Exclusive Holiday Cards – Get Yours

Holiday Greeting Cards - Available Now.

“T’was the night before Christmas in the village of Basking Ridge” – Community Holiday Cards with a purpose! In our first year of being, the Mr. Local History project presents an exclusive holiday card for our Bernards Township friends and families. We call it the “T’was the night before Christmas in Basking Ridge village” card. The card was created by our dear friend Linda Arnold, a resident of Liberty Corner. For a limited time, you can get a set of 5 cards with envelopes for only $10. Get a few…

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Bernards Township Appoints Mr. Local History as Official Historian

As we’ve been focusing on preserving and promoting local history, out of left field comes one of my most humbling honors when the Bernards Township Committee on October 29, 2019 passed a resolution appointing me as the official historian for Bernards Township. The official historian position has had only one person, June Kennedy, as the previous appointee. June had worked tirelessly in that capacity and I got to be very good friends with her over the years. We partnered on a number of stories. She would drive for the facts…

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History of the Basking Ridge Fire Company and the Town Christmas Tree

s greatest tradition. Town residents join each other for caroling the night before Christmas.

Every year the Basking Ridge Fire Company accepts a large evergreen tree donated by a local resident or business. The all volunteer Basking Ridge Fire Company members take responsibility for cutting the tree down and placing it on the village green in Basking Ridge center. Firefighters and volunteers also decorate the tree for the holidays, relying on fire equipment to reach the top. The Fire Company will arrive to down the tree, clean up afterward, and transport the tree away in a couple of hours. The traditional date for the…

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The Life of Irwin Richardt

Irwin Richardt - The Patriot of Liberty Corner - Mr. Local History

The Patriot of Liberty Corner “Those who would give up liberty for safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin. “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.” Thomas Jefferson Welcome to Irwin on the HAM Radio (Click Player) http://www.mrlocalhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2004-1207-w2vjz-enemy-of-mankind.mp3 Listen to Irwin throughout the article as he broadcasted from his HAM radio back in the early 21st century. For those who knew Irwin, it’s really amazing to hear his voice Irwin Richardt (pronounced Rick-art) was born in 1928 and grew up on the Sons…

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Bernards Township Charter Day – May 26, 2020

Charter Day 2019 mr local history

Charter Day Streetfair and Festival – Rain or Shine Get ready for a fun filled street fair and festival on Saturday, May 16, 2020 in the Historic Basking Ridge Village On Charter Day – Add Your Photos to the Charter Day Instagram Wall.ADD #btcharterday to your Instagram or Facebook post! Celebrate the 255th anniversary of Bernards Township as we honor the 1760 Charter of Bernardston and the founding of Bernards Township. Make your own history in 2020 by bringing your camera – or smartphone & post pictures of your friends,…

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Historic Grain House in Bernards Township Turns 250 Years Old

The Grain House c.2018 Credit: Brooks Betz

Historic Profile: The Grain House, Franklin Corners (Bernards Township), New Jersey The Grain House at the Olde Mill Inn Turns 250 Years Old (1768-2018) Mr. Local History congratulates the historic Grain House as it celebrates its 250th construction anniversary. In 1768, when the First Methodist Church in North American colonies was initiated at Wesley Chapel in NYC and the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was being published in Scotland, Samuel Lewis, a miller from Franklin Corners in Bernards Township, built a water-powered grist mill and a barn on the Passaic…

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History of the US Golf Association Headquarters and Museum

Mr. Local History shares a profile of the USGA Museum in Bernards Township, New Jersey

A historic gem right in Bernards Township, New Jersey The USGA Museum, currently located adjacent to the USGA Headquarters, has long been a mecca for those passionate about the game. Some 20,000 avid golfers make the pilgrimage to the Somerset Hills each year to visit the museum. This elegant brick three story Georgian colonial mansion, designed in 1919 by John Russell Pope, has been home to the USGA Headquarters & Museum since 1972. In 1919, Thomas H. Frothingham (1891-1971), a stockbroker and partner at Potter Brothers & Company, commissioned architect…

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Betsy Ross is Buried in Basking Ridge

