Local History

Mad Hatters, Radium Girls and the Asbestos Hotel

October 21, 2018, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

As an industrial state, NJ is no stranger to industrial toxins. In recent decades, we have been home to over 140 Superfund cleanup sites administered by the Environmental Protection Agency. Historically, three NJ industrial toxins-–-mercury, radium, and asbestos-–-have their own harrowing stories to tell.

A History Ramble through Rosedale Cemetery

May 6, 2018, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

A fascinating field trip into the past. Over the centuries many families in our community have chosen this venerable cemetery as their final place of rest. It consists of 92 picturesque acres in Montclair, Orange and West Orange. We will learn about Rosedale’s history and some of its nationally known occupants such as Governor Charles Edison, painter George Inness, architect Charles F. McKim, champion bicyclist Frank Kramer and industrialist Samuel Colgate.

Newark Through the Ages

November 15, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

As the City of Newark prepares to celebrate its 350th Anniversary in 2016, join us for a presentation by Elizabeth Del Tufo, President of the Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee and one of Newark’s best-known civic activists and ambassadors.  As the nation's third oldest city, much of America’s history can be seen in the streets of Newark from its founding through the years of immigration and migration, industry and commerce, the unrest of the 60's to its present role as it readies to take its place as a destination city, proud of its rich history and promising future.


Remembering Gruning's

June 7, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

How unforgettable - the pleasures of savoring a peach ice cream sundae on a summer day at Gruning’s ice cream parlor in South Orange Village or sharing a deluxe chocolate ice cream soda with a friend at The Top in Maplewood after school. Did you have a favorite Gruning’s treat? Visit Durand-Hedden for a relaxed afternoon of fun recalling these adored institutions that were a center of social life and enjoyment for the two towns.

The Garden State: Where Ideas Grow

May 18, 2014, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

These ideas grew right here in New Jeresy: the phonograph, the light bulb, patent leather, malleable iron, steam locomotives, Hilton Strawberries, the very first drive-in theater, the first cultivated blueberry, ice cream cones, M&Ms, Bubble Wrap, the boardwalk, the Band-Aid, and even professional baseball itself. At 2pm author Linda Barth will be our guide as we present The Garden State: Where Ideas Grow and explore ground-breaking, useful, fun, and even silly inventions and their New Jersey roots. We will also celebrate our state’s 350th anniversary with a birthday cake.

Newark, King of Jewelry: The Rise & Fall of a Great Industry 1850-1950

October 27, 2013, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Maplewood resident and Newark Museum curator Ulysses Dietz will speak on Newark’s emergence as the greatest center of fine gold jewelry production in the USA between 1830 and 1850.

Down in the Valley: The History of the Dunnell Road Area

February 11, 2007, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Long before the police station and fire department were located beside Memorial Park following Maplewood's incorporation, the area had been the site of farms and a variety of mills, including the Phoenix Paper Mill.

Teddy Roosevelt’s Life and Times and His Ties to Maplewood

November 19, 2006, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Historian Charles McSorley will will present a slide talk on

Apple Groves and Cider Making in Old Maplewood

October 29, 2006, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Find out the story of Maplewood's renowned apples and cider mills. The Crowell Cider Mill is the most well known. It stood near the current site of Columbia High School and was a popular institution for one hundred years.

How South Mountain Reservation Began and Grew

April 10, 2011, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

The familiar park with the awesome views to the east on the mountain above Maplewood and nearby towns has far more interesting origins than most hikers and dog-walkers realize.

The Hidden History of the Watchung Mountains

November 18, 2007, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

The Watchung Mountains, a part of which loom above Maplewood and South Orange as South Mountain Reservation, have played an important part in both political and art history over the past three centuries.

Slavery in New Jersey: A Troubled History is an illustrated 40-page book that traces the evolution of slavery in New Jersey, which began with Dutch settlement in the seventeenth century and continued through the end of the Civil War.

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