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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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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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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Reflection: Basking Ridge Christmas Eve Caroling

The infamous "Whoville" Christmas gathering. It's as close as you can get when you're in the Basking Ridge village green at 7pm the night before Christmas.

Community Tradition Annual Christmas Eve Community Carolingon the Village Green in Basking Ridge. Post your photos on Social Media #realwhoville Every 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…

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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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History Makers

History Makers High School Volunteers 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 Makers”…

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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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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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