International Women’s Day Honors 20 Women Trailblazers from the Somerset Hills

Mr Local History Honors Women for International Women's Day

In honor of International Women’s Day, we thought it’d be fun to share some of the inspirational trailblazing women from our area that have made a difference. Each of these women either grew up or lived in the Somerset Hills. The Somerset Hills is the region of northern Somerset County, New Jersey that includes Bedminster, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack & Gladstone. Hover over with mouse to hold image or select arrows at top of slider to go back and forth. The list below is in alphabetical order so…

Read More

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…

Read More

History Helps Realtors Sell Real Estate

Mr Local History and Realtors Unite

Realtors History Guide to Selling Basking Ridge, Bernardsville, Bedminster and the Rest of the Somerset Hills, New Jersey It probably comes as no surprise that realtors have a fairly easy time selling homes in Bernards Township and the surrounding Somerset Hills area. With its top ranked schools, highway access to the rest of the state, easy access to railroads and a relatively low tax rate. Now comes the secret. How you can differentiate yourself as a realtor using Mr. Local History. First off, we never thought of promoting what we…

Read More

“Janice Meredith” – 1924 Silent Film Showcases American Revolution

Janice Meredith a silent film found by Mr Local History

Back in 1924 silent films were all the rage. Bernardsville was just becoming a boro and separating from Bernards Township but there was still only one movie theater, The Liberty . How fortunate was the theater to feature the film “Janice Meredith”, a film about the American Revolution featuring the infamous General Charles Lee. The question is? Will they show the infamous Lee capture at Widow White’s in Basking Ridge? We have the complete film at the end of the story. Film It is 1774, the eve of the American…

Read More

The Tale of Two Bedminsters

Mr. Local History Archives - Bedminster England

Sister Towns in New Jersey and England Share a Common Bond – and a Name How fun was it when we were contacted by our friends across the pond who were inquiring about what they were calling a “sister town” in New Jersey. The small town in Bedminster, New Jersey ties back to Somersetshire (Somerset County) in England. We thought it’d be fun to start an exchange and see where it goes. The project began when we got an email from Paul Breeden, a writer and editor at South Bristol…

Read More

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…

Read More

Bernards Township Police Department Celebrates 100 years in 2019

Mr. Local History Archives - Bernards Township Police #BTpolice100

https://www.facebook.com/mrlocalhistory/ 50 Photos in Less Than 6 Minutes On April 10, 2019 the Bernards Township Police Department will be celebrating 100 years serving the local community. From their beginning as a detective society to the current force they are today, we honor their history. Search social media using #BTpolice100 or tag any stories or images you post with #BTpolice100 and see what comes up. The following research was originally compiled by June Kennedy when she was the Bernards Township Volunteer Historian. Mr. Local History picked up the story almost 20…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

The History of Worship 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…

Read More

Grand Mansions and Historic Homes in the Somerset Hills

The Peapack Gladstone Blairsden estate- Mr. Local History #mrlocalhistory

Many people have asked why post all this history stuff on the area you’re calling the Somerset Hills. Well, call it passion. Call it intrigue. Call it local awareness. I think that the main reason is whenever I asked a question about history in the area, the information wasn’t available. I didn’t want to wait to go to the library, and I didn’t have time to go to the local historical society. But I moved to the area and said, “If I’m gonna be a local, I need to learn…

Read More

Basking Ridge Historic White Oak Tree Selected as 3rd Keepsake in Series

Mr. Local History Archives - #catsmeowvillage

Mr Local History is proud to announce the release of the third in the collectible series, the 619 year old Basking Ridge Historic White Oak Cat’s Meow collectible. The collectible is now available online. The Historic Somerset Hills Village keepsake collection is a collectible series honoring historic iconic buildings, properties, and fixtures that are part of the historic fabric of our community. The third keepsake was selected based on community feedback and a voting process. Brooks Betz stated, “the tree was the oldest resident in our town. It was here…

Read More

The 2nd Historic Somerset Hills Village Cat’s Meow Collectible Now Available

Mr. Local History Archives - #catsmeowvillage

Mr Local History is proud to announce the release of the second in the collectible series, the 1718 Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church and the 619 year old Basking Ridge Historic White Oak Cat’s Meow collectible. The collectible is now available online for only $25. The Historic Somerset Hills Village keepsake collection is a new collectible series honoring historic iconic buildings, properties, and fixtures that are part of the historic fabric of our community. The second keepsake, the historic 1718 Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church and the iconic 619 year old Basking…

Read More

Somerset Hills Bars and Restaurants of the Past

Mr. Local History Archives - Thirsty Turtle

Every town in the world has restaurants and brothels that come and go. There’s always reasons why they come and go, but what remains is the history and the memories of what used to be. The Somerset Hills has a great history or bars and restaurants that have come and gone. Some last the test of time, and others cave in to the change in attitude, trend, or a demographic shift. We’ll go back all the way to the pre-revolutionary war and see what you might know. We’re going to make…

Read More

New Historic Cat’s Meow Collection Created for Somerset Hills Historic Brick Academy

Mr. Local History, in conjunction with T3 Consortium and the Cat’s Meow Village introduce the Inaugural Keepsake of the Historic Somerset Hills Village Collection, the 1809 Brick Academy in the Basking Ridge Village of Bernards Township, New Jersey. The Historic Somerset Hills Village keepsake collection is a new collectible series honoring historic iconic buildings, properties, and fixtures that are part of the historic fabric of our community. The inaugural keepsake, the historic Brick Academy, celebrates the iconic Basking Ridge Village building that is listed on both the state and national…

Read More