Mr. Local History Releases Summer Magazine Vol.2 Issue 3 – The Covid-19 Issue

Mr Local History Magazine - Free - Interesting Articles about History in the Somerset Hills

Post Views: 20 Who would have ever imagined that between our Spring and Summer issues that the world would change. The historic Covid-19 virus has crippled communities and businesses. Read how the Mr. Local History Project team is working to document the event as well as to continue to research and share local history to distract everyone from what has certainly been a stressful time. We hope our latest issue brings just a bit of joy to everyone’s stressful time. This Issue’s Cover Two great images: Our first showcases the…

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Historic Community Collage – Share a Photo To Help Document These Difficult Times.

Community Collage during Covid - Mr Local History Project

Post Views: 368 Take part with neighbors and community members in the Somerset Hills and share a photo to our community collage. During this time of unprecedented history everyone recognizes that being safe means social distancing. But that can’t stop us from being a community. Be part of the “Community Collage – Strength in Numbers” online collage to document these tough times. Our ask is simple. Use the form below to submit a photo you think best represents you or your family during this crisis. We will gather all the…

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The Iconic Kiwanis Fair in Basking Ridge – Did you go? Be part of the Story

Retrospective: The Kiwanis Fair in Basking Ridge - Mr. Local History

Post Views: 53 Be part of the story! The Mr. Local History Project is looking for anyone with stories and photos they’d like to share for a research project about the Kiwanis fair that ran at the Oak Street school grounds in Basking Ridge for almost 50 years. Tell us why it ended. Tell us your favorite booth, event or organization you participated with. Any stories and photos appreciated. Any submission will be considered to add to the research of the event. If you are sending photos, please tell us…

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Bernardsville Honors Local Soldiers

Bernardsville Honoring Veterans - Mr Local History Project

Post Views: 85 The borough of Bernardsville, New Jersey, in conjunction with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Memorial Post 7858 and Downtown Bernardsville, is honors local soldiers with a program entitled “Bernardsville honors our soldiers.” Bernardsville is part of what’s known as the Somerset Hills in northern Somerset County, New Jersey, which is why the Mr. Local History Project honors this program. There are currently 31 veterans honored on the banners. They are hung in mid-May through the mid-July for Memorial Day and July 4 and then for Veterans…

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The Gilded Age: Natirar Estate in Peapack, New Jersey

The Famed Natirar Estate in Peapack New Jersey - A park and an estate moves into 21st Century

Post Views: 369 Catherine “Kate” Macy and Walter Graeme Ladd began acquiring property in the Somerset hills in 1905. Macy was a Quaker heiress to a whaling/oil/shipping fortune; her father’s business partner was John D. Rockefeller. Kate was born in New York City, a descendant of Thomas and Sarah Macy, Massachusetts settlers in the late 1630s. She was a granddaughter of Captain Josiah Macy, originally of Nantucket, who founded a firm that became New York’s first oil refinery in the 1860s (later sold to the Standard Oil Company). In 1659,…

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Population Trends in the Somerset Hills

Everything looked consistent until Bernards Township broke the trend with an exponential growth period. Mr. Local History

Post Views: 120 One thing that I’ve learned as a township historian in this area is everyone has a point of view on what changed the area over the years. No matter who you talk to you typically hear that the area is nothing like it used to be. But what did it used to be depends on how far you look back. Looking back to the 1700’s in the Somerset Hills we’ve recognized a few things. First, the Somerset Hills townships are tucked behind the Watchung Mountains in a…

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Historic Profile: The Lost Somerset Hills Airport in Basking Ridge

Looking back at the Somerset Hills Airport in Basking Ridge, NJ

Post Views: 316 If you were driving around the small town of Basking Ridge, New Jersey and you were looking for an airport the only thing you’d find is a sign. But for residents who’ve lived here since the 1930s, the area contained a small grass runway airport called the Somerset Hills Airport. Before there was an airport, there was a 70 acre tract that had a long history in Basking Ridge. The original owner goes back to the early 1700s when James Alexander, the father to Lord Stirling aka…

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Historic Profile: Somerset Hills Country Club

