Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ar Rockingham

At Rockingham on the Millstone Valley Scenic-Historic Byway

Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 1:30 pm
George Washington's Indispensable Men While General Washington was at Rockingham in later 1783, he was accompanied by three officers--Benjamin Walker, David Humphreys and David Cobb. These three men, hand-picked by Washington for their reading and writing skills, were the last in a long line of officers who served Washington during the course of the American Revolution. On October 1st, author Arthur Lefkowitz explores this group of fascinating men who worked behind the scenes to help win American independence. Largely unknown and forgotten, these unselfish, hard-working patriots served at Washington's headquarters as volunteer aides-de-camp (personal assistants) and military secretaries. This presentation relates their accomplishments during the Revolutionary War and well into the 19th century. This lecture is based on the speaker's book, George Washington's Indispensable Men: The 32 Aides-de-Camp Who Helped Win American Independence (Stackpole Books, 2003). This program is made possible by a grant from the NJ Council for the Humanities Horizon Speakers Bureau and by the Rockingham Association.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

2016 Journey through the Past Somerset County

Saturday Oct. 8, 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday    Oct. 9  12 noon to 4 pm

2016 Event Overview...

Weekend Journey through the Past Logo
The Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission, in collaboration  withtwenty-six local historical organizations and tourism partners, has designated the weekend of October 8 & 9, 2016 "Weekend Journey through the Past."  During this two-day period, twenty-six (26) of the County's significant historic sites will be open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday,  and 12:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Sunday.   This year’s event features three early schoolhouses, of particular interest to educators and their students.
Participating historic sites have been grouped into three convenient tours by location: Northern, Central, and Southern Somerset County. A scenic route plan with driving direction has been prepared for each of the three tours (see link below). Admission to all sites is free. 
For those who enjoy a challenge, a fun and educational detective investigation activity, What in the World is That? created for  kids & the entire family,  will test your powers of deduction to solve 26  mysteries complementing the various special exhibits, programs, and tours planned at each historic site. This featured activity encourages a multi-generational outing for parents and grandparents alike, sharing stories and experiences about  “the old days” with their children  and grandchildren  as they enjoy traveling from one historic site to the next.  One unique item from the past will be displayed and identified, along with its description, at each of the 26  participating historic sites during this year’s weekend event.  
This annual event is a perfect opportunity for a family outing. A visit to the County's historic sites offers a unique educational experience for all ages, as well as a chance to visit some of Somerset County's most picturesque and unspoiled areas.
Many of the sites have significant Revolutionary War histories which have contributed to the area's designation as the "Crossroads of the American Revolution State Heritage Area".  Local historians will be on hand to share their knowledge and stories about Somerset County's history.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Meadows Foundation Fireside Chat

WG - Historic Haunts of Central Jersey - Fireside Chats
WhenSat, October 15, 2pm – 4pm
WhereWyckoff-Garretson House: 215 South Middlebush Road, Franklin Township, NJ (map)
DescriptionWhat ghosts roam within the historic sites and buildings of central New Jersey? How accurate are the traditional stories? From the shadowed woods of the Somerset Hills to the dappled banks of the Delaware River, Historic Haunts of Central Jersey delivers a rich mix of factual history and the sound investigation of ghostly phenomena. This 90-minute presentation also mixes in numerous PowerPoint Photos of investigation sites and audio clips of unexplained voices. The combination of an open-minded enthusiasm and a level-headed approach underscores this collection of reports that will inform, entertain, and lead audience members to places where the past is considered to be very much alive and entwined with the present. Guest speaker Gordon Thomas Ward will delight you with this fantastic presentation. This event is to be held at the Wyckoff-Garretson House, and tickets are $10. For more information or to reserve a seat, please contact Chris Retz at or by calling 732-748-7657.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mary Jacobs Library Program

Thursday September 22, 7 pm Harvest Time – History of Local Farming” In the words of Montgomery Farmers Past.  Including an extensive slide show of recent and old photographs.   Free public program at Mary Jacobs Library in Rocky Hill

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Meadows Founadation Program

The Meadows Foundation is pleased to present:  Archaeology in New Jersey! 
    Dr. Richard Veit - professor, archaeologist, presenter - will be giving his lecture on the archaeological importance of New Jersey. This area has been inhabited for thousands of years, from the Indians to Colonial life to today. Treasures abound under the soil, telling the story of our fascinating history.  Please join us as we unearth the past.

