Stories

Somerset Hills Historic Sites on the National & State Registers

Part of the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Mr. Local History #mrlocalhistory

Tucked in the northern section of Somerset County, New Jersey, the area known as the Somerset Hills has a rich history that Mr. Local History is proud to document. Each property was researched prior to submitting documentation to the state historic register. IF it meets the criteria, it then can be nominated to the National Registry of Historic Places. Take a look at the great historic landmarks of our hometown area. Bedminster, New Jersey Historic Sites McDonalds/Kline’s Mills, Klines Mill Road (1) Bedminster Township, New Jersey A 19th -20th century…

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Genealogy Help and References

Mr Local History and Ancestry.com support

Looking to Research Your Family History in the Somerset Hills? Genealogy is one of the local historical society’s most requested interest areas. While the Society has limited space to store family historical information, we do have the ability to help you get started on your search. However, in partnership with the Bernards Township Library, there is a dedicated group there that might be able to assist with your research requests. There is also a tremendous amount of information at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church records in Basking Ridge as well…

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Inaugural Online Magazine – Mr. Local History Launched

Take a look at the Mr. Local History Magazine, an online version of local news, articles, and posts about local history in the Somerset Hills region of New Jersey.

As a fun new idea, the Mr. Local History project is launching a monthly 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 Blairsden, the iconic estate in Peapack that showcases grandeur on one side as well as bizarre imagination on the other. Just click the magazine cover to read this issue’s stories. Enjoy. Related posts: Getting Published – Making a Arcadia Local History Book Grand Mansions and Historic Homes in the Somerset Hills…

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Historic Grain House in Bernards Township Turns 250 Years Old

The Grain House c.2018 Credit: Brooks Betz

Historic Profile: The Grain House, Franklin Corners (Bernards Township), New Jersey The Grain House at the Olde Mill Inn Turns 250 Years Old (1768-2018) Mr. Local History congratulates the historic Grain House as it celebrates its 250th construction anniversary. In 1768, when the First Methodist Church in North American colonies was initiated at Wesley Chapel in NYC and the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was being published in Scotland, Samuel Lewis, a miller from Franklin Corners in Bernards Township, built a water-powered grist mill and a barn on the Passaic…

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History of the US Golf Association Headquarters and Museum

Mr. Local History shares a profile of the USGA Museum in Bernards Township, New Jersey

A historic gem right in Bernards Township, New Jersey The USGA Museum, currently located adjacent to the USGA Headquarters, has long been a mecca for those passionate about the game. Some 20,000 avid golfers make the pilgrimage to the Somerset Hills each year to visit the museum. This elegant brick three story Georgian colonial mansion, designed in 1919 by John Russell Pope, has been home to the USGA Headquarters & Museum since 1972. In 1919, Thomas H. Frothingham (1891-1971), a stockbroker and partner at Potter Brothers & Company, commissioned architect…

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Somerset Hills History 101

Map Somerset_Hills_NJ_mr local history

Bedminster, Bernards Township, Bernardsville, Far Hills, Peapack & Gladstone History that you might not know. Let’s get started. Did you know… 1921 – Far Hills was actually part of Bernards Township until seceding in 1921. Rising taxes led the 200 residents of Far Hills to decide to separate from Bernards Township and to incorporate as a Borough. The local property tax rate jumped from $2.72 in 1919 to $3.53 in 1920. 1717 – The original Bernards Township (Bernardston) area (3,000 acres) was purchased by John Harrison, agent of King James…

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Blairsden- The Horror, The Nuns and Other Tales

Peapack Gladstone's Blairsden Estate - Mr. Local History #mrlocalhistory

Weird New Jersey Launches an all out attack on the horrible tales of what went wrong inside the Blairsden Estate in Peapack, New Jersey. This article originally was posted on another site back in 2007. We thought it was time to bring it back and provide additional details since the original article was published. Before we get started, you have to read how the Blairsden Horror Phenomenon took hold. It really started to take off when a niche magazine called Weird New Jersey published an article about the Blairsden estate…

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Betsy Ross is Buried in Basking Ridge

Mr. Local History Archives - Betsy Ross in Basking Ridge

Local Lore –Flag Designer Betsy Ross and her Basking Ridge Ties Betsy Ross’s name at her death was actually Elizabeth (Betsy) Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypoole – A Morris County man. June 14 commemorates Flag Day the birthday of the first U.S. flag, made by Betsy Ross (1752-1836) at the request of George Washington.  Mrs. Ross, a seamstress, did not design the flag, but apparently came up with the idea of five-pointed stars. According to Ross’s grandson, Ross was visited in her home in June 1776 by Robert Morris, George Ross (her…

