Artwork and Local History

Rendering by Nancy Robinson - Mr Local History art show

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. 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 artist who’s capturing the venue on canvas. This piece is to honor those who capture our local history with art. The project will be ongoing and we invite the public to share an image of artwork from…

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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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Hometown Histories – Stories Worth Sharing

hometown stories mr local history project

Hometown Histories (Stories Worth Remembering) Series is coming to the Mr. Local History Project on Sunday, May 3, 2020 from 1-3pm. Wouldn’t it be great you could gather a bunch of locals from the area to tell stories of how it used to be in the area? Maybe you grew up here? Whether you’re a teller or a listener, we’d love to have you at our new series called “Hometown Histories- Stories Worth Remembering.’ The new series is a modified version of the popular “Elder Voices” series that was started…

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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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Stirling’s Rev War Beacon Signal Towers

Signal beacons of the Continental Army -Created by Major General Stirling of Basking Ridge

The Continental Army and General Lord Stirling took a page out of the history books creating a sophisticated communications network to highlight British movement You never know what you’re going to find regarding history in the Somerset Hills area of northern Somerset County, New Jersey, but we have another great story of the American revolution and its ties to Basking Ridge, New Jersey. For those who don’t know General William Alexander, also known as Lord Stirling of Basking Ridge, New Jersey he is the one credited with designing the famed…

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Historic Fires in the Somerset Hills

Historic Fires in the Somerset Hills of northern Somerset County, New Jersey - Mr. Local History

While you’d think that hurricanes and floods wreak the most havoc, there has been nothing more destructive to properties in the Somerset Hills more than fires. The Mr. Local History Project is gathering information regarding large fires in the Somerset Hills area. Looking back at history, we’ve started digging to let the public understand how severe fires have devastated our community. Bernardston Charter Destroyed in 1850 Fire Basking Ridge – All township records before 1850 were destroyed in a fire. “It is in fact unfortunate that these charters were kept…

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Our Heart and Soul

Mr. Local History Supporters

There is nothing more inspiring then those who support our cause and efforts with a donation. We know there are so many great places to put your dollars, so we make it our #1 priority to make sure that we do the most with your donations. 100% Goes to the Community 100% of your donation goes towards preserving & promoting local history in the Somerset Hills. Our second mission is to offer a scholarship to a recognized high school senior who promotes history in our community. So 100% of your…

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Remembering Howard Johnson’s

The famed Howard Johnson's sign that crossed America - Mr Local History

Who doesn’t remember driving the car and ending up at the famed orange roof of the famed Howard Johnson motor lodge or restaurant. From Weirs Beach, New Hampshire to Daytona Beach Florida, all the way out to Anaheim, California it was the famed orange roof where you could stay at the motor lodge or grab some of the best clam boat and ice cream on the planet. So for a Jersey guy, I was surrounded by the orange roof not only in New Jersey, but it was wherever we drove.…

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2019 – Local History in Pictures

The Mr. Local History 2019 Year in Pictures. Join us for a look back at our inaugural year!

As 2019 comes to a close here in the Somerset Hills, now’s the best time to take a look back at all the fun events, activities, posts, and images for 2019. While not in images, our biggest event was when we expanded, incorporated, and formally became a 501c3 non-profit community organization. Now we get to do what we do and do it with non-profit status. So now you can give tax deductible donations towards our programs and scholarship fund. Please also let me take a moment to thank my wife…

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Before the West Point Academy, There was Pluckamin

Pluckemin Encampment and America’s First Military Academy One of the most interesting untold stories of the American revolution is the one about the Pluckemin Encampment, also known as the Pluckemin Cantonment. You see, a cantonment is different than an Encampment because a cantonment has actual buildings verses temporary tents. Back in 2005, we started on a quest to expose this story. While the notes below are raw, we’ve left them in their original state so you can see what we knew at the time. It all started with this 1779…

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Reflection: Basking Ridge Christmas Eve Caroling

The infamous "Whoville" Christmas gathering. It's as close as you can get when you're in the Basking Ridge village green at 7pm the night before Christmas.

Community Tradition Annual Christmas Eve Community Carolingon the Village Green in Basking Ridge. Post your photos on Social Media #realwhoville Every year on December 24th starting promptly at 7pm on what’s known as “The Green”, residents, families, friends, and guests in Basking Ridge, New Jersey gather for less than 20 minutes to sing Christmas carols, wish good tidings, then move on to their personal family traditions. It’s this 20 minute community activity that brings out the best in this community. The event for many is a ongoing family tradition that’s…

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Bishop Edmund S. Janes – His Somerset Hills Story

Book: The Life of Bishop Edmund S. James

Before we get started: The Methodist Church in the United States is 94% white, 92% third generation American, 60% married, 69% believe in God absolutely, 42% attend church weekly, and 62% believe in hell. Several attempts were made in the twentieth century to reunite the Methodist Church with its founder’s own church – the Church of England. These were rejected by the Church of England’s General Synod in 1972. However, dialogue and informal relations continued. In 2003 a Covenant between the two churches was signed. This affirms each church as…

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The Day that Altered American History

A Day that Changed the Course of American History in Basking Ridge, New Jersey Basking Ridge, New Jersey’s most famous Incident occurred at about noon time on December 13,1776. General Charles Lee (1731-1782), was “alarmed” by Major Wilkinson while he was writing a letter to General Gates about George Washington in an upstairs bedroom of the Widow White’s Tavern. Widow White’s Tavern, named after Ebenezer White’s wife Mary Brown White, became the centerpiece of Revolutionary War history on that day, because It was on this most unfortunate day for General…

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

June In December Holiday Tree Honors former Bernards Township Historian June Kennedy

The Mr. Local History Project honors the former Bernards Township’s historian June Kennedy showcasing our “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 6 thru December 30th at the Environment Education Center on Stirling Road in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. The Mr. Local History Project is proud to announce the newly created “community spirit tree” honoring all those who like to remember local history…

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