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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Sharing History with Maps

While supplies last, get a collectible puzzle with iconic local images from the Mr. Local History Project.

Researching New Jersey and our Somerset Hills Community’s History with Maps As a historian, maps are one of the greatest sources of information capturing a time and place. These maps are ones we use to research history, find buildings, families, farms, or streets. We often then compare those historic maps to current maps. Then we go on a journey to find that actual location today. Once in a while, we take our research and create maps to give perspective. #readytoremember Mr Local History Google Maps 1779 Washington Encampment at Jockey…

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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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J. Geils Was From Bedminster -Cut his Chops at Bernards High

J Geils from Bedminster NJ and went to Bernards High

The J. Geils Band was an American rock band formed in 1968, in Worcester, Massachusetts while John Geils was attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Under the leadership of guitarist John “J.” Geils. But did you know that it all started when John was living in Bedminster and attended Bernards High School in Bernardsville. Let’s take a look. John (Jay) Warren Geils, Jr. was born on February 20, 1946, in New York City to John Warren “Jay” Geils and Carolyn K. “Lynne” Wolff. His family was living in Morris Plains before moving…

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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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100th Anniversary Honors Women’s Right to Vote in New Jersey

19th amendment - Mr. Local History Project

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the U.S., and the ratification of the 19th amendment guaranteeing all American women the right to vote, the Mr Local History project recognizes this great accomplishment in American History. The U.S. Congress passed the 19th Amendment guaranteeing all American women the right to vote in June 4, 1919, and the resolution states on Feb. 9, 1920, New Jersey became the 29th state to ratify the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. Many don’t know that the 19th amendment was actually written…

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They Stayed In Basking Ridge

The famous people who came to Basking Ridge - Mr Local History Project

In a sleepy little section in the northern end of Bernards Township lies the Olde Mill Inn. Once just a small restaurant and former grain house barn, it has become a quiet getaway for Hollywood elite and social royalty. As you walk into the Olde Mill Inn lobby, take a quick turn to the left for a glimpse of history mounted on the wall. The statement is simple: these people chose to visit where you live for any number of reasons. From Martin Sheen to Howard Stern, let’s take a…

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Artwork and Local History

Capturing History in the Somerset Hills with Art The Mr. Local History Project has launched a new program to honor artists that celebrate our local history with art. NOTE: On your phone just swipe right or left. On desktop, put mouse on image to stop. There are arrows in mid-section of art on edges to go backwards or forwards. Mouse off should move art automatically. Documenting history sometimes comes in unique ways. As we’ve been studying history in the Somerset Hills you often visit the sites and come across an…

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Bernards Township Origins

Bernards Township Asian Community Research - Mr. Local History Project

Bernards Township has been a charted township going all the way back to 1760. With the early Dutch and Scottish settlers, the origin of the area belongs to the famed Lenni-Lenape Native American tribe.But what about the other cultures in the area. We’re on a mission to find out and would love to engage the community. Demographic Highlights Researching Diversity We are honoring those in our neighborhood who have identified themselves as Asian according to the census. Statistics have shown that the Asian American community (including India and Chinese) has…

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Mr. Local History Builds Wikipedia Page

Visit the Somerset Hills Wikipedia page today - Click Here

The internet is such a great place to begin a search for local history and was exactly the reason why I started writing this blog and posting. Find a good story, research it, and share it with others so they can help make the story better, bring their perspectives, and share their history. I call it crowdsourcing to a better answer. Everyone that knows the web, knows about wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that covers almost every topic you can think of. Well now, wikipedia has a new Somerset Hills page…

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Mr. Local History Magazine Releases Vol 2. Issue 1

The Mr. Local History Magazine kicks off the new decade with a full packed free edition of our Mr. Local History Magazine. ALL FREE. Enjoy

We call this the “2020 Welcome to the New Decade” Winter Edition It may be winter and for some strange reason it’s almost 70 degrees outside today. So after a nice long walk we came back in and designed our first edition of the new decade. It’s been a busy few months as we got through the holidays, yet had time to dig into the life of Bishop Janes, a Bernardsville and Basking Ridge resident that could be named “the father of the Bville Mountain. Learn why the Watchung Mountains…

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