Monday, March 2, 2020


Here's a riddle: 

What do Governor Christie Whitman, Indian Burial Mounds, and the Black River & Western Railroad have in common?

How about the oldest farmstead in Hunterdon, an 18th century architectural marvel, and the site where Julia Child was married?

Intrigued?  Give up?  Here's the answer:

All of the above are part of the Hunterdon 300th's 2020 theme: 

This theme is as unique as its subject matter so our calendar is still under construction.  We will be providing updates as we book talks and events occur for this interesting exploration of some of the less visited facets of Hunterdon's history and heritage.  We hope you follow along this journey with us.  We don't think you will be disappointed.


THURSDAY, MARCH 19TH: THE WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT AND HUNTERDON'S WOMEN WHO MADE POLITICAL HISTORY:  Celebrate Women's History Month and the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment with us.  Author of "The Franklin Park Tragedy" and Historian Brian Armstrong ("The 1918 Influenza Epidemic in Hunterdon County") will provide a lecture focusing on the development of the women’s suffrage movement in the US that resulted in the 19th amendment to the US Constitution in 1919 permitting women to vote. Profiles of the key players (Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ida Wells, Alice Paul, etc.), and organizations involved with the movement will be presented along with a timeline of events from the movement’s origination in the abolitionist movement to the passage of the amendment and the first vote in 1920. Mr. Armstrong will also discuss prominent New Jersey and Hunterdon County female politicians who followed in the footsteps of the suffragettes.
7 pm.  Main Branch of the County Library.  Free.  Reservations Requested.  
Refreshments follow.

TUESDAY, APRIL 7TH:  THE FABLED WARRIOR KING AND INDIAN BURIAL VAULT RESEARCH IN HUNTERDON COUNTY:  Was Hunterdon the resting place of the fabled warrior king of the great Raritan Indian Tribe of the 17th century?  Join Dr. Gregory C. Herman, PhD in Geology, in this discussion on his research of native peoples in Hunterdon County.   His fieldwork has led to the possible rediscovery of ancient stone burial mounds located atop the Cushetunk Mountains.  The discovery awaits confirmation through professional archeological work. 
If you wish to read more on this topic, please seehis publication in the Hunterdon Historical Society's newsletter:  2018 Herman, G. C., Indian Burial Vault Research in Hunterdon County: Hunterdon Historical Record, vol. 54, No. 3, pgs. 1287 and 1292.
Dr. Herman earned his BS in geology from Ohio University in 1982. After receiving a MS in structural geology from the Univ. of Connecticut in 1984, he joined the NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) in the water quality management program, regulating industrial facilities having discharge of hazardous wastes to groundwater. He transferred to the NJ Geological Survey (NJGS) in 1985 to map bedrock geology in NJ. In 1997 he received his PhD in Geology from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. Having retired from the NJGS after 32 years, Greg now teaches Earth Science at local colleges and a university while consulting on Earth science projects. He also researches impact tectonics and provides Earth-science themes for Google Earth.  In his spare time, he is also helping the Hunterdon County Historical Society clean and rearrange the Deats-Thatcher Collection, a massive collection of American Indian artifacts collected by Hiram E. Deats and John C. Thatcher in the 1800s.  

7 pm.  Main Branch of the County Library.  Reservations recommended.  Free with free refreshments following the talk.

SUNDAY, APRIL 19TH:  NOT JUST COLONIALS AND GINGERBREADS:  20TH CENTURY HOMES IN HUNTERDON:  Colonial Period?  Victorian Gingerbreads?  Our County has so much more!  When we think of local historic architecture we picture the Greek Revival, Italianate, and Queen Anne homes of Flemington, Clinton, Lambertville and the other villages and hamlets of Hunterdon. But what about the buildings constructed post 1900!  After a brief overview of architectural building styles we can then look at the Colonial Revival, Tudor, Foursquare, Craftsman bungalows and Mid-century modern styles that are a larger part of the homes of Hunterdon.  We'll explore the historic and industrial trends that made these popular and possible!  Join Janice Armstrong, noted historian, preservationist, and heritage educator, for a talk focusing on 20th Century architecture.  As a follow up (Summer date to be announced) we'll take a stroll in Flemington to the "newer" side of town, tracing the town's expansion and growth.
Janice is a life-long resident of Hunterdon County and a retired teacher from Readington Township.  Her preservation experience includes working with the New Jersey Historic Trust, Preservation New Jersey, and the Samuel Fleming House Museum and Gardens. She has also taught classes at Drew University for their Historic Preservation program.
Janice is currently writing a walking tour script and training tour guides for tours of Flemington.  

