

A former reporter for the Associated Press, Ralph retired as the director of a conservation finance agency in the NJ Treasury Department. He lives in Mercerville, NJ with his wife and rescue dog.

To register for this program, send your name, zip code, and email address to We will send you an email with the link to Zoom before the event so that you can join us.

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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