Artwork and Local History

Capturing History in the Somerset Hills with Art The Mr. Local History Project has launched a new program to honor artists that celebrate our local history with art. NOTE: On your phone just swipe right or left. On desktop, put mouse on image to stop. There are arrows in mid-section of art on edges to go backwards or forwards. Mouse off should move art automatically. Documenting history sometimes comes in unique ways. As we’ve been studying history in the Somerset Hills you often visit the sites and come across an…

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Bernards Township Origins

Bernards Township Asian Community Research - Mr. Local History Project

Bernards Township has been a charted township going all the way back to 1760. With the early Dutch and Scottish settlers, the origin of the area belongs to the famed Lenni-Lenape Native American tribe.But what about the other cultures in the area. We’re on a mission to find out and would love to engage the community. Demographic Highlights Researching Diversity We are honoring those in our neighborhood who have identified themselves as Asian according to the census. Statistics have shown that the Asian American community (including India and Chinese) has…

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Hometown Histories – Stories Worth Sharing

hometown stories mr local history project

Hometown Histories (Stories Worth Remembering) Series is coming to the Mr. Local History Project on Sunday, May 3, 2020 from 1-3pm. Wouldn’t it be great you could gather a bunch of locals from the area to tell stories of how it used to be in the area? Maybe you grew up here? Whether you’re a teller or a listener, we’d love to have you at our new series called “Hometown Histories- Stories Worth Remembering.’ The new series is a modified version of the popular “Elder Voices” series that was started…

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Mr. Local History Magazine Releases Vol 2. Issue 1

The Mr. Local History Magazine kicks off the new decade with a full packed free edition of our Mr. Local History Magazine. ALL FREE. Enjoy

We call this the “2020 Welcome to the New Decade” Winter Edition It may be winter and for some strange reason it’s almost 70 degrees outside today. So after a nice long walk we came back in and designed our first edition of the new decade. It’s been a busy few months as we got through the holidays, yet had time to dig into the life of Bishop Janes, a Bernardsville and Basking Ridge resident that could be named “the father of the Bville Mountain. Learn why the Watchung Mountains…

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Stirling’s Rev War Beacon Signal Towers

Signal beacons of the Continental Army -Created by Major General Stirling of Basking Ridge

The Continental Army and General Lord Stirling took a page out of the history books creating a sophisticated communications network to highlight British movement You never know what you’re going to find regarding history in the Somerset Hills area of northern Somerset County, New Jersey, but we have another great story of the American revolution and its ties to Basking Ridge, New Jersey. For those who don’t know General William Alexander, also known as Lord Stirling of Basking Ridge, New Jersey he is the one credited with designing the famed…

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Bernards BaseBall Club of 1867

The history of Basking Ridge (Bernards Township) sometimes comes in unique ways. While researching the internet for another story we came across this auction selling an original score book from the Bernards Baseball Club. Today, there are a large number of men who love to play club ball. While mostly softball, there is a core group of club based ball players across New Jersey. Formed in 1867, while the Bernards Baseball Club is an interesting story, it’s all the letters, signatures and additional tidbits that came with the piece that…

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Historic Fires in the Somerset Hills

Historic Fires in the Somerset Hills of northern Somerset County, New Jersey - Mr. Local History

While you’d think that hurricanes and floods wreak the most havoc, there has been nothing more destructive to properties in the Somerset Hills more than fires. The Mr. Local History Project is gathering information regarding large fires in the Somerset Hills area. Looking back at history, we’ve started digging to let the public understand how severe fires have devastated our community. Bernardston Charter Destroyed in 1850 Fire Basking Ridge – All township records before 1850 were destroyed in a fire. “It is in fact unfortunate that these charters were kept…

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Our Heart and Soul

Mr. Local History Supporters

There is nothing more inspiring then those who support our cause and efforts with a donation. We know there are so many great places to put your dollars, so we make it our #1 priority to make sure that we do the most with your donations. 100% Goes to the Community 100% of your donation goes towards preserving & promoting local history in the Somerset Hills. Our second mission is to offer a scholarship to a recognized high school senior who promotes history in our community. So 100% of your…

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Remembering Howard Johnson’s

The famed Howard Johnson's sign that crossed America - Mr Local History

Who doesn’t remember driving the car and ending up at the famed orange roof of the famed Howard Johnson motor lodge or restaurant. From Weirs Beach, New Hampshire to Daytona Beach Florida, all the way out to Anaheim, California it was the famed orange roof where you could stay at the motor lodge or grab some of the best clam boat and ice cream on the planet. So for a Jersey guy, I was surrounded by the orange roof not only in New Jersey, but it was wherever we drove.…

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2019 – Local History in Pictures

The Mr. Local History 2019 Year in Pictures. Join us for a look back at our inaugural year!

As 2019 comes to a close here in the Somerset Hills, now’s the best time to take a look back at all the fun events, activities, posts, and images for 2019. While not in images, our biggest event was when we expanded, incorporated, and formally became a 501c3 non-profit community organization. Now we get to do what we do and do it with non-profit status. So now you can give tax deductible donations towards our programs and scholarship fund. Please also let me take a moment to thank my wife…

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Before the West Point Academy, There was Pluckamin

Pluckemin Encampment and America’s First Military Academy One of the most interesting untold stories of the American revolution is the one about the Pluckemin Encampment, also known as the Pluckemin Cantonment. You see, a cantonment is different than an Encampment because a cantonment has actual buildings verses temporary tents. Back in 2005, we started on a quest to expose this story. While the notes below are raw, we’ve left them in their original state so you can see what we knew at the time. It all started with this 1779…

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The Day that Altered American History

A Day that Changed the Course of American History in Basking Ridge, New Jersey Basking Ridge, New Jersey’s most famous Incident occurred at about noon time on December 13,1776. General Charles Lee (1731-1782), was “alarmed” by Major Wilkinson while he was writing a letter to General Gates about George Washington in an upstairs bedroom of the Widow White’s Tavern. Widow White’s Tavern, named after Ebenezer White’s wife Mary Brown White, became the centerpiece of Revolutionary War history on that day, because It was on this most unfortunate day for General…

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“June in December” Tree Honors June Kennedy at Festival of Trees in Basking Ridge

June In December Holiday Tree Honors former Bernards Township Historian June Kennedy

The Mr. Local History Project honors the former Bernards Township’s historian June Kennedy showcasing our “June in December” tree honoring her dedication to community and local history. The Festival of Trees is an indoor exhibit of decorated Christmas trees by various community groups and individuals and runs from December 6 thru December 30th at the Environment Education Center on Stirling Road in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. The Mr. Local History Project is proud to announce the newly created “community spirit tree” honoring all those who like to remember local history…

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Historic Sites in Somerset Hills

Historic Landmarks in the Somerset Hills

Do you know all of the historic sites on our state and national registers here in the Somerset Hills? Well you do now! And we threw in the rest of Somerset County as well, just for fun. Welcome to our google map of all of the historic sites covering Bedminster, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack & Gladstone. Want to visit one? Just click the icon, then click the directions and it’ll map it out for you.

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The Food Hall – Modernizing the Food Court Concept

The District Kitchen in Jersey City is the closest we've seen to being a true "Food Hall".

Above: The District Kitchen in Jersey City is the closest we’ve seen to being a true “Food Hall”. Some ask “why am I seeing an article about food on a history website.” Well, history shows up in strange places. As I sat in a new food court in Toronto, Canada, I realized that this is a new concept to challenge the traditional food court. Well, it’s winning! Read on…. It’s not a food court like you see at the mall. A fairly new concept, the food hall is bringing chefs…

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