Somerset Hills Country Club c1920 with logo

Post Views: 293 Tucked behind the bucolic town center in the boro of Bernardsville, New Jersey lies one of the best kept historic secrets in the state, the Somerset Hills County Club. Actually a golf and tennis club as well, the low key very private club has served history well in the Somerset Hills. Notable members of Somerset Hills over the years have included C. Douglas Dillon, Secretary of the Treasury for Eisenhower; Cyrus R. Vance, Secretary of State for Jimmy Carter; Nicholas F. Brady, Secretary of the Treasury for…

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The “Dig In the Archives” Archives

Dig In The Archives

Post Views: 226 The Mr. Local History Project loves to share photos from various sources showcasing images from the area’s local archives. It’s called #diginthearchives . Play our weekly game online on our Facebook page and tell any stories you might have. If you didn’t know the answer, we will always post it here. Over 70 Posts and Counting!

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Sharing History with Maps

This 1850 map is a recreation of an original 1850 Somerset County map. The area hasn't changed, but towns have forged their own mark on history.

Post Views: 349 Researching New Jersey and our Somerset Hills Community’s History with Maps As a historian, maps are one of the greatest sources of information capturing a time and place. These maps are ones we use to research history, find buildings, families, farms, or streets. We often then compare those historic maps to current maps. Then we go on a journey to find that actual location today. Once in a while, we take our research and create maps to give perspective. #readytoremember Mr Local History Google Maps 1779 Washington…

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The Founding Families of Basking Ridge

Trading $50 for Basking Ridge

Post Views: 747 History showcases some of the greatest reminders of where we came from. Many people new to the area don’t know the deep history in the area ties back to some of the originating families that chose this area back in the early 1700s. As many know, the area was purchased by John Harrison, agent of King James III of England in 1717, from Chief Nowenoik of the Lenapes, a real estate package of 3,000 acres for $50.  We honor those who founded this community on the Ridge.…

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Mr. Local History Releases Spring Magazine Vol.2 Issue 2

Mr Local History Magazine Vol 2 Issue 2 #HGOAT

Post Views: 436 With Spring in the air and everyone now told to stay inside, we present our digital Mr. Local History Magazine. Remember that warmer days and gardening come to mind and we get to go outside and enjoy the fresh spring air. Make sure you do it! Learn things about the area that even we didn’t know when we began our research. Just knowing that we had baseball in 1867 is insane. Cover Two great images: Our first showcases Simon and Karen Perry of Basking Ridge who breathes…

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History Dig: The Army Hospital was in Basking Ridge and NOT Jockey Hollow

The Winter Encampment at Morristown has a historic twist. The army hospital was in Basking Ridge. Read the story.

Post Views: 748 NOTE: While I sit in the house under self distancing work from home for the Coronavirus, we take a look back at a hospital in Basking Ridge, New Jersey that very few people knew. And the amazing part is not that I knew there was a hospital in Basking Ridge, I was shocked to learn that there never was a hospital in Jockey Hollow. Brooks Betz, Historian – Mr. Local History Project The 1779-1780 Winter Encampment at Jockey HollowThe Story of the Hospital at Basking Ridge Weather…

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Art and History – Looking for Artists Who Love History

The Mr. Local History Art Initiative

Post Views: 380 The Mr. Local History Project is launching a new program to preserve our local history. We are also looking for art teachers to consider a program where an entire art class works to create their own collection. Take a look and if you’re interested, drop us a line and we can connect to discuss. Sign Up to Participate!

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The H-GOAT GAME – Loved Businesses Lost In Somerset Hills History #HGOAT

Are you ready to REMEMBER? Businesses we loved and lost in the Somerset Hills - Mr. Local History #HGOAT

Post Views: 741 The Mr. Local History Project is going to find out what were the most loved businesses that we lost in the Somerset Hills over the last fifty years. Follow the fun with hashtag #hgoat. CHAMPIONSHIP – FRIDAY, MARCH 13CONSOLATION MATCHUP – THURSDAY, MARCH 12THE FINAL FOUR – WEDS-FRI MARCH 11-13, 2020ELITE ROUND OF 8 STARTS MONDAY NIGHT, MARCH 9, 2020 SWEET 16 ROUND 3 STARTS SATURDAY, MARCH 7, 2020 ROUND 2 STARTS WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4, 2020. ROUND 1 COMPLETE MARCH 3, 2020 – The field is cut…

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