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

Community Collage during Covid - Mr Local History Project

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 photos and create…

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The Founding Families of Basking Ridge

Trading $50 for Basking Ridge

History showcases some of the greatest reminders of where we came from. Many people new to the area don’t know the deep history in the area ties back to some of the originating families that chose this area back in the early 1700s. As many know, the area was purchased by John Harrison, agent of King James III of England in 1717, from Chief Nowenoik of the Lenapes, a real estate package of 3,000 acres for $50.  We honor those who founded this community on the Ridge. Six Early Settlers…

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History Dig: The Army Hospital was in Basking Ridge and NOT Jockey Hollow

The Winter Encampment at Morristown has a historic twist. The army hospital was in Basking Ridge. Read the story.

NOTE: While I sit in the house under self distancing work from home for the Coronavirus, we take a look back at a hospital in Basking Ridge, New Jersey that very few people knew. And the amazing part is not that I knew there was a hospital in Basking Ridge, I was shocked to learn that there never was a hospital in Jockey Hollow. Brooks Betz, Historian – Mr. Local History Project The 1779-1780 Winter Encampment at Jockey HollowThe Story of the Hospital at Basking Ridge Weather conditions when the…

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Keepsake – Stirling’s Basking Ridge Grand Manor Immortalized

tirling Manor was stated to be a English nobleman's Georgian Palladian style estate along the Dead River called "The Sycamores" with great lawns, gardens, vineyards, stables, coach houses, with a large paved court behind the mansion. The property up to 800 total acres. While the estate is gone this one in Marble Hill-Twickenham outside London is very similar to what Sycamores might have looked like.

The Mayor of the Somerset Hills Historic Village is VERY proud to announce the addition of what might be one of the most iconic historic images in the area. Let’s welcome the historic Cat’s Meow Lord Stirling Manor, noted as one of the grandest manors in the early American Colonies. The Mr. Local History Project introduces the 8th in the series voted by the community is the 1761 Lord Stirling Manor. How do I Get One? PRE-ORDER YOUR LIMITED EDITION COLLECTIBLE The easiest way to get one is to order…

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Art and History – Looking for Artists Who Love History

The Mr. Local History Art Initiative

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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REFLECTION: Somerset Hills Farms, Orchards, Dairies, Stables & Landmarks

Farming was everything in the Somerset Hills - Mr Local History Project

The Mr. Local History Project has begun an effort to create a list of key agricultural, lifestock, equine, and fruit farms in the Somerset Hills area of Bedminster, Basking Ridge, Liberty Corner, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack and Gladstone. A number of researchers are building the list along with details to share with the public. While the bucolic Somerset Hills remained the treasure of western New Jersey, once the railroad started in the 1870’s, farming shifted to estates. Mostly in Bernardsville and Bedminster, Basking Ridge, Liberty Corner, parts of Bernardsville, and…

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Historic Preservation & Restoration In the Somerset Hills

Somerset Hills HIstoric Preservation - Mr Local History Project

The Mr. Local History project is sponsoring a new Community Forum for those interested in sharing and learning about historic preservation and historic restoration efforts in the Somerset Hills area of northern Somerset County. Tips for Bedminster, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack and Gladstone. But we welcome all those who’d like to preserve and protect history so feel free to share your ideas and thoughts. Topic areas include: General Restoration questions and comments Recommendations Share Your Restoration Local Government questions/comments The Mr. Local History Project is also looking to…

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Looking Back – Werring Chevrolet-Olds in Basking Ridge

Werring Chevrolet Basking Ridge 1957

For many the downtown village of Basking Ridge is a bucolic vision of a Rockwell American town. Dotted with small shops, churches, and eateries, you don’t have to travel back in time too far when one of the biggest businesses in the downtown area was a car dealership. The Mr. Local History project takes you back to 1957 where we introduce you to the history of Werring Chevrolet-Olds right there where the current Basking Ridge Family Dentistry offices stand in 2020. John H. Werring picked up where Ray Moffet ended…

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Why is Basking Ridge Called the Red Devils and Why are They Green?

Ridge High School and the Red Devil Tool Company - Mr. Local History

The Mr. Local History project got a request the other day asking why is the Ridge High School sports program called the Red Devils and why are they using the color green? It’s a history thing. Lets take a look. The story starts back in 1940 when the famed “Astor Estate” (the Bernards Township town hall) was sold to Mr. and Mrs. George Ludlow Lee, Sr. in 1940. The estate was actually called “Cedar Hill Farm” at the time. Mr. Lee was the owner/treasurer of the Red Devil Tool Company of Irvington from…

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Affordable Housing Development History in Bernards Township

History of Housing Developments in Bernards Township = Mr Local History

Bernards Township has had a long history of being a sleepy rural town. Then AT&T came to town in the 70’s and everything started to change. Demand for housing increased as people from around the world started to choose Bernards Township as a place to raise their children. Starting in the 50’s the concept of cluster housing neighborhoods started in the famed Levittown, NY development which later led to our area’s infamous “The Hills” development complex. Let’s take a look back at the growth of housing complexes in Bernards Township…

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