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Thursday, July 23, 2015

JULY AND AUGUST HERITAGE CALENDAR HIGHLIGHTS -- DOG DAYS OF SUMMER, BUT GREAT EVENTS!

IT'S SUMMERTIME IN HUNTERDON COUNTY!  What's so special about Hunterdon in the summer?  Lightning bugs, ice cream stands, free summer concerts, hiking in one of our amazing county parks, viewing the Perseid Meteor Shower on a dark, country road, cooling down with a sprinkler or jumping in a lake, canoeing the Delaware, biking on scenic roads, sheep and cows waiting anxiously for the 4-H Fair.... and some great additional events about Hunterdon's history and heritage..... 

TICKETS ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR AUGUST 12TH'S AND 26TH'S OFFICIAL HUNTERDON 300TH EVENTS (SEE BELOW).  FOR RESERVATIONS, TICKETS OR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT ANY OF THE EVENTS LISTED BELOW, PLEASE CHECK OUR WEBSITE AT WWW.HUNTERDON300TH.ORG

SUNDAY, JULY 26TH:  COUNTY MUSEUM OPEN HOUSE DAY: If you missed the county-wide Museum Open House Day sponsored by the Hunterdon 300th last Sunday, you have another chance! Sponsored by the Hunterdon 300th, more than a dozen participating museums will welcome visitors for Hunterdon Museum Days; hours vary but most will be open between noon and 5 pm. A directory Museums of Hunterdon County will be available at each participating museum. The directory is also available on hunterdon300th.org; visitors are encouraged to consult the directory for street addresses and contact information.

Among the participating museums is the Township of Lebanon Museum on Musconetcong River Rd. in the New Hampton Historic District.  The first thing that strikes you about your visit is the rich array of architecture in the village of New Hampton, which is actually older than neighboring Hampton, said Ms Maher.  The museum is housed in an 1825 one-room schoolhouse which was enlarged to its present size with the second story in 1870.  Also on the tour is the Prevost House on Milford-Frenchtown Rd. in Alexandria Township.  The earliest section of Prevost was built in 1840 on land purchased by Swiss-born Paul Henri Mallet-Prevost, who along with other French speaking settlers in the area, prompted the name of Frenchtown. Prevost House is a shared endeavor between Milford, Frenchtown and Alexandria and Holland Townships and will feature artifacts from each historical society.  A collection of Lenape artifacts will also be displayed along with book signings by local history authors.   This is a special year at The Black River Railroad Museum which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Black River and Western Railroad.  The museum, built in retired Central Railroad of New Jersey baggage car # 420, contains many artifacts dating to the 1860’s.  It’s a must-see for railroad buffs and children of all ages who share a fascination with the railroads.

Participating museums are:  The Hunterdon Art Museum and Red Mill Museum Village, Clinton; Doric House, the Choir School, the Samuel Fleming House Museum & Gardens and the Case-Dvoor Farm all in Flemington; Holcombe-Jimison Farmstead, Lambertville; Readington Twp. Museums, Stanton; Black River and Western Railroad, Ringoes; Tewksbury Historical Society, Oldwick; Solitude Heritage Museum-Joseph Turner House, Union Twp; Township of Lebanon Museum, Hampton, Prallsville Mills in Stockton,and the Prevost House in Alexandria Twp. 

THURSDAY, JULY 30TH:  STEPHANIE STEVENS' TALK ON PITTSTOWN.                     Stephanie Steven’s will talk on her latest book, All Roads Lead to Pittstown, at Faith Chapel Wesleyan Church, 43 Lower Landsdown Road  in Franklin Township (if using GPS, enter Annandale as the town).  The program, which starts at 7:30 p.m., is sponsored by Rural Awareness, Inc., a non-profit group dedicated to preserving the agricultural and historic heritage of Franklin Township.  Admission is free. Light refreshments will be served.

Pittstown was at the crossroads of activity in the fight for American independence and some 70 years later was the hub of manufacturing in Hunterdon. Stevens highlights the personalities and actions of three men -- Charles Hoff, Moore Furman, and Hiram Deats -- who created and controlled the village in the 18th and 19th centuries.  She also profiles several other figures of history including Christopher Ludwig who was appointed Baker General by George Washington and who built a bake oven in Pittstown to prepare bread for the Revolutionary Army. She says the arrival of train service in 1891 was the last big historical event and, when the trains stopped running, Pittstown drifted into the quiet village it is today.

Following a question and answer session, signed copies of the book will be available for $5.