Reservations requested.  Free with free refreshments following the talk.

SATURDAY, APRIL 25TH:  7TH ANNUAL CEMETERY "CEMENER":  A FAMILY AFFAIR:  REVOLUTIONARY POLITICS, NEWS AND THE WOMEN BEHIND THE PRESS:  Sponsored by the Hunterdon County Historical Society and the 300th Committee, this year’s seminar and meet and greet explores the fabulous treasures found in Bethlehem Presbyterian Church's graveyards.  Speakers include an amazing Key Note, Dr. Joseph M. Adelman, and local historians and notables, John Allen, John Kuhl, Rhonda Witwer, Hank Bonnell, William Honachefsky, and Bob and Leslie Leith.

Registration: 10:30 am.
Key Note Address by Dr. Joseph M. Adelman, Author of "Revolutionary Networks, The Business and Politics of Printing the News":  11 am.
Lunch courtesy of Jersey Mike's:  12 pm.
Cemetery Tours and Demonstrations:  1 pm:

  • Revolutionary Gravestone Tour
  • Mary Claypoole (1st Wife of David Chambers Claypoole)
  • Bonnell Family
  • Robert Taylor Famiy
  • Civil War Gravestone Tour
  • Gravestone Cleaning with D/2 Demonstration

Original "General Advertiser" newspapers from 1796 will be on display from the Hunterdon Historical Society Collection.  Dr. Adelman's book will be available for purchase.

Bethlehem Presbyterian Church, 2 Race Street, Pittstown, NJ  08867

$10 Registration is required.

Register at
Send checks to: Hunterdon County Historical Society, 114 Main St, Flemington, NJ 08822
For further information call 908-782-1091 or go to
   Sponsored by The Hunterdon County Historical Society, The Hunterdon 300th       Committee, and 
The Bethlehem Presbyterian Church.


SUNDAY, MAY 3RD: HOLCOMBE-JIMISON FARM FESTIVAL: An extraordinary day at Hunterdon's oldest farmstead!  Certainly one of Hunterdon's Unique Historic Treasures!!  Join us on the farm for a fun packed day with things to see and do no matter your age!!  Live Western and Blue Grass music provided by the "Red Oak Country Boys."

Morning events from 10 am to 4 pm included in the price of admission:
  • Make a rope bracelet for yourself with a machine more than 100 years old!
  • Dip your own wax candle
  • Make a pottery plate for your very own
  • Visit the Hunterdon County 4H Fur and Feathers' Petting Zoo of small creatures
  • Learn to play an Outside Kids' game from Yesteryear
  • Visit the Museum barns and the 1711 House -- filled with memories
  • Visit the Barn of Toys
  • Other sites to see include a Country Store, a Post Office and a Barbershop, Mini-Craft Fair, the Delaware Valley Herb Society's “ International Herb Garden”, and the 1920’s Machine Shop

 Afternoon events from noon to 4 pm included in the price of admission:
  • Take a Tractor/Wagon ride across the lower field
  • Print a Post card on our 3x5 Letter Press from 1880 (Print shop) and learn how paper printing has changed
  • Watch the Blacksmith make a Hook – Can You try?
  • See the Black and River Railroad Road Equipment being used to restore service to Lambertville
Food for sale by Hunterdon County 4H including hamburgers, hot dogs and more PLUS
A Home Made Ice Cream Vendor AND free coffee and snacks in the Office will be available.

$5.00 per Adult or $10.00 a Family - or become a Member for $25.00!
1605 Daniel Bray Highway (Rte. 29) Lambertville NJ 08535                              
(Last New Jersey Exit on route 202, then follow blue signs)
Visit the Farmstead Website at

 Rain or Shine.

THURSDAY, MAY 14TH:  THE ARCHITECTURE AND INTERPRETATION OF THE 1759 VOUGHT HOUSE - THE ONLY LOYALIST HOUSE MUSEUM IN NJ:  In this lecture, Historical Architect, Michael Marguiles, AIA, will discuss the the significance of the architecture of the Vought House - among the most unique in the United States - and the fight to save and preserve it.  
Built in 1759, the house was acquired by the Clinton Township Board of Education and slated for demolition.  it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 16, 2008. The building is on Preservation New Jersey's 2010 "10 Most Endangered Historic Sites list." It was acquired by a newly formed not-for-profit to save and preserve the house for $17.59. 
The house is a heavy timber frame, and the walls are made with wattle and daub. Distinctive features of the interior are four original plaster ceilings with geometric designs.  The most unique of the ceilings is the serpentine design with a snake's head at one end near the front entrance - still intact since it was originally installed in 1759! This may be the only house in the United States with four mid-eighteenth century wattle and daub decorative plaster ceilings.  The ornamental plasterwork is very similar to another Palatine German stone farmhouse in Berks County, PA, the Hehn-Kershner House, circa 1755. In 1958, the architectural elements were purchased by and relocated to Winterthur Museum.
Christoffel Vought was a loyalist during the American Revolution and volunteered to join the British Army. Vought was captured by the Patriots and found guilty by a Jury of Inquisition. Vought and his family went into exile in Nova Scotia. The land and house were sold at auction.
When preserved, this will be the first museum in New Jersey interpreted as a Loyalist site, recognizing the significance of the civil war that raged within New Jersey during the American Revolution. 
7 pm.  Main Branch of the County Library, Route 12. 
Free with free refreshments following the talk.

