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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Reflection: Basking Ridge Christmas Eve Caroling

Community Tradition Annual Christmas Eve Community Carolingon the Village Green in Basking Ridge Each year on December 24th starting promptly at 7pm on what’s known as “The Green”, residents, families, friends, and guests in Basking Ridge, New Jersey gather for less than 20 minutes to sing Christmas carols, wish good tidings, then move on to their personal family traditions. It’s this 20 minute community activity that brings out the best in this community. The event for many is a ongoing family tradition that’s been run each year for over 92 years…

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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. Related posts: Somerset Hills Historic Sites on the National & State Registers New…

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History Makers

History Makers Join Mr. Local History HISTORY MAKERS MAKE HISTORY “Today is tomorrow’s history, so make it a good one!” is the motto readers will always find on the Mr. Local History website. The motto is a reminder that each and every day, all of us “make history” through the actions we take or the decisions we make. To that end, Mr. Local History encourages teenagers to join our organization and think about how they can make history themselves. Local high school and college students are invited to become “History…

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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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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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Mr. Local History Releases its Latest Online Magazine – Vol 1 Issue 4

Our Holiday Issue Happy holidays. Tiz the Season! The Mr. Local History Project has been working hard to produce the next issue of our magazine that combines news, stories, and feature posts about the area’s local history in the Somerset Hills area of New Jersey. This month’s cover showcases the iconic Christmas Eve caroling on the green in the village of Basking Ridge. Volume 1 Issue 4 – Holiday Edition. Another word for history is “tradition” and this issue is full of holiday traditions in the Somerset Hills. Fill your…

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Founding Trustees Announced – Mr. Local History

"The Founding Four" signers of the 501c3 non-profit founding Mr. Local History Project. In our signature caricature fashion we introduce Paula Axt, Brooks Betz, Jill Betz, and Meg Wastie. All residents of the Somerset Hills and on the mission to develop programs focused on education and local history.

The Mr. Local History project’s mission is to preserve and promote the local history in Somerset Hills, a area in northern Somerset County, New Jersey. An all volunteer organization, social and educational activities are paramount to engaging in fun new ways. Mr. Local History announced the incorporation of Mr. Local History as a formal non-profit organization. By incorporating, the effort is now recognized as a legal entity to conduct business, organize, and develop fundraising efforts to support programs geared specifically for the local communities of the Somerset Hills in the…

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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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Family Fun and Tree Lighting Dec. 7

2019 Basking Ridge Pre Tree Lighting Meetup and Kids Craft Event

Join friends and family with the Mr. Local History families for an afternoon that will put you in the holiday spirit. It’s the 6th Annual Winter Market and Tree Lighting in the Basking Ridge village. The entire event runs from 12-7pm but our fun runs from 3-5pm on the heated patio at the Washington House. Bring the kids. Call it a pre-tree light-up festive friends gathering. We have crafts and gifts too! Saturday, December 7, 2019 3-5pmWashington House Heated Outdoor Patio The Washington House is glad to partner with Mr.…

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Colonial Christmas Returns to Bedminster

Colonial Christmas at the Jacobus Vanderveer House

The historic Vanderveer House in Bedminster celebrates the holiday season with Colonial Christmas Nov 29 thru December 8, 2019. Who likes history? Who likes Christmas? There’s an event that’s been going on just after Thanksgiving for 16 years at a beautifully restored colonial home in Bedminster, New Jersey. The event is called Colonial Christmas and it’s time to recognize what a great event it is. Called the Jacobus Vanderveer House (pronounced  Jake-O- Bus Vander Veer – it’s a Dutch thing), has transformed into one of the most beautifully restored revolutionary war era federal homes in America. But…

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Widow White’s Tavern 7th Wooden Historic Village Keepsake

The infamous Widow White's Tavern in Basking Ridge changed the course of American history.

Be part of the Widow White’s Tavern inaugural run. Mr Local History is proud to announce the upcoming release of the 7th in the collectible series, the infamous 1776 Widow White’s Tavern in the village of Basking Ridge. Orders for this inaugural run are now being taken online. Only a limited number will be produced. 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. Keepsakes are selected based on community feedback…

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Somerset History – Two Historic Books

While searching the internet we found a few great books that showcases the history of the Somerset Hills and Somerset County, New Jersey from the early 1800’s. If you like local history, these two books really bring the detail to some of the great history tales of the Somerset Hills area. The Somerset Hills The first book is simply called “The Somerset Hills” by Ludwig Schumacher. The full title is The Somerset hills; Being a brief record of significant facts in the early history of the hill country of Somerset…

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The Lost Charters of Bernards Township & Bedminster

UPDATE: While we wrote this piece years ago, the Bedminster Charter came back in the news on October 21, 2019 when it was announced that the Forbes family was donating the charter back to Bedminster Township. The story continues! This is a tale of three Charters in New Jersey that make for a great “what happened” story. Let’s first talk about what a Charter is. A Charter is a document, typically signed by the King of England granting rights to a particular area of land to a prospective Governor (or overseer).…

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