Durand-Hedden House

Join Durand-Hedden House & Garden for a beloved annual tradition: Gingerbread Houses Now virtual! EXTENDED until January 2, 2021

2020 has been a difficult year, but Durand-Hedden’s Gingerbread House exhibit will go on!

There will be no in-person showings and no contest. Participants will simply email a photo of their gingerbread creation and its title, as well as their name(s) and ages, to Durand-Hedden at info@durandhedden.org by Sunday, December 20.

Photos will be displayed online in these categories: Little Ones (under 8), Youth (9-12), Teen (13-17), Adult (over 18), Professional

Submissions will be available for viewing on Durand-Hedden’s Facebook page in our 2020 Gingerbread House Gallery as it grows. Email info@durandhedden.org with any questions. Have fun!

Statement from Durand-Hedden House Board of Trustees

The Durand-Hedden House, Maplewood’s historical society, stands with and supports our African American community and the Black Lives Matter movement in the quest for a society that treats all people fairly. We must all work together to right the grave injustices that have made it impossible for Black people to benefit equally from all our nation has to offer.

Last June, Durand-Hedden, in collaboration with the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race, presented our research exhibit, The Troubled History of Slavery in New Jersey. The history presented surprised and alarmed many viewers, who had believed that New Jersey, in the North, was a relatively safe and benevolent place for Black people. Tragically, this was not true in the 1800s and, for reasons that are in some ways different and in others the same, it is not true today.

We believe that it is critical, in the diverse communities of Maplewood and South Orange, for Durand-Hedden to continue to work with others to explore and educate the public about the rich history and culture of African Americans, and the often-unheralded role that Black people have played in making our world a better place.

Sincerely,

The Durand-Hedden House Board of Trustees

Durand-Hedden Program Plans

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, we have postponed our May 17th event honoring the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, as well as our Juneteenth Celebration, which was scheduled for June 7th. Programs on the Battle of Springfield and the Evolution of the American Flag also will be rescheduled. We hope to be back in action in September, so check in with us here in a couple of months as our 2020-2021 plans take shape.

In the meantime, we thought you might be interested in information about the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic, part of our World War I exhibit in 2017-2018. At that time, troop movements helped to spread the disease. That pandemic killed more than 50 million people around the world, including 675,000 in the United States and 22,000 in New Jersey.

6th Annual Durand-Hedden Gingerbread House Competition

The Durand-Hedden House is inviting bakers and confectioners of all ages to take part in their 6th annual Gingerbread House Competition. Individuals, families, and food professionals are invited to enter. Any structure – real or imaginary – is eligible. Entries will be exhibited at Durand-Hedden from December 9 and 15 - 16 and then at the Hilton library branch from December 18 to January 17.

5th Annual Durand-Hedden Gingerbread House Competition

The Durand-Hedden House is inviting bakers and confectioners of all ages to take part in their 2nd annual Gingerbread House Competition. Individuals, families, and food professionals are invited to enter. Any structure – real or imaginary – is eligible. Entries will be exhibited at Durand-Hedden from December 10 and 16 - 17 and then at the Hilton library branch from December 19 to January 18.

4th Annual Durand-Hedden Gingerbread House Competition

The Durand-Hedden House is inviting bakers and confectioners of all ages to take part in their 4th annual Gingerbread House Competition. Individuals, families, and food professionals are invited to enter. Any structure – real or imaginary – is eligible. Entries will be exhibited at Durand-Hedden from December 11 and 17 - 18 and then at the Hilton library branch from December 19 to January 17.

The 3rd Annual Durand-Hedden House Gingerbread House Competition

The Durand-Hedden house invites bakers and confectioners of all ages – individuals, families, food professionals – to take part in its 2015 Gingerbread House Competition. Any structure – real or imaginary – is eligible. Interested in being a contestant? Enter by December 3. Winners will be revealed at the December 6 open house.  Entries will be exhibited at Durand-Hedden from December 6 to 13 and then at the Hilton library branch from December 14 to January 16.

2015-2016 Programs

We are pleased to launch our 2015-2016 program year, as always an exploration of our rich local and natural history. In October we welcome the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers. The highlight of November will be an enlightening introduction to the history and wonders of the City of Newark, which turns 350 next year. In December our Gingerbread House Contest and Meet Santa day, once again are sure to be hits of the holiday season. More details about the Fall Open Houses and events are on the Events page.

Gingerbread House Entries on Display at Hilton Library

Durand-Hedden hosted its 2nd annual Gingerbread House Competition on Sunday, December 7. All houses, including two versions of Durand-Hedden in gingerbread, will be on display at the Hilton Library through January 10.

2nd Annual Durand-Hedden Gingerbread House Competition

The Durand-Hedden House is inviting bakers and confectioners of all ages to take part in their 2nd annual Gingerbread House Competition. Individuals, families, and food professionals are invited to enter. Any structure – real or imaginary – is eligible. Entries will be exhibited at Durand-Hedden from December 7 and 12 - 14 and then at the Hilton library branch from December 15 to January 10.

Repainting the Durand-Hedden House

The Durand-Hedden House is currently being repainted. Thanks to The Village Green and Mary Mann for this wonderful article about the project.

Durand-Hedden Honors Arbor Day 2014

Each April, through the influence of arborist Todd Lamm, Durand-Hedden has celebrated Arbor Day by planting trees in Grasmere Park. Arbor Day was founded 135 years ago in Nebraska by Sterling Morton and is now a major national and international event. In 2013, through the help of the NJ Tree Foundation we placed native White Pine and Red Oak saplings throughout the grounds and are eagerly watching their growth. This spring we planted two pink flowering dogwoods along the drive.

Arbor Day Tree Planting Volunteers Needed

To celebrate Arbor Day 2013 on April 26, the Durand-Hedden House, Maplewood’s Historic House Museum, is looking for volunteers to help with planting dozens of young trees throughout historic Grasmere Park. J. Todd Lamm, the New Jersey Certified Tree Expert who cares for the trees and shrubs on the grounds, said that the saplings, red oaks and white pines, will be donated by the New Jersey Tree Foundation, a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to developing community forestry activities and providing trees to public lands in New Jersey.

Catching the Spirit

A group called Free Spirit Paranormal Investigators (FSPI) came to Durand-Hedden one hot night in August, when the moon was waxing gibbous and 93% full (according to their report), and set up cameras and sensors for a three-hour session of observation and sensation.

Acquisitions: Recent Additions to the Collection

Generous donations enabled Durand-Hedden to purchase a 19th century folk-art portrait of Durand painted by an untrained artist, based on an 1845 daguerreotype portrait. It will be hung in the parlor along with works by Durand.

Grants For the Gardens

The New Jersey Committee of the Garden Club of America made a $5,000 donation to the Durand-Hedden House in 2008, enabling us to make a number of changes on the grounds seen and unseen.

Flooring by the Numbers

Restoration of an old house is an ongoing process. In 2000, as Island Housewrights restoration experts worked to finish stripping the floorboards on the second floor of the Durand-Hedden House, Don DeFillo noticed some odd markings -- invisible when covered with paint -- on the ends of several boards.

A Brief History of The Durand-Hedden House

The Durand-Hedden House, whose original structure was built in about 1790, sits on two acres of the original plantation that was part of a 72-acre tract of land acquired by Ebenezer Hedden before 1740.

Support Us

Membership in the Durand-Hedden House & Garden Association is open to all. Please consider your membership an invitation to join us as a volunteer or docent educator.