THURSDAY, JUNE 4TH:  HOW GROWING UP IN HUNTERDON INFLUENCED MY LIFE - WITH GOVERNOR CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN:  Governor Whitman created the Open Space and Farmland Preservation Program for the State and also enacted the largest tax cuts in State history.  An activist who speaks her mind, Governor Whitman made history when she became the first and only woman Governor in New Jersey history.  Join us for a special evening with a unique, history-making, Hunterdon treasure.
7 pm. Main Branch of the County Library, Route 12, Flemington.
Free with refreshments following the talk.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15TH:  THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF HIRAM DEATS:  Join our great treasure, author and historian John Kuhl as he discusses the importance of Hiram Deats, wealthy entrepreneur, businessman, collector, historian.  The legacy of Hiram Deats to Hunterdon County, including the founding of the Hunterdon County Historic Society and his bequeathing priceless artifacts to the Society, is one of both generosity and significance.
7 pm. Main Branch of the County Library, Route 12, Flemington.
Free with refreshments following the talk.


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24TH:  HISTORY, HERITAGE AND HARVEST: BUS TOUR OF HUNTERDON'S 26 MUNICIPALITIES WITH 6 STOPS:  9 AM TO 4:30 PM:  Join us for a fabulous Autumn drive thru Hunterdon County's scenic 26 municipalities.  We will be hopping on and off a deluxe coach bus with private comfort facility while enjoying history, heritage and harvest. 
Our day starts at 9 am when we begin our amazing journey winding through county roads, hamlets, small towns and townships.  On our route, we will go thru many historic hamlets within our 14 townships and all of our 12 small towns.  Our day includes four short stops to see some lesser known or viewed historical sites as well as some that every "Hunterdonian" should see!  Two longer stops include our lunch stop, which will be at a wonderful winery and includes some of their finest, and a stop at a cidery in the afternoon.  On this trip you will have the opportunity to purchase fresh apples, pumpkins, squash and other fresh Hunterdon produce at two farmstands, as welll as award winnng wines, hard cider, and the best apple cider in New Jersey.  The sites along the roadways and brief histories of all 26 municipalities will be provided by Historian and Author John Kuhl and Hunterdon 300th Chair Marcia Karrow. 
Tour is all inclusive: lunch with wine, snacks, hard or sweet cider in the afternoon, bus, bottled water, even the tip for our bus driver.  Return time is approximately 5:00 pm.  
$35 per person.  Checks payable to the Hunterdon 300th and mailed to, or dropped thru the mail slot at 3 Chorister Place, Flemington, NJ 08822 by October 20th. 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15TH:  HUNTERDON HISTORY BOWL:  We had so much fun last year, we thought we'd do it again!!! 2 pm Main Branch of the County Library.


Dana Bala will present Dressed to Kill: From Arsenic in Clothing, and Lead in Cosmetics, to Blazing Crinolines.  Throughout history, we have worn deadly clothing and makeup to be the height of fashion even if it kills us!

Bala will discuss some of the most lethal fashion practices during history, focusing on the Victorian period, when people were, “Dressed To Kill”.
Bala has presented at other historic sites such as the Abraham Staats House, the Miller-Corey Museum, and volunteers at Washington Crossing Park. Her other are-as of interest/expertise include embroidery, cooking and genealogy.
Visit Readington Museums website for more information

SUNDAY, MARCH 15TH: HUNTERDON HISTORICAL SOCIETY PROGRAM FOCUSES ON HISTORY OF EARLY MEDICINE IN NJ WITH DR. GARY GROVER:  Cayenne pepper enemas to treat lung diseases? Swallowing ground glass to treat gastro-intestinal disorders? Chewing tree bark to shake the shivers?
Each of these treatments was considered legitimate at the time, but did any of them work?
Dr. Gary Grover knows the answers, and will share with you the results of years of research into early medical treatments and drug discoveries in New Jersey. The talk will be presented during the Hunterdon County Historical Society’s spring meeting on Sunday, March 15 at 2 p.m. at the Flemington Presbyterian Church, 10 East Main Street. The meeting is free, and everyone is welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM

