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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Founding Trustees Announced – Mr. Local History

"The Founding Four" signers of the 501c3 non-profit founding Mr. Local History Project. In our signature caricature fashion we introduce Paula Axt, Brooks Betz, Jill Betz, and Meg Wastie. All residents of the Somerset Hills and on the mission to develop programs focused on education and local history.

The Mr. Local History project’s mission is to preserve and promote the local history in Somerset Hills, a area in northern Somerset County, New Jersey. An all volunteer organization, social and educational activities are paramount to engaging in fun new ways. Mr. Local History announced the incorporation of Mr. Local History as a formal non-profit organization. By incorporating, the effort is now recognized as a legal entity to conduct business, organize, and develop fundraising efforts to support programs geared specifically for the local communities of the Somerset Hills in the…

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“June in December” Tree Honors June Kennedy at Festival of Trees in Basking Ridge

The Mr. Local History Project honors Bernards Township’s local historian June Kennedy showcasing their “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 1 thru December 30th at the Environment Education Center on Stirling Road in Basking Ridge. The Mr. Local History Project is proud to announce the newly created “community spirit tree” honoring all those who like to remember local history and their former…

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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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Colonial Christmas Returns to Bedminster

Colonial Christmas at the Jacobus Vanderveer House

The historic Vanderveer House in Bedminster celebrates the holiday season with Colonial Christmas Nov 29 thru December 8, 2019. Who likes history? Who likes Christmas? There’s an event that’s been going on just after Thanksgiving for 16 years at a beautifully restored colonial home in Bedminster, New Jersey. The event is called Colonial Christmas and it’s time to recognize what a great event it is. Called the Jacobus Vanderveer House (pronounced  Jake-O- Bus Vander Veer – it’s a Dutch thing), has transformed into one of the most beautifully restored revolutionary war era federal homes in America. But…

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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).…

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History of the Far Hills Race Meeting

The Far Hills Race meeting is one of the most historic well attended event in New Jersey. Let's look at its history.

The Mr. Local History Project builds on the 2006 research to bring you a great look at an event that’s nearing a Century mark. What’s in a name? Some call it the Steeplechase, some the Far Hills Race Meeting, and some prefer to call it simply ‘The Hunt‘. Whichever name you choose, you’re all partially correct. While the name is officially called the Far Hills Race Meeting, hosted by the Far Hills Race Meeting Association (FHRMA), every year, on the last Saturday of October, the horses come back to Far…

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Top 10 Historic Businesses in the Somerset Hills, New Jersey

In 2009 - The Grain House was listed as one of the top 10 historic businesses in the Somerset Hills

Whether you’re a banker or a national political figure, a CEO or a farmer, the Somerset Hills has provided commercial opportunities for centuries. From C. Ledyard Blair and Jackie Kennedy, to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Charles Pfizer, the Somerset Hills business community has served up commerce in a classic fashion. (See the list of Somerset Hills Rich & Famous post). There’s no mistake that the Somerset Hills area is rich in long lasting commerce history. The Somerset Hills region of Bedminster, Bernards Twp, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack &…

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Day Trip – Mohonk Mountain Resort, New Paltz, New York

This piece was originally written back in December 2007. Thought we’d refresh because we’re looking to go back for another visit to help celebrate 150 years of the wonderful history of the Mohonk Mountain Resort. Here’s your first tip. Once you walk into the Mountain House, nobody knows whether you’re a Day Guest or an overnight resident, so don’t feel out of place. Walk around the Hotel. Sit in the sitting rooms, read the papers, and begin to take in the historic beauty of the resort. But here’s the real…

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Weddings @ Historic Venues in the Bucolic Somerset Hills, New Jersey

Historic Wedding Venues - Mr Local History

Many people have written over the years looking for places to hold a wedding on a historic property in the Somerset Hills. The area includes Bedminster, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack & Gladstone. So we’ve been given our mission and started our research. If you know of a historic property that offers the availability to rent out their venue, we’d love to hear from you. Historic Properties you can rent for a wedding: The Old Mill Inn – Bernards Township (Basking Ridge), New Jersey – Click Here Old Mill…

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The Essex Hunt and the Far Hills Race Meeting Historic Timeline

This is a continuation of The History of The Far Hills Race Meeting post….. For the better part of a decade, the Mr. Local History Project has been digging and investigating the history of one of the greatest events in the Somerset Hills. For over 100 years, the Far Hills Race Meeting and the Hunt have been hunting and racing back to the late 1800’s. Every year in October the small town of Far Hills becomes the third largest city in New Jersey. If you attend the event, it’s fun…

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The “Man Card Survey” – or “How Men Think” Survey

Sometimes a blog is just that. A blog. A place where you just go write something, or in my case you just ask twenty seven random questions directed to seeing how men behave. I don’t know why I do it, but sometimes I’m just curious about human nature. There’s a program where you get to fire off as many questions as you can in 30 seconds without thinking. I’m fascinated by this for some reason. So here’s my own Man Card survey. Take the survey and when I get enough…

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#911neverforget in the Somerset Hills

Remembering those we lost in our community on 911

Starting at 8:46am on September 11, 2001, when the first plane hit the north tower, our community was changed forever. Please take a moment to remember those that never came home again. Evan Jay Baron, David O. Campbell, Kevin Dennis, Stephen Dimino, John W. Farrell, Louis Fersini, Jr., Michael Finnegan, Christopher Forsythe, Steven Genovese, Robert John Halligan, Kevin James Hannaford, John Clinton Hartz, Allison Horstmann Jones, Matthew McDermott, Stacey Sennas McGowan, Ludwig Picarro, Stephen E. Poulos,Thomas B. Reinig, Craig W. Staub, William Randolph Tieste, Lance Tumulty, Frank Thomas Wisniewski.  …

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Mr. Local History Releases its Latest Online Magazine – Vol 1 Issue 3

Mr Local History Back to School Issue

We call this the “the Back to School Issue” 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 what was known as the “one room classroom”. The Somerset Hills is full of the history of the one room classroom, as well as Academy’s that you may have never known about. Teachers rules from back in 1872 were fun…

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A Unique Bedminster Cemetery-“God’s Acre”

Mr Local History takes a look at a unique burial ground in Bedminster, New Jersey

So we’re over at the Bedminster Farmers Market and while meeting a few of the locals, one of the patrons mentioned “why don’t you research what’s going on over at the slave burial grounds in Bedminster. Here we are. We love a good local history lesson, so let’s do this. Tucked behind the second Watchung Mountain off Lamington Road in Bedminster lies what had been identified as a slave burial ground. Back in the early 18th century the area was quietly farmed mostly by Dutch families who left what is…

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