Historic Community Collage – Share a Photo To Help Document These Difficult Times.

Community Collage during Covid - Mr Local History Project

Post Views: 423 Take part with neighbors and community members in the Somerset Hills and share a photo to our community collage. During this time of unprecedented history everyone recognizes that being safe means social distancing. But that can’t stop us from being a community. Be part of the “Community Collage – Strength in Numbers” online collage to document these tough times. Our ask is simple. Use the form below to submit a photo you think best represents you or your family during this crisis. We will gather all the…

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The Gilded Age: Natirar Estate in Peapack, New Jersey

The Famed Natirar Estate in Peapack New Jersey - A park and an estate moves into 21st Century

Post Views: 426 Catherine “Kate” Macy and Walter Graeme Ladd began acquiring property in the Somerset hills in 1905. Macy was a Quaker heiress to a whaling/oil/shipping fortune; her father’s business partner was John D. Rockefeller. Kate was born in New York City, a descendant of Thomas and Sarah Macy, Massachusetts settlers in the late 1630s. She was a granddaughter of Captain Josiah Macy, originally of Nantucket, who founded a firm that became New York’s first oil refinery in the 1860s (later sold to the Standard Oil Company). In 1659,…

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Population Trends in the Somerset Hills

Everything looked consistent until Bernards Township broke the trend with an exponential growth period. Mr. Local History

Post Views: 142 One thing that I’ve learned as a township historian in this area is everyone has a point of view on what changed the area over the years. No matter who you talk to you typically hear that the area is nothing like it used to be. But what did it used to be depends on how far you look back. Looking back to the 1700’s in the Somerset Hills we’ve recognized a few things. First, the Somerset Hills townships are tucked behind the Watchung Mountains in a…

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Historic Profile: The Lost Somerset Hills Airport in Basking Ridge

Looking back at the Somerset Hills Airport in Basking Ridge, NJ

Post Views: 345 If you were driving around the small town of Basking Ridge, New Jersey and you were looking for an airport the only thing you’d find is a sign. But for residents who’ve lived here since the 1930s, the area contained a small grass runway airport called the Somerset Hills Airport. Before there was an airport, there was a 70 acre tract that had a long history in Basking Ridge. The original owner goes back to the early 1700s when James Alexander, the father to Lord Stirling aka…

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Historic Profile: Somerset Hills Country Club

Somerset Hills Country Club c1920 with logo

Post Views: 324 Tucked behind the bucolic town center in the boro of Bernardsville, New Jersey lies one of the best kept historic secrets in the state, the Somerset Hills County Club. Actually a golf and tennis club as well, the low key very private club has served history well in the Somerset Hills. Notable members of Somerset Hills over the years have included C. Douglas Dillon, Secretary of the Treasury for Eisenhower; Cyrus R. Vance, Secretary of State for Jimmy Carter; Nicholas F. Brady, Secretary of the Treasury for…

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Art and History – Looking for Artists Who Love History

The Mr. Local History Art Initiative

Post Views: 401 The Mr. Local History Project is launching a new program to preserve our local history. We are also looking for art teachers to consider a program where an entire art class works to create their own collection. Take a look and if you’re interested, drop us a line and we can connect to discuss. Sign Up to Participate!

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Bedminster History – Look To the Old Mellick Farmhouses

Story of an old farm by Andrew Mellick - Nr. Local History

Post Views: 10,289 If you live in the Somerset Hills area around Bedminster and Tewksbury you hopefully have heard the name Mellick. The Mellick name goes back to one of the founding family names in the area. In fact, the name Mellick acquired three different spellings. In those days the people in charge of registering land titles and other legal documents spelled names as they sounded. The Bedminster branch became Mellick, the Tewksbury branch Melick, and a few spelled it Malick. There was a standing joke in the Melick family…

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