SUNDAY, MARCH 15TH: 2020 ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY AND LECTURE BY BRIAN ARMSTRONG ON PROHIBITION & NEW JERSEY: 1919-1933: 1 pm – Society Headquarters 60 Water Street - Mountainville Prohibition and New Jersey, 1919-1933. Come hear Brian Armstrong lecture about how Prohibition came to be passed, the problems with enforcement, and how it ultimately was repealed. The unforeseen consequences of the “noble experiment” such as increasing the size of government and the development of organized crime will also be discussed. The repeal of Prohibition in 1933 was the only time in US history when an amendment to the US Constitution (18th) was removed by another amendment (21st).

Brian Armstrong is an independent historian, researcher and author who frequently lectures throughout the state on local history. He was born in Flemington New Jersey and grew up in Stanton, New Jersey. Armstrong received a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from American University in Washington, D.C. He was President of the South River Historical & Preservation Society for ten years and is now the Vice-President, Central Region, for the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey. In 2015, Armstrong co-wrote the Arcadia Book, South River, with Stephanie Bartz and Nan Whitehead. On August 19, 2019, his book, "The Franklin Park Tragedy. A Forgotten Story of Racial Injustice in New Jersey,” was published by The History Press. Armstrong frequently writes articles for the Bar Harbor Historical Society in Bar Harbor, Maine where his mother’s family lived for several hundred years. He is currently working on a book about the resort town for release in 2021. Mr. Armstrong lectures throughout the state on historical topics such as Women’s Suffrage and the 19th Amendment, Prohibition, World War I, the Spanish Influenza, and political history. He is a collector of US Presidential election memorabilia and is a member of American Political Items Collectors (APIC). In the event of inclement weather (snow or ice) the meeting will be cancelled. Check the Society's website at or call 908-832-6734 for more information or to check for any cancellation.

SUNDAY, MARCH 22ND:  LEBANON TOWNSHIP MUSEUM PRESENTS HOME HISTORY RESEARCH SEMINAR:  Interested in discovering the story of your old home? Hit a dead end at an early handwritten deed for your property? The Lebanon Township Historians Committee is hosting an introductory seminar on how to trace the history of your home and the families associated with it. With a special emphasis on the late 18th through 19th centuries, the seminar will cover the many resources available including Hunterdon County archives at Records Hall and the Surrogate’s Court, State of NJ archives, early Hunterdon County maps, census records, local history books, genealogy resources and more.
2pm to 3:30 pm
Lebanon Township Fire Department 3 - 528 West Hill Road, Glen Gardner, NJ
The program is FREE but registration is requested.
Please email to sign up.

Visit the Red Mill Museum Website for more information

ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED on FEBRUARY 02, 2020:  How did a bitter seed become the chocolate that so many of us love? As the drink of choice in Colonial America, and popular among all social classes, it was not unusual to start one’s day with a hot, spicy cup of chocolate. It was perceived to cure common ailments and was even sold in Benjamin Franklin’s Philadelphia print shop.

Susan McLellan Plaisted MS RD CSP LDN, demonstrates the use of the metate by turning the cacao bean into chocolate. Find out what really went into making chocolate from bean to drink, from drink to sweets, and from sweets to the modern candy.
This Open House Sunday program will be held at the Bouman-Stickney Farmstead, located at 114 Dreahook Road in the Stanton section of Readington. For GPS use Lebanon, NJ.
This is a free family friendly event, although donations will be gratefully accepted. In case of inclement weather please call the Museums to find out the status of the program. For more information please visit the Readington Museums website or call 908-236-2327.
1pm to 4pm

MONDAY, APRIL 6TH:  THE WOMEN'S CLUB OF CLINTON PRESENTS: HUNTERDON COUNTY NEEDLEWORK SAMPLERS BY MARTY CAMPANELLI:  The author of books and magazine articles about historic schoolgirl embroidery will present her updated research into Hunterdon's talented needlework instructors and the local girls who created these exciting textiles.
1:00 pm @ Clinton Presbyterian Church

A family friendly, vintage themed Bicycle Ride, Catered Picnic and Retro Bike Show taking place at the Red Mill Museum Village and along the historic and lovely Landsdown Trail in Clinton NJ. A celebration of the history of Clinton and Hunterdon County NJ and a fundraiser to support the restoration of the Mill’s waterwheel. Details and tickets to be announced and available soon.

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