    This lecture, part of our Fireside Chat series, will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 2-4pm at the historic Van Liew-Suydam House, 280 South Middlebush Road, Franklin Township, NJ. The fee for attending is $10 and includes light refreshments. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sue Ann Derkach Please send an email to make a reservation to ensure that we have adequate seating available.  Please visit our website for more information:

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Boundbrook River Fest

Kathy Faulks
Friends of Abraham Staats House, Inc.

Saturday, September 10, 2016
11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Celebrating the history and beauty of Bound Brook, this family friendly event features fun for everyone! RiverFest brings out all the best food, vendors, rides and local businesses. The crowds come year after year to walk along the canal and shop till they drop!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

D and R Canal Films

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016
A showing of two
D&R CANAL films
Films with additional commentary will be featured at a Kingston Historical Society meeting.

7:30 PM at the Kingston Firehouse

After some background on the canal - its past and present and importance to Kingston –
KHS president Robert von Zumbusch will lead us through two videos: 
D&R” produced and directed by Cliff Crawford in 1976, but much of it shot before the Canal Park was established –
and “Canals of NJ” about both the D&R and the unique Morris Canal, which was very different from the D&R.

Meeting is free and open to the public.
For more information see:  or Call:   (609) 223-3877

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Dear Friends of the D and R Canal Watch,
    We urge you to attend our Annual Meeting
 Sunday, June 12 at 2:00 p.m.

To move chairs into the Mule Tenders Barracks, we request the use of a pick-up truck to meet us at the Griggstown Fire House on Canal Road at noon. If you can help with this, please call Bob Barth at 201-401-3121.
JUNE 12, 2:00 P.M.

     Don Griffin, from the Mohawk Canoe Club, and Barbara Ross, Canal Watch vice president, will lead the audience on a whirlwind paddle down the D and R Canal of the future.
     On the feeder canal they will put in at Bulls Island and take out at Ewing Township's Lower Ferry Road, then jump to the main canal and paddle from Cherry Tree Lane in Lawrence Township to Franklin Township's DeMott Lane.  
     Proposed new trailheads and bridge, portage, launch, and signage improvements will be highlighted, with glimpses of the countryside, communities, and adjacent waterways along the canal's route.
     This program is designed to introduce the public to a proposed D and R Canal Water Trail and to gather suggestions and comments before the plan is presented to the several regulatory agencies that maintain jurisdiction over the canal. It is important that paddlers and other recreational users have a stake in this exciting new venture.
     Following the PowerPoint presentation, those interested are encouraged to remain for an in-depth discussion about the future of the canal state park, fundraising, the 5K run, and other events. The D and R Canal Watch is seizing this opportunity and seeking new ideas. Those members interested in volunteering or otherwise participating in the future of the Canal Watch are especially urged to attend.
     Sunday, June 12 at 2:00 p.m. in the Muletenders Barracks,
4 Griggstown Causeway, in the Griggstown section of Franklin Township, between River Road and Canal Road. The Barracks is the long building on the west side of the canal. (For GPS, use Princeton as the town, even though it's nowhere near Princeton.)

D and R Canal Watch
      Our Mission: To protect, maintain, and promote the recreational, historical, aesthetic, and environmental qualities of the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park and its environs, to assist and to support regional, state, local, and private enterprise efforts that contribute to this goal, and to investigate the restoration of the canal to through navigation.
D and R Canal Watch, 214 North Bridge Street, Somerville, NJ 08876

Monday, May 23, 2016

Somerset County to Fete Historic Preservation and History Awards Winners

Public invited to May 25 awards program

BOUND BROOK – Somerset County Freeholder Mark
 Caliguire, cultural & heritage commission liaison, invites
 the public to attend the
19th Historic Preservation 
and History Awards Program 
on Wednesday, May 25at 7 p.m
 at the historic Brook Theatre, located at 
10 Hamilton Street, Bound Brook, NJ 08805.

The Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission biennial awards 
program was established to increase public awareness of historic 
preservation, and to recognize and publicly commend individuals 
and organizations for their contributions in preserving the county’s history.

Freeholder Director Patricia L. Walsh will present the awards and local historian and educator Linda Barth will introduce a new video titled “The Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway,” produced by the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition.