FRIDAY, JULY 31ST:  "THE HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY OF ROWLAND MILLS, A 19TH CENTURY ROADSIDE VILLAGE BESIDE THE SOUTH BRANCH". Richard Hunter, President of the Trenton-based historical and archaeological consulting firm, Hunter Research, presents the results of excavations and research for the New Jersey Department of Transportation before the dualization of Route 31 between Flemington and Clinton.  In particular, Dr. Hunter will talk about Rowland Mills and the fascinating use of daybooks of a Ewing Blacksmith Shop.  If you don't know where Rowland Mills was, you can note the location from the blue sign marking it provided by the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission and researched by John Kuhl.  The talk and following refreshments are free, but donations are gratefully accepted.   Check out our website or call (908) 236-2327 for further information.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 2ND:  Join the exciting TOUR DE FARM BIKE TOUR, a bicycling tour of Hunterdon County to promote NJ Farmers and their Farms. 8am Check in and Breakfast at South County Park followed by the Extreme Tour (81 miles) at 9 am -- or you can do the alternative Weekend Warrior Tour (20 miles) that starts at 10 am. Visit the Tour de Farm Website for more information.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12TH:  300TH LECTURE:  HUNTERDON'S AGRICULTURAL SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES AND INNOVATIONS.  If you followed our 2014 "300 Fun Facts About Hunterdon County", you'll remember that the first artificial insemination of a cow happened in Hunterdon and the first live shipment of chicks came from Hunterdon. And let's not forget about the Deats Plow and all of the great work that is being done in Pittstown at the Snyder Research Farm. Join county historian John Kuhl for a brand new lecture and power point presentation on these topics and so much more. This lecture is free but reservations are strongly recommended.  John is a favorite of our lectures' attendees, so make your reservation early!

This is a companion lecture to a special event we are planning at the Snyder Research Farm on August 26th. See below for details.

WENDESDAY, AUGUST 19TH THRU SUNDAY, AUGUST 22ND:  HUNTERDON AGRICULTURAL AND 4-H FAIR -- 10 am to 10 pm Wednesday thru Saturday; 10 am to 5 pm Sunday. Opening Ceremonies Wednesday afternoon. Tractor pulls, animals galore, rides, games, attractions, live entertainment, amusements, racing piglets, funnel cake, cotton candy, and enough food to make Templeton the Rat happy. Need we say more?

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26TH: THE GREAT TOMATO TASTING EARLY BIRD SPECIAL!   The Hunterdon 300th has made special arrangements with Rutgers. 40 lucky people who grab our Early Bird tickets will be able to enter the annual Great Tomato Tasting at the Clifford E. and Melda C. Snyder Research Farm early and receive a special lecture prior to the tasting event! We meet at 1:45 pm at the Research Farm in Pittstown and promptly board 2 hay wagons at 2 pm which will take our group for a private tour of the Research Farm where you will hear the history of the 390 acre farm, the Snyders' amazing contributions to agriculture and their community, and Mrs. Snyder's amazing and generous donation to Rutgers University's Cook College.

Following the tour and talk, you are on your own to taste all of the fabulous tomatoes that are grown at the Research Farm as well as the other fruit and produce selections available.

Starting with the actual tomato tasting, this year there will be more than 60 heirloom and hybrid varieties of beefsteak, plum, cherry, and grape tomatoes to sample. Other produce, as well as varieties of basil and honey, will be available.

Activities will include a chef’s cooking demonstration and tasting, guided educational wagon tours of the farm’s research plots, visits to the farm’s gardens with opportunities to ask questions and get answers, insect displays, information booths on various foods grown in the Garden State, and much more.

One highlight will be the Melda C. Snyder Teaching Garden which showcases demonstration plots of deer tolerant ornamentals; ethnic greens; blueberries, hazelnuts, dogwoods, and hollies from the Rutgers breeding programs; a turf labyrinth; an “apple wall” featuring the Experiment Station Tree Fruit Breeding Program for home orchards; and fun family farm photo opportunities. New this year will be a “sunflower pyramid,” a display of various varieties of sunflowers of different heights and sizes that form a living pyramid.

Rutgers faculty and staff and Rutgers Master Gardeners, whose hard work preparing for this popular event makes it possible, will be on hand to answer gardening questions.

The Great Tomato Tasting opens to the general public at 3 pm, so our early-bird arrival guarantees us the best parking and an early spot in the lines at the tables. Stay for the entire event or leave at your leisure!

Limited to 40 people. 

PLEASE NOTE:  THERE IS A $7 RESERVATION FEE FOR THE EVENT DUE IMMEDIATELY UPON MAKING YOUR TICKET ORDER; THE 300TH WILL PAY CONFIRMED TICKET HOLDERS' FEE INTO THE EVENT AT THE SNYDER RESEARCH FARM. PLEASE MAIL TO OR DROP YOUR CHECK OFF THRU OUR MAIL SLOT AT THE HUNTERDON 300TH, C/O THE FLEMINGTON CHOIR SCHOOL, 3 CHORISTER PLACE, FLEMINGTON, NJ 08822. CHECKS SHOULD BE MADE PAYABLE TO THE HUNTERDON 300TH. YOUR TICKET ORDER WILL BE CONFIRMED UPON RECEIPT OF PAYMENT.

Tickets Required.


FRIDAY, AUGUST 28TH: LENAPE PROGRAM. As part of Readington Museums' summer lecture series, Susan Plaisted, proprietress of Heart to Hearth Cookery, a food history business based in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, conducts a program about our local Native American tribe, the Lenni Lenape. Plaisted holds a B.S. in food and nutrition and an M.S. in health education. Her specialty is American and Native American food during the Colonial Period. Refreshments Served; Donations appreciated and accepted.

Call 908-236-2327 or email the museum at readingtonmuseums@gmail.com