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The Guilded Age Blairsden Estate

Mr. Local History Archives - Blairsden Estate

Historical Perspective: The Blairsden Estate of Clinton Ledyard Blair Peapack/Gladstone, New Jersey Submitted: Brooks Betz & W. Barry Thomson BLAIRSDEN, site for Mansion In May 2014 from Mansion In May on Vimeo. Blairsden Background Out of all of the requests that we receive at Mr. Local History, none measure up to the sheer volume we receive every month requesting additional information on Blairsden, one of the crown jewel estates of the Somerset Hills. While there have been numerous pieces posted on the internet regarding Blairsden that stretch the truth and…

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Spring Planting – Keep the History Going

The Daffodil Project - Plant Now

Throwback post – If you live in Bernards Township, New Jersey, for the 250th Anniversary back in 2010 Bernards Township adopted the Flower Drift Daffodil as the 250th Anniversary Daffodil for their 250th anniversary! Show your support by planting these daffodils in your yard to celebrate the anniversary! THE DAFFODIL PROJECT… TELL YOUR FRIENDS/NEIGHBORS….Facebook your wall, Tweet…whatever gets the message out there…. ALL BERNARDS TWP RESIDENTS… PLANT NOW so that the entire area has this special daffodil blooming on the 250th anniversary! Related posts: Flowers for Bernards Townships Birthday/Anniversary History…

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Popular Historical Web Site in Somerset Hills ‘Going Dark’

Bernardsville News Header

By W. JACOB PERRY Staff Writer March 19, 2019 It’s a popular treasure trove of information about virtually every local landmark from the Blairsden mansion to the late Basking Ridge oak tree, but the web site of the Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (HSSH) is close to becoming history. The site, www.historicalsocietyofsomersethills.org, now features a prominent, stark message by the “host provider” that says it is “going DARK” along with “hundreds of pages, thousands of images, and great news and interest visited by over 2,000 people a month.” “If…

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Wooden Collectibles

Mr Local History - Cats Meow Village

World Famous Cat’s Meow Collectibles from the Somerset Hills Historic Village The Somerset Hills Historic Village keepsake collection is a wood painted collectible series honoring historic iconic buildings, properties, and fixtures that are part of the historic fabric of the Somerset Hills community. Each keepsake was selected based on community feedback and a voting process. Brooks Betz stated, “the Astor Estate is one of the most iconic properties in the Somerset Hills and in voting was second to the Basking Ridge Oak Tree.” Additional keepsakes will be added to the…

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Bernards Township Charter Day Celebration

Bernards Township Charter Day - Mr. Local History Archives #mrlocalhistory

#BTCharterday – Celebrate the rich history of Bernards Township with The Historical Society of the Somerset Hills (THSSH). Make your own history with us by bringing your camera – or smartphone & post pictures of your booth, your kids, your festive table or any other Charter Day activities on our community facebook page! We’re also on Twitter and Instagram. Post and hashtag #BTcharterday. Make your own history! It’s Time for a Street Festival that Celebrates Our History! Expect visitors to the downtown Basking Ridge section of Bernards Twp celebration to…

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Astor Estate in Basking Ridge Selected as 6th Wooden Historic Village Keepsake

Basking Ridge Wooden Cats Meow Keepsake

Pre-order online now to be part of the inaugural run. Mr Local History is proud to announce the release of the 6th in the collectible series, the 1912 Samuel Owen home now known as the Astor Estate is the new Somerset Hills Historic Cat’s Meow collectible. Pre-orders for this inaugural run are now being taken online. Only a limited number will be produced. The Historic Somerset Hills Village keepsake collection is a collectible series honoring historic iconic buildings, properties, and fixtures that are part of the historic fabric of our…

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Jersey Comfort Food to Die For Mapping Project

Mr Local History Maps Jersey Food to Die For

Here’s to a lifetime of living in Jersey. Here’s the map. It’s simple. It may not be the healthiest, but Fagettaboutit, it’s Jersey’s best comfort food. Great flavor with an attitude. I just love it. You will too! Post any pics if you have them.We’re big into #foodporn 🙂 The first round of the Jersey Comfort Food map started when I wanted to get an Italian hot dog. Where would I have to travel? Or if I’m traveling the state, how do I know where the BEST place in the…

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