The Robert H. Grasmere Local History Center

The work on this important center for Maplewood’s archives steadily progressed through the dedication of Marilyn White and her volunteers Mallory Gordon, Kristen Mulgrew and Sarah Webb. In 2011 they concentrated on the overall organization of the collections in the space available in an effort to make it convenient for use. Their specific focus was on archival housing for the Grasmere and Herman collections documents and their gradual inventory in Excel with keywords and finding aids to ease retrieval of desired information.

Inquiries continue to grow as more people learned about this Maplewood resource, now listed on the Maplewood Memorial Library’s new website. Examples this year ranged from questions about former residents by family members now living elsewhere, including a Hedden descendent, serious researchers such as an historian checking on the former Maplewood business Vulcan Razor Company’s use of the arm and hammer logo, homeowners and realtors interested in the history of houses, and a Maplewood resident researching Maplewood’s musical history for a TV series she was writing for HBO. The collections were also used as a source for Durand-Hedden House exhibits and the National Register nominations for the Municipal Building and Memorial Park.

There were numerous acquisitions. The largest was the major legacy gift from the Woman’s Club of Maplewood of their Members Chats, scrapbooks, photos, pamphlets, etc. Former Maplewood resident John Elwood donated the souvenir program for the Porgy and Bess production mounted by producer Cheryl Crawford at the Maplewood Theater in 1941 in anticipation of its use for a future exhibit at Durand-Hedden. He also secured a colored copy of the rare 1898 Valley View development prospectus for us. Early bank books from the Maplewood Bank were salvaged and preserved and their contents recorded by Wes White.

Next Event

October 17, 2021, 1:00 PM

The Forgotten Victory: The Battle of Springfield of 1780

Come to the Durand-Hedden House on Sunday, Oct. 17 to learn about the critical Revolutionary War battle of 1780 that was fought just down the road from here, in Vauxhall, the Short Hills, Springfield and Connecticut Farms (Union).

Historian John Kieser will bring to life this often-overlooked conflict, in which the New Jersey militia held off the British and prevented them from getting to Washington’s troops in Morristown.

House and Country Store open 1:00 to 4:00 pm

Presentation at 2:00 pm

Proof of vaccination and masks required.

Support Us

Please support the work of the Durand-Hedden House & Garden Association by joining (or renewing your membership) or by simply making a donation, using the buttons below. Membership is open to all. Please consider your membership to be an invitation to join us as a volunteer or docent educator. We welcome your help in sustaining this valuable community resource.