New Jersey History

Disaster! Stories of Destruction and Death in 19th Century New Jersey

February 12, 2017, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

The deadliest storm to strike the East Coast since Hurricane Diane in 1955, Sandy killed 37 people and caused more than $30 million in damages in 2012 in New Jersey alone. But earlier centuries had their own major catastrophes. Speaker Alan Siegel brings viewers face-to- face with many natural and human caused calamities between 1821 and 1906 ranging from train accidents to wild uncontrolled fires.

The History of the American Flag and Annin Flagmakers

June 5, 2016, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

The American Flag carries great meaning at this time, at home and throughout the world.  The oldest and largest flag company in the United States, the Annin Flagmakers, which dates back to 1847, has its headquarters in Roseland, New Jersey.  It is known for its custom hand sewn (versus printed) flags and not only produces the American flag, but those of the 50 States as well as of most of the countries overseas.  In honor of Flag Day, Joe Vallone, the retired manager of the Annin plant in Verona, will speak on the histories of the American flag and the Annin Flagmakers and how the flag is produced.

Revolutionary War Muster

May 15, 2016, 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Back by popular demand, the Third New Jersey Regiment re-enactment group returns to Grasmere Park surrounding the Durand-Hedden house to set up a living history camp for visitors. The well-known reenactors will accurately demonstrate 18th century military and civilian life activities include tent building, military drills, musket firing, natural dyeing, and weaving. They will also offer the opportunity to examine military and domestic accoutrements and equipment.


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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.

Battle of Springfield Hike

May 3, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Did you know that a key event of the American Revolution happened right on the doorstep of Maplewood/South Orange? In fact the Battle of Springfield in 1780 is seen by many as a turning point in the War for Independence. To see some of the nearby battle-related sites yourself, put on your walking shoes and join Durand-Hedden for a moderately paced 1-mile “history hike”.

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.

New Jersey and the Underground Railroad

New Jersey is associated with two of the leading figures in the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman worked in Cape May during the summers from 1849 to 1852. Native New Jerseyan William Still was a key organizer of the railroad operations in Philadelphia.

To Cast a Freedman’s Vote

February 24, 2013, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

On March 31, 1870, Perth Amboy resident Thomas Mundy Peterson dropped a ballot into a box. It was a simple action that took, perhaps, all of a second or two. Yet, in that moment, Peterson made history as the first African-American to vote under the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The Jersey Tomato

May 17, 2009, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Everyone loves the Jersey Tomato! Through food historian Judith Krall-Russo's lively talk discover where the tomato originated and why it became one of New Jersey's favorite crops.

Archeology in New Jersey: Why, How, Who

October 19, 2008, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Principal Archaeologist of Hunter Research, Ian C. Burrow, Ph.D., is currently excavating sites in Trenton and recently one in nearby Madison. His talk will enlighten us about who archeologists are and how they work and will illustrate recent discoveries at these NJ digs through both with slides and artifacts.

Where Can I Mail a Letter? The History of Postal Service in Maplewood

Like many conveniences of modern life, the daily mail is something we take for granted, noticing only when letters are slipped through the mail slot unusually late in the day, or perhaps after a major hurricane, when they don’t come at all. But postal service in Maplewood has had a long journey over some rough roads.

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