Local History Online

In September, the Maplewood Lions Club made a generous donation, supporting Durand-Hedden's mission of making our shared local history exciting and relevant for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Durand-Hedden House & Garden Association Board is deeply grateful for this support.



Updated: Sep 16

In September, Durand-Hedden House & Garden Association Board Members were honored to host members of the Maplewood Committee for Servicemen and Servicewomen as they made a generous donation to the Association. The funds will be used to further Durand-Hedden's mission of making our shared local history exciting and relevant for people of all ages and backgrounds.


Photo credits: Eve Morawski of Durand-Hedden.


First photo, from left to right: Gail Safian, President of Durand-Hedden; John Dilley, Jr., Maplewood Committee for Servicemen and Women; Donna D'Amato, Treasurer, Maplewood Committee for Servicemen and Women; Henry Wallhauser, Maplewood Committee for Servicemen and Women.



The celebration honoring Juneteenth co-hosted by the Durand-Hedden House and the SOMA Community Coalition on Race on the grounds of the Durand-Hedden House, drew more than 500 people of all ages, and smiles covered faces from one end of Grasmere Park to the other. The afternoon featured four historical reenactors, a storyteller, children’s activities, a vocalist, and a band of African drummers, as well as an exhibit on the History of Slavery in New Jersey and an art exhibit.


This is the third major Juneteenth event the two organizations have sponsored since 2019, and the excitement has been growing each year. It even drew the attention of NBC-TV news, which featured the celebration on the news that evening.



The historical reenactors included:

  • Daniel Carlton, portraying John Parker, a formerly enslaved person who became a conductor on the Underground Railroad

  • Dr. Daisy Century, interpreting Cathay Williams, the first Black woman to join the US Army

  • Teretha Jones, reenacting Mrs. Elizabeth Keckley, seamstress and confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln

  • Algernon S. Ward, reenacting a sergeant in the 6 th Regiment US Colored Troops