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).…

Read More

Bernards Township Charter Day

Charter Day Streetfair and Festival It was a beautiful Saturday, May 18, 2019 in the Historic Basking Ridge Village Thanks for all who came out for the day! It was a beautiful one for sure! Have any Instagram photos you’d like to share on the charterday.com photo wall? There’s still time. You Can Still Add Your Photos to the Charter Day Instagram Wall Just add (or edit your previous Instagram post) #BTCharterday to your Instagram photo. Realtime Weather Forecast Celebrate the 254th anniversary of Bernards Township as we honor the…

Read More

1912 Astor Estate in Basking Ridge Selected as 6th Wooden Historic Village Keepsake

Basking Ridge Wooden Cats Meow Keepsake

Order online now to be part of the inaugural run. Mr Local History is proud to announce the release of the 6th in the collectible series, the 1912 Samuel Owen home now known as the Astor Estate is the new Somerset Hills Historic Cat’s Meow collectible. Orders 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. The third keepsake…

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

Gift Shop

The Cat's Meow is one of the worlds most iconic collectible series. Mr. Local History started creating the Somerset Hills Historic Village back in 2018. Each year we launch new additions based on community input.

How about this? Become a Member and get FREE gifts! Give gifts that have a meaning and a purpose. All items in the Mr. Local History Gift Shop were created by the Mr. Local History team. Proceeds from everything you purchase goes to local history projects and our scholarship fund. We promote and preserve our local history. So give with confidence knowing that you’re helping a worthy cause. Current Inventory – Remember these are all custom made items. Once sold out, they may never be available again. Ordering is simple.…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More