Following are the honorees by category:

  • Historic Preservation:  SAVE, A Friend of Homeless Animals in Skillman for the restoration and adaptive reuse of the historic Van Zandt House in Montgomery Township.
  • History Leadership and Education: The Watchung Historical Committee for its efforts to convert the former Watchung Police Department Headquarters to the Texier House Museum, as well as preparation of numerous historic exhibits and displays for the museum.  
  • Christopher Solan of Bridgewater for his Eagle Scout project, which placed roadside signage in Bridgewater Township along the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail.
  • Publication: Somerville Through Time,” which is a then-and-now book of historic and present-day photographs of historic Somerville, written by Linda and Robert Barth of Somerville and James Sommerville III of Bridgewater.  
  • Also, “A Historical Walking Tour from Old York Road to the Riverfront” and “A Historical Walking Tour of Raritan’s Somerset Street,” by Raritan residents Marie Lombardy and Keith James of the Raritan Historical and Cultural Committee.
  • Education: The Friends of the Jacobus Vanderveer House for their hands-onArchaeology Camp for children.

A reception with light refreshments, as well as an opportunity to network with key leaders in the Somerset County historic preservation and history community, will follow the awards ceremony at the Brook Theatre.

For more information, contact Historic Sites Coordinator Thomas D’Amico at 908-231-7106 or

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
From D&R Canal Watch


General George Washington lived in Somerville's Wallace House for 
six months during the Middlebrook Cantonment of the American Revolution.
 At the turn of the last century, Somerville, the county seat, was a very 
contemporary town. Main Street was an avenue of commerce, lined with
 stores, services, and entertainment. In 1900 the town boasted three 
newspapers, a major shopping district, and lots of entertainment. 
People traveled from neighboring towns on the trolleys, and train 
service linked Somerville to New York, Trenton, Philadelphia, and more
 distant points. 
The municipality was part of Bridgewater Township until 1909, when 
Somerville became an independent borough. 
The town celebrated its Centennial in 2009.
National Register sites in the borough include the
Somerset County Court House; the Wallace House;
 the Old Dutch Parsonage; St. John's Episcopal Church
and rectory; the Exempt Firemen's Museum, the
Daniel Robert Mansion, now the borough hall, and
J. Harper Smith mansion. 

D&R Canal WaTch 
Our Mission: To protect, maintain, and promote 
the recreational, historical, aesthetic, and environmental
 qualities of the Delaware & Raritan Canal State Park
 and its environs, to assist and to support regional, state, 
local, and private enterprise efforts that contribute to this goal,
 and to investigate the restoration of the canal to through navigation.

D&R Canal Watch, 214 North Bridge Street, Somerville, NJ 08876

Friday, April 8, 2016

Battle of Bound Brook Reenactment 2016

Battle of Bound Brook

Battle of Bound Brook
When: Saturday, April 9th 2016
Time: 8am-10am. Breakfast buffet served at 8am
What: 18th Century style buffet breakfast
Where: Historic Van Horne House, 941 E. Main St, Bridgewater, NJ 08870
(Handicapped parking in the lot-- all others park behind Target please.)
*Space is limited, reservations with payment are required**
Cost: $10.00 adults
$3.00 For all children under 12 years old.
Register: Online at, coming events page, register and pay online with our new registration system.
Enjoy breakfast and then hear a lively presentation by David Lang, founder of the Middlebrook Theatrical Society, (MTS). Learn the background and gain insight to the Battle of Bound Brook before heading over to witness the reenactment! Be a person ‘in the know’ and bring the battle more into perspective as a battle that is just as important to the war effort as Trenton and Princeton were!
Hear Ye, Hear Ye,
“In this year of our Lord, 1779, His Excellency General Washington, upon hearing that Master Wm. Turner of Middlebrook, a guest of Philip and Elizabeth Van Horne, was to retell his eyewitness account of the Battle of Bound Brook; General Washington changed his plans and WILL break his fast with the Van Horne’s and their guests this day.”
**G. Washington portrayed by Sam Davis **Wm. Turner portrayed by David Lang
Master William Turner, A Tutor and Dance Master and frequent guest of the Van Horne's, will present a retelling of his eyewitness account of the Battle Of Bound Brook, just two years ago! While General Lord Cornwallis ate breakfast with the Van Horne family April 13th, 1777, the Guest of Honor on this day April 9th, 1779, will be His Excellency, General George Washington!
(Pictured is Philip Van Horne, his foreman, Brian Van Cote and Master Turner)
Seating is limited, reservations are best as we cannot guarantee there will be seats available at the door.
Please do not call on April 9th as no one will be available to answer the phone...whatever that is.
Heritage Trail Association, The Historic Van Horne House
941 East Main Street
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
The Heritage Trail Association will once again host our annual "Breakfast Before the Battle (of Bound Brook) 18th century 'style' buffet breakfast" at the Historic Van Horne House.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Don't forget the Wednesday March 23, 7:00 pm Raritan & Millstone Rivers Flood Control Commission meeting in the Franklin Municipal Building, 475 Demott Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873.