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…

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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…

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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…

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Recreating the Historic Charter of Bernardston

Historic documents often meet their tragic ending with swiftness and tragedy. In 1850 in Bernards Township there was known to have been a massive fire at the home of the township administrator, burning all of the townships documents, including it’s founding Charter. Now, with a bit a research and some digital technology, a local resident has recreated a rendering of the Charter of Bernardston. The Charter History On May 24, 1760 the Governor of New Jersey, Sir Francis Bernard was awarded it’s official declaration as a township from England’s King George…

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Somerset Hills History Coloring Book

Somerset Hills Coloring Book- Mr. Local History Archive #mrlocalhistory

UPDATE: August 17,2019 We’re on a #growlocalhistory mission. Help us raise a small amount of money to donate this coloring book to every 3rd grader in the Bernards Township, Bedminster, and Somerset Hills School District. 100% of the funds (less the donation fee) will go to getting books to the BOE in those communities. HURRY, school is starting soon. WHAT A great gift to promote local history for our kids.  For every donation above $50, we will even send you a coloring book if you provide us your mailing address.…

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The Lost Charters of Bernards Township & Bedminster

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).  We have Bedminster NJ, Bridgewater NJ, and Bernards Township (Bernardston) NJ that are of interest because it seems that all three monumental documents were destroyed by fire, never to be seen again…or were they? Background The Charter of Bernardson is…

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Student Rules Then and Now

While attending a program entitled “Early American Schoolhouses” at the Brick Academy in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, the instructor passed out handouts that discussed rules for students, rules for teachers, and punishments back in 1872. Meg Wastie, program coordinator at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts in Madison,  and a former teacher, presented a great program overview relating to the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts partnership with the The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills in the Somerset Hills area (Bedminster, Bernardsville,Far Hills, Peapack/Gladstone) . The historical society has recently launched a new program…

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Map Historic Schoolhouses in New Jersey

Help map New Jersey (and surrounding areas) Historic Schoolhouses! It’s growing everyday – and it’s FREE. A great new mapping effort. We’re looking for people to post information regarding any old one room type schoolhouses that you know of in and around New Jersey. Using Google Maps in a collaborative effort, it is the intention to create a workable map whereby all historic schoolhouse preservation efforts, program efforts, and build an online network of New Jersey historic schoolhouses. If you know about a school, please feel free to post a comment…

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The Mysterious Basking Ridge Devil Tree

The infamous Devil Tree of Liberty Corner

  Brief Tidbits From Liberty Corner – The Devil Tree Story #1 Devil’s Tree – More Than Just a Tree Me and my friends were all contemplating going up to Devil’s Tree. I had been up there one time before, and a truly weird thing happened. It was about November or December when I was first told about the Devil Tree up in the mountains. I was told “Don’t touch it or something will happen to you or your car.” I had just had my car serviced though, and had…

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Before the West Point Academy, There was the Academy at Pluckmin

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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