Mr. Local History Archives - Betsy Ross in Basking Ridge

Local Lore –Flag Designer Betsy Ross and her Basking Ridge Ties Betsy Ross’s name at her death was actually Elizabeth (Betsy) Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypoole – A Morris County man. June 14 commemorates Flag Day the birthday of the first U.S. flag, made by Betsy Ross (1752-1836) at the request of George Washington.  Mrs. Ross, a seamstress, did not design the flag, but apparently came up with the idea of five-pointed stars. According to Ross’s grandson, Ross was visited in her home in June 1776 by Robert Morris, George Ross (her…

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Virtual Tour of Historic Basking Ridge Village

Basking Ridge Downtown - Mr. Local History

We’ve been testing out a new piece of technology and wanted to share with our community. The project is to compliment what has traditionally been a guided walking tour in Basking Ridge. We’re thinking of hiring one of the docents to walk through this virtual tour to get as close to taking a real tour. TIP: Watch it on your laptop first. Then try watching it on your phone. The phone version is like your camera is on and you’re actually walking on the streets of Basking Ridge. Enjoy. Let…

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The History of the 1912 Bernards Township Town Hall – The Astor Estate in Basking Ridge

Mr. Local History Archives - Astor Estate

One of the most iconic historic properties in the Somerset Hills is an English Tudor style estate that sits atop a high ridge in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township. Built in 1912, this Basking Ridge landmark was the home to four wealthy families; Owen, Lee, Bissell and Astor, before being acquired by Bernards Township in 1968. The property is known by locals as the Astor Estate since the Astor’s were the last private owners. However, the resident that had the most impact on the town belonged to George…

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The History of Street Names in Bernards Township

Mr. Local History Archives - Street Names in Basking Ridge, NJ

Before I begin this post, I have to say that this topic was one of my favorites with June Kennedy, our Basking Ridge Town Historian who recently passed in November 2018. We often challenged each other to dig the truth on the naming of all the 463 streets. The streets covered include the hamlets of Basking Ridge, Lyons, Liberty Corner, and West Millington which makes up Bernards Township. June Kennedy had been involved with history as soon as she moved to town from Little Silver, New Jersey. During the “boom…

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The Washington House

Mr. Local History Archives - #catsmeowvillage

Somerset Historic Village Collection Welcomes #4 – the 1871 Washington House. Inaugural Run is Available Now (Online ONLY) Amazing that it’s been two years since we launched the Historic Somerset Hills Village collection in partnership with the Cat’s Meow Village Company. Mr. Local History is proud to announce that the village is going to grow again with at least two new additions for 2019. The first release for 2019 is the historic 1871 Washington House in the Basking Ridge Village of Bernards Township. If you’d like to participate and be…

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Comparing The Basking Ridge Oak to the Worlds Oldest Trees

On April 24, 2017 the New Jersey town of Basking Ridge lost its oldest resident, the Basking Ridge historic white oak tree.  What was estimated to be over 600 years old, no one ever imagined that the tree would die during their lifetime and it came as quite a shock to the entire community. Are there other stories stories out there? We started to think; how does the loss of the Basking Ridge Oak tree rank against the worlds oldest trees. Here’s what we found. The 600 Year Old Oak Tree…

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The History of Worship in Basking Ridge

Historic image of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in Basking Ridge

On June 10, 2017 the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church (BRPC) celebrated its 300th anniversary with a town wide parade from Ridge High School down Finley Avenue to the iconic church off the Basking Ridge village green. Given this great accomplishment we thought it’d be important to look into the history of worship in the town and provide some insight. The Basking Ridge Worship Timeline Putting everything in perspective a 300 year existence is incredible. Just think what’s happened in the world as the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church started its journey as…

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Meryl Streep Was From Basking Ridge

Meryl Streep was from Basking Ridge, NJ too - Mr. Local History #mrlocalhistory

PLEASE NOTE: This piece is released to the public in hopes that this piece will continue to update based on  the ongoing online dialogue that originated from a Facebook post and a Meryl Streep photo. We’re sharing this information in hopes that readers might identify the dates of some of the photos and send in additional information about Meryl’s early years (birth thru end of Jr. High School). Facts Uncovered Meryl Lousie Streep (Born Mary Louise Streep) is undeniably one of the most accomplished actresses in the film history. If you’re a fan, or from the